orbiter-mods.com - announcing development of open source mods repo

Status
Not open for further replies.

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
This will not be possible, as the forum's authentication is not exposed via an API, and it would not be practical to do so. We would likely need to use something like Okta token authentication, and the forum is not set up for that.

Regarding this:


If that is truly the case, then there are no issues with your site accepting uploads and listing them however you wish.

You are thinking too high tech. This is what I am thinking:

When a user creates a new account, I'll go to OF and search for that user there. If I find a match, I'll ask them to post in a thread on OF with the user. Their new message in accordance with my instructions will establish identity. If they don't post, their account will be deleted in like 48 hours.
 

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
Code:
xr2 = fetch('https://orbiter-forum.com/xr2')
rocket_racing_league = fetch('https://orbiter-forum.com/orrl')
unzip(xr2)
unzip(rocket_racing_league)

Is distributing scripts that effectively do that against the TOS? No scraping, merely encoding the knowledge of how to install addons and their dependencies in a script that can be executed on user machines.

With full disclosure of where the files are coming from and full author attribution along with links to OF resources.
 

dbeachy1

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Orbiter Contributor
Addon Developer
Donator
Beta Tester
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
9,164
Reaction score
1,500
Points
203
Location
VA
Website
alteaaerospace.com
Preferred Pronouns
He/Him
Let's take this private with the rest of the staff, as we're talking past each other here.

EDIT:
I started a group conversation with all involved. We can sort out the details there.
 
Last edited:

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
I have the impression there's a misunderstanding of the term "scraping" involved here...

orbiter-mods.com will merely distribute human written scripts, that when executed on user machines will configure their local orbiter install to automatically fetch and install mod files. There is no scraping. It's like https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Arch_User_Repository of Orbiter. No scraping, just scripts to ease the hassle of mod installations.

Code:
xr2 = fetch('https://orbiter-forum.com/xr2')
rocket_racing_league = fetch('https://orbiter-forum.com/orrl')
unzip(xr2)
unzip(rocket_racing_league)

Scripts like this will be human written, and will have all the proper links back to the source + proper attribution to the authors.
 
Last edited:

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
I did some research. I am leaning towards using python as runtime with pyinstaller.
 

Face

Well-known member
Orbiter Contributor
Addon Developer
Beta Tester
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
4,358
Reaction score
513
Points
153
Location
Vienna
I have the impression there's a misunderstanding of the term "scraping" involved here...
Indeed. O-F staff seems to see the loading of meta-data as scraping already, whereas Majid understands it as downloading of all addons, storing them locally, then re-distributing them.
The term "website scraping" itself is defined as automated gathering of any data of a web-site, so the staff's interpretation is technically correct. However, scraping publicly available data is legal in most (perhaps all) legislations.
 

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
After a lengthy private discussion I was able to explain that what I am trying to do at orbiter-mods.com is not a violation of TOS. Everyone is on the same page, the staff just doesn't want scraping of any sort (even for the search) which although weird is totally fine.

Anyway, I am excited to move forward with Python, seems it's sufficient for our use case. Someone very graciously even sent me a python script for me to get started with!

1654851114566.png

I am going to create some base python code to help fetch/install stuff. Will bundle those modules with pyinstaller so any downstream experience scripts will have access to those helper functions.

The idea is to distribute a single self-contained executable which will have some nice/easy to use functions for the downstream scripts. The executable will load the helper functions and execute the downstream scripts.
 
Last edited:

dbeachy1

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Orbiter Contributor
Addon Developer
Donator
Beta Tester
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
9,164
Reaction score
1,500
Points
203
Location
VA
Website
alteaaerospace.com
Preferred Pronouns
He/Him
After a lengthy private discussion I was able to explain that what I am trying to do at orbiter-mods.com is not a violation of TOS. Everyone is on the same page, the staff just doesn't want scraping of any sort (even for the search) which although weird is totally fine.

As was said in the DM conversation, it is fine to scrape metadata and search and display it in a read-only site; i.e., to display the repository add-ons and link to them on O-F. What is against TOS is to scrape metadata in order to show O-F Addons alongside add-ons uploaded to your site or other sites, thus making it appear that the combined add-ons are all from the same site. The reasons behind this were detailed earlier in my post with the Woo482 / Themis add-on / malicious user example.

tl;dr: it's fine to scrape metadata and search it and link back to the forum here provided that the data is indexed and displayed on its own separate domain (i.e., a separate Web site), and does not have search results from other places mixed in with the results shown to users, which could make it appear to users that it's all part of the forum here.
 

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
1654877837183.png

I have made these changes and am asking staff in private DM if this is OK. I think the search is still valuable for users. There are concerns about ambiguity of results, so I am comitting to only show OF results from this search box, and results are marked clearly.
 

