Fresh Chat Log

This way. Next chat scheduled for May, date to be announced.

(Tue, 03/28/2017 - 22:46  |  3 comments)
Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science

I didn't attend the live chat but I want to thank you all. Interesting to read ! and you answered my previously posted question :)

Joined: 04/24/2014
Groups: None

We missed seeing you there, but yeah, we're trying to get as many of those questions answered as we can during the chat and appreciate you posting them!

Joined: 09/29/2016
Groups: Gargleblasters

Regarding JFlat's mentioning of download sizes, I feel I'm the best suited/qualified amongst the user base to speak for everyone that are in a similar situation (although I kinda doubt anyone suffers from quite the same level of abysmal download speeds I do)...

To start with, I'm in a rural area, and despite being surrounded by DSL even so far as a 1/5th mile from me, AT&T is too cheap to service us (note: we're closer to town than those that do have service, so it's not the physical distance limitation). As a result, we're limited to Cellular internet or Satellite, neither of which are a particularly good solution, but due to round-trip data latency we have Cellular (also is cheaper and offers more data allowance/mo). Despite having spent well over $1000 on hardware (antennas, modems, etc) the end result seems to be that my speeds are simply due to Verizon's network being shoddy. For example, after school has let out my theory is all the kids now jump on their phones and it causes congestion, which like right now at just about 7PM, I have a download speed of 0.528Mbit. Often times, like a Saturday night, it's not uncommon to see that tank further and only be 0.150Mbit. However, at night (usually past midnight) those speeds can reach 10Mbit, but usually average around 8Mbit. By comparison to the majority of the connected world, 10Mbit is slow. My DSL speed around 2003 was 6Mbit, but even then people with Cable had 20+Mbit.

Context out of the way, here's my responses to specific things said that I feel are important:

jflat06 i can respect that is true for some players, but some new players with poorer connections may immediately dismiss the download if they see it taking too long

This is spot on, and often enough I don't even bother to let it start, I just mash the Skip button. I feel that when Foldit starts up the News update should come BEFORE the Update, as if it's something important, then I WILL restart and let it download. Problem is, had I known that information beforehand, I could've known whether to just let it go to begin with. ;)

jflat06 i believe any time we update the "database" part of the game, you have to redownload it
jflat06 as well as the first initial download

In my experience when it comes to updating Foldit, and this is something I've brought up before (even as part of one of my Suggestions in Feedback), the entire thing is downloaded again. Additionally, the data being downloaded seems to be uncompressed! I've monitored my network activity during the update process and can say that after it has finished (and that's the only network activity occurring that entire time), the bandwidth used was over 200MB. The EXE (the program itself, in Mac terms) is under 300KB, and any essential extra files in the root-directory like DLLs or text files will barely amount to 1MB, but even with game_library it only amounts to 70MB total if uncompressed.

Unfortunately some system on the FoldIt side has a misconfigured system clock, because basically everything except for the EXE has a timestamp of 2008 (for Created, Modified, and Accessed). The Resources and Binary folders everything is "Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:53:20 AM". The Database folder everything is one hour prior, at 10:53:20 AM. Initially I took this as meaning that even when an update hasn't touched these additional files, we're still having to re-download them; however, further inspection has tossed that theory because even the brand-new Blueprint related images have that same timestamp. (For comparison I looked at the game_library file from 2 updates ago [I've not grabbed the latest update yet] and compared it to the previous version's which the above timestamps are based around, and it's still the same day/year, but is 1:53:20 PM. Very peculiar that the hour is the only thing that changes between these builds.)

So beyond my word that I swear to being accurate and factual, I don't have any hard evidence to back it up. Nevertheless, I stand by my original suggestion that when an update happens that there's no reason that every single file NEEDS to be downloaded, even if it's just in one of the three folders. These should function as nothing more than the old school software patches. You download, for instance, a 50MB EXE. Once ran it will try to auto-detect Foldit in the default install location, if it fails it requests you to specify. Once that is accomplished it simply extracts the new files, replacing the old ones (or backing them up first as is SOP for Foldit, and I'm fine with that), then finishes. For games there were often large archives that stored particular related items, such as sounds, textures, maps. Even in those instances the Patch would have the tools to open those archives up and modify the contents. Instead, these days if a 5KB file is changed in a 300MB, the entire damn 300MB archive is required to be downloaded! For 90% of the world this is trivial, it takes a minute at most, and done. For me it during any time past 2PM, on average it'll take me 1hr 40min :\ So with Foldit being roughly 240MB uncompressed, that's how long it takes me to download when in all likelihood the only thing that was changed is the sub-300KB EXE and the game_library.dll, which combined can be compressed into a RAR5 archive of just 16.5MB.

Adding more Database entries for Remix to access, for a person like me who is on a crappy connection... I'm actually cool with that, SO LONG AS the updating system is addressed to provide updates in a sane and logical manner! Please, please, no more of this uncompressed "all or nothing" updating. Particularly since we can't rely on our connections to finish what is started (I just had a 1.4GB download randomly stop on me at 900MB, with no way to resume. 4-1/2hrs and 900MB were wasted due to that). The scientist in me is definitely interested in the improvements that the increased Remix database could result in, and I think everyone else in my circumstances would be onboard with that, too. :)

Nevertheless, everyone's work is indeed appreciate and I thank you!
Happy Folding,

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Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons