Dropbox only links on IFDB, add to ifarchive

Thanks to IFDB / IFArchive for updating the sql dump this week. Today I’m building new CSV files to organize IFDB entries by ratings and with working download links.

Dropbox has proven to be problematic in automation of download. I expect a lot of file sharing services (Google drive, Mega, etc) are going to have these issues.

An example is the updated release of this story: ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=6yacvo40x2x8h94p

I wanted to get some feedback on how to improve this. Basic process:

  1. I manually download from Dropbox or other service
  2. Submit to ifarchive as a new file
  3. Edit IFDB to add a new download link - to the unsorted location of ifarchive - the existing download link is not removed, as it’s valid, but now there is an alternate.

I also suggest a general notice be made to authors about how using DropBox and similar services may reduce the availability of their story. As a secondary comment, I think it would also be of value if ifarchive hosted extracted zip files for gblorb and zblorb. I know some want the .zip container for various reasons, but I think it’s also useful to have a non-zip download link as an option for automation like this CSV file that’s being published. Another example of this type of problem: ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=mtn5ks3xgskeabxt (the download link is a kind of redirect, and also only in a zip file)

Thank you.

EDIT: P.S. these seem like “lost files”, anyone able to get them on ifarchive? ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=2gh8bselanlyh6g

I bet somebody on Archive Team could help you. archiveteam.org/ Or maybe just email Jason directly.

If you upload a file to the IF Archive through the link provided on an IFDB entry edit form, it will make a special hidden “pending” link in the IFDB, which will get updated when the file is ingested into the IF Archive. In other words, you won’t need step 3 above.

However, IF Archive policy is that we prefer to only accept uploads from the author directly. Authors who host games on Dropbox might have a good reason to keep the game out of the IF Archive. So I would rather you didn’t start uploading Dropbox games willy-nilly. On the other hand, if the author can’t be reached and the file is at risk of being lost for good, then it’s certainly better to have it in the IF Archive than not.

I’m not sure exactly what the use case is for your CSV file, but I think it would be better for clients of that file to be programmed to handle extracting from a ZIP archive than for us to store multiple redundant zipped/unzipped files in the IF Archive.

When you look at some of the examples you kind of get a sense that it’s bitrot - more of an unintended consequence. If you really study this example: ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=6yacvo40x2x8h94p – here on ifarchive you have an older (less complete, buggy?) early edition of the author’s story - but the newer corrected version of the story is only on DropBox - and if you look further, there is an IFDB link to release-notes file on DropBox that’s now a 404… and could very well be lost forever if someone doesn’t track it down. What’s likely going to end up happening is the older edition of the story is more accessible - and I don’t think that’s what anybody wants at all.

Still, in that case for example, it’s easy enough to contact the author. In fact he might even be reading this… hey aschultz, are you here?