Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The problem with standards: Too many (example savegames)

You know what the problem with standardization is?
Too many standards. Which defeats the whole purpose.

I always very much prefer to establish my own system, because it's smart and tidy, but let me give you an example of what problem I have in computing:


Here are Windows 7 paths where you can find your savegames, and some might also or only contain game config files to sonfuse things even more:

1) If it's a Steam game, in some obscure Steam user data subdirectory. If you're also using cloud saving ... let's not go there. Things really get nasty then.
2) Steam games could also save them in their program directory path, which ironically applies mostly to Valve's own games.
3) AppData\Local
4) AppData\LocalLow
5) AppData\Roaming
6) [user]\Saved Games
7) [user]\My Documents
8) [user]\My Documents\My Games
9) [user]\My Documents\My Games\SavedGames


UPDATE: And then there are games that are still not satisfied with the degree of messiness and hackjob software design and dump their configs directly in the user directory:

10) [user]\.titan_attacks_2.01

Looks like a typical Linux or some such multiplatform syntax. So it's the popular symptom of wanting to make extra money by developing for several platforms, but not bothering to learn where things go there.
Examples of other software doing the same: Valley Benchmark and GIMP.

By the way, Titan Attacks was released in February 2012 and the output log contains this sad line:
"WARNING: Found unknown Windows version: Windows 7"

It's frustrasting for power user who knows exactly where to put everything so that it's tidy and organized to be forced to let every bit of software do it their way.
I'm also constantly on the hunt for software counteracting my efforts to keep my SSD write ops to a minimum. I just discovered that the Steam browser cache that I moved to a harddisk and symlinked back got ruined and reset to write on SSD again. Probably because some update completely deleted the cache directory. So now I tried symlinking one level higher, Steam\htmlcache is now the symlink. So I couldn't avoid another 260 MB of useless temporary crap to be written to my SSD and reducing the longevity of the memory cells.

This is also why I would never accept a volume-based internet tariff. Because there's such a wasteful use of resources in modern IT that big business' messiness and laziness would actually cost me a lot of money. It would make me rage. With flat rate at least it's merely some extra time and maybe harddisk space wasted. (Bad enough.)

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