Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby hersnack » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:57 pm

I had been a member since about 2002 ,but I recently resigned because of this practice. It used to be that anyone could view an interactive, but you had to be a member to participate. Then the site started making it difficult for non members to view the inter actives, just as they are doing now to non paying members. I think the site makes money from advertising and any time even a non paying person logged in it helped them sell advertising.That is why they give "gift points" any time you log in. I think if more members resigned it would hurt their advertising revenue because they would get fewer log ins.
I definitely don't think there is anything on the site worth paying for.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:34 pm

I have finished saving 3747 vore/furry/fetish/etc interactives and am now beginning to save the rest of the remaining 3081 interactives on the site.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby tuc1357 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:33 pm

rarrawer wrote:I have finished saving 3747 vore/furry/fetish/etc interactives and am now beginning to save the rest of the remaining 3081 interactives on the site.


Are you planning on making the archive of interactives downloadable?
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:52 pm

Yes.
The raw HTML of the interactives is going to be too large to easily move around, so I plan to tweak my parser for the current format and then share versions of the stories that are ~1MB each instead of ~100MB each.
I'm a bit busy at the moment IRL and the downloads are still running so I'm putting that off for a few weeks.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby SuperKirby » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:04 pm

When you get a chance, can you save/archive the interactive story “Small Bargain”?
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rentaherobea » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:53 pm

rarrawer, thank you so much for your work on this project. It is a monumental achievement and I cannot wait to begin digging into what is there that I haven't been able to read for a long time. The ability to search the text of the interactives will be incredible.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:23 am

rentaherobea wrote:rarrawer, thank you so much for your work on this project. It is a monumental achievement and I cannot wait to begin digging into what is there that I haven't been able to read for a long time. The ability to search the text of the interactives will be incredible.

You're welcome, but I think you misunderstand what I'm doing.

I don't recall ever saying that I would provide the ability to search the text of interactives I have saved.
By my understanding that would require significantly more work to do than simply preserving the stories.
I would need to set up some kind of database holding the information from each chapter of each story and set up a search backend; and I would need to host all of this on a webserver.
My plans for searchability go about as far listing the names, date saved, location on disk, and story ID numbers of each saved interactive, which would just be put next to each other on a listing page that could be treated like any other text document.

At this point my plans are only to preserve the stories and offer compressed copies for download.

I'm sorry if I did anything to mislead you.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rentaherobea » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:45 pm

Oh I was referring to searching it myself once I have downloaded the entire archive, not any kind of online service.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby tuc1357 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:05 pm

Just having the stories on hand without writing.com's stupid fake resource limitation shenanigans will be awesome. Not to mention they tend to be a bit deletion happy. Thank you rarrawer.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Throku » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:49 pm

A few things, I feel like I have to get off my chest...

Yeah we REALLY need a new place for interactives, and the section here unless something seriously drastic is done, is not an option.

I was pretty bugged by their chapter-size limitations back in the day since it meant I couldn't go back and edit older chapters and older open ended choices since the old chapters wouldn't fit in the newer ever shrinking chapter-size limitations. (Implemented of course to get more page views and thus more AD-revenues, note how there's not a minimum size to keep up the story quality.)

Also the limited resource thing is total crap as text based pages are not the most resource demanding thing, especially considering that the page you get instead is 10 times the size of your normal chapter, or probably more as it's littered with gifs.

At any rate they've made it more or less impossible to get an audience or to add, tried today but can't get to the add chapter option. Meaning they've made staying an impossibility.

And a BIG pet-peeve of mine. This lying whining that they've deleted vorestories, NO they HAVEN'T! Some of them contained vore, but all of them contained underaged characters in sexualised set-ups. OH-No was atrocious. If I'd been the site owner I too would have burned them and their makers and then cleansed it all with more fire.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby TimberWolf25 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:02 pm

I've been thinking. Maybe this site should create some simple engine for creating interactive stories. Maybe primitive and simple code but interactive. A public one for us to use and create a whole new category here.
I don't have the resources to make one but it would be cool.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Maexam2 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:58 pm

I'm afraid everyone that there is a new issue, at least for me, in regards to Writing DOT com's Interactive Stories. You seen, if you don't have a paid account, regardless if it is a basic account or higher, this appears:

Due to resource limitations, Interactive Stories are
temporarily unavailable to visitors and free members.
Please try again in a few minutes...
The first 2 chapters of a story are always available!
* Note that constantly clicking reload to make this message disappear
actually does the opposite, keeping server loads higher, for longer periods.
Paid members have no viewing or resource limitations!
Please support Writing.Com with a paid membership
for less than 6 cents a day! Click here...

