Phillyman

Retromags Naming Convention

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Phillyman    416

I would like to gather some input from you guys on naming conventions for our releases at Retromags. Since 2005 I have been a fan of the following standard which I refer to as the lowercase/underscore method.....

 

 

 

Single Month

electronic_gaming_monthly_053_-_1993_dec

Double Month

nintendo_power_001_-_1988_jul_aug

Double Year

sega_visions_016_-_1994_dec_jan

For seasonal releases we use the abbreviations.....

  • SUM
  • WIN
  • AUT
  • SPR

For Holiday issues we use the abbreviation of how it was written on the magazine.....

  • HOL
  • XMS

And for unknown months we use the following place holder in the Month/Season location.....

 

  • UNK

 

As you may or may not know, I am creating a program that will organize and rename any files released from Retromags. This tool helps to do a few things.....

 

1) Renames all files downloaded from Retromags into a standard format. It is hard to enforce naming conventions with volunteers uploading magazines, and it is silly to have to redo them after the fact to just fix file names.

 

2) Organizes all files downloaded from Retromags into sub-folders for easier browsing.

 

3) Notifies users when a file they have downloaded has been classified as incomplete, low quality, corrupt or otherwise replaced.

 

4) Lets users know exactly what they have and are missing.

 

 

Now this is a huge step forward, many of you who dabble in emulation and ROMS know that their are tools out there that rename and organize your romsets. This tool will be similar but for magazine files. Over the past few months we have chatted about the possibility to leverage the Retromags databases to be inclusive of other preservation websites. With that in mind, we should include these other preservation sites in our renaming tool. This way when you download a GamePro magazine from Retromags and then another issue from OGM.....they get renamed and organized into the same location with the same naming format.

 

I am looking for idea's on naming conventions that I can deploy via our collection tool. If a great enough need comes for customization on this front, I may invest time into coding the ability for you guys to write your own naming conventions in the configuration of the program.....something like......

%title%_%issue%_-_%month%_%year%

Also on discussing the renaming standard, should we include an abbreviation for the releasing site? Then when you downloaded a GamePro magazine it would show like this.....

gamepro_004_-_1989_nov_[rms]
gamepro_005_-_1989_dec_[rms]
gamepro_006_-_1990_jan_[ogm]

And more food for thought is, how to handle versioning. Do we want to do like some romset renamers do and tag the filename with an abbreviation on why the file is no longer good/current?

 

Corrupt

gmr_001_-_2003_feb_[c]

Low Quality

gmr_002_-_2003_mar_[l]

Missing Pages

gmr_003_-_2003_apr_[m]

Pages out of order

gmr_004_-_2003_may_[p]

Thoughts, Questions, Concerns? :)

 

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marktrade    615

Those all sound like very good ideas! Except I'm not personally a fan of the "_-_" underscore-hyphen-underscore. I understand the need for underscores because there are many different kinds of file systems out there and they don't all interpret spaces the same way, but the hyphen and extra underscore seem to unnecessarily lengthen the filename.

 

Also I wonder if we might take this opportunity to establish guidelines for naming files when we don't know the issue number. We're facing a possibility with some magazines that we may never know the order in which a particular issue was published because we don't know how many issues there were before it. Is there a placeholder we can use in the issue number spot to signify the numbering is not known? And then proceed naming it with relevant information?

 

Other small matters of taste: I like to use capital letters in the magazine title where appropriate and prefer the month to come before the year, but I sense you have reasons for using lower case and putting the year first.

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Phillyman    416

Those all sound like very good ideas! Except I'm not personally a fan of the "_-_" underscore-hyphen-underscore. I understand the need for underscores because there are many different kinds of file systems out there and they don't all interpret spaces the same way, but the hyphen and extra underscore seem to unnecessarily lengthen the filename.

 

Also I wonder if we might take this opportunity to establish guidelines for naming files when we don't know the issue number. We're facing a possibility with some magazines that we may never know the order in which a particular issue was published because we don't know how many issues there were before it. Is there a placeholder we can use in the issue number spot to signify the numbering is not known? And then proceed naming it with relevant information?

 

Other small matters of taste: I like to use capital letters in the magazine title where appropriate and prefer the month to come before the year, but I sense you have reasons for using lower case and putting the year first.

