Artpack "textiness" & latest releases

As I recently learned that the NEWS section of the account pages is almost never read by anyone I will try to make posts about larger (upcoming) changes here. Although that NEWS page will be the only place where almost every detail is mentioned.

One of the subject that regularly returns is how is close enough to its mission of being a ANSI/ASCII archive documenting the (ANSI.SYS) artpack legacy where also the name of the archive originates. We’ve seen much deviation in recent years and some released artwork might be somewhat related to textmode art, or even textmode art in another format but still far away from the original intent of the archive.

A while ago I’ve dropped the idea of encouraging the creation of ANSI/ASCII textmode art in (modern) artpacks uploaded to the archive by determining the the ratio of textmode art (aka textiness). This ratio could then be used to give less or more exposure to newly released packs. I have now created a proof of concept and determined that a ratio of 50% would be meeting in the the middle as this holds the middle between ‘classical’ artpacks which easily hold up to 80-90% of textmode contents as opposed to others which are in the area of 10-20% of textmode contents. It would serve as encouragement to those packs who have deviated too much from adding more ANSI/ASCII art to their packs to be fitting for the site’s purpose.

Clearly, the ratio does not prevent the hosting of any pack despite it’s contents. Packs can still be uploaded but packs with a textmode ratio below 50% will no longer be featured on the main page in the “latest releases”. Any other feature would still work.
Aside from the positive encouragement, it should also create a more clear view to the organic visitor on what the site/archive is about.

The following screenshots demonstrates how the current main page would be different:

image image

Below is a list of all artpack released in the last 12 months and their textiness percentage:

2021/fidyan-indonesia_gold_olympic_2020_winner 0/3 = 0%
2020/fidyan-teletext2020pack 0/66 = 0%
2021/blndr2021c 8/6 = 57%
2021/mist0721 23/194 = 10%
2021/break_12 23/1 = 95%
2021/laz13 19/2 = 90%
2021/mist0521 14/179 = 7%
2021/impure79 61/2 = 96%
2021/blndr2021b 7/5 = 58%
2021/mist0421 16/17 = 48%
2021/newschool-01 78/0 = 100%
2021/cph.artpack29 14/1 = 93%
2021/fire-34 92/8 = 92%
2021/mist0221 35/115 = 23%
2021/blocktronics2021valentinesdaycards 3/1 = 75%
2021/mist0121 28/174 = 13%
2021/blndr2021a 11/3 = 78%
2021/cph.artpack28 18/1 = 94%
2021/cph.artpack27.20th.anniversary.birthday 32/1 = 96%
2021/lgcy-003 40/3 = 93%
2020/mist1320 6/177 = 3%
2020/impure78 37/1 = 97%
2020/blocktronics-2021-calendar 2/1 = 66%
2020/mist1220 7/45 = 13%
2020/laz12 64/2 = 96%
2020/blocktronics-20th-century-blocks 27/2 = 93%
2020/bl5-pack1 0/3 = 0%
2020/mist1120 14/227 = 5%
2020/blndr2020b 9/4 = 69%
2020/cubism01 8/1 = 88%
2020/mist1020 15/175 = 7%
2020/mist0920 14/301 = 4%
2020/brc-pack3 7/1 = 87%
2020/impure77 26/2 = 92%
2020/mist0820 8/138 = 5%
2020/thesauna02 55/1 = 98%
2020/mist0720 23/229 = 9%
2020/blocktronics-globalblockdown 47/2 = 95%
2020/laz11 50/1 = 98%
2020/mist0620 23/151 = 13%
2020/yix-artpack01 46/2 = 95%
2020/lgcy-002 55/4 = 93%
2020/mist0520 15/226 = 6%
2020/impure76 48/2 = 96%
2020/blndr2020 19/8 = 70%
2020/2xl_crew-the_collection 11/29 = 27%
2020/blocktronics-blockmania 23/6 = 79%
2020/mist0420 21/49 = 30%
2020/mist0320 7/98 = 6%
2020/blocktr0nics30302020 39/2 = 95%
2020/mist0220 13/124 = 9%
2020/mist0120 21/94 = 18%

In addition to this ratio to appear in the spotlight, I would make the presence of a FILE_ID.DIZ/ANS and an infofile/memberlist and textmode art being released as text mandatory for all new releases. None of this applies historical artpacks (<2000), while they mostly fit the requirements, some of them predate the introduction of file archive descriptors.

