Mongoose Library Data

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EDG
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Mongoose Library Data

Postby EDG » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:46 pm

Matt posted this on CotI, I'm not sure why he didn't post it here as well (*waves arms* "Coooeee, hello? We're Mongoose Traveller fans here too!") but I think it's worth commenting on. So hopefully he won't mind if I quote it for people to comment on here as well.
msprange on CotI wrote:Hey guys,

I come cap in hand to the veteran Travellers. . .

At the moment, we are developing some Traveller software. The first is a funky interface for Library Data - nothing spectacular from a technological point of view, but you can have a small laptop/netbook sitting on the table, and players can access it as if they were using as library program in the game. A cute prop, and useful to players who are unaware of every aspect of the OTU.

Now, the data will be fully customisable, allowing you to add your own entries (or even create your own library - we may well do one for Mega-City One, for example, representing what players can access on Barney and MAC), but we want to supply the program with a full set of official Library Data for the OTU.

Now, we have access to all the books containing librata data, of course, but our electronic library is not up to scratch - in other words, not all our files are OCR'd. And I don't feel like typing everything out again

Fortunately, the Traveller community has come to our aid, as much (all?) of this library data has already been put on various web sites.

My question is this;

Which web sites can I trust for verbatim entries of library data? I don't want to pinch anyone else's hard work, but I am quite happy to utilise someone who has Traveller copyrighted material on their site

By the same token, if anyone has compiled any of their own library data that is nonetheless official information and wishes to donate it to the project, drop me a line at msprange-(at)-mongoosepublishing.com. As always, full credit will be given!
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Postby EDG » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:50 pm

Some people there suggested using the Traveller Wikia - personally I would suggest avoiding that - I have found it to be too wooly about where it gets its information from. For starters, you need to decide what is canon - CT, MT, GURPS, or anything else?

Personally I think Mongoose should use this opportunity to go further and actually declare for themselves what is or isn't canon - if it's not in the Mongoose Library Data, then it's not canon for Mongoose Traveller's Third Imperium setting. They can use whatever base they like for it (CT, most likely?), update it so that it works for MGT, and then make it official that way.

I'm not sure about allowing people to add their own entries, at least not without some kind of moderation or official "Canon Tsar" to vet all the entries and make sure they are or should actually be canonical.
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Postby Dave Chase » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:55 pm

If I read it correctly, I think that Matt was saying that the program as installed on your computer would allow you to add things for your game into the Library program.
That would be neat and cool.

If the idea was have an interactive website that allows any and all users to add to the Library program, that would not be very good (IMO) because of what EDG pointed out.

How would one know if it was official Canon or not. Once added who would determine what was to stay and what was to be removed. Sounds like a full time job for 2 individuals. :)

Not that I would volunteer. Nope, I would run away very fast from that job.

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Postby EDG » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:07 pm

Well I guess I was assuming that this software would be publicly accessible to (like a wiki). But if it's just for one's own use in one's own games then that's different - there just needs to be a "canonical core" (preferably not editable in itself) and then people can just add other stuff around it for their own games. But I don't think that other material that people make should be shared among other users of the software unless it's released as Open Content.

Also I think Mongoose will have to be careful to separate setting from system. e.g. is it canon that Jump Drives are the only FTL technology in the setting? Or can other FTL technologies described in the MGT book also be used in the Charted Space setting? If so, that would really affect other areas of Charted Space canon.
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Postby rust » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:10 pm

I am a bit sceptical about yet another attempt to define an OTU "canon",
but if it has to be I also think that Mongoose should go its own way and
define the Mongoose Traveller canon without copying the contradictions
and other problems of the current versions of OTU canon.

And if a "Canon Czar" would be needed to deal with the many inherited
problems of the "old" canon versions, I would look (stare ...) in the di-
rection of Hans Rancke-Madsen ("rancke"), who knows the material very
well, is well aware of most of the problems - and does not have the of-
ten almost fanatical approach to it of some other "canonistas".
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Postby AndrewW » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:40 pm

I would suggest making this os neutral so it's not tied to one particular os but able to run on an os of the users choice.

I imagine there are some that would volunteer to add some of the entries to it and share this.
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Postby EDG » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:46 pm

rust wrote:And if a "Canon Czar" would be needed to deal with the many inherited problems of the "old" canon versions, I would look (stare ...) in the direction of Hans Rancke-Madsen ("rancke"), who knows the material very
well, is well aware of most of the problems - and does not have the of-
ten almost fanatical approach to it of some other "canonistas".
Well, I would strongly disagree with that assessment myself... (just from how Hans reacts to canon issues on CotI and the SJG forums).

