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TacBF Launcher and Installer - 0.9 (Alpha 9)

Advice regarding Downloads for TacBF and other official addons.
Various installation guides for players and server hosters.

Moderator: Gunther.S

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Stacktrace
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TacBF Launcher and Installer - 0.9 (Alpha 9)

Postby Stacktrace » 14 Oct 2015, 15:43

Version 1.0 is out!
Get it here!


Description:

As has been stated many times in the past, Tactical Battlefield needed an installer.

The amount of steps required to correctly download and install the mod was overwhelming to many people and was keeping them from playing the game. To address this issue, Sighter, Alonso and I (Stack) decided to do something about it and created a tool which would allow anyone to install, run and keep Tactical Battlefield up to date with as little hassle as possible.

The launcher leverages Bittorrent protocol for downloading data. Additionally, it makes use of web-seeds for users that have Bittorrent blocked or throttled by their internet provider.

When mods are updated, your client will only download the parts of the files that have changed, even if your connection in an earlier session was lost, thus highly limiting the amount of data transferred. Also, after installation/update, any superfluous files (that are not supposed to be in the directory) are removed. This does not concern Arma3Sync metadata files - they will not be removed from the directory.

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(link not available anymore - 1.0 has been released)
0.9 (Alpha 9)


Bugs:

Bear in mind that this is an early alpha version and, as such, it may contain bugs.
Report any bugs at: bitbucket.org's Issue Tracker

Note: If you submit a bug on bitbucket PLEASE check that bug later. If I need some additional information to reproduce the issue and you are not there to provide it, the issue won't be fixed! (should be obvious but, unfortunately, isn't)


Usage:

Run the launcher, press Install, go make yourself a large coffee, come back and press Play. That's it!
By default, the launcher will download Tactical Battlefield and all other required mods to Arma 3\Tactical Battlefield.


If you already installed Tactical Battlefield:

...or have already downloaded any other mods and don't want to download them once again, you can change the download directory to your base Arma 3 directory in the settings menu.
Just keep in mind that the launcher will make sure all the mods are in the right version each time it is run which may not always be what you want (you may want to keep an older version of a mod for example).

Another way to solve this issue would be to manually move or copy already downloaded mods to the Arma 3\Tactical Battlefield directory.

Notes:
  • Currently, some manual installation is required to complete the installation of TeamSpeak 3 files (for @task_force_radio mod). A message will appear after installation to remind you.
  • As of now there is no possibility to declare separate directories for each mod, only a directory that will hold all the mods inside.
  • Setting the installation directory to a directory that you don't have write rights to will require you to run the launcher as an administrator and is not recommended.
Last edited by Stacktrace on 07 Apr 2016, 22:41, edited 21 times in total.
I talk about you with Adanteh sometimes, like:
"Adanteh, what the f***? Where the f*** does this guy get so much motivation to do this? He is really f*** professional finishing a launcher for a game he doesnt play!"
- Gunther.S

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Stacktrace » 14 Oct 2015, 15:44

[reserved for additional informations]
I talk about you with Adanteh sometimes, like:
"Adanteh, what the f***? Where the f*** does this guy get so much motivation to do this? He is really f*** professional finishing a launcher for a game he doesnt play!"
- Gunther.S

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Stacktrace » 14 Oct 2015, 15:44

Changelog

1.0 (2016-04-07)
====================
Fixes:
------
Store metadata about mods in a separate directory. This will hopefully prevent BI launcher's tendency to delete them :).

Enhancements:
-------------
Slick new User Interface.
Added link to forum directly to the Launcher's bar.,
Upen urls in background using another thread.
Alpha message has been removed. We're not in alpha anymore, remember? :)

Other:
------
Settings have been moved from Documents folder to industry standard: <username>\AppData
The status text can now have 3 whole lines. Yep! You heard it right. Three frickin' lines of text! Awesome! :shock: ;)


Alpha 9 (2016-04-06)
====================
Fixes:
------
Downloading subprocess now terminates correctly if the launcher is stopped while the popup informing about the upcoming UAC popup is being shown.
Handle incorrect torrent metadata errors.
Ensure all files have read-write permissions before starting syncing. This was (supposedly) a problem for people using both BI launcher and TacBF launcher.

Enhancements:
-------------
Stop downloading and recheck mod completness if mod directory is changed in the settings screen.
Reuse already downloaded and locally cached torrent metadata instead of downloading it each time.
Re-enable "install" button on failed installation, to allow people to retry immediately.
Seed the launcher exe as if it was a regular mod.

