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View Full Version : New file-format for LW (just dreaming)


thomasvandenabeele
08-25-2005, 12:30 PM
You know what I would like for future LW-revisions? The ability to save out one ZIP-file including the scene, all objects, all images and other used files (such as pfx etc.) in ONE file. Think of it as ConMan on steroids! Numerous companies (including Philips and Microsoft) have a proprietary file-format that, if you just rename the extension to .zip, is exactly that: a zip archive including all assets.

The benefits: it's compact, but most of all you have EVERYTHING in one file. I know I for one hate it whenever I have to mail a colleague a setup and I have to go look for everything manually, or first use conman, then zip everything and so on. Name it LZP or something (and give it a cool name like LazyPackage or something :)

And if you just want ONE image or object, you can still use WinZip or another archiver.

What do you people think? Send this to feature-requests or not?

Thomas

thomasvandenabeele
08-25-2005, 12:31 PM
Needless to say there are numerous advantages to using the current file-system so I would like to keep these as standard, but I think ConMan could use this added functionality. I'd love it.

krimpr
08-25-2005, 01:40 PM
This maybe a stupid resonse but couldn't you just use LW's content manager to consolidate your objects and images and add your scene file to the folder and then zip it? I'm probably missing something. Umm... what's ConMan?

mav3rick
08-25-2005, 02:04 PM
the way lw save now is great dont wanna mix all together.. if scene corrupt objecrt are intact if obj corrupt scene works .........

evenflcw
08-25-2005, 02:51 PM
I think it sounds like a pretty good suggestion - To rely on a common zip format instead of creating a completely new proprietary fileformat which truely bakes everything together, achieving nothing but a big bulky unflexible file. But this way you'd get all benefits, and not so many bad traits.

I can see only advantages. Only question is how fast will it save and load!?

assistant pimp
08-25-2005, 02:56 PM
Could someone provide a link to what "ConMan" is? I searched flay and did not find it. SOrry to hi-jack the thread. But inquiring minds want to know.

thomasvandenabeele
08-25-2005, 03:10 PM
Haha, funny how the mind works...

ConMan is short for CONtent MANager :) It's in the manual, but I must admit, I'm usually more inclined to google than rtfm myself.

So, yes, what I am saying is SORT OF like using ConMan, but to be honest I find it quite a hassle to first use ConMan, set relative paths for EVERY fricking file in the scene and then go to WinZip, set options to preserve relative paths and recurse subdirectories and zip it. I just had to do it, and let me tell you, if I could have launched ConMan and just said "ZIP it all to XXX.lzip" I'd have saved precious time.

Voila. And like I said, LWs current file-system MUST remain, it's great, open and understandable. But for portability a speedy ZIP-function in ConMan would be GRRRRRRRRRReat!!

Thank you ladies and gentleman :)

kfiram
08-25-2005, 05:08 PM
Yes yes yes!!!

I've thought about it too. Hate going through the process you describe. Would LOVE to see it done automatically.
If Newtek doesn't do it, maybe some plugin developer out there would? It sure sounds easy enough...

thomasvandenabeele
08-25-2005, 11:43 PM
Ehm, if anyone can tell me where to send feature requests, please tell me and I'll mail NT about this. Too lazy to look for the e-mail address myself, though I've seen it pop up a thousand times. Is the feature request thingy on vbulletins monitored by NT or not??

T

evenflcw
08-26-2005, 12:50 AM
The NT forums are monitored, but you can use lwfeatures@newtek.com aswell.

c-g
08-26-2005, 03:23 PM
And the coolest part is that when athat ONE file gets corrupt you are screwed...

Max users get bit by this.

kfiram
08-26-2005, 03:42 PM
You just don't get it.

This is not meant as a replacement for LW's current formats.
Have you ever had to transfer a LW project to a different computer?
If so, you know why you need an easy to use, one-click method of doing so.
THIS is what this thread is about: easily packing a LW project for easy transference to a separate workspace.

Get it now?

c-g
08-26-2005, 04:09 PM
You just don't get it.

This is not meant as a replacement for LW's current formats.
Have you ever had to transfer a LW project to a different computer?
If so, you know why you need an easy to use, one-click method of doing so.
THIS is what this thread is about: easily packing a LW project for easy transference to a separate workspace.

Get it now?