I would strongly suggest that someone new should do it, who doesn't have their own preconceptions abot Charted Space canon - I don't think that any of the current 'canonistas' are objective enough to be able to do the job properly, and they all have pretty entrenched views based on their own personal interpretations of OTU canon.
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Postby rust » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:53 pm

EDG wrote: Well, I would strongly disagree with that assessment myself... (just from how Hans reacts to canon issues on CotI and the SJG forums).
Yep, I know what you mean, and I can understand it very well. :lol:

However, I also made quite different experiences, and although I some-
times was barked at, too, I never really was bitten, and had some rather
interesting discussions.
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Postby EDG » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:02 pm

The problem is that OTU canon contains quite a lot of conflicting information. We don't need another source to confuse things further, what's necessary is something definitive, final, and not up for question.

This is why I think Mongoose should take this opportunity to actually define what is or isn't canon in the OTU. They'd need to make sure it works and that it's internally consistent before posting it, and then say "that's it, this is canon, this is the ultimate reference".
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Postby MJD » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:50 pm

My issues with Hans are well known. I eventally left the Traveller Mailing List as a result of his endless sniping over the same issues. He has no more claim to be a 'canon czar' than any other fan of the game.

Marc has Canon team who deal with this kind of thing.We don't need to go appointing anyone else.

By which I mean - saying it publicly - after Hans' conduct towards me over the past few years, I want nothing to do with him ad I will not be involved in any project that requires me to work with him.
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Postby rust » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:56 pm

Well, I see, and withdraw my proposal. :)
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Postby MJD » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:59 pm

*I* could do this, and do it properly and professionally.

But I'd rather not. Been bitten too many times in that general area.

Give me enough money and I'd do it though. Not as a fan of the game but as a professional writer. Which is what is needed.
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Postby rust » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:03 pm

I really wish I had that money - although I would very much hesitate
to send you to the stake, because this is what would happen once your
material would have been published. :(
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Postby MJD » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:08 pm

Stragnely enough, I no longer care what rabid fans think. After all the death threats and nerdrage, I just do the job I'm paid for and move on. I have better things to worry about than the angst of an obsessive fanboy... or even dozens.

I do good work - good enough for the arms trade to sell my strategic reports at £600 a copy - and I no logner have an emotional investment in what some people call 'our olde game'.

I'm a professional writer who knows Traveller, not a traveler fan who writes.
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Postby rust » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:12 pm

Well, then - Mongoose Matt, there is an obvious solution for your prob-
lem ^^. :D
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Postby MJD » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:17 pm

Hmm. 'enugh money' is quite a lot in this case.

And they already have commissiond me to do a pile of stuff, including 3 books (can't tell you), some articles (can't tell you) and the biggest Traveller campaign ever (might be able to tell you).
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Postby hirch_duckfinder » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:09 pm

I think the library data progamme idea is an excellent one.
With adventures you could have additional files with info just for players.
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Postby hirch_duckfinder » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:12 pm

MJD wrote: .....and the biggest Traveller campaign ever (might be able to tell you).
.......ooooo.
How can one man be so bad and at the same time so good? :D
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Postby MJD » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:38 am

I guess I'm like crack.

Only better looking.
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Postby dreamingbadger » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:50 am

AndrewW wrote:I would suggest making this os neutral so it's not tied to one particular os but able to run on an os of the users choice.
Writing data to be o/s neutral is trivial.

Writing applications to be o/s neutral (genuinely so, as opposed to saying you will link the application to a particular version of xyz interpreter) is a support/testing matrix nightmare and usually does not pay a return on the investment for the developer and usually impacts performance or UI experience.

Most computers run Windows (with a 93% market share http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operati ... px?qprid=8) the next largest segment Mac (5%) can run windows with trivial amounts of effort either with bootcamp or VMWare, then Linux with 1%.
Given that the trend in this market is essentially "flat" even with the “net-book phenomena”, the market trend has Windows lost 2% of its market share over the last two years, mostly to Mac (0.5% to Linux). I can’t see why a company would invest and write an application that is truly platform neutral, right one for Windows, maybe a separate one for Mac and Linux once you have stabilised.

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