Articles & Guides / General / Website and Code Contribution Guide

Kenneth "Shrimp" Watson
Guide to contributing code and updates to the Unreal Archive website and content indexer

Unreal Archive Contribution Guide

This document describes some of the ways you can help contributing code, features, fixes and updates to the Unreal Archive website generation and content indexing and management.

The Unreal Archive is a completely open source toolset, and as such, contributions and welcomed and encouraged.

To begin, fork and clone the Git Repository.

After making changes, create a pull request from your fork to the repository linked above. Please refer to GitHub help if you haven't done this before, it's really quite quick and easy once you get to know the process.

Refer to the project's README document for development prerequisites.

Quick Wins

Category / Gametype Images

All category/gametype images are 1024 x 300 px .png images.

Images for categories on the home page are stored in:

./resources/src/net/shrimpworks/unrea/archive/www/static/images/contents/. These are then referenced by the index.html file located in the root of the ./resources/src/.../www directory.

Images for gametypes are stored in the following path:

./resources/src/net/shrimpworks/unrea/archive/www/static/images/gametypes. You'll see there's a directory for each game under there, and a .png image file named after each gametype. The game directory and gametype image are named exactly as they appear in the website, spaces and all.

To see the changes, you'll need to rebuild the website content on your PC, which can be done with the following commands in Bash or your favourite shell, within the project root directory:

# build the project
$ ant
# rebuild website
$ ./dist/unreal-archive www /path/to/output --content-path=./unreal-archive-data --store=NOP

You can then open /path/to/output/index.html in a browser to see the changes.

Slightly More Interesting

Website and CSS

If you'd like to suggest some changes or optimisations to the web page layouts themselves, you'll find HTML templates located in ./resources/src/net/shrimpworks/unrea/archive/www/[content|docs|managed]/.

These are Freemarker templates, and are pretty much nothing but plain old HTML with some fancy template functionality added on top. These templates compiled and used to build the website pages when running the www command.

The website may also be restyled using the CSS located in the ./resources/src/.../www/static/css directory. This is plain old CSS, and is not processed as LESS or SASS or anything else.

To test changes to output layout or styling, the website must be rebuild as per the command listing above.

The Real Fun

Indexing and Content Classification

If you're familiar with Java, some of the more interesting work to be done is in the content indexing process. You'll find all the code for content classification, data types, the indexing process and individual content type metadata extraction within the net.shrimpworks.unreal.archive.content package within the src directory.

There are certainly improvements which can be made to things like author or release date detection. Any improvements are welcome.

Unreal Package Library

The content indexing process makes use of the unreal-package-lib project to inspect and extract the contents of Unreal Engine 1 and 2 packages.

There are still a couple of outstanding things which need doing (as of this writing, improve texture export for some texture formats, support for non-ASCII strings, array properties), and contributions are welcomed. Improvements to this library result in better quality indexing and metadata.

Multi-platform Support

Currently the project has only been tested on Linux, the unreal-archive executable will work on Linux and Mac systems, though unreal-archive-exec.jar should work on Windows, it's not cool to have to invoke it with java -jar unreal-archive-exec.jar <stuff> - assuming this works on Windows at all.

General Stuff

Any code improvements are welcome, even just change suggestions.