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Messages - Qhimm

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1
Anyone who has been having problems registering and getting a "registration is disabled" error has for some reason gotten flagged in BotScout.com's spam database (either their email address, or more likely their IP).

Since this anti-spam service seems a bit over-eager, I've disabled these particular IP checks for now, but email addresses are still checked. If you still encounter this error, do check BotScout.com and if possible try to use a different email address that is not flagged there.

Sorry for the inconvenience of all this, but please do understand that spam bot nets are an absolute scourge these days for anyone running a site. There are hundreds of fake registration attempts per day that would completely flood the forums if they got through, and many of these bots are already clever enough to get past a lot of CAPTCHAs and similar "are you human" tests.

2
Announcements and site development / Re: Wiki down
« on: 2013-02-28 17:44:18 »
Wiki should be up again, finally. If you made any very recent edits that you no longer find on the wiki site, I'm afraid you'll have to redo them (copy-pasting from that mirror should work). Sorry about that.

What happened was that back when the server was suffering from hardware failure, while the wiki did survive and stay intact for quite a while, eventually they wiped the machine to an older backup to try to clean out the corruption. This unfortunately undid all my earlier upgrade/repair work on the wiki as well, so I had to sit down and do that all over again.  :x

Let me know if you notice anything still broken. Same notes as before apply (you know, the ones I wrote last time and now never happened...), i.e. slight change to the URLs but old URLs should redirect to the new ones so no broken links.

3
Announcements and site development / Forum status
« on: 2013-02-17 05:15:43 »
So after all the downtime, my host has restored a backup that's several weeks old. Sigh.

Please hold off posting anything important for a few days (or keep local copies), as there may still be a chance to restore the missing data (in which case anything posted from here until that restore will be wiped).

4
Announcements and site development / Re: Forum upgrade
« on: 2010-06-30 16:39:59 »
To people who have trouble with avatars: you probably belong in the group who are banned from having avatars after some incident in the past. It is not a bug in the forum.

Other things caused by the switch:

  • Corrupt characters: Caused by a UTF-8 conversion gone wrong. Looking into if and how it can be reversed. In the mean time, any new content should work.
  • Forum stops working: Likely caused by the overload detector going off (the server is shared and rather heavily loaded by default). The forums will avoid certain heavy operations whenever server load gets too high.
  • Search: Likely has problems as mentioned earlier. We can only hope it gets fixed in the next version.


5
Announcements and site development / Re: Forum upgrade
« on: 2010-06-19 13:44:20 »
Not sure if you intended this or not.   General needs moderator approval for guests to start a new topic, but not to reply.      In Completely Unrelated, guests can start new topics and reply.
http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=10166.msg141906#msg141906   

Permissions didn't migrate cleanly so I had to make something up as I went. If something doesn't work well, we can change it.

Also not sure what happened here http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=10036.msg123812#msg123812

Ouch, looks like UTF-8 conversion gone wrong. Wonder if many (older) messages are affected? If so, I'll have to run some kind of recovery...

Brand new members are required to fill out a captcha only on their first post.   Members can also delete any posts they've made.  This includes the original post/thread as long as no one has replied in it.

Again, permissions made up as I went. Switched to 1 easier captcha + 1 security question to try to trick bots while not annoying humans too much.

6
Announcements and site development / Forum upgrade
« on: 2010-06-19 01:21:22 »
I upgraded the forum software from SMF 1.1 to SMF 2.0. The transition was not 100% clean, so please have a look around and report any problems or issues here (in this thread).

7
Yes, this is exactly why people come to these forums... please take this kind of crap somewhere else, because you're looking at a ban right now.

