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Codex Scæna, Draft .02

category: general [glöplog]
Ladies and gentlemen, I am looking for some feedback and of course, some interested parties in terms of coders, designers and general developers on the project proposed below. Right now it is just a (very rough and early) draft, but I wanted to share it with you as soon as possible... The whole project can be brought into reality as soon as I have some commitments. I hope you will all agree that it would be more than worthwhile...



Codex Scæna, Draft .02
© 2004 Zephyr Industries, Inc.

The global demoscene currently has many online information resources. Sites such as Poüet.net and Orange Juice have sprung up to fill the void of accessible conversation, providing sceners with various means both to find each other and spread news. While these sites have proven tremendously useful over the years, it cannot be denied that there is still an unfortunate lack of unification in terms of the people populating them. Not only are Poüet.net and Orange Juice disjointed in terms of their user database, but a great many community sites exclusive to the Polish, Hungarian and Russian scenes are all but entirely disconnected from the rest of the world. While in some cases this exclusivity may be purposely pursued due to language issues or region-specific discussions, we suspect that a great many sceners are not in communication simply because the resources do not seem inviting to them.

We would like to propose Codex Scæna, a new solution to bolster both international collaboration and friendship that will potentially expand the reach of the global scene by many orders of magnitude.

Codex Scæna: Black Book of the Elite

Codex Scæna is, at first glance, a networked global scene address book wrapped in a slick “world-view” interface. Upon starting the tool, a map of the world is displayed and we and notice that clicking on a country or region allows us to further see the sceners clustered in those areas. Clicking on Germany, the map zooms in… Click on the eastern region and we zoom in further. Now we have a cluster view of all the sceners in Frankfurt and its outskirts. Click around and find some new friends. Looking for someone specific? Type what you know of his name and group into the search field. Codex Scæna will show you where to find him, what he looks like, and the best way to gain contact. Applying similar principles, Codex Scæna could be used to advertise parties, map out scene population, statistical data, and nearly anything else you could think of.

Technical Concerns, Source:

As we see it, Codex Scæna would be ideally developed using Qt and C++, allowing ports to all modern platforms with relative ease. Graphics should be rendered with OpenGL, and all data should be XML-based, hosted on a static server that we will gladly provide.

All source code will be available to the public under the GPL, and all standards will be published and freely available to any interested parties.

Language Concerns:

We recognize that not everyone in the world speaks English. Although it is without question becoming a major force all over the world and has played a pivotal role in the European demoscene from the very beginning, our thought is this: support for non-English languages in Codex Scæna equals more sceners, plain and simple. While we encourage the use of a single, unified language, it goes without saying that people will still want to communicate in their mother tongues. Being exposed to the scene in a manner that facilitates and encourages positive communication could potentially lead to good things: more people wanting to learn English and more sceners sprouting up in places like middle Asia, Japan and South America.


Although the direction of this project will ultimately be decided by the people, Zephyr Industries is stepping up to the plate to offer ongoing management of this project in terms of scope and design. In addition, this will hopefully include the maintenance of three different binary packages for Win32, MacOS X, and x86-based Linux. Developers who wish to maintain a version on other platforms are encouraged to contact us.

Misc Visual Ideas:

Fast, beautiful, optional “zoom effects” to be seen while clicking around on the main map.

Statistical information when viewing a country, region or city: X-Files-style “statistical data display”. (ie- “Norway: 321 registered sceners”, “Alesund: 21 registered sceners”, “Number of friends here: 15”)

“Neon Signs” visible on the global scale (think SimCity 2000), pointing to major parties on the up-and-coming. Imagine that you see a sign for Breakpoint 2004, nailed down at its exact location on the world map, spinning around. Clicking on it will take you to the Breakpoint web page where you can learn more, or potentially to another component in Codex Scæna specifically for advertising parties.

Weather reports obtained from a external sources; optional ‘realtime 3D weather graphics’ to add ambient effect (ie, click Warsaw, Poland and we see a light drizzle of rain, and perhaps some lightning). So long as it does not obstruct the main purpose of this tool, and it can be disabled by those who are not interested, these kinds of bonuses would make the tool into something truly special—and potentially quite appealing to those currently outside the scene and thinking of coming in.
added on the 2004-01-17 21:07:50 by wad_ wad_
...And it goes without saying: etc, etc.
added on the 2004-01-17 21:39:51 by wad_ wad_
...And it goes without saying: etc, etc.
added on the 2004-01-17 21:44:24 by wad_ wad_
Why not do a web-page?
added on the 2004-01-17 22:06:56 by raer raer
rerefluid- If someone wanted to make a web page that fed from this data pool, it would be their prerogative. Since it is the scene's data, we would obviously place no restrictions on that kind of activity. My interest in the tool itself stems from the fact that organizing this data in an interesting visual manner within the context of a software program could greatly aid in promoting the scene in new places... And be extremely useful for those of us who travel frequently and would like to make new scene friends to visit.

