Author Topic: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers  (Read 7991 times)

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« on: June 08, 2011, 03:42:16 pm »
Please include a readme.txt file with your files in the future. I noticed a new trend in the community where all BASIC/Lua programmers no longer include a stand-alone readme.txt file with their games or programs. Instead, they include the readme directly inside the TNS file, and I even noticed more and more people who don't even include any instructions such as controls.

There used to only be two people that did that before, including a member here, but now it's almost every Nspire BASIC and Lua programmers.

Sometimes, I like to be able to check how the game operates prior installing it on my calc, to make sure it will not be too hard to play for me or to see if it's really what I expect (example, if it's an RPG and it says to type numbers then enter to move around instead of pressing arrows, I will not bother downloading it). However, when you put the readme directly inside the game document, this is impossible, as I am forced to load it on my calc, an emulator or a document player, and it's annoying.

So please, in the future, could you please do like TI-83 Plus, TI-89T and Casio programmers and make your readme.txt separate from the BASIC/Lua TNS files or both? Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 03:43:18 pm by DJ_O »
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Offline apcalc

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 11:28:21 pm »
I agree with this completely! :)

Actually, I have never even included the instructions in an Nspire document page, only in a separate ReadMe file.  Most of the time, the contents of a ReadMe play a large role in whether I actually try a game!


Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 11:39:15 pm »
On the 83+, when I see a RPG on ticalc, the first thing I look for is if the controls says "Press number keys to select stuff in the menus" and that there are no character movement control. This automatically tells me it's a menu-only RPG. Now those are uploaded in a separate directory on ticalc.org, but some still sneak in the regular RPG section from time to time.
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Offline Jim Bauwens

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 02:57:06 am »
Yeah, this is very true. I'll keep it in mind when I release my programs.

Offline Hayleia

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 08:45:01 am »
Better making a Readme readable by the calc (or even inside the prog) because when we send the prog to a friend, we can't always send the Readme.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 08:45:09 am by Hayleia »
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Offline JosJuice

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 08:47:55 am »
Better making a Readme readable by the calc (or even inside the prog) because when we send the prog to a friend, we can't always send the Readme.
Or even better: Include both a separate readme as well as one inside the program.

Offline Levak

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 08:56:12 pm »
Or even better than better : don't do any readme file. And we're fixed.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 09:16:06 pm »
Better making a Readme readable by the calc (or even inside the prog) because when we send the prog to a friend, we can't always send the Readme.
Maybe but I still think an extra copy in txt format must be included, because someone who downloads the game might not bother installing it if he can't read the readme first.

Or even better than better : don't do any readme file. And we're fixed.
I would at least include instructions, but I don't work hard on readmes since a lot of people don't read them anyway :P
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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 09:17:21 pm »
Or even better than better : don't do any readme file. And we're fixed.

:P

It's generally bad software practice to not include one or more of the following things with your program:

- License(s)
- README(s)
- Contact information
- Additional Disclaimers
- If it includes the source files:
   - A build script / directions for building
   - All tools used to compile the source
      - License(s) for these
   - Reminders in the main source files about the license(s) that apply


While most people don't include most of these, READMEs are absolute necessities and licenses are only second to that.  I won't play a game with no README included in either a main or "about"/"resources" directory.  I won't consider helping out with a project if it has no license.

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 09:18:56 pm »
I think a license isn't necessary. It's only necessary if you want people to help or re-use the code, for example. Personally I just put disclaimers in my readmes saying if the person can use the code or not.
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 09:24:11 pm »
Well, that technically can be considered a license, depending on what it applies to ;) with many calculator games it's fine (such as Axe or BASIC games).  I think it's just a bit unthoughtful though if someone writes something that includes either source or extreme documentation, in a language like assembly, Lua, C, or even non-calc projects -- when there's a good chance your code will be stolen for later use.  A disclaimer can work just fine, but for the paranoid like me the GPL v3 does wonders at protecting your work with some actual backing in court ;)

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 09:25:55 pm »
I wonder if they would want to deal with calculator games in court, though O.O
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Offline calc84maniac

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 12:26:04 am »
I plan to release source code with TI-Boy, but I don't expect people to understand it haha
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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2011, 01:48:30 pm »
I wonder if they would want to deal with calculator games in court, though O.O
Knowing the US legal system, maybe :P

Offline Jonius7

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Re: A message to Nspire BASIC/Lua programmers
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 01:36:03 am »
This reminds me definitely. If you're making an 'official-like' release on ticalc.org there should definitely be a readme. Unfortunately there are just so many files out there with single document files in .zips, and some don't even have instructions within the game!

I myself am kinda guilty in not posting a full 'how-to-play' readme, just an informational readme. :D
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