8
Completely unrelated / Re: haha
« on: 2010-03-31 20:03:32 »
Hermoor, shut up and stay banned. You are a child who, after having gained a bit of knowledge, assumes he is above the dull masses. Little do you seem to realize how much catching up you have yet to do before you are ready to play with the big boys. Please, if you're going to try to act smart, try at least reading up on facts first instead of assuming you know sh*t just because something sounds viking-related. You seem to reason that if anything at any point was related to vikings, it's your cultural property and anyone else using it are thieves? Well good job, since in your example both ælf and ræd are both Old Germanic in origin, from where they were ended up in both Old English and Old Norse. It's not like the Norse had much original thought about anything at all; hell, most of the mythology is just modified from Germanic myths (for example, Odin originated there and moved into both Norse and Old English religions). I won't dignify your ideas about "mythological references = culture rape" with an answer; I hesitate even reading anything you write for fear of catching the stupid. You're an embarrassment to Swedes everywhere -- so much for our image as an intellectual people!

Ban reinstated. Hopefully this huge exercise of "feed the troll" can now come to a close.



Jumping back to the topic, I doubt anyone else was thinking that someone chose the word "Midgar Zolom" just because it "sounds cooler to dumb yanks". As has been mentioned, the original localization team probably had very little resources for (or interest in) researching cultural references, were probably dumbstruck by the massive amounts of strange katakana, and in the end just chose something randomly. What I was talking about earlier was about replacing cultural references that made no sense to foreign audiences (like Moguri), but Norse mythology is well-established in the Western world (it is Western culture), so there's no reason not to preserve the reference.

I'm starting to think it's impossible to even discuss this issue, because I see way too many sensible, well-informed and balanced views slammed as or met by extremism. I'll calmly reiterate my views here, and I'll be preaching to the choir for most of our members, but clearly it needs to be pointed out anyway since people on both sides seem to have a knack for intentionally misinterpreting their opponents. I'm writing this as a means to establish some common ground, so try to read it to see how much you're able to agree with instead of looking for things to disagree with.

  • FF7 contains a myriad of concepts and references from a wide range of religions and cultures. Building upon existing ideas instead of inventing everything yourself is a cornerstone of not only all literature, but of all civilizations. Referencing existing stories adds familiarity and depth to a new story without having to explain yourself, much like the concept of using idioms. (I wouldn't want to read any story that invents everything from scratch; in fact, I would assume it worse for the effort, and be surprised if it was even readable at all)
  • Localization is a very difficult task, of which translation is but one piece of the puzzle. Languages and cultures do not match 1:1, so clearly some hard choices need to be made where you have to prioritize what's most important to convey. Sometimes this can mean it's warranted to change even names and other seemingly "constant" terms, if it means the overall feeling is better preserved. (I stand by my personal opinion that Schala and Janus were good examples of this)
  • Seifer's goal is to do translation with minimal localization. Realizing this difference is important, as is realizing when other people already do as well.
  • The fact that FF7's translation contained mistakes does not invalidate all of it, nor does it invalidate the basic approach to localization.
  • Regardless of being originally correct or not, canon does matter. Buster swords, spoony bards, sons of submariners, when a term "sticks" then that will be what triggers nostalgia later on, not a "corrected" translation. Thus when doing away with canon, you will need to be very clear about it, and quite frankly be prepared for a lot of criticism. (It's like trying to claim Jesus had short hair)

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most of the criticism that Seifer's project receives is not so much because of the changes they make, but because of the attitude with which it is presented; that there is one true translation and that they're the ones doing it, and if you prefer a different translation, then you're wrong (and possibly stupid). Also, claims like "your hands are tied" and "you are only following the Japanese original" make you sound less like a competent translator and more like a self-proclaimed prophet doing the work of God. In other words, the kind of fanaticism you sometimes accuse your critics of.

My advice? Just be clear about what you're doing, and don't involve other people if you don't want their opinions (this includes advertising your work!). You're well within your right to your take on how the translation should be done, but when you're going around portraying your translation choices as absolute truths you can't really throw a fit when other people beg to differ! You're never going to get everyone to agree with a translation (it's not an exact science), so accept that and move on. Acting self-important will impress no one.