This is the "SceneID" concept taken to the next level; elevated to a sort-of social software standing.
added on the 2004-01-17 22:13:04 by wad_ wad_
added on the 2004-01-17 23:22:01 by uns3en_ uns3en_
that doesnt sound like all gooood. i dont want to
give my home address away :D
added on the 2004-01-17 23:23:08 by uns3en_ uns3en_
You obviously wouldn't have to. But I assume you don't mind telling people what city you live in?
added on the 2004-01-17 23:28:49 by wad_ wad_
sorry, but this sounds like a totally useless tool.
added on the 2004-01-18 00:14:05 by kusma kusma
Freel free to be more specific, kusma.
added on the 2004-01-18 00:50:26 by wad_ wad_
I'd rather have my personal information at a very unsecure system driven by crazy boozing sceners on scene.org than this "Zephyr Industries" :)
added on the 2004-01-18 00:57:55 by Hatikvah Hatikvah
what arneweisse said.
the above seems to be something that shall turn out professional, while it's aimed at an unproffessional community.
added on the 2004-01-18 02:36:09 by dalezr dalezr
Not like my opinion is worth anything but I agree with the majority. It all sounds like some corporate sales blurb to me and the product doesnt sound very useful or much fun.

How about a scene version of Quake instead with demo party maps and textures and scener skins?
I must say, I find these posts incredibly surprising. If this were to be some sort of commercial application, I certainly wouldn't be posting its description here, within this context. And to those of you with concern about privacy-- no one is forcing your hand to do anything, including adding your data to the database. The data would not necessarily have to be hosted by me either, if someone else would be willing to step up and do it.

Attractive global scene black book, interface to statistically chart growth and development, social component used to promote scene growth in new areas. How does this not make sense?
added on the 2004-01-18 03:21:58 by wad_ wad_
dalezy: The scene is no longer an elite underground inaccessible to all but the privlidged few. It's a bit unfair in my opinion to call the scene's highlight activities 'unprofessional'. It may be a little unorganized, but this is changing every day, which is obviously one of the goals of this tool. If there were not others with such concerns you would not have SceneID, or even sites like Orange Juice with its massive user database that everyone gladly takes advantage of.
added on the 2004-01-18 03:40:20 by wad_ wad_
Codex Scæna: Black Book of the Elite

The scene is no longer an elite underground inaccessible to all but the privlidged few.

Why need a black book then?

Anyway, your idea is cute. As in Strawberry Shortcake cute. The reason why people would sooner trust Scene-ID or Ojuice is, quite possibly, because they are reputable and have a history they can look back to. You, you're representing a blank webpage.

The only people I can think of who will take advantage of a juicy contact list you'd compile wouldn't be sceners. They might not even be human (i.e. spammers).
added on the 2004-01-18 04:08:20 by Shifter Shifter
To join the army of nay-sayers...

Nice idea, but your whole concept is just TOO full of naivity and childishness.

First you try to "unify" the whole demo scene. Let's see... if the whole Open Source scene taught us anything, it's that this is a completely impossible task. Noone in the whole computer-related scene has ever succeeded in doing so. There's vi vs. Emacs, Qt/KDE vs. GTK+/Gnome, OpenGL vs. DirectX, Windows vs. Linux, one-shell vs. the-other, whatever against whatever else. At best you get TWO systems with each strong followership and NO cooperation whatsoever, but you'll NEVER succeed in unifyig the whole scene.

Especially when your notion of "the whole scene" is PC and Mac (???) only. A big part of the global demo scene is drawn to the C64, Amiga, Consoles, Handhelds etc., and you're completely neglecting those people....

... which is visible in your thoughtless choice of Qt as "preferred toolkit". Yeah, right. Let's build our codebase on a thing that's available for exactly ONE platform, which is Unix (and alikes) on x86 CPUs. Apart from the sad fact that you complete leave out all non-PC/Mac users with that choice, you seem to forget that the GPL'ed version of Qt is only available for Linux and there's only a commercial variant for Win32 and MacOS X.

