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#1 Mike.Dailly

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 10:00 AM

A few folk have said they would like to keep access to the systems registry, where as I (and Microsoft strangley enough) have said its horrible, dangerous and should go. So I'm interested in what you actually use it for? Perhaps we can achieve this some other way...
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#2 mcoot

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 10:30 AM

I'm fine with the removal of the registry editing - personally I don't use it. And I really don't think it's a good idea to keep the sort of thing that could easily turn a newbie who is playing around with functions they don't understand's computer into a brick.
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#3 frankpiet

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 10:33 AM

I see no need for the registry if you can still access it through DLLs.

All I ever used it for is editing a few file associations for a game editor.
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#4 mcoot

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 10:36 AM

I see no need for the registry if you can still access it through DLLs.

All I ever used it for is editing a few file associations for a game editor.


Yes. That's probably the only thing I've really used the registry for, and possibly the only thing I would miss. I wouldn't mind as long as it could be accessed through a DLL.
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#5 Dark Matter

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:06 AM

I never use it. Someone will just make a DLL for it if you get rid of it, so I think there's no point keeping it.
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#6 MasterOfKings

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

I think it should go. Not for the lack of it's usefulness; mainly the fact that a new user (say, a young child) could easily ruin a computer by playing around with it. The registry is a very-sensitive area and it shouldn't be touched unless you know exactly what you're doing.

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#7 Razon

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:31 AM

I've used the registry for storing settings like resolution, and other base application settings to keep it separate for each windows user. I've also used it to store an application base directory, which made for easy updating of game files through downloaded patches. Or allowing other programs to know if and where the game or application exists, and then get it's directory.

Though besides storing an install directory, I mainly use ini files for storing information now. The built-in ini functions could use an update, to allow it to open more than 1 file at once and to allow dealing with files that are located outside of the game directory.

If someone really didn't know what they were doing, then I don't believe that they'd be able to mess up any windows registries too easily. The same functions can be accomplished with a DLL, which there already is one available for. Of course, you wouldn't want to have to use a DLL for every little thing.

If nice speed improvements will be gotten by removing extra functions like this, then many would probably be in favor of such being done.
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#8 Smarty

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:31 AM

Mike - for clarity sake, I think you mean registry access to the keys outside of the game's own key?

I think games should have no business storing stuff outside their own key, but I would certainly like to be able to have read-only access to keys outside the game's own. At least this would allow us, in specific cases, to check the system's configuration and then decide whether specific game features should be enabled or disabled.

I also wouldn't mind registry access to disappear for the game's own key, if that is to be replaced with a comparable alternative like an integrated, static variable database file. INI files work quite well but I suppose that to some users, they're a bit of a hassle compared to registry access. You'd need something anyway - highscore tables are stored in the registry by default.
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#9 Manuel777

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:42 AM

I use the registry all the time, it's the best point of access to the main sistem settings like resolutions, wallpapers and simple stuff like that. Its also a good place to store variables like your username without having to create a whole bunch of external files (game maker even creates a new sepparate folder so you dont mess it up!)
I have to agree that it is a security breach and many people can mess it up very badly with it, but if you know how to use it correctly, it's great.

If removed, i would still use dll's to gain access to it.. and that applies for anyone else who uses it, i guess.
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#10 Medusar

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:57 AM

I never use the registry; I think that especially full registry acces is the kind of functionality you normally wouldn't provide with GM by default. That's something I would expect to be only possible with DLLs because people shouldn't be needing to access the full registry. In the rare case that they do, something external seems more appropriate to me.

I never understood why GM does natively provide full access to the registry but needs external packages for proper ini and xml support.

GM natively allowing games to have access to only a limited part of the registry is fine by me, though I would personally never use it. I prefer files, though I'm not really sure why.
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#11 Dark Matter

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:10 PM

The functions could be put into a GEX instead?
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#12 paul23

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:15 PM

What's good in limiting the use of gamemaker?


Really what's the problem with having access to it? - Untill microsoft deprecates it officially, support should be kept. - Really I don't understand the good thing about purposelly cripling a program and limiting users!