Also, let Luksy do your public talking. :)

9
Completely unrelated / Re: Mako
« on: 2010-03-30 12:29:40 »
I'd like to clear up that this had little to do with Mako's behavior; it is purely about the existing ban on masteraden. Lifetime bans are exactly that (lifetime), and repeat offenders are routinely re-banned as they try to return. Indications that masteraden was back led to his earlier ban being quickly extended, leading us to the current situation.

As Ammo pointed out earlier, Mako has behaved well through-out her stay here so far and following the renewed ban as well, with few exceptions. Though she maintains her innocence, she has nonetheless conveyed sincere apologies for any trouble caused. So please refrain from any name-calling while we figure out how to deal with the situation.

10
Completely unrelated / Re: haha
« on: 2010-03-30 07:44:04 »
Also I don't think anyone was questioning that if the Japanese version used an existing concept and the original translators were too daft to realize the reference (instead outputting a nonsense name that doesn't convey anything), then it is naturally an improvement to fix it.

However, even here there is normally a balance to strike; Japanese people often choose foreign names only for the "cool" feeling they evoke, and directly translating that into something that sounds dull or just weird in English means the feeling is lost. This is often just as important as the literal meaning of the original word, and it is the translators job to try to strike a balance when there is no translation that is both literally, connotationally and emotionally accurate (i.e. most of the time).

In my opinion, a perfect example is the translation of Chrono Trigger's Schala and Janus -- the original Japanese had them as "Sarah" and "Jack". The names sounded cool to them and enhanced the foreign and out-of-place feel of the ancient Zeal kingdom, but had those names been used as-is in the English version, they would have accomplished the complete opposite and detracted from the experience. To us, Sarah and Jack are completely normal names and would have made Zeal feel less of an advanced magical kingdom and more of a kid's show on TV (aired after Barney the Dinosaur). Instead, the translator invented new names (though based the originals) that evoked roughly similar feelings in English audience as the original names did to Japanese people, and credit should go to him for that.

The other point to consider is that when Japanese people put in references to Japanese culture in their writing, it is meant to be easily recognizable (like references to English culture are to us). Retaining it as-is may be more accurate and can sometimes make the text more interesting (primarily to people interested in Japan though), but the translator should always be aware that by doing so, the nature and focus of the sentences shifts as well. For example, turning a trivial cultural reference (the Japanese reference as seen by Japanese people) to an intricate one (the Japanese reference as seen by non-Japanese people) can make the speaker sound more intellectual or alter the intended feel of the sentence altogether.

This retranslation project clearly aims for a very literal translation, and this should be kept in mind when viewing it. Since no changes are being made to accommodate the target audience, it thus remains Japanese. Playing it will not give you the original Japanese experience unless you are well-versed enough to play it in an fully Japanese mindset -- and if you can do that, you might just want to play the Japanese original in order to avoid any confusion. ;)

11
Completely unrelated / Re: haha
« on: 2010-03-28 11:10:52 »
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Please tell me what you didn't actually understand by the words "Retranslation Project" or "Faithful to Japanese Game" or "More accurate" ?

I think no one is questioning any of these things, except perhaps that "more literal translation" would be equal to "more accurate" or "more faithful". Furthermore, as stated many times elsewhere, no one is questioning that the existing PC translation could stand to be improved. In fact, plenty of people are saying that many of your changes are improvements.

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I don't think there should be a PC version, the PSX version is the only proper way of playing the game

If I applied this logic elsewhere we wouldn't have qhimm's.

Actually, that last one is pretty much your logic when it comes to the translation. You don't agree with some of the choices of the PC translation, and your conclusion is that any liberties taken during translation can only serve to lessen its quality compared to the original. It is at this point that you will find people disagreeing with you.

Personally, I would argue that if you want the exact original intended Japanese experience, you are pretty much resigned to playing the game in Japanese, and first becoming well versed in Japanese language and culture as necessary. For your translation to be experienced they way you intend it, this requirement unfortunately doesn't go away, as literal translations sometimes won't make sense unless you know Japanese. I will get back to this.

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"Mog > Moguri, doesn't sound right, more so considering they've been called Moogles/Mogs in many other english language FF games."