Wow, thanks for adding that being-an-ass element. So if you were going to burn this file to CD you would also burn off the scene and objects and images as well because that one file could get screwed? What part of that don't you get?

cyphyr
08-26-2005, 04:24 PM
I'd like to have the option to save the lw scene file with the asociations to image files embeded within it. I have recently been working on very high resolution dtm tiles.These files are about 20mb each; each file has a high resolution aerial photo, an ordnance Survey Map and several custom maps overlayed in a variety of configurations. And thats just one tile, typically I'm using 9 tiles at a time. I dont mind this too much excep when I have to change to version 2 or 3 or 4 of the project. Each time I make a change in overlayed images (to show different road layouts for instance) I have to re save the object under a different name. The objects are identicle but only the images have changed, why should I have to save two versions of the same object. If nothing else it would save gigabytes of disk space of unnescessary duplicated files. If I could save the image information in the scene file Life wuold be much easied. So the object landscape-01.lwo would open up with aerial-01.bmp when opened within the scene file new_roads_A.lws and would open with aerial-02.bmp when opened up within the scene file new_roads_B.lws and so on. I dont want to replace the current system but rather to augiment it with a further option. Hope all that makes sense.
cyphyr

thomasvandenabeele
08-26-2005, 08:58 PM
Dear c-g, I understand your concern for corrupt files. However, in practice a lot of people I know (and apparently at least some on this forum) already use almost exactly the method I described for packaging, archiving and transferring scenes or projects. Only difference is they still have to do this manually. So basically I don't see why this is a bad thing.

Truth be told, the only few experiences I know of with corrupt ZIP-files were in my student days with piracy material (yes, i confess - but that's a whole other discussion we need not address here). After that, never a problem. Ever. Packaging needs however are a dime a dozen in our office and school.

c-g
08-26-2005, 09:22 PM
Dear c-g, I understand your concern for corrupt files. However, in practice a lot of people I know (and apparently at least some on this forum) already use almost exactly the method I described for packaging, archiving and transferring scenes or projects. Only difference is they still have to do this manually. So basically I don't see why this is a bad thing.

Zip files are just like any other files, they get corrupted. LW has been known to corrupt a file on save during a crash. When that happens you will pull down everything included in the scene. For the other people that are zipping up their files, are they deleting the scenes, objects and images after they zip it up? I doubt it. By saving in a one zip files method you never have the seperate files. You have one big target for the OS to chew on. I never said you were an idiot for bringing it up. Using a common compression scheme is better than a proprietary format. BUT instead of having an additional scene format I would rather see a beefed up ConMan that could zip up everything and do what you want. That way NewTek wouldn't be endorsing the all-in-one as a common scene format and just using it as a way to package a whole project.

thomasvandenabeele
08-26-2005, 09:50 PM
Exactly, it should not be a new file-system, but a ConMan function. Like I said in the add-on second post of this thread:

"Needless to say there are numerous advantages to using the current file-system so I would like to keep these as standard, but I think ConMan could use this added functionality."

kfiram
08-26-2005, 10:57 PM
Wow, thanks for adding that being-an-ass element. So if you were going to burn this file to CD you would also burn off the scene and objects and images as well because that one file could get screwed? What part of that don't you get? Wow, sorry man, didn't mean to offend you or anything. On second read, I might have made an ass of myself. I do apologize.

Having said that, you really did not get what Thomas and I were aiming for. Yes, what we want is a "beefed up ConMan" - preferably one that is a one-click solution. Nothing more, nothing less.

Bytehawk
08-27-2005, 12:07 AM
the only problem of truly tranferable scenes is plugins....
if you have some commercial plugins in your scene, you cannot use that scene on a LW installation without that plugin.

the zip thing is an idea that has come up in past discussions but dismissed because of the reasons already presented before me.

google link here of discussion (http://groups.google.be/group/comp.graphics.apps.lightwave/browse_thread/thread/6a28e35905d911c8/461a3ad0f7640e0d?lnk=st&q=lightwave+content+manager+zip+bytehawk&rnum=1&hl=nl#461a3ad0f7640e0d)

thomasvandenabeele
08-27-2005, 07:50 PM
Umh... Dismissed? All I read is Deuce saying "Good points" to the suggestion, another person saying "ZIP would be a welcome addition to ConMan" and a third guy explaining the benefit of this method, although he still does this manually. Seems like a lot of approval for this suggestion, actually.

Plug-ins are a sore point, of course, but then again it makes sense that you can only render a plug-in when you own it.

Bytehawk
08-27-2005, 09:46 PM
Umh... Dismissed? All I read is Deuce saying "Good points" to the suggestion, another person saying "ZIP would be a welcome addition to ConMan" and a third guy explaining the benefit of this method, although he still does this manually. Seems like a lot of approval for this suggestion, actually.

Plug-ins are a sore point, of course, but then again it makes sense that you can only render a plug-in when you own it.

Well just so you know NT is aware of this and yes, me too I think it would be a good addition.

thomasvandenabeele
08-28-2005, 05:08 PM
Hey Bytehawk! Woops, have to say I thought you were one of the people dismissing the zip-thing, but on closer inspection I see that you were the one having the idea in the first place :) My bad, I apologise and thanks for bringing this to NT's attention!

Bytehawk
08-28-2005, 05:15 PM
yep, it would certainly help me out since I'm changing from place to place all the time. I now have a laptop and secondcopy installed so i synchronise my full content dir every time i move. Much easier than zipping up things all the time.

A one file that includes all would be a big help.

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