I think BasicCoder would agree with Mr. Swiss, it is because he doesn't like to have to give up email info in order to access some file hosting sites that this whole process began. Another issue is that images hosted by other sites go 'link dead' and are lost over time... if the image is converted to some sort of ascii form and actually contained within the forum, then it will be accessible for time indefinite....
In the above sprite sheet there seems to be some frames that are just a mirror image,
that is another way of compressing the data, and would only work in limited cases where the sprites were indeed mirror images...
There are 2 separate issues: compressing the raw data, and then converting that data into something transferable through the forum with copy/paste.
Is your proposal therefore to create a utility that one must run and feed copied chars from the forum into it? Then that code creates data statements that can be used to build an image.
Yes, and no. I propose one method with two different options for execution:Method:
Making a utility program that will allow the user to load any BMP file on their computer, compress it via palettization and then with RLE, convert that 8 bit data into 7 bit ASCII so that it is all printable characters, Usage #1:
The utility then outputs the ascii into a text file containing data statements and a subroutine to decompress back into a BMP. This is basically what BasicCoder is doing right now, except his conversion method inflates the data size to perhaps 6 or 7 times greater than the BMP 8 bit data size was.... sancho proposed to use a different conversion scheme which inflated the original graphic file to perhaps 3 times the size for transfer. Using the above method, the 8 bit data (however compressed) is expanded by only about 14% with the conversion to 7 bit ascii (only printable characters).Usage #2:
The Utility outputs directly to/from the clipboard (NO data statements) to just copy/paste into the forum, and allows the user to save the file copied from the forum as a regular BMP. This makes the most sense to me because it doesn't add additional data statements or code to the program using the BMP files and the user has a regular BMP to use however they wish.
The main issues I have with Usage #1 is that there is alot of wasted space in having to transfer the full DATA statements themselves: This line "DATA 'a3W*fTyie$%' has 18 characters and takes up 18 characters of valuable forum space, but the actual data it contains is only 11 characters. The other problem is that the complete transferred program/demo has extra parts in it: the subroutine to read/decrypt the data, and the data statements themselves. Usually, we have been working on specific routines related to gaming: path finding, ways to display the sprites, etc, and the actual demo program is the important part to relate to another, the graphics are just 'fluff'. Adding all that 'extra' stuff (DATA statements and decryption routine) just clutters up the program a bit more... in my eyes. Also, it seems to me to be very inefficient... but that just may be my own perception.
That might work well between users in the know (like yourself and basiccoder). Others may be frustrated and wonder why you don't just host the image file somewhere, as opposed to forcing them to use a utility program.
Yes, but we are specifically talking to those users who want to avoid downloading images from file hosting sources that they don't exactly trust. It is also a way to have the FB forum 'host' graphic files so that they do not expire as they do on other hosted sites. I agree with you personally, I am fine with using mediafire or some other sites, but not everyone likes to download potentially infected files...which I also understand.
I don't think folks are grasping my description of the proposal... need to write a small example to show. My method of conversion into ascii of and 8 bit data file is the most efficient I can think of (any and all compression techniques can also be applied and are immaterial - the 'method' is just how to get as much informatin into printable ascii characters on the forum since the forum limits a post to 60,000 printable characters to copy/paste from.