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I don’t know if suppressing Mistigris artpacks (occasionally, perfectly texty ones) is going to inspire any confused artists to take up ANSI art instead of teletext, but good luck with your purity mandate.

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what if the frontpage had a netflix style view where there was a list of the latest (and all) artpacks, and a featured section on top that you filter with textiness.

Face it K-thulu, you don’t inspire people to draw ansi. The opposite could be closer to the truth.
You just curate whatever stuff is around and make a pack and expect (or demand) it to be on an outlet it’s not supposed to be on.
Go to instagram, twitter or FB with that, fine.
It’s not 16c material. (my opinion, not endorsed by anyone but myself)
It’s not about suppressing Mistigris. It’s about preserving ANSI.

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3%. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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we’ve been complaining about this issue for years. it’s nice that burps is doing something about it.

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Not my site so you do you, but imo that’s a lame and regressive idea and your reasoning also feels contradictory / inconsistent. Some thoughts:

  • If we look at artpacks made somewhere around 2000’s, there’s a lot of artpacks with tons of VGA art that definitely wouldn’t make the cut if they were released with your rules. They are not even textmode! Here’s a random example from the year 2003: Also can’t find the reference, but didn’t ice or acid at some point decide to only released VGA art?

  • My pack has 100% text score, although technically it doesn’t contain any actual text, it’s just a screen dump. So if binary is text and that’s okay, then why does it matter if the filetype is png or whatever as long as it’s textmode? What if I make a script that converts images into XBIN? Would that be fine then?

  • There’s also some ANSI released in png format like

  • using another example of enzo’s, isn’t stuff like basically pixel art because of the extended width? So your issue is not really against pixel art or art that looks different to ANSI?

  • Also wouldn’t this just make it so that if a group wants to release a pack with various file formats and to get it to show on front page they would fill it with crappy filler ANSI/ASCII just to meet the 50% treshold? Thus making the quality of the site objectively worse and wasting everybodys time?

  • If you only care about the ANSI.SYS then why are you allowing Amiga ASCII here? Or RIPScript?

  • Also isn’t bold and underline part of ANSI.SYS so where are those? What about blink? If you really want to be a purist, then shouldn’t you also ban ice colors? And extended color palettes?

I can go on forever like this, so I think my question is, what is it that you actually want to achieve? I 100% agree that ANSI art has an interesting history and it is worth preserving and studying and you are doing a great job at it, but then if it’s about the preservation of history why do you allow new submissions at all? The art is not going to stay the same and it’s never going to go back to what it was, so if you start hiding everything non-ansi, then I don’t see much future for this site or ANSI art in general. The ANSI community is so toxic anyway, so any newcomer to ANSI will surely not stay. The only people I see actively bringing in and introducing new people to this community and ansi art is mistigris and you want to punish them for what? You want to show people that nothing has happened to the art form since 2000? And you want to show people that there’s even less activity in the scene than what there is now? That does not seem like positive encouragement, what you are suggesting is the polar opposite of that.

Or have the minions of fuel corrupted your mind and soul? Or is sponsored by a secret evil ANSI entity who hates everything that has happened since 1996? If there’s something I wish you wouldn’t preserve from the BBS era, is the elitist attitude. What’s this gatekeeping for? Who benefits from it?

My suggestion #1: be clear and consistent with your message and intentions. If you want to be about preserving the history of ANSI art, then I fully support that. But if you want to have be the place where new textmode art is released, then you need to accept the fact that there will always be new ways, new tools, new ideas that don’t fit the norm. If not, then make it clear that is just for conservative ANSI art. And why half-ass the restriction anyway, why not do an outright ban if you really want to discourage “deviation”. What does hiding anything actually do?