Maybe in 99% of the programs written in gamemaker it isn't needed and stupid to change the registry. However, in that 1% of programs written, it still is stupid to remove it. As it just "being" there doesn't hurt anyone!
Is this a sign we're going to limit gamemaker so only minigames & uploading to yoyogames are soon only possible?
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#13 ragarnak

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:37 PM

A few folk have said they would like to keep access to the systems registry, where as I (and Microsoft strangley enough) have said its horrible, dangerous and should go.

I think Microsoft is right. That registry is a big throw-it-all-in garbage-alike bin, which is near to impossible to determine which program uses/owns which key, and thus impossible to clean. I wonder what they intend to use instead though ... :)

So I'm interested in what you actually use it for?

The usual I guess. Although I predominantly use it to read from it. Like where another program stored its data-files so I can find and access them.

Perhaps we can achieve this some other way...

I think you will have a problem there. Not being able to access the registry at all would be a pretty crude solution, removing the write-capabilities (which are way underpowered by the way) will not stop anyone from doing dangerous things like snooping on other peoples settings ...

Personally I use the old INI file if I want to store settings. Although it does not have the flexibility of the registry I like how I can easily remove all traces of a oncewhile usefull program (by deleting the executable and its (same-named) INI-file).

P.s.
I also do not see a good reason why a games high-scores should be stored in the Registry. Deleting a game using highscores always causes a "registry-leak". :whistle: :)

P.p.s
With the number of "what do you think about this" and "this is is going to be changed" things you've now presented, are you really going to put all of that into a "this is just an update" fractionally-numbered version (instead of giving it its own "Fully new" whole number) ?

Edited by ragarnak, 29 January 2011 - 01:26 PM.

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#14 gnysek

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:45 PM

The functions could be put into a GEX instead?


It's good idea. This part can be removed from GM - begginners don't need this (they can even destroy something on their own PC's by using it), and if someone really needs it, can use DLL. That's why GM can use DLL's right?
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#15 ani12321

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:52 PM

I personally have never used registry and probably will never use it but for others who use it will be good to make an extension just like windows dialogs
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#16 ani12321

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:53 PM

I personally have never used registry and probably will never use it but for others who use it will be good to make an extension just like windows dialogs
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#17 lacie

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:21 PM

I've got something I don't want people to easily copy from one computer to another. I guess DLL will be more complicated than built-in functions with permission to use. I will feel sad if they must go. :(

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#18 MasterOfKings

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

I think putting it to a dll (hence making it more challenging to use), would seem like a bad idea to people who do use it; but it would also prevent beginner users from using it too (for reasons that I've previously stated). Making them into an extension would be a good idea. If you need it, it can be added. Otherwise, what's the point in having it?

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#19 Interrobang Pie

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:11 PM

I've never used it and I never will.
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#20 Mike.Dailly

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:37 PM

So.. yes, I don't see the reason so store settings in the registry, even per user ones. Windows has specific user space for you to store settings and files, and the INI file system inside Game Maker is pretty good; needs a little work.. but it's pretty good. We store all our settings inside INI files, hiscores will be stored in there as well. Longer term I think everything will be stored in files, and not registry because we just don't see the need. The argument about deleting games and leaving stuff in the registry is also true.

I accept you might want to read the registry, but I'm not sure it's vital. Having been writing PC games for 17 years, I've only touched the registry a few times, and that's usually to set up file associations.

Speaking of which... I can also see you might want that. It might be better to have a specific functions for them, although I don't think it's vital either. You can always just load the file instead of double clicking it. But we'll definitely talk about it.

In terms of DLL access.... yes you could still do that, and there's nothing much we could do about it. As soon as you allow extensions, you have to accept this kind of thing, and that's obviously a no-no for us to remove. I would rather there was enough in Game Maker to allow what you needed, but didn't allow stuff that was too dangerous to leave there.

That said... Platform specific stuff may well (long term) be moved to extensions anyway to allow for a cleaner codebase.
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#21 Smarty

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:53 PM

In terms of DLL access.... yes you could still do that, and there's nothing much we could do about it. As soon as you allow extensions, you have to accept this kind of thing, and that's obviously a no-no for us to remove. I would rather there was enough in Game Maker to allow what you needed, but didn't allow stuff that was too dangerous to leave there.