Canon has been thrown out.  If you read the link you will see why it is called Moguri.  Moogle and Mog are mistakes.  The japanese chose the name from their own words and no one has the right to go against that.  It is their name.  When you create a work of fiction what you choose is yours.  No one has the right to butcher it.

Whoa there, steady boy. First of all I believe translation enjoys special status under copyright law, under which Square were the ones to commission an official translation and you are the one illegally butchering the original work. Second, Moogle and Mog are also their choices for their English version of the story, which is certainly of no lesser value than your elevated opinion. Moguri is a clever Japanese word play combined from their words for "mole" and "bat" (whose traits the Moguri share), with the added bonus of sounding like "Mowgli", strengthening existing connotations for child-like things and animals. How much of this comes through when you as an English speaker see the word "Moguri"?

Translation usually entails conveying the original meaning as much as possible, not the original spelling or whatever (that might more closely be called a transcription). I personally consider both Mog and Moogle to be quite good translations, seeing as how you will quickly give up conveying all of "mole-like, bat-like, small child-like thing" with a single word in English -- both Mog and Moogle borrow from the original Moguri, but turn it into a more natural-sounding word for English-speakers with a "quirky" feel to it. And apparently Square-Enix agrees, considering they're sticking with the translation despite ample opportunities to change it for something better (c.f. Aeris / Aerith).

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"Remove > Degeon, keeping Remove or using Banish or Dismiss would have been better, Degeon isn't a "real" word, it doesn't sound like a word used for taking someone out of a fight."

Degeon is De dungeon.  It has been a staple of the series before and it is consistent in Japanese version too.
http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Final_Fantasy_V_Enemy_Abilities

Although this is definately one I will be bringing up again with the team and others, make sure it is accurate.  It certainly isn't Exit or banish or X zone.

And yet time after time professional translators opt for exactly "Banish" or similar. Your opinion on this matter comes through as highly arrogant, arguing that you alone are fit to decide what an "accurate" translation is, even in the face of heavy disagreements from most people you mention it to.

The critical point in this kind of translation (which you seem to be missing) is "will people understand this word when they see it?". "Degeon" in particular apparently requires you look it up in a specialized encyclopedia before you understand its meaning, which I must admit sounds like a textbook example of a failed translation, especially when its intended use case is to be easily understandable in a small game action menu.

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"Slash all > Cut all, Barrett and Vincent use guns that neither slash nor cut, Attack All would have been a better choice there."

If the Japanese had meant that they would have used it.  The Japanese are not stupid, they know what cut is and what attack is and they know the difference.  The names are all designed for cloud.  There is no mistake here.

Unfortunately, the Japanese word for "cut" has the extended general meaning of "cut down" as in attack, damage or kill, something its English counterpart doesn't share to the same extent. It also has the benefit of being instantly understandable to any Japanese (including kids) and is shorter than the more generic words for "attack", and thus will more easily fit into the menu. So "cut" in Japanese is indeed a generic term and is not designed specifically for Cloud -- you wouldn't use it specifically for guns, but it is definitely appropriate to describe a generic attack in a world where a majority of weapons are blades. Of course, the original translation makes the same "mistake" of going for the more literal term even though the generic one matches the use case better.

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If you have any other queries, you know where I am.  And believe me when I say, I have had 3 japanese people working with me on every single change with others looking through the document and raising issues.  Nothing has been gone into half assed and some things went to a vote.

I have no doubt you've had access to good Japanese resources, but your suggested translations makes me wonder if you had access to any good Japanese-English translation resources, as opposed to people who know how to use dictionaries. People who know Japanese don't necessarily know how to translate well into English -- my mother tongue is Swedish and I know a fair amount of English, that doesn't mean I can translate either of those well into Japanese. I can certainly respect your willingness to preserve any names as much and as precisely as possible, but it's way too easy to go too far with this reasoning, and you end up with something that is really only meaningful to you yourselves (since you translated it, you already have all the necessary background information).