Suggestion #2: it’s a design issue. Add a filter. That filter can be on a slider so that the user themselves can decide how much “text” content they want to see. Or add a new category to the main page. Or just redesign the mainpage completely so that we get more context from the packs than just the file_id.diz, add a more promiment button to see more of latest releases, etc. And if you are worried that organic visitors don’t know what the site is about, there’s a ton of different solutions to that and none of them involve hiding packs.

Suggestion #3: why not make opensource and help non-ansi textmode artists create their own site?

I appreciate all the hard work you’ve put into, it’s a great site. But if you want people to use the site, you have to give them a reason to come back. If you start discriminating against non-ansi art, you can definitely count me out.

As I see it is not just a museum, but also the main channel for the current day art scene. It has a huge influence on how we work as artists and with regulations like this you do steer the development of the scene. I, personally, think it’s a bad idea to regulate how the scene dynamically develops. It’s clear that the target here is Mistigris and I can’t really see why – most of the stuff in their art packs is text art, only presented in formats that can’t be displayed in anything but png files on this site.

If you want to study ye olden days you can simply just follow a link to a previous year, step back in time, and look at old artpacks. Lets continue to evolve instead of being reactionary.

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Sure artgroups dabbled into other file formats, such as ‘hirez’, which nowadays mostly look as a stamp on modern screen resolutions. I don’t see how this is an issue? Some groups have indeed dropped certain formats along the way but textmode has never been far away. When ACiD dropped specifically ANSI, they reinforced their efforts on ASCII. But then again, I myself don’t see the point in this… I never said raster images were absolutely not allowed, it’s a matter of the right balance. That balance could be set at 50%, which seems fair and totally achievable for everyone who tried to publish on this site.

This pack classifies as text because XBIN/ADF/IDF file formats are effectively text formats. an XBIN is certainly not a screen capture, it’s a memory dump of textmode video memory. Nothing keeps you from loading the modified character set stored in an XBIN into a hardware text console and using it there, just like CP437 is just a character set. Not to mention that these file formats organically grew out of the ANSI/ASCII artscene already in the early nineties, there is clear link with the community and scene.
So XBINs match the technical specifications of being text, and converting an image would technically render a “textfile”, but I’m not sure the conversion part will please a greater audience.

At a certain point in time, the presence of a working archive site such as the current incarnation of Sixteen Colors was a real issue and even when such a site was present the correct rendering of the artwork was also an issue. Artists would create artwork with very specific render settings and the site would then not respect it and render it differently than expected. When this occured, some artists tried to fix that by releasing their textmode art as PNG’s. They fixed it in a way they could but there are various reasons not to do this, especially when it comes to preservation. In the entire archive of ANSI artwork are just a handful of items published as PNG for the reasons I stated above and when the current site went live which does respect render settings and allows for error correction, no single ANSI was released as PNG. It wouldn’t be fair to take a couple exceptions and use that to turn it to a general situation.

The ANSI specification does not specify width (or length) in any way, the dimensions of a terminal are determined by the vendor. On MS-DOS systems typically 80 columns. But already in the nineties formats existed to work around the terminal limitations regarding width. I don’t see how width is a parameter in this particular dicussion. The way ‘things look’ is as far as I’m concerned not part of this discussion, I have not said anything with regards to how things should “look” and I don’t plan to either. I’m not sure I understand this point tbh.

Or the other way around? We can see the negativity in everything, but it can’t hurt trying and I prefer to (naively) think it could motivate to create packs that are more fitting for the site’s purpose. I honestly don’t think any group would use “filler” to pollute their pack just to get it uploaded on one particular site. Which artist in the slightest self-respect for his own creations would do such a thing and degrade his own work by doing something that sounds closer to trolling than to creating.