And then... sorry, but XML? GPL? All of those buzzwordy acronyms are really, really HATED by your target group (that "demo scene", remember). Every programmer who knows his trade also knows that XML doesn't have ANY advantages over any other (easier) text-based format (like INI) if you don't go for total interoperability with everything (which in 99% of cases you don't need). So RSS may be the only XML based thig that plays more than no role in the scene. And the GPL is another such thing. There are exactly zero experienced demo crews releasing anything under the GPL, and with good reason. The demoscene has a certain unofficial "shared source" model that bases mostly on friendship, and we simply don't need any stuffed-penguin-fucker crap for that. We et along pretty good without it.

Then, to emphasize Arneweisse's point... who the fuck is this "Zephyr Industries" anyway? What in the world gives them the authority to try something with that (wished) impact on the whole scene? Why should anybody in their right mind support something that's so obviously mis-planned by people without any clue?

... and then there's that other blatant point:

You're obviously not able at all to pull off such a project yourself. If you had the skills to actually DO what you planned, you'd go the normal route of simply DOING it and presenting us the result. But what do you do? Presenting us a "concept" that's not evern thought out more than "this would be cool".

You know what? The demo scene is so special because is consists of creative people. People who are able to pull off things instead of just talking about their completely out-of-reach dreams.

So, as soon as I have a working executable of "Codex Sc<insert letter that >50% of people don't have on their keyboards>na" on my HD, i start considering any support. But not before. Any I have that certain feeling that most people think my way there.
added on the 2004-01-18 05:45:38 by kb_ kb_
Would now be an inappropriate time for me to share my proposal for an incredible new universal demoscene OS...?
Besides the technological problems with all that, is the database such a good idea anyway? I mean, I suspect most sceners value privacy, and the scene is a dynamic place, and your data would be nearly impossible to keep current... Forcing it to be a static "And here are a bunch of sceners" aspect takes all the fun and mystery out of it all.
added on the 2004-01-18 07:00:50 by crusader crusader
"Every programmer who knows his trade also knows that XML doesn't have ANY advantages over any other (easier) text-based format (like INI)"

EH ? You mean a format wich doesnt support namespaces, hierarchies or document type definition is "as good as xml" ? I guess this is why it has been such an hit (yes it has, long time before it became the buzzword its is today with .NET etc, tho .NET has great support for it, ofcourse, such as all other platforms). Exept for this stupid remark i agree to your post.
added on the 2004-01-18 08:28:57 by Hatikvah Hatikvah
What would be the advantage anyway?
Yes, you can show the sceners, specific to regions. But then again, Orange Juice has a country-specific search function, so what's the point? :)
Yes, the visual ideas are nice, but it's a bit too kiddish for me to actually like it. I mean, this "clicky-zoomy-weathery"-thing definetely would work in a movie, but in real use, it would be more annoying then useful I think, or as people say, "it was fun on the first time".
Also I found your statement about international scene sites offensive. Both Scene.pl, Demoscene.ru and Demoscene.hu are respected sites with a decent look and cool features (yes, I DO visit them occasionally), but they are obviously not as crowded as OJ or Pouët (and not "Poüet"), because they were designed specific for a reason.
The overall implementation idea fails at the point of being GPL, which would basically a bigass HACKME sign for every zkr1ptk1dd13 alive, which I wouldn't like, because despite the cloud of lameness they radiate, they occasionally have luck, and when they do, your whole "brave new world" is down the gutter.
Honestly, I even would rethink the idea if it had a "name" behind it, but "Zephyr Industries" is something I never heard of (if you're a wellknown demo-group, then my bad, but I seriously doubt that), and I rather trust the Scene.org guys by handling my data (not much of it tho), because no matter how drunk they are (hehe :), I still know them personally, and they're not just someone who popped up with an idea in the most controversial forum of the demoscene.
I will reconsider the idea, if you show me actual implementation.
added on the 2004-01-18 11:36:45 by Gargaj Gargaj
code a world-map-view-zoomer thing for the ojuice database and there you go. no wads or zephyrs necessary.

it would be nice to see where all the sceners live in a geographical way. your way of trying to accomplish such, however, sucks.
added on the 2004-01-18 12:29:05 by skrebbel skrebbel
Case closed, I guess. :)
added on the 2004-01-18 13:50:56 by tomaes tomaes
Chill out a bit guys. I can't see why everyone is expressing such strong opposition and being so insulting. I agree that the whole business-style presentation is the wrong way to go about a scene project, but it's not as if they plan to monopolize the scene or force anyone to participate against their will, so what harm can it do?

I admit, it's not something I'd rush to use or support, but then I don't have much use for Orange Juice and many other scene sites either.
added on the 2004-01-18 16:14:30 by Wade Wade


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