Here's just a some of the benefits to a Paid Membership:
Don't miss our features video below...
No Viewing or Resource Limitations: Interactive Stories simply do not monetize with advertising and the bulk of our readers used ad blockers! Being dependent on advertising was not a viable long term solution. We've opted to provide an ad-free experience to everyone while limiting the resources available for free members of our Interactive Stories. Paid members support Writing.Com and pay for their own usage. As such, paid members have no viewing or resource limitations!
Writing.Com hosts over 6,500 interactive stories
with more than 1,700,000 interactive chapters.
That's an average of over 260 chapters per story!

There are so many paths to follow,
with your paid membership!
Support Our Community: If you like Writing.Com and/or our Interactive Stories, please know that getting a paid Membership supports our site and our community, helping us remain a small and independent "mom and pop shop" as we've been since our founding in September 2000! That's right; Writing.Com is 18 years old... and counting! We're here for the long term.
Create and Host Your Own Interactives: Basic Membership can host 5 interactive stories, Upgraded Members can host 10 stories... more for Premium and Premium Plus members! Start and control your very own Interactive Story with a paid membership!
Story Outline Chapter Previews: The Interactive Story Outline page is an awesome tool for navigating stories, but its way more awesome for paid members with chapter previews available by hovering their mouse over any chapter link!
Ad Free Surfing: We've gone mostly ad-free already, but Basic Members see fewer ads, Upgraded Members and above have no advertising on their pages except our standard in-house sponsored text links and sponsored items.
Dynamic Chapter Loading: Click an option and the next chapter loads right on the page. This makes for a very fluid and much more immersive story experience! Plus, with dynamic loading, you can print the full storylines you create!
Add More Chapter Options: When adding a new chapter, paid members get to add more options than free members. If you want to create more branches, then a paid membership has what you need!
Longer Chapter Paths: Change your mind and navigate stories better with a longer chapter path display in the left column... up to 20 chapters at a time!
Visit Our Shop to Purchase a Paid Membership!
Check out this quick video to see some of the above benefits in action:

Visit Our Shop to Purchase a Paid Membership!
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:02 am

I've finished downloading all the interactives on the site.
Now I'm working on getting my parser code working so I can drastically shrink filesizes and increase navigability.
Once that's done I'll be able to run the parser over all my saved interactives and produce the linked condensed versions.
Once that's done, I can upload them.
Sorry for all the delays.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Maexam2 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:23 pm

rarrawer wrote:I've finished downloading all the interactives on the site.
Now I'm working on getting my parser code working so I can drastically shrink filesizes and increase navigability.
Once that's done I'll be able to run the parser over all my saved interactives and produce the linked condensed versions.
Once that's done, I can upload them.
Sorry for all the delays.

No problem. Thank you for doing this! ^-^ <3
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Jayezox » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:47 am

rarrawer wrote:I've finished downloading all the interactives on the site.
Now I'm working on getting my parser code working so I can drastically shrink filesizes and increase navigability.
Once that's done I'll be able to run the parser over all my saved interactives and produce the linked condensed versions.
Once that's done, I can upload them.
Sorry for all the delays.

Just the fact that you're doing this is something to be grateful for. Also, I can only imagine how time-consuming this must be. Take your time and anyone with decency will be patient.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Baz » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:28 am

So what needs to be done to the interactive section here, to make it work?
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Jayezox » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:55 am

Baz wrote:So what needs to be done to the interactive section here, to make it work?

Something that would be time-consuming for site programmers. The main problems with these interactives is the lack of traffic and search features. There is one site that someone on another thread found called CHYOA. I've dabbled with it for a while and it actually seems more functional than writing.com in some ways, but also less in others. It also has a lot of traffic. You could attract non-vore users of the site like writing.com did in theory. The only problem is there is almost no vore there at the moment and no vore dedicated stories that I know of. I see that as more of a short-term problem though. If we get a few active users building a few stories up, I don't see why it can't grow into what writing.com was back in the day.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:19 am

The wishlist feature from me if anyone builds a site is for the site to be easy do download/archive.
Something I HATE is when stories, galleries, and whole users vanish for reasons beyond my control.
I feel that if an interactives site were to be built,proviging regular DB dumps of the relevant tables (SELECT * FROM interactive_chapters), (SELECT * FROM interactives), maybe stripped of IP addresses and any other non-public stuff.
Writing a scraper gets the job done but it's not as trustworthy in terms of accuract; and likely consumes way more data-allowance than needed due to repeated serving of bulk page elements which these days can be ~250KB per page, not counting linked libraries or images associated with a page.
I'm pretty sure implimenting this would take a cron job, a shell (and maybe python) script, and about a day to make sure no horrific bugs are present. I may try writing one myself for my local databases as an example.
But I guess most people don't really care about archival and data preservation as much as I do.