Other:
------
Refactored torrent file retrieval. This should help in showing more precise error messages in case of errors while downloading the torrent files.
Compare version strings in a better way.


Alpha 8 (2016-03-29)
====================
Fixes:
------
Properly decode error message to unicode when cannot find arma3.exe.

Enhancements:
-------------
Automatically open TeamSpeak and connect to the right server when clicking "play", if TeamSpeak is not already running.

Other:
------
Use "Connections" instead of "Peers" to prevent confusion.
Seed while not playing by default. Was set to "never" by mistake.


Alpha 7.1 (2016-03-16)
====================
Fixes:
------
"No such file or directory" error on launcher start.


Alpha 7 (2016-03-14)
====================
Fixes:
------
Error message was shown after the "Arma not installed" message.
Cannot select ".." as mod download directory anymore.
Request user interaction before installing TFR (the TFR installer would timeout if the user was not present and thus would fail installation).

Enhancements:
-------------
Automatic update of the launcher! (experimental for now)
Downloading multiple torrents/mods at the same time.
Optional seeding of mods after the download is complete.

Use cached data if launcher metadata cannot be downloaded, at start. Previously, you weren't able to play if that happenned.
Show a warning icon if that happens.
You can now set the maximum download and upload speed, in the options screen.
You can now turn on and off seeding, in the options screen.
Provide a link to the troubleshooting page on error.
Enable or disable the "Play" button based on whether the Arma3 process is being run on not.
Better message when administrator rights are required.
Inform the user about the possibility of AV programs blocking access to the registry.

Other:
------
Bumped libtorrent to 1.0.9.0.
Allow game to run if no mods are required.
PEP8 related changes, code cleanup.
Popups now show up in the same order they were called.
Lot of code refactoring.
Changed way of loading and saving the launcher settings to disk (autosave).
Changed download statistics.
Better saving of fast-resume data for incomplete torrents.
Simple message passing between the main process and the subprocesses.
LOTS of internal changes. See: https://bitbucket.org/tacbf_launcher/tacbf_launcher/branches/compare/alpha7%0Dalpha6


Alpha 6 (2016-01-22)
====================
Fixes:
------
Hopefully fixed all the libtorrent issues related to "files being used by another process", "access denied", etc...

Enhancements:
-------------
Wait for subprocesses to fully terminate before starting an action that may depend on files modified by those subprocesses.
Ensure the torrent is stopped cleanly before terminating the syncing subprocess.
Torrents now terminate automatically when the main window is closed.

Other:
------
Some code for launcher's offline mode.
Bumped libtorrent to 1.0.8.0.
Changed client's fingerprint in libtorrent protocol to reflect the libtorrent version used.


Alpha 5 (2016-01-06)
====================
Fixes:
------
Replace all print statements with Logger.info(). Fixes #93
Better handling of kivy start error (shows up at Avast's DeepScreen)

Enhancements:
-------------
Installation of TFR TeamSpeak plugin fully implemented.
* Install TFR userconfig files.
* Automatically package TFR into a teamspeak plugin package and then install that package.
Do not show suggestion to submit a bug on every error message (not all errors are bugs). Resolves #83.
Can now execute Arma installed in a directory containing special characters.

Other:
------
Check if Steam, Arma and Teamspeak are installed before running the game. Resolves #38.
Unit/integration tests for integrity checking
Mandatory run of unit and integration tests before building the launcher.
Improved error messages.
Cleaned up some code.
Print and log the whole offending text on utf-8 encode/decode error from libtorrent.


Alpha 4.1 (2015-11-24)
====================
Fixes:
------
Fixed yet another unicode bug uncovered by a recent change in the code.

Enhancements:
-------------
Even more robust catch-all exception handler.


Alpha 4 (2015-11-20)
====================
Fixes:
------
Could not download data from url seeds because of a badly encoded unicode user-agent string.
Fixed UnicodeDecodeError: Convert to unicode every string coming from libtorrent and convert to utf-8 every string going to libtorrent.
Use unicode() instead of str() everywhere now. Use other means where unicode() could raise an exception.
Suport exceptions that contain unicode characters.
Red circles no longer show up on ctrl+click.

Enhancements:
-------------
Show a nice message if the launcher if out of date instead of a default error message box.
Added a new icon to the exe. Added appropriate window title.
Added possibility to use hyperlinks in messages and errors.
Added links in messages where it was possible.

Nerd information (internal):
----------------------------
Added devmode.conf config file to ease development.
Removed -noFilePatching because it's ignored by the game now.
Updated icon to use official logos. Window title compatible with Kivy 1.9.
...and others.


