I like to put in a bit of tinkering time on the IF Archive over the winter holiday. Last year it was Cloudflare and index improvements. This year, we’ve launched a new feature: metadata!

I know metadata isn’t exciting to everybody. But as it happens, the IF world has collected a lot of it. If you visit IFDB, you’ll see all sorts of data associated with every game: author names, publication dates, language, dev system, and so on. Also a link to the IF Archive, for games that are stored there.

This is great for browsing IFDB, but the links were all one-way. If you had an Archive link — or if you were browsing through an Archive directory — you’d just see title, author, and maybe a version number. No link to the IFDB entry…

Until now. Take a look at https://ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archive/games/zcode/, for example. You’ll see that most of the game entries now have an “IFDB entry” link. This closes the loop between IFDB and the Archive.

This doesn’t just apply to playable game files, by the way. In the solutions directory, walkthroughs have an IFDB entry link to the game they describe. Same goes for source code packages in the games/source directory.

Of course, there’s a lot of work left to do. I said most of the games had IFDB entry links. I extracted these links from an IFDB dump. But for various reasons that didn’t give us complete coverage. Over the coming months we’ll be adding more links.

I also hope to import more of IFDB’s data and make it directly visible on the Archive index pages. That way, the crowdsourced efforts that support IFDB will benefit both sites.

We have other Archive improvements planned, but we’ll talk about those when they’re closer to fruition. Until then, enjoy our spicy metadata references.

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