My heartfelt recommendation if you really want to improve the translation is to utilize test subjects; people with no Japanese skill that have as little background information as possible (at best, barely having played the game), and running proposed translations past them. The more of the intended meaning they figure out without you telling them, the better the translation is.

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To author of this thread:
If you like canon however flawed, or you don't like accuracy, or you don't like this mod, do not install it.  No one is forcing you.  Some people appreciate the work that is going into this and the dedication I am giving the project and respect for the original vision.  Pathetic threads like this reflect on you badly.

Let me clarify that I am in no way saying your work is bad. On the contrary, I would love to play through the game with your patch in effect, because it would let me see various Japanese details more easily than playing through the Japanese version. However, the reason it would work is because in my head I'm translating the various oddities back into Japanese, where it suddenly makes sense. To an English-speaker that didn't take part in your background research, this can't happen, and so I fear your translations will look considerably stranger than any "butchering" in the existing version.

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The bottom line is this:  This is a Japanese game and was written by people who did not intend what has now become canon in English.  I am restoring it to how it should be.  Please keep your insane fanboyism to yourself and remember that this is a game, not the Bible.

I'm sorry, but unless you're actually in frequent contact with the original FF7 writers, this is just plain arrogant. Square commissioned and approved the original English translation, which should at least account for something. In hindsight it can certainly be improved, and you are free to translate it differently (though not necessarily release it, see copyright issue above), but to put forth that you alone know "how it should be" would essentially disqualify you from any translation work in the professional world. The one who treats the subject matter as the Bible-whose-Word-must-not-be-corrupted-lest-you-face-the-Wrath-of-the-Lord seems to be you, and the irony of you accusing your more liberal-spirited (not to mention more polite) opposition of that very thing is enough to cause aneurysms.

If you're aiming for "accurate" in the sense that "minimum amount of detail lost, even if it means requiring people to be familiar with Japanese in order to understand it", then you're on the right track and can safely ignore any criticism from here. The problem is that most people perceive your goal as making a perfect translation that conveys additional meaningful detail that was lost in the existing translation, while still making perfect sense to people who only know English. That is not where you are heading, and I think you can avoid a lot of criticism by being more clear with your goals and being a bit more humble about the whole thing.

12
Completely unrelated / Re: Post a pic... you have taken
« on: 2010-03-22 17:11:12 »
Alright fine, after being nagged I'll share what few photos I have as well... I'm pretty new to photography though, so don't expect any wonders. And I'm not going to spend a lot of time uploading specific shots, so you'll have to settle for my Flickr photostream.

13
Announcements and site development / Unstable forums
« on: 2010-02-10 18:34:55 »
Time sure flies... it's been 3.5 years since this topic, and now it's maybe that time again. The server that hosts these forums has become overloaded and very unstable lately, and the hosting company is on and off blaming it on these forums. I'm not that keen on upgrading to semi-dedicated hosting (at six times the cost) just to host a personal hobby forum though... but the server seems to have more problems than just my site as well, so it's not exactly certain that a more expensive hosting plan is really needed.

For now, both I and the hosting company is monitoring the server and this site to try to get to the bottom of the problem. In the mean time, you may continue to experience intermittent downtime of the forums, but please bear with it.

If it turns out that more powerful hosting is really needed after all, I'll have to reconsider how to proceed I guess, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

14
Depending on what happens from now on, I guess it will either stay in admin approval mode (resulting in a big loss in members, because admins don't have time to screen and approve) or go back to something like before (where idiots will no doubt get through and ruin it for everybody, again resulting in a big loss in members). For now I'm leaving it in admin approval mode, I'll check again in a week or two for the status quo.

15
Completely unrelated / Re: ATTN Obesebear
« on: 2009-09-13 13:06:20 »
Ye gods, just shut up. You're making my brain hurt.

Anyone stealing other people's work without crediting is not something we approve of at these forums. If this has happened, point us to a specific example and action will be taken, at least within whatever limited context these forums have. That having been said, I sure as hell am not doing anything on your word alone, Seifer. Take the ferning hint and stay away, I grow tired of banning proxy after proxy. It's not like I'll chase you to the end of the world to refute your claims about us here all being losers, so just go for it.