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
SSL encryption enabled on the site, redirecting http to https.
 

Majid

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
Points
43
The OF staff keeps warning me not to discuss "TOS questions" publicly. I cannot inform you all of what's going on without violating some TOS. As such, all future "TOS related discussion" updates will be posted on orbiter-mods.com where I can talk freely.
 

IronRain

The One and Only (AFAIK)
Administrator
Moderator
News Reporter
Donator
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
3,455
Reaction score
373
Points
123
Location
Utrecht
Website
www.spaceflightnewsapi.net
This thread is now locked for further replies.

Over the past few days, this became a hot topic and I'd like to clarify what happened from a staff point of view.

orbiter-mods.com (OM) was announced as a replacement for obithangar.com while we were migrating the content from OHM to OF. With this, we have no issue. There are multiple add-on repos (like OHM) already in existence and everyone is free to build one.
While orbit-mods.com evolved, a search bar was introduced allowing visitors to search for content on the new orbiter-forum.com/resources. In combination with the original OM plans, this worried us as well as a couple of developers.

On OF, we have a flow when it comes to uploaded content. This is checked and validated before it comes online (until a certain threshold).
Our worries are with combining data from OM and OF. Someone could upload fraudulent data to OM and it could look like it's coming from OF while we have no control over this.

We updated our ToS to prevent scraping of content. While it might be perfectly legal to do so, we felt this was appropriate to some developers expressing their concerns.
In the meantime, we kept talking with Majid to keep things going.

Yesterday, we reached an agreement:

  • When users searches on OM, the search will only ever display 1) experience scripts that users wrote and uploaded to your site, and 2) add-ons that add-on authors uploaded to your site.
  • The search will not show add-on metadata for OHM's (now O-F Addon Resources) files, and searching will not display metadata for or links to add-ons hosted by the forum's Addon Resources.
  • Only content that was uploaded to OM will be indexed and searchable on your site
However, publicly it was posted that OM would keep its search bar for OF content.
We tried re-resolving this by suggesting 2 domains; one for custom installation scripts and a new OHM like site (OM) and one for searching OF content.
While this might seem extreme, we're still trying to take away concerns that a user might install content he/she believes is from OF while it's not. This solution would make it very clear what's from OF and what's not. In response to the searching issues in the first place, we've adjusted some of the forum settings.

Majid again agreed to this privately while publicly posting conflicting posts.
On https://orbiter-mods.com/ we also see framing of staff-members, which we do not tolerate.

We always ask to discuss these matters privately, not out of "censorship" but to keep the noise as little as possible.

Since this thread or this discussion will not lead to something good, and since what's privately discussed does not match what's posted here, we've decided to close this thread for now.
 

Xyon

Puts the Fun in Dysfunctional
Administrator
Moderator
Addon Developer
Webmaster
GFX Staff
Donator
Beta Tester
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
6,871
Reaction score
668
Points
203
Location
10.0.0.1
Website
www.orbiter-radio.co.uk
Preferred Pronouns
she/her
Since this episode of our forum history apparently had to happen entirely out in public, I will close the saga off in public too by acknowledging here that Majid's behaviour, here and in private consultation with the forum staff, resulted in his forum account being terminated. This decision was taken for a number of reasons, most of which @IronRain details in his post above me here.

It did not need to come to this point. At several places along the conversation we had agreed on all points about the project and its interactions (or lack of) with the OF site and the add-ons we hold here. But as soon as we reached agreement, the scope of the project was immediately different in some key way, which invalidated the previous agreement. This was, as you can imagine, quite difficult to navigate.

It was also publicly revealed in thread here that Majid is indeed the same user as computerex, a previously banned member from some years previous. This much was known to us, and normally isn't something we allow, but when he rejoined the site several years had passed since his original ban and we were minded to give him the benefit of the doubt as to his conduct.

Unfortunately our capacity to tolerate situations like this cannot be limitless. Majid deliberately and extremely publicly broke several forum rules here, including making private conversation public without consent of all parties, and some extremely pointed and public transgressions of the TOS, which was put in place to protect the add-on content we have been entrusted with by the community. Despite spending several days discussing the topic and attempting to work with Majid on the issues presented, it's clear that cooperation was, and is, not something that Majid is interested in when it involves compromise on his part.

As Majid is now no longer a forum member here, but keen to use other platforms to protest and complain about his treatment by the staff here, it felt important to clarify exactly why his account was closed - not for any technical issue, or for the existence of the project as is the claim, but because of the confrontational attitude, the ever-shifting arguments, and the duplicity he's presented here.

That's all I have to say about the matter. As usual with situations like this there will be fault on both sides to a greater or lesser degree; hopefully by making the situation a little more transparent in this case it's easier for others to make their own assessment on how this went and why.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top