Alpha 3 (2015-11-05)
====================
Fixes:
------
Fixed issue when you could not run the launcher if your user name contained a non-ascii character.
Fixed issue when selecting the path for downloading the mods that contained a non-ascii character.
Fixed R6034 error popup on Windows 8.

Enhancements:
-------------
Handle ANY unhandled exception - a popup should show up.
Use launcher.tacbf.com instead of a hardcoded IP address.
Added information about manual installation of TFR (userconfig directory).
Added better error handling for http requests.
Better error message while syncing torrents.

Nerd information (internal):
----------------------------
Using PyInstaller 3.0 now.
Using unicode strings everywhere by default.
Do not use raw strings as they are evil.
Patched Kivy for handling unicode usernames.
Backported kivy 1.9-dev patch to handle PyInstaller 3.0.
Added convenience script to build the launcher.
Fixed error message on bad Kivy initialization.
Last edited by Stacktrace on 08 Apr 2016, 11:51, edited 14 times in total.
I talk about you with Adanteh sometimes, like:
"Adanteh, what the f***? Where the f*** does this guy get so much motivation to do this? He is really f*** professional finishing a launcher for a game he doesnt play!"
- Gunther.S

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Gunther.S » 15 Oct 2015, 02:01

:o great work!

Downloaded and gonna use her from now on hopefully. Is it persistent? I have Brazilian internet and it gets interupted at times as well as the fact that it is slower then other methods.
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Alan
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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Alan » 15 Oct 2015, 08:53

Very excited for this. It could be a total game-changer in terms of accessibility of the mod.

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Stacktrace » 15 Oct 2015, 09:33

Gunther.S wrote:Is it persistent? I have Brazilian internet and it gets interupted at times as well as the fact that it is slower then other methods.

We leverage Bittorrent protocol for downloading data. Additionally, we make use of web-seeds for clients that have Bittorrent blocked or throttled by their internet provider.
This should make downloading resilient againt network problems. It should just be a question of fine-tuning Bittorrent parameters like connection timeouts, reconnections timeouts after connectivity loss, etc...

The fine-tuning of those parameters has not yet been done as we were busy implementing all the base features, but this will surely be looked into in the future.

Your client will only download the parts of the file that have changed, thus limitimg the amount of data transferred. In the best-case scenario, we could have several data sources seeding the mod. Clients downloading the mod can share their connection and upload data to other clients, just like with a regular Bittorrent application. Actually, even now anyone can become a full mirror and serve the mod to users. They just need to connect to the torrent tracker and the launcher will start downloading from them. Bittorrent protocol will make sure data is not modified so it is safe from a security perspective.

If you want to test partial data download, stop the launcher, (re)move some files from the mod directory and restart the launcher.

There is really a lot of possibilities in the future. Unfortunately we still have quite a bit of features to implement (like automatic TeamSpeak plugin installation for example) but we're working on it steadily.
By the way, the code is Open Source so if you know Python and want to contribute you're welcome!
I talk about you with Adanteh sometimes, like:
"Adanteh, what the f***? Where the f*** does this guy get so much motivation to do this? He is really f*** professional finishing a launcher for a game he doesnt play!"
- Gunther.S

Gunther.S
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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Gunther.S » 15 Oct 2015, 13:09

Great work! Keep the good stuff coming!
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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Stacktrace » 15 Oct 2015, 13:51

To help seed this release I've also added a seed on a sever I have access to. This will give us 30Mbit/s more bandwidth than what's already provided. It's not much but better that than nothing :).
I'll try to make a modified version of the launcher for people which would like to help seeding while they are not playing (especially now that there is a high demand, after the release).

Meanwhile, YOU (yes, you! ;) ) can also help seeding the release. Just open any bittorrent client, open those torrents and seed them: (the first three are the most important as they are the largest)

#Edited#

Edit: removed torrents that have changed since I originally posted. Kept AiA, RHS and TFR because they are unlikely to change soon and are large enough that it makes sense for you to help us seed them.
Last edited by Stacktrace on 07 Apr 2016, 19:36, edited 3 times in total.
I talk about you with Adanteh sometimes, like:
"Adanteh, what the f***? Where the f*** does this guy get so much motivation to do this? He is really f*** professional finishing a launcher for a game he doesnt play!"
- Gunther.S

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Adanteh » 15 Oct 2015, 13:53

Really happy about this Stacktrace. Just used it to download into my Arma 3 folder with the existing mods and it updated TacBF 3.14 nicely :)

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Re: TacBF launcher and installer (Alpha version)

Postby Marko Bolneze » 15 Oct 2015, 16:35

Work good for me ! Thanks !


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