Anyway, more relevant topic: Error cases
They happen and I would like advice if you have any to give on how you prefer I handle them?
When you have to parse out information from over a decade of grabs from a site that updates from time to time you get to notice their little bugs.
Things like usernames sometimes being absent. Users only being recorded in the copyright details leaving ambiguity over which (displayname/username) should be returned.
Things like 'ghost' users who have no associated copyright-box details to extract meaning I'm for the first time not actually returning a reliable value from my parser code.
(Previously, it would not spit out things like 'chapterparser_ERROR_GHOST_USER' when you asked for a username, it would just crash if it didn't understand the page.)
So if somewhere in one of my stories theres what looks like a big alarming error message, it's probably got to do with being unable to cleanly process some obsqure quirk that was fixed 5 years ago, after I saved the most recent copy of the deleted interactive.

I've got to rework my code a little so I can support resuming if something breaks then I can probably just chuck my big list of everything at it:
https://mega.nz/#!ehAigSJZ!NAYnjbXws9vN ... lZGbL_9wAw

Thought I should be giving regular progress updates to you interested people.
Thinking I might do batches, release those as i go, and then release a package containting everything once It's all done?
Got to tweak code a bit to allow that, ATM things are a bit too tightly integrated, si I'm going to split things apart and use a list file I can just detete large chunks of as work is done.

Here is the code vauguely as it stands right now, It's in no way well made and will need lots of preset hardcoded folders to be understood and reworked to make it run on a different machine. That's mostly due to this being a "get it working" project that took place over the better part of a decade over being a "everything nice and proper" thing that gets wrapped up with a manual within 6 months
https://mega.nz/#!XgJ0SabT!b0EmOwZxcg39 ... nRWEWXlq5w

That's about all I've got the energy to write to keep you up to date, I'm going to bed.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby matheson » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:17 am

rarrawer wrote:Things like 'ghost' users who have no associated copyright-box details to extract meaning I'm for the first time not actually returning a reliable value from my parser code.
(Previously, it would not spit out things like 'chapterparser_ERROR_GHOST_USER' when you asked for a username, it would just crash if it didn't understand the page.)
So if somewhere in one of my stories theres what looks like a big alarming error message, it's probably got to do with being unable to cleanly process some obsqure quirk that was fixed 5 years ago, after I saved the most recent copy of the deleted interactive.


If it were me, I'd make a simple error handler or at least a default case which returns 'unknown user' or 'deleted user' any time you run into that exception.

I've got to rework my code a little so I can support resuming if something breaks then I can probably just chuck my big list of everything at it:
https://mega.nz/#!ehAigSJZ!NAYnjbXws9vN ... lZGbL_9wAw


This is fantastic, but my question is: are you planning to release all iterations of each story or just the latest ones? I know that, due to author supervision, some of the iterations may be different than the others.

Thought I should be giving regular progress updates to you interested people.
Thinking I might do batches, release those as i go, and then release a package containting everything once It's all done?
Got to tweak code a bit to allow that, ATM things are a bit too tightly integrated, si I'm going to split things apart and use a list file I can just detete large chunks of as work is done.


I'm not sure what you're asking, here. Keeping the archive structure the same as the listing you've provided (but with an appended 'date') works for me.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:38 am

I've done some more work to improve my code, is this what you'd like in terms of output?
Is there anything you'd particularly like added to the HTML formatting?
I've appended a lazy date-stamp to the end of story folder names in the form of IdNumber-StoryName-YYYY-MM/
This short story was processed with the latest version of my code:
https://mega.nz/#!z9gkhS5L!QiFgFVneH0pt ... zCSoA6CrrM


Here are some 'test run' built stories I uploaded, I intend to rerun my scripts and produce slightly nicer looking HTML for them once I've got your feedback.
These were built using a slightly older version of my code than the previous link, so will not look wuite as nice.
https://mega.nz/#!m5xkWQCJ!e2VA-AKJovdn ... YWPm_NisKU

If you care about machine-readable versions I can dump the story data to JSON as they are being processed.
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