 

 

At the very least, I will probably code these two formats into the renamer.......

electronic_gaming_monthly_053_-_1993_dec.cbr
Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 053 (December 1993).cbr

If enough people want control over the renaming, I can build a way for them to write their own naming strings. I know KiwiArcader likes to put the publisher in his titles.....where this will probably become very confusing is when we start talking about how strategy guides and supplements get renamed, as they have really long and interesting names :)

 

But yes, lets use this thread to hash out all the concerns and thoughts about this, so I dont have to recode the entire collection tool 6 months from now :lol:

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KiwiArcader    481

As I have said all along, I prefer the naming convention along the lines  <Name> (<date in yyyy-mm-(dd if weekly)>) (Issue number if known). An example is:

 

GamePro (2000-11) 153.pdf

 

Where they have specials or Xmas releases (as Future do) they would take the format ....

 

Edge (2011-Xmas) 180.pdf

 

This ensures that specials are ordered by release date rather than trying to impose some numbering convention in the event they didn't actually receive an issue number as the GamePro specials did. I adopted this format over at OGM to ensure my GamePro issues reflect the issue number on the cover. This solves issues around confusion for visitors thinking they are downloading issue 160 when the cover says 150. It also solve issues around magazines that changed their numbering convention from say, a Vol. Issue format to pure numbering at a later date as ordering is done by date.

 

I agree with marktrade that using hyphens is old school. To my way of thinking if someone is using some system esoteric enough in this day and age to not be able to deal with a space that's their problem, not mine.

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kitsunebi77    730

I can see how this program would be useful for someone who has been downloading stuff while leaving the original filenames intact (and I pity such a person if they ever try to browse through their own collection.)

 

I must be the only guy who is particular enough about keeping their collection in an organized state that I rename everything to my satisfaction as I download it.  As such, I have no desire to have any of my files renamed, especially since I don't follow identical naming conventions for every magazine title.

 

Also I wonder if we might take this opportunity to establish guidelines for naming files when we don't know the issue number. We're facing a possibility with some magazines that we may never know the order in which a particular issue was published because we don't know how many issues there were before it. Is there a placeholder we can use in the issue number spot to signify the numbering is not known? And then proceed naming it with relevant information?

 

Other small matters of taste: I like to use capital letters in the magazine title where appropriate and prefer the month to come before the year, but I sense you have reasons for using lower case and putting the year first.

 

Putting the year first and naming issues with unknown issue numbers are directly related, I think.  If an issue number is unknown, it obviously can't be sorted by issue number on the end user's system.  The logical method would be to sort by date (i.e. "Title, Date").  This would require the date to be listed as "Year Month (Day, if applicable)" using numerical digits.

 

And I know my vote doesn't count since I have no need for this program, but I also think underscored filenames have no place in the modern world.

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kitsunebi77    730

This way when you download a GamePro magazine from Retromags and then another issue from OGM.....they get renamed and organized into the same location with the same naming format.

 

I hate to flog the dead horse on this one, but using GamePro as an example demands it, since pretty much NO ONE outside of RM numbers the issues the way we do.  I'm firmly in the camp that although GamePro's numbering is stupid, our numbering is wrong.

 

It's like this: The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 2 1/2, The Naked Gun 33 1/3 is stupid,

but The Naked Gun 1, The Naked Gun 2, The Naked Gun 3 is wrong.

Likewise, regardless of the fact that it was first, it should never be called Star Wars: Episode I: A New Hope.

 

Sometimes the actual naming/numbering systems used by the magazines themselves should supersede whatever standards we usually use, in my opinion.

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I also dislike underscores. Many programs I have used in the past give the choice of spaces or underscores.

I am interested in a country code. Some Magazines from the UK were also produced in other countries such as Us or Australia with similiar content but different numbering. Also the program could list your have list divided up by country if lists are part of the program.

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marktrade    615

Interesting discussion. I agree it is sensible for when we don't know the number of issues published to name them as Kiwiarcader and kitsunebi77 suggested, with title then yyyy-mm.

 

However I do see the merit in the Retromags applied numbering method in that it encourages us to really examine and sort through exactly how many issues there are, what order they come in, and that we are aware of all of them. Furthermore this is important for the organizing tool so it can check what issues you have and which ones are missing.

 

So, maybe there ought to be two conventions, one for magazines where our knowledge of the issue ordering is complete with every issue having a denomination, and another for where our knowledge of the issue ordering is still a work in progress.

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KiwiArcader    481

Yeah, but there's no real need to apply two naming conventions as the only thing questionable is the numbering right?