I suppose it could go the way it's going now on mobile devices, and provide a mechanism that can inform the user upon deployment which 3rd-party libraries are being used, or that they are used at all. This is information is all the more easily provided if the games run using the instant-play plugin, or once a game is downloaded from the website. Then it's up to the user to decide if they wish to run the thing or not.

Edited by Smarty, 29 January 2011 - 03:06 PM.

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#22 ragarnak

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 03:35 PM

Speaking of which... I can also see you might want that. It might be better to have a specific functions for them, although I don't think it's vital either.

Please don't.

Newbies (or even old hands) filling my registry with their "must have" associations to their own program is bad enough, and can even be develish if it would be able to overwrite existing ones. Its quite easy to bring a computer to its knees that way.

If anything, what about a drag-and-drop event for files (by way of the filename, not the data)? That way a user could just grab any file and drop it into the game(/application). Maybe even support for dropping multiple files at the same time.
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#23 B Factory LLC

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

Newbies (or even old hands) filling my registry with their "must have" associations to their own program is bad enough, and can even be develish if it would be able to overwrite existing ones. Its quite easy to bring a computer to its knees that way.



I agree. Novice computer users tend to think they're more skilled than they truly are, which can lead to stuff like registry 'choas' happening.
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#24 Nocturne

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 04:04 PM

My opinion? Never used it, never will and I hate when GM games mess with it as itīs not necessary for them to do so...
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#25 slayer 64

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 04:32 PM

i've used the registry to check whether my game is registered for a specific computer. someone purchases my game and i set something in the registry saying it's bought. the user can't distribute the purchased game to other computers. unless they know what key and value to set in the registry =/
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#26 YellowAfterlife

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 04:49 PM

I have used rigistry functions in Game Maker only several times. Once or twice to store settings, and once to add program to startup list and remove it from there afterwards (this was a 'execute once after rebooting' thing).

If the registry support is going to be put down, INI file functions should be extended, to allow editing multiple files at once, and likely editing INI files in program's subdirectories and not only the main directory (so INI files could be placed in 'game\settings', for example).

Less related, but could a support for appending d3d models be added? I suppose that this is not hard to add in, but would allow merging static things together for faster (and simplier) rendering (so it could be either d3d_model_append(ind,ind2,x,y,z) or d3d_model_append(ind,ind2,x,y,z,rx,ry,rz), where ind2 would be the index of model to add, and r* rotation around x,y,z axis in degrees).
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#27 Andy

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 04:56 PM

I see no need for the registry if you can still access it through DLLs.

All I ever used it for is editing a few file associations for a game editor.

I think it would be safer to remove the option from Game Maker itself - as long as people can still use DLLs to tweak the registry. Giving any new comer messing with Game Maker such power is asking for trouble. Now, if Game Maker did not have the ability to be extended though DLLs, I would argue to keep the feature.
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#28 NakedPaulToast

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:21 PM

As far as I'm aware the Registry is still Microsoft's supported method of saving applications configuration data.

Getting rid of it is premature, especially given Game Maker's limited alternatives.

INI files are limited and insist the file be in the working directory. Completely unreasonable as programs should be stored in "\Program files" and data in "\Users\username\Appdata". INI files also have limitations and have been denounced by Microsoft since Windows 95.

Binary Files are also a weak alternative, incredibly slow, awkward without the data structures and GM8 has a nasty bug where one can't read 0 values.

XML seems to be the way MS is moving. XML functions could be an alternative.
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#29 Recreate

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:22 PM

I don't really see how its so dangerous when on the modern OS's the user needs to grant elevated privileges in order for registry changes to actually be made.
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#30 TheMagicNumber

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:20 PM

What's good in limiting the use of gamemaker?

GM is moving cross platform, these registry functions are Windows only. It should be an extension, if anything.
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#31 Rusky

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:46 PM

The registry itself isn't the functionality anybody wants. The registry should be removed and replaced with higher level, cross-platform APIs for:
  • persistent data
  • discovering system configuration
  • setting up file associations, etc.
Anything more specific like actually messing with the system beyond what makes sense for a game and its tools (e.g. setting the desktop wallpaper, messing with proxy settings, changing windows options) belongs in a DLL.
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#32 FredFredrickson

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:58 PM

I was one of those who said they use it - I use it for storing little bits of information about users who use my online account system so they can log in with one game, and then other games that use the system will recognize this and allow them to log in automatically. This can be done with files in a user space too though, so if it needs to go, I'm not going to be heartbroken about it. It is quite a security risk, after all! :D
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#33 ugriffin

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:25 PM

I feel it's kind of silly to remove stuff just because it's there. People use it, people enjoy it. What's the point of removing it just for the sake of it?
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#34 NakedPaulToast

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:34 PM

The problem with removing functionality that is platform specific, is that Game Maker as a whole will then only contain functionality limited to the least common denominator.