As for the underlying issue at hand, doing a literal retranslation and using the fricking dictionary definitions to translate terms? Katakana terms, even? What the hell? You are seriously considering your work as an improved translation when one of your major conclusions is that a spell called ケア is better translated as "care" because that's how it is spelled... I am at a loss for words. I don't think either of you are in any position to berate others as "fanboys" considering your fanatical devotion to something so trivial, though I do find it slightly amusing (in that I'm-losing-faith-in-humanity kind of way) that so many of your arguments for insulting Obesebear are equally applicable to your own project. Still, I'm sure there are plenty of people who eagerly anticipate it, and it's not my place to take away what little purpose you may have in life.

Topic closed. I suppose I should be thankful that it was posted in Completely unrelated, at least.

16
It's called spamming, in this case with a combination of topic hijacking (off topic) and nonsense-posting. Costa07's reply in this topic is a nice example, to the point of being too ironic for my tastes. Just looking through the last day's worth of his posts I have deleted 80% of them as pure nonsense or off topic.

Costa07: Shape up, people don't come here to read your random thoughts on anything and everything; for that I suggest you set up a blog somewhere. If moderators are forced to repeatedly clean up the same kind of junk from the same person, you will be banned simply to save effort, regardless of whatever contributions you make in your other posts. Also, your spelling and writing style is quite frankly horrible. You have been warned.

17
General discussion / Re: Time to come clean
« on: 2009-07-01 04:12:25 »
Sigh, you seriously have nothing better to do with your time? It's only been what, four years?

Now scram off, some of us actually have a life and I don't particularly enjoy spending it coming here and cleaning up the mess left by some deranged kid. What's the matter, parents couldn't afford a psychiatrist for you?

18
Q-Gears / Re: Advetising?
« on: 2007-08-06 19:38:36 »
It's generally my policy not to intervene too directly with Q-gears, but for christ's sake... Don't get overconfident just because this project hasn't attracted too much unwanted attention so far. Some of your egos are obviously itching to spread the word, but at the end of the day I'm the one lawyers will target first so if nothing else I'd appreciate a wee bit of discretion.

You don't really need a large programming team, but you do need to be working in peace until you have something distributable. Save the fanboy collecting for later, waving around little "look what we're doing!" flags at this point will just risk getting you in trouble and getting the project killed.

</rant>

19
Announcements and site development / Forum split
« on: 2007-04-30 10:51:54 »
Since Game tweaking has grown to be one of the largest and most active forums, we're splitting it up into Game tweaking (for mods and patches) and Tech support (for problems running the game). It should be rather obvious what kind of posts should go where, but just in case I have ordered my ninja moderators to assassinate offenders on sight.

;)

20
Im upgrading my 17" Hyundai LCD and am looking for something 22"+
I am really keen on getting the DELL 24" 2407 Widescreen for around £500 or an Asus 22" Widescreen for almost £300.
Any folks have bought Large LCDs and have something to share about them, any recommendations?

Money is not an issue, Overall quality, response times and warranty are important issues - I would have had the DELL by now if I wasn't 100% sure about it's response time.

Thanks

I've been using the Dell 24" 2405 for a while now (of which the 2407 should probably be considered an upgrade), though I paid something like £700 for my 2405. Quality is very nice, the many input types are also nice. As usual the USB hub is disconnected when you turn the display off, which can be annoying, but it's a minor issue in my opinion. Response time, well... maybe I'm not powergamer enough, but I have never noticed any sluggishness with 60Hz, nor any annoying blurriness when watching movies (though it will look different than a CRT, obviously).

The additional bonus with the 2407 over the 2405 is, as I understand it, support for encrypted video signals (making it compatible with high-definition DVD output in Vista etc. etc.). Which I guess is a good thing.

21
Awww, you guys sure are picky about ass.

Maybe this will make you feel better (it really ought to be animated, but I couldn't find one right now).

That ass could wake the dead.

22
@Qhimm: what do you mean by "maintain"?
Do the portable brwsers get updates (read portable as nintendo ds version :P) because I wonder how.
There are new versions being developed for new customers, not necessarily any updates of existing releases though.

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Don't get me wrong, for some reason I think opera is the best choise to have on a gaming device but the DS version is just crap.

Not the browser itself, but more the fact you need a flash card before you can actually run it..
Probably because of the DS specs not being sufficient enough but i cant stop wondering if it could be made without the flash card.
Would make it hell more usefull.
The DS version's biggest problem is the rather limiting hardware in the DS itself. It's just not powerful enough to run a general-purpose application like a web browser at the speed which most users are accustomed to browsing the web. And the flash card thing didn't exactly help its popularity; reviews so far have been rather dismal I'm afraid. Could it have been done better? Possibly, but at a greater cost with not so much real room for improvement. Hopefully people won't hold too much of a grudge against Opera for the DS browser "failure" though... maybe the DS just wasn't meant to browse. ;)

23
All you heathens need to seriously shape up your browsing habits. Maybe I'll make the forums Opera-only?  :evil:

What you currently use

Opera 9.02 (or 8.5, 9.1 or 10.0, depending on what I'm doing).

What exactly do you want in your browser

First and foremost, usability. The actions I do most frequently need to be quick, easy and responsive, and more importantly they need to be present without having to search through huge lists of extensions which may or may not work in a stable manner. Extensions are fun and useful for that extra little rare task you need to do that you'd otherwise have to spend an hour of tedious work on, but everyday stuff I want working right out of the box.

What makes your browser better

Because it also pays my bills. :)

What do you love the most about your browser

Usability; it's made to be quick and easy to use, without you having to spend lots of time tweaking and trying to figure out what "easy to use" really means.

What would make your browser better

Being more generic, customizable and extensible. Not necessarily in a plugin in sort of way, a deeply rooted scriptability would work better for me. I would also love for web authors to realize that supporting Opera is usually as simple as removing "if (window.opera) redirect('error.html');" from your site's stupid goddamn browser detection script. But why bother even testing on a browser that only has something like 1% of the desktop market? Bah.


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Wasn't Qhimm part of the developer team that created the Opera portable browser?
No, not really. I'm part of the team that helps develop and maintain one of the versions of the Opera portable browser. The Opera browser exists in many different incarnations on many different kinds of devices. :)

24
Sorry, but it's really time for a reality check here. Really.

You essentially argue that since TCL is an interpreted language, and since an interpreter is usually implemented in a certain way in C, and since the FF7 scripting language must be run through an interpreter, the FF7 scripting language must be based on TCL! Amazing deduction here. You've incidentally also proven that all interpreted languages are TCL-based. Guess we should notify someone?

So for the reality check. TCL is an extremely generic text substitution based scripting language, which can relatively easily be tied into other programs via simple hooks. It allows you to dynamically define and redefine just about anything, and it has built-in support for various high-level concepts. TCL is based on the same sort of thinking that's behind LISP, i.e. maximum genericity.

This is what we know about the FF7 scripting language: It is extremely specific and minimalistic. It is not extensible. It is very low-level with minimal support for even basic program flow control constructs. It is compiled into bytecode (and the bytecode allocation shows clear signs of emergent development, i.e. the command set has changed during development). The FF7 scripting language is based on the same sort of thinking that's behind assembly language, i.e. maximum performance through simplicity.

So essentially claiming FF7's language to be based on TCL is like claiming that assembly language uses LISP.

Speaking as someone with some experience with both FF7's actual low-level internals and with compilers, I can state with calm certainty that the FF7 scripting language isn't a "TCL-based extension", and furthermore I can be relatively certain it wasn't derived from, compiled from or compiled with anything TCL-related. Here's what we do know:

  • The opcode names, by a pure fluke. The fact that they're named and arranged in a consistent manner (especially the language-related control codes) suggest that the language (or at least the compiler+interpreter) was designed from scratch. Anything premade or reused would certainly show signs of more general (and in FF7 unused) constructs littered throughout the opcode table, or signs of "computer thinking" in the allocation order. The unused/unimplemented opcodes also suggest that the language (or rather, the command set) evolved over time. The opcode allocation table was done by a human, I have no doubts about this.
  • Repeating occurances of certain control opcode patterns, and the complete lack of "variations". This suggests a compiler with some support for higher-level constructs such as if-else and while, which would then be automatically translated into and compiled as their simpler multi-opcode constructs.
  • The relatively few kinds of higher-level constructs found. Anything more advanced than if-else and while tend to be written individually to suit the current situation, with frequent variations. This suggests the compiler (and hence language) did not offer any higher-level constructs than those established above.
  • The great variation and "cleverness" in the use of other opcodes. This suggests that the majority of all opcodes were accessible and used directly (hence the names).
  • The design of "if" opcodes and the if-else/while constructs. The fact that these both use jump-aheads/jump-backs in a clear and consistent manner suggest that these were compiler-handled, which in turn means that the compiler had simple scope management support. We know nothing of the syntax of these scopes, if they were {}, if-end, indent-based or whatever.
  • The extra "if"-style opcodes found later in the opcode table. This suggests that not only did they have control of the opcode allocation, but also of the language and compiler (since these opcodes are designed used in the same fashion as the "core" if opcodes). The fact that the language was extended in this low-level manner later in the development suggests that there was no high-level (read: TCL-style) assistance in extending the language or feature-set, rather that it was done by hand.

Presumably the compiler was rather minimalistic, parsing text and helping with simpler argument syntax (and the higher-level constructs mentioned earlier), but did nothing else. Are you suggesting that they went through the trouble of using a feature-rich scripting language like TCL, then went through the huge effort of disallowing and removing all of its useful features?

No, this is clearly a custom-made language, possibly with some inspiration drawn from earlier Square engines, but definitely still written from scratch. The original language they wrote the scripts in might have borrowed some simple syntax (such as pseudo if-else/while constructs, labels, comments, variable names etc.) from some other language, but this has since been compiled away and we know nothing about it. Though one can guess that since there are no "for" and "do" constructs, they probably didn't borrow from C syntax (since then it'd be natural to include these). The only thing we can guess with some certainty is that the code would probably look like:

Code: [Select]
CHAR 1
PXYZI 25 -13 14 2
SOLID 1
RET
IF #plotprogression >= 582
  PXYZI 48 -12 18 5
END
RET

That is, very simple and minimalistic, just enough to get the job done.

25
Here are some extra pointers (can't post details because I'm at work):

MPPAL, STPAL, LDPAL, CPPAL, RTPAL, ADPAL, MPPAL2, STPLS, LDPLS, CPPAL2, RTPAL2 and ADPAL2 involve the manipulation of field palettes. Palettes are manipulated in the script, then uploaded to and downloaded from VRAM as needed (palettes are only "active" when in VRAM, of course). MultiPlyPALette, CoPyPALette, STorePALette, LoaDPALette, RoTatePALette, ADdPALette etc., with the "duplicate" commands working on either the entire palette or a subset of it. Arguments to the various commands are a bit inconsistent, but the last argument typically denotes the size of the palette (0x0F or 0xFF, signifying 16- or 256-sized palettes). The MPPAL opcodes use fixed-point values for the R, G and B coefficients.

BGROL, BGROL2: Compound BGON/BGOFF commands. "Rolls" the set of visible blocks for a certain background, e.g. "if block i is visible, make block i+1 visible next frame". Useful when a number of blocks work together as an animation.

GWCOL and SWCOL: GetWindowCOLors and SetWindowCOLors, respectively. Does exactly what you'd think, setting the colors of the four corners of your regular gradient-adorned message window.

Oh, and RDMSD is very correctly RanDoMSeeD. The lower 4 bits of the argument is used as a seed for the internal 8-bit random number generator.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head, you did a mighty good job at filling out the wiki page for most of the opcodes I know already. Might fill in more details later if there are questions.

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