 

If you apply a name followed by a date everything else is negotiable as the date becomes the single biggest factor in ordering. As I see it you could have:

 

GamePro (1998-08) 150 ....  if the number is displayed on the cover OR

GamePro (1998-08)  .......... if the number isn't listed anywhere so needs investigating or is a special in which case it becomes

GamePro (1998-08) Special Ed ... or something to that effect 

 

In either case the issue will still order before the (1998-09) issue so still displays in the logical release order

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Sean697    319

All I really care about is that it shows them in the correct order in my reader program and in my file folder. The current system does that. If the new one also does, fantastic. As far as codes. We seem to always replace existing files with new ones. And discard completely the old one. I don't see a point. As long as the tool looks at the current MD5 hashtag of the file you can verify its the current or correct one. The caution on this of course is some people delete the Retromags pag from their collection. And it will fail the hashtag check if they run it through the tool.

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KiwiArcader    481

I see. That does make more sense.

 

What if it's bimonthly? Do you include both months or just the first?

 

If the issue number is available you could simply use the first month  as the subsequent issue number will be displayed on the following release, e.g,

 

GamePro (1998-08) 150

GamePro (1998-10) 151

 

If issue numbers are not used by the publication it probably needs to be denoted as:

 

GamePro (1998-08/09) 

GamePro (1998-10/11)

 

.... simply to denote the fact it is bi-monthly. In reality most all magazines have SOME sort of numbering convention (Vol/Issue, issue number) making this somewhat redundant but it is worth agreeing on a format for bi-monthly weirdo's to keep everyone compliant.

 

UPDATE. Forgot that "/" is an unacceptable character for naming conventions so I think I used "0809" or "08-09"

Edited by KiwiArcader

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marktrade    615

If issue numbers are not used by the publication it probably needs to be denoted as:

 

GamePro (1998-08/09) 

GamePro (1998-10/11)

 

.... simply to denote the fact it is bi-monthly. In reality most all magazines have SOME sort of numbering convention (Vol/Issue, issue number) making this somewhat redundant but it is worth agreeing on a format for bi-monthly weirdo's to keep everyone compliant.

 

UPDATE. Forgot that "/" is an unacceptable character for naming conventions so I think I used "0809" or "08-09"

 

 

Yeah, I was thinking specifically of the Game Player's PC Entertainment line and its heritage, which uses Vol/Issue numbering and was bimonthly. But wouldn't a hyphen make it look like the second month was a date, as in a weekly? 

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kitsunebi77    730

Having the Volume Issue number means you don't need the second month in the date field   ;)

 

True, but if the issue in question has both months printed on the cover, I feel both months should be part of the filename in some way.

 

Yeah, I was thinking specifically of the Game Player's PC Entertainment line and its heritage, which uses Vol/Issue numbering and was bimonthly. But wouldn't a hyphen make it look like the second month was a date, as in a weekly? 

 

I don't think it would be that confusing, since very few magazines are published biweekly or weekly (those that are are almost all Japanese), and most people will know whether what they're looking at was a weekly or not.  Regardless, so long as you separate the year from the months with a space, it isn't confusing.  I think most people who see "Game Player's Atari Jaguar Guide 1994 08-09" would realize that the "08-09" referred to August-September, not August 9th.  If you list it as 1994-08-09, then I agree it looks like a single date.

 

Personally, I'm partial to separating dates by periods.  Aug 9, 1994 becomes "1994.08.09".  This is how it's often done in Japan, although to be fair they sometimes use a slightly raised dot like this: "1994・08・09."  That's not really possible for people using English keyboard inputs, though, and regular periods work just as well in my opinion.   For a bimonthly August-September issue, it would be "1994.08-09". 

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Phillyman    416

As I have said all along, I prefer the naming convention along the lines  <Name> (<date in yyyy-mm-(dd if weekly)>) (Issue number if known). An example is:

 

GamePro (2000-11) 153.pdf

 

Where they have specials or Xmas releases (as Future do) they would take the format ....

 

Edge (2011-Xmas) 180.pdf

 

 

So you don't spell out the month, doesn't that make it harder to search for files? If I want to see all the December issues, your method would have me searching for 12, but that will also bring back 2012, unless you search for -12.

 

Just wrapping my head around it, also what about magazines that don't use issue numbers? Do you just go with v1-i5 format? Reading all the comments I think I am the only member out of 8900+ that likes the current format.....I am slowly being persuaded to change :P

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kitsunebi77    730

So you don't spell out the month, doesn't that make it harder to search for files? If I want to see all the December issues, your method would have me searching for 12, but that will also bring back 2012, unless you search for -12.