Ideally, when appropriate, platform specific functionality is nothing more than an API:
  • It runs the specific system calls on the native platform.
  • But runs runner code on non-native platforms.
Similar to how the Registry functions have been implemented on GM4Mac.

I understand removing platform specific functionality from the runner code-base to clean up the runner, but then implement it with a GEX.
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#35 Rusky

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:35 PM

Nobody wants to remove it "just for the sake of it." There's no reason to have full access to the registry when everything it's used for (legitimately) could be offered in a simpler, easier-to-use way. Easier to use, easier to maintain (code and documentation -wise) and easier to learn.

What's the point of keeping something just for the sake of it?
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#36 HaRRiKiRi

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:56 PM

The only reason I used registry functions were to get all installed fonts, so I could make my own font selection box. But GM's registry capability was too limited for this, and so I actually needed to use DLL anyway.

On a slightly related note, will GM ever have the capability to get the fonts or at least without this bug.

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#37 gnysek

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:05 PM

What's about %APPDATA% - folder in Documents And Settings - it may be usable to save some settings there rather than in registry.
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#38 BlueMoonProductions

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:40 PM

I don't see a reason why to remove it.. Because it's a security-leak-thing? We could always use DLL's..
Game Maker shouldn't be limited to it's own window. It should be a program, with all capabilities that other languages or software have. Including registry-manipulation.
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#39 GStick

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:41 PM

That said... Platform specific stuff may well (long term) be moved to extensions anyway to allow for a cleaner codebase.

I like this. It also allows things like the registry to still be supported, in a sense. This is a pretty good solution, with Mac, iPad, and Android support now available (sort of).
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#40 Rani_sputnik

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:24 PM

I feel it's kind of silly to remove stuff just because it's there... ...What's the point of removing it just for the sake of it?


Because Mike wont be removing it 'just cause it's there.'

A - If they remove it and turn it into an extension or DLL, it will be exactly the same as before but it wont be clogging up the runner and making it platform specific.
B - There is genuine security risk with using the registry. Sure beginners can't do too much cause they actually have to know what they're looking for but they can still clogg up your computer with stuff you really don't want.

The way I figure it is that it is not hard to use an extension. Hopefully it'll keep the functions out of beginners hair, but experts can still do what they like.
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#41 Mike.Dailly

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:25 PM

I still haven't really heard any convincing arguments to keep it "inside" Game Maker directly. I think what might be safer is move it to extensions, then whenever a game/application uses extensions warn the user (1st time in) that these could contain unsafe code, if the user agrees, then never ask again. However, I'm not a fan of this, as it makes Game Maker games look like a security problem in itself.

So currently, I'm still thinking there's no good use for it, providing we provide a better "settings" system; and I agree XML would work better than INI files, but INI files are "okay" for now.

As to file type association... Mmmm.. It's nice for editors, but for from essential, and I agree that making it simple is just as dangerous as the registry access itself. Games and standard apps just don't need it. Better/simpler access to the "user data" area where inside the users documents folder, would be better all round I think.

In terms of making things the lowest common denominator... yes, there's always that danger, but as Game Maker is actually well below what machines can do just now, I don't think this is currently an issue. But your right, it IS something we need to be careful of, because I hate that as well.....
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#42 Smarty

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:44 PM

I still haven't really heard any convincing arguments to keep it "inside" Game Maker directly. I think what might be safer is move it to extensions, then whenever a game/application uses extensions warn the user (1st time in) that these could contain unsafe code, if the user agrees, then never ask again.

But what argument can anyone bring up to keep it in, if you'd offer registry access through an extension as an alternative? I can see only two consequences: you'd have to bring in an extension, which isn't that big of a deal; and you'll have to be a Pro user instead of a Lite one.

If your next topic is going to be about removing execute_shell and execute_program, I don't think you need to bother asking us - just throw them out and put them in one extension with the registry access. They're on the same risk level.
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#43 True Valhalla

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:24 PM

Removal of the registry functions is a loss of GM's usefulness -- it is counterproductive, to force users to rely on a DLL if they want to alter the registry. The security flaws would still be there, whether registry functionality is provided by GM or an application extension. It's embarrassing enough having to use a DLL for online functionality and another for decent INI file management, yet alone something as seemingly simple as a registry entry.

Personally, I find the registry functions very valuable. Not only are they the strongest client side method to permanently ban a computer from accessing my online game, amongst other uses ranging from monitoring multi-account creation to simply storing data away form the users view. I use HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and several levels of the default key, in particular.

My suggestion is to patch any major security issues, but maintain the core functionality that the registry functions provide. Any major sections of the registry that would be obviously dangerous to alter could be blacklisted.

Simply, the security flaws will exist no matter what. If the functions are removed completely, registry users will be left isolated and have to resort to a DLL -- certainly not my idea of an upgraded product.

As opposed to paying for reduced functionality, I'd happily pay for patched functionality.
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#44 mcmonkey

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:44 PM

I'd gladly pay to not have random noobs deciding they know what belongs in MY registry. If the registry must be edited, I would prefer knowing that it's an expert GM user that's doing it.
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#45 Rusky

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:06 AM

If your next topic is going to be about removing execute_shell and execute_program, I don't think you need to bother asking us - just throw them out and put them in one extension with the registry access. They're on the same risk level.

They're also both on (almost) the same compatibility level. It would be nice to separate platform-specific functionality into extensions, contrary to what some people are saying.
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#46 True Valhalla

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:58 AM

I'd gladly pay to not have random noobs deciding they know what belongs in MY registry.


Like your registry is some holy place that must not be touched, right? If you're so worried, then don't play games by authors you don't trust.

If the registry must be edited, I would prefer knowing that it's an expert GM user that's doing it.


Any idiot can use a DLL. In fact, it will probably be easier to alter the registry using a DLL than it is in GM!
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#47 Chronic

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:20 AM

I would remove registry all together and add/improve other common ways to store data in a file, such as ini and xml. But with that said, i'm literate enough with computers to know that removing registry functions won't stop me from altering it if i wanted to.
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#48 ~Dannyboy~

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:24 AM

If your next topic is going to be about removing execute_shell and execute_program, I don't think you need to bother asking us - just throw them out and put them in one extension with the registry access. They're on the same risk level.

This. In fact those functions can be used to modify the registry, simply create a VBScript using the text file functions and then run it using execute_shell.
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#49 mcmonkey

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:41 AM


I'd gladly pay to not have random noobs deciding they know what belongs in MY registry.


Like your registry is some holy place that must not be touched, right? If you're so worried, then don't play games by authors you don't trust.

It's not holy, but if it gets damaged too bad it'll be expensive to repair.


If the registry must be edited, I would prefer knowing that it's an expert GM user that's doing it.

Any idiot can use a DLL. In fact, it will probably be easier to alter the registry using a DLL than it is in GM!

If said idiot has $25 and knows how to transfer it online. And still takes some learning for said idiot.. not to mention, if it's a DLL, it'll be in the folder right next to the .exe. Which means I can see it's there and decide not to play..
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#50 True Valhalla

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:40 AM



I'd gladly pay to not have random noobs deciding they know what belongs in MY registry.


Like your registry is some holy place that must not be touched, right? If you're so worried, then don't play games by authors you don't trust.

It's not holy, but if it gets damaged too bad it'll be expensive to repair.


Lol'd.



If the registry must be edited, I would prefer knowing that it's an expert GM user that's doing it.

Any idiot can use a DLL. In fact, it will probably be easier to alter the registry using a DLL than it is in GM!

If said idiot has $25 and knows how to transfer it online. And still takes some learning for said idiot.. not to mention, if it's a DLL, it'll be in the folder right next to the .exe. Which means I can see it's there and decide not to play..


The ability to buy Game Maker and use a DLL does not qualify someone as an "expert GM user"! For your information, a DLL can be renamed and included to only be extracted on game start up.

*sigh*

The point is, removing registry functionality won't make you any safer whatsoever.
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