[TODO] Virtual File System

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[TODO] Virtual File System

Postby croxis » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:31 pm

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_file_system

A virtual file system is an abstraction for the engine instead of using hard coded paths. It also offers some sandboxing possibilities.

Example: The engine has a simple file system of folders like /Art /Sound /Scripts. These can be mapped to the actual file system in the game directory. It can also map the folders in the user directory, allowing the user to add files without needing admin permissions on the system. Other games have special zip-type files (pk in quake, dat in guild wars 2) which the engine mounts into the virtual file system. The VFS could even mount from over a network, so that a server could stream mods or other content that the connecting client might not have (security issues aside).

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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby S0lll0s » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:10 pm

Source games do this too.
Gmod 13 [again] supports "legacy" addons that are folders that just need to be "hooked into" the right directories and GMA's, which are a custom "compression" (actually he just concatenates all the files + a lil metadata). These are put into the VFS at runtime too.

Quake3 archives (pk3) are just regular zip files too.
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby Pseudonym » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:56 am

Since we're already using Boost, we already have Boost.Filesystem and Boost.Iostreams. This isn't a complete solution (no support for ZIP files last time I checked), but it does a lot of the heavy lifting.
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby croxis » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:30 am

Cool. My zip comment was just a reference for those unfamiliar with VFS, but those special package files offer some advantages over strict normal filesystem methods.
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby Pseudonym » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:36 am

croxis wrote:My zip comment was just a reference for those unfamiliar with VFS, but those special package files offer some advantages over strict normal filesystem methods.

Absolutely. Of course, it needn't be zip specifically. Many of our files are compressed already, so we don't need that feature. (Braid, IIRC, uses uncompressed zip for this very reason.)

I don't think there's a generic term for this, but in deference to Doom, I suggest "WAD-like". ("WAD" is short for "Where's All the Data?")
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby Andrew » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:17 am

Perhaps ZIP wouldn't be as appropriate as a custom archive format which is better suited to resource streaming based on a geographical location.
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby S0lll0s » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:16 pm

Well, to start with a file-tree with "physical" path locations and custom IO functions using it should be enough, no?
This would however not support "hot" adding of files...
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby Sxandy » Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:24 am

well, I suppose if its an in-game menu, or an out of game menu. Either way, it can probably be used, but, please put things on their own layers in the meantime.
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Re: [TODO] Virtual File System

Postby Krarl » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:17 pm

You know you just posted to a 1 year old thread, right? :)
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