A lot of this comes with history attached to it, PC ANSI and Amiga ASCII have ‘touched’ eachother early one. Callers from one platform would dial into another and would see the art in their own character set as opposed to the character set of the text console of the other platform. This lead to PC callers seeing Amiga ASCII in a different way than it was original created and this effectively influence the way oldschool PC ASCII was created and this is interesting because those ‘PC artists’ where mostly unaware of the other systems using another character set. It’s funny evolution but still it grew organically in this scene.
But you’re right, some items created specifically on the Amiga platform are less suited for display on due to the lengthy nature of Amiga collies. With the resurgence of Ascii Arena, we’ve effectively moved historical Amiga collies from 16c to AA where they are more fitting.
RIPscrip has a tradition in this scene because it was part of the BBS era, it’s a niche but it’s part of it. Of lesser importance but the technical format of a RIPscrip is still text and it’s transmitted as such. I don’t see much difference here between the (lowrez) hirez and RIPscript and I don’t understand why it shouldn’t be on display for the same reasons.

The ANSI.SYS driver does certainly not support bold and underline text, that is incorrect. While the ANSI specification itself mentions bold/underline, the specific implementation of the ANSI.SYS does not support it at all. Blink mode is supported on, in such a case we revert to ansilove-js for the rendering, here’s an example 1991/ensiart/FLASHING.ANS (careful for your eyes).

iCE colors are technically the same things as blink mode, the difference is in the rendering. Extended palette is a valid ANSI escape code by using a vendor CSI, this is in line with the specification tbh, as opposed to implementations of some Linux terminals which have modified the original specification to allow for 24-bit color. I also think it’s noteworthy that these technical evolutions you mention originate in the womb of the ANSI/ASCII scene, it were improvements created by members of this scene, it’s an organic change.

I’m not sure why there is focus specifically on Mistigris here, they’ve managed to put out a pack lately that is almost hitting the 50% ratio, it would be a matter of 1 file in this particular case. Sounds to me that it’s a piece of cake and of no real issue to them. If this was for excluding a specific group, we could have proposed a ratio of 80% which more traditional groups are reaching with their eyes shut. We’re meeting in the middle here.

You have to know that I first coined this idea in january 2021, reactions were positive. From the corner of Mistigris specifically I received exactly 0 counter proposals. If this was not suiting them, why didn’t they come up with any ideas so far? At the time I only learned that they would start uploading to another archive site, fair enough, noone is obliged to contribute in any way.
And it also shows in this discussion thread here, we have a single short bordeline insulting reaction… noone did bother to take part in the actual discussion. But in the meantime we did see them going a spree on several social media and other chat channels putting forward deep assumptions as true stories and taking things down on to a very personal level. Is this the open and constructive scene we’re talking about? I would assume I’m not that hard to reach either. I can only assume that the objective here is not to reach a goal but to cultivate an outcast position and spin negativity while doing that… (i think that is what you meant with “toxic”?) and honestly, I feel some fatigue in this, it’s not the first time and I don’t see why I would spend my time and energy on it if they can’t bring anything useful to the discussion here where it’s held and communicate in a mature and constructive way (now and before).

And once again, I don’t see why this would affect them that much either, we’re not disallowing them host their content, nor do we prevent them to publish their art in any way it suits them. And that’s all I have to say about Mistigris in this discussion, especially if this is the way they choose to handle it without interest in the actual topic content.

I appreciate you’re taking the time to take part in this discussion and actually come up with suggestions. Reading your comments, I can’t see past the fact that a lot of our reasoning is based on history which is likely very unknown to people who are ‘late to the game’ and especially technical aspects of file formats. But for those who were part of it, this line drawn is obviously more clear. Noone to blame here, but it would be useful to learn some history here.
Textmode is not equal to text, I’ve had this discussion before and while it might be somewhat technical there is a clear difference between text as used one hardware textconsoles and text used in graphical user interfaces. The latter was obviously never a goal for archivation on 16c.

In which way is the goal of Sixteen Colors not clear? it’s even mentioned on the site, the privacy policy and as a tagline on social media. The goal is preserving ANSI/ASCII art as original created in the BBS era and release in artpack format. The artpack tradition originated in the PC (ANSI.SYS) scene. This means our primary focus is ANSI/ASCII art in these formats and any deviations that spin off from