 

Not to dismiss what is technically a valid point, but is this the kind of search that anyone would ever do?  I'm having trouble thinking of a valid reason for wanting to do so.  I mean, maybe I could accept someone wanting to see all December issues of various mags from a specific year, since they might all have similar coverage of games released at that time, in which case you'd search for "1999.12" or whatever and get all the December issues from 1999.  But why anyone would want to search for every December issue from every year is beyond me.

 

Just wrapping my head around it, also what about magazines that don't use issue numbers? Do you just go with v1-i5 format? Reading all the comments I think I am the only member out of 8900+ that likes the current format.....I am slowly being persuaded to change :P

 

I've said this before, but I personally feel that different magazines call for different naming conventions based on how they identify themselves on the cover/frontpage.  If a mag has a printed issue number, by all means, keep the current system of "title, issue#, date" where the mag sorts by issue number, making it possible to write the date in words if you like (that said, I believe we should use the actual issue numbers printed in the magazines, even when it conflicts with the actual number of mags published).  If the magazine doesn't have an issue number, then it should be "title, date" using the "year,month,(day)" numerical digit format so that it sorts by date.  If the mag has neither issue number nor date printed anywhere in the mag, only then would I resort to using volume/issue numbers as the alphabetical sorting component of the filename. 

 

Of course, nothing you come up with will solve the clusterfuck of nonsensical numbering given to Japanese mags.  I was reminded of this earlier today when I uploaded the cover of the 123rd issue of Dengeki G's Magazine, which proudly declared it was celebrating its 200th issue.  This is of course because it was also including the numbers of all the issues of Dengeki G's Engine which came before it.  Oh, and also the issues of Dengeki PC Engine before that.  Oh, and also some special issues of Dengeki PC Engine.  Oh yeah, and also the first several issues of Dengeki Playstation, which at the time were considered to be special issues of Dengeki PC Engine, but eventually became its own title, meaning that (for example) the first issue of Dengeki Playstation is officially "Dengeki Playstation Issue 1" and "Dengeki PC Engine/G'sEngine/G's Magazine Issue 29."  Yeah, figure out a standard for that one.

 

Japanese mags are the exception where sometimes I'd prefer to pretend the issue numbers don't exist and just list them by date.  Although there are of course exceptions.  Take away the issue numbers from this run of Dengeki Playstation issues and what are you left with?  Yes, that's rightMADNESS.  :help:

#47: June 13

#48: July 11

#49: June 27

#50: July 11

#51: July 25

#52: Aug 15/29

#53: Sept 26

#54: Sept 12

#55: Sept 26

#56: Oct 9

#57: Oct 31

#58: Nov 14

#59: Nov 14

 

 

 

 
 
 

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Terry93D    12

Just to throw my two cents in, why not use a format for naming like, per say:

 

[Magazine Name] [Release Date, Month/Day/Year] [issue Number] [Quality] [Archival Website]

 

"Day" only being listed if it's applicable. Quality of course referring to, well, quality, rather it's a lack of it, the file's corrupted, or if there's missing pages. Naturally if everything's fine one won't list it. So for the first issue of Edge...

 

Edge - 10-1993 - 01 - OGM

 

...or however you like to format it - personally, I don't like underscores or periods, just hyphens, and I always write dates mm/dd/yyyy, but I suspect I'm in the minority with the last one. 

 

Anyways, just my two cents. I shall leave you fine fellows to your debate.

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kitsunebi77    730

I always write dates mm/dd/yyyy, but I suspect I'm in the minority with the last one. 

 

Almost all Americans write dates that way, to the consternation of pretty much everyone else on the planet, who write dates as either dd/mm/yyyy or yyyy/mm/dd.

 

But regardless of how you feel about America's seemingly deliberate bull-headed contrariness (Fahrenheit...refusal to use the metric system), in this case mm/dd/yyyy really IS a bad idea. 

[Title] [issue #] [mm/dd/yyyy] is fine because the issue will sort by issue number.

[Title] [mm/dd/yyyy] won't work because it will sort by date starting with the month.  So ALL January issues, followed by all February issues and so on.

[Title] [yyyy/mm/dd] will sort by date in the correct order, which is why that's being proposed.

