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NOW CLOSED -- POLL: .dat, .ccl, or both?

.dat, .ccl, or both?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. SHOULD WE STANDARDIZE THE USAGE OF EXTENSIONS FOR USER LEVELSETS?

    • YES, STANDARDIZE ALL LEVELSET EXTENSIONS TO .CCL.
    • YES, STANDARDIZE ALL LEVELSET EXTENSIONS TO .DAT.
    • NO, KEEP USING BOTH EXTENSIONS, AND MAINTAIN THE CREATOR'S ORIGINAL CHOICE.


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Right now, we have two extensions for user levelsets, and there are no rules for assigning one to a new set. A creator can choose whichever. In fact, I've found a huge number of instances where the same set has different extensions in two different locations on the web!

 

There is simply no consistency. Even CCEdit defaults to .dat, and CCDesign defaults to .ccl.

 

As I continue to build a database for the available user levelsets out there and I find the same set with different extensions, is it really worth my time to research which was the original? I don't think so.

 

I would like to vote on how to manage this in the future. Do we settle on one extension? If so, which one? Do we keep things as they are, continuing to manage with two?

 

Before you vote, here are some facts to consider:

  1. There are plenty of other programs out there that use the .dat extension. When coming across a .dat file, we may not immediately know what it's for. On the contrary, .ccl is ours and only ours. There's no doubt it's a CC levelset.
  2. There are almost ten times as many existing sets on the web using .dat than there are using .ccl.
  3. Dave Varberg claimed that some programs in the Chip community do not work with .ccl. Jeffrey (IHNN) clarified the only two that don't are:
    a. Chuck's new dat2c2g utility to convert to CC2 format, and
    b. The original Chips.exe.
  4. Don't forget that for us, both Blob.dat and Blob.ccl clearly refer to the same levelset. We could change the extension without any confusion.

 

You can vote above. Keep in mind that IF we decide to standardize, another discussion (and possibly vote) will follow regarding how to do so.

Thanks, everyone!

 

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I'm not entirely sure if I do understand your question correctly.
I know the dat format for sets, but have no idea what ccl files are.
If it is exactly the same format and it's just about the file name, I don't understand why this matters at all - except that it might be confusing to have a ccl extension when you expect dat - everyone can choose names on their liking. But this can't be the case, as you are writing, that some programs don't work with ccl files. So I assume, it is a different format, even though it might be similar; I would think, all sets should use the same format, and it should be the dat format which is well established :)

And if it is just about naming conventions to name files consistently within one storage location, just use dat as an extension.

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The file structures are the same, it's just that the original CHIPS.EXE will only read a file named CHIPS.DAT, and I'd assume Chuck's tool specifically checks for a dat file (though I haven't verified this and it could just work).

 

CCEdit 1.0 defaults to .ccl, as does CCDesign. CCEdit 2.0 defaults to a .dat file. ChipEdit predates the .ccl standard.

 

Personally, I say leave the extensions as they are. Everyone has their own list of levelsets and if they wanted to only add ones they didn't have from such a database, then they would end up with duplicates. As an example, say I already had DanielB2. It's a .ccl file. I decide to get every set I don't already have from the database, by copying it into my sets folder and saying no to any replacements. Now I have DanielB2.ccl and DanielB2.dat, with the only difference being a needlessly changed file extension.

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H2O, ccl is an extension that was created by CC community quite a while ago. The reason is just what I explained in #1 above. That is, many other files on the net have the .dat extension, but .ccl is ours and only ours.

 

The reason to standardize is that it's quite confusing to try and catalog files when they have two different names. There are so many files out there with BOTH extensions -- which is the original?

 

It would be great if we were more organized, and could give all levelsets the same extension.

 

For those two reasons, I'm for standardizing to the .ccl extension, and naming all sets that way.
 

But of course, I'll do whatever the majority decides.

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I'm voting for .ccl, but I want to clarify that this is for the purpose of choosing one filename out of two conflicting names for the same set. If there is a file that has only ever had one name/extension, I think it ought to be left unchanged.

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In this case - the formats are exactly the same - I agree with Ihavenoname248.
 
The question becomes, if you have two versions of one set with different extensions but otherwise are the same, which one should you insert into the database. I would definitely compare the checksums of the files to ensure there are no other differences (e.g. updates from the author in one), if those are identical, I would recommend just keeping one version, but at least for me it doesn't matter if it is the one with a dat or ccl or xyz extension :)

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Since none of you have even mentioned Chip's Workshop, I will just say that I think .dat should be used for MS and .ccl for LYNX.

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I have never had a problem with either .dat or .ccl. So I vote we leave them as they are. For sets that have both extensions, I say default to .ccl.

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In general I think leaving it up to people what they want to use is a better course, I only have one gripe with .ccl:

I've played through Ultimate Chip 2 in Lynx (it was a CCL), now re-playing through it in MS (also a CCL). I think it's impossible to hold both sets at once in Tile World, as the TWS file extensions make no distinction of rulesets - both Lynx and MS write to UC2.ccl.tws, so if I want to view my Lynx solution, I have to go in, remove the MS tws, plop in the completed Lynx tws, go into the app, swap out the MS.ccl for the Lynx.ccl, play back my solution, then reverse it all again to get back to MS.

 

With .dat files on the other hand, for Chips MS you'd have CHIPS.tws, for Chips Lynx you'd have CHIPS.dac.tws, a distinction is made, so you can hold both rulesets for the same set in Tile World.

 

It's only come up the once so far with me, so I feel like it's so rare an issue that it's not even worth the trouble a fix would cause, just one other random thing to throw in the consideration mix.

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You can have several tws files for a given levelset, no matter if it uses .dat or .ccl, there's no need to go through the procedure you mentioned. Your setup with CHIPS.DAT doesn't sound entirely correct. The approach below is what I use, and it works equally fine with both .ccl and .dat files.

 

Copy the levelset file (let's call it level.ccl) into the data/ directory. If you want to play the set in both MS and Lynx, two dac files should be created in sets/, one for each ruleset. They can for instance be called level-MS.dac and level-Lynx.dac. The contents of these files should be something like:

 

file=level.ccl (enter levelset name here, with correct extension)

ruleset=[MS or Lynx]

 

When you play, two files will be created in the save/ directory, with .tws appended to the filename in sets/ (so level-MS.dac has a save file called level-MS.dac.tws). With this setup, there's no need to swap out files.

 

Tile World (both 1 and 2) comes with a set called intro.dat that has this setup, with the files sets/intro-lynx.dac, sets/intro-ms.dac together with the set data/intro.dat. It might be useful to take a look at these files. It also comes with .dac files for chips.dat that works if data/chips.dat exists.

 

EDIT: While I'm posting here I might as well say something about the poll. I think it's kind of unnecessary to have 2 extensions for the same file format. But it also feels a bit wrong to change the file names given by the designers, so I guess I like option #3 best, and defaulting to .DAT if nothing is known (I prefer .dat since it came before .ccl).

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I think the big end is much more important. Cut it at the small end.

 

If a set doesn't have an extension, would it be okay to just leave it extensionless?

Edited by random 8

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I have now closed the poll, as it's been a runaway. The option to keep both extensions in use was the favorite by a huge percentage.

There were some great posts that came with it, and I enjoyed learning what people think!

Thanks so much for your input, everyone!

 

 

(P.S. You can certainly keep commenting here.)

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