 

As was discussed earlier, hyphens are questionable because a bimonthly issue could be confused for a weekly issue.  (i.e. "1993-06-07" could be seen as the June/July issue or the June 7th issue)

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KiwiArcader    481

All I really care about is that it shows them in the correct order in my reader program and in my file folder. The current system does that. If the new one also does, fantastic. As far as codes. We seem to always replace existing files with new ones. And discard completely the old one. I don't see a point. As long as the tool looks at the current MD5 hashtag of the file you can verify its the current or correct one. The caution on this of course is some people delete the Retromags pag from their collection. And it will fail the hashtag check if they run it through the tool.

 

True. For my personal copies I like to do that. Another issue is the fact that I release files in PDF format over at OGM and I also convert Retromags releases to PDF as well. Add to that the fact that I grab marktrade's Archive.org releases directly and it will make for the software having a hard time working out my collection. 

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KiwiArcader    481

So you don't spell out the month, doesn't that make it harder to search for files? If I want to see all the December issues, your method would have me searching for 12, but that will also bring back 2012, unless you search for -12.

 

Just wrapping my head around it, also what about magazines that don't use issue numbers? Do you just go with v1-i5 format? Reading all the comments I think I am the only member out of 8900+ that likes the current format.....I am slowly being persuaded to change :P

 

I personally have lately been adopting the Vol.01-05 format. No need in my mind to include "i" for issue number. Just makes it messy to read.

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Phillyman    416

I command this thread to rise from its grave!

 

I am going to be updating the database over the next few weeks to support all 3 major naming schemes.

Official Retromags Naming

Nintendo Power Issue 050 (July 1993).cbr

Old School Retromags Naming

nintendo_power_050_-_1993_jul.cbr

OGM Naming

Nintendo Power (1993-07) 50.cbr

All three of these naming schemes will be inside of the magazine and strategy guide databases. Our renaming tool will let you choose how you wish to rename. I think this should cover the majority of our users.

 

EDIT

Ok, been toying around with it, this is how my test looks right now. Does everything look good? If so I will write out a script to deploy these naming conventions to all 18,000 records in our Magazine Database......and then we can fine tune afterwards :)

See image below....

namingscheme.png

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Phillyman    416

Ran a test to create dummy files based on the above names, forgot that slashes are invalid characters. Also seems as though sorting is wacky with the OGM method, as you can see in the image below it is sorted out of order.

More testing needed :P

 

Official.png

<a href='http://www.oldgamemags.com/' title='' target='_blank'  style=OGM.png">

Old.png

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kitsunebi77    730
1 hour ago, Phillyman said:

Ran a test to create dummy files based on the above names, forgot that slashes are invalid characters. Also seems as though sorting is wacky with the OGM method, as you can see in the image below it is sorted out of order.

More testing needed :P

 

It's only out of order because the bimonthly filenames are wrong.  Nintendo Power (1988-78)???  Of course it isn't right:lol:

For something like that, where an issue is bi-monthly (July/August), the 7 and 8 need to be distinguished as separate numbers.  So 1988-7-8 or 1988-7.8 or whatever would sort just fine.

Personally, I like using periods and only use dashes for bimonthlies.  Also, inserting a zero in single digit months.  It isn't necessary for sorting, but if keeps a more uniform appearance.  Like so:

(1988.01)

(1988.02)

(1988.03-04)

(1988.05-06)

(1988.07)

...etc.

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Phillyman    416
43 minutes ago, kitsunebi77 said:

It's only out of order because the bimonthly filenames are wrong.  Nintendo Power (1988-78)???  Of course it isn't right:lol:

For something like that, where an issue is bi-monthly (July/August), the 7 and 8 need to be distinguished as separate numbers.  So 1988-7-8 or 1988-7.8 or whatever would sort just fine.

Personally, I like using periods and only use dashes for bimonthlies.  Also, inserting a zero in single digit months.  It isn't necessary for sorting, but if keeps a more uniform appearance.  Like so:

(1988.01)

(1988.02)

(1988.03-04)

(1988.05-06)

(1988.07)

...etc.

Hey man, I didn't come up with this odd naming scheme :P

So how do we distinguish between bi-months and bi-weekly?

If we say that "Nintendo Power (1988-7-8)" is how we handle a July/August release, what about the Japanese magazines that come out biweekly? Also I am guessing at how holiday issues are handled with a 13. I will change the script to give preceeding zeros on the front and rerun the tests. Gotta get the kinks ironed out before I drop 18,000 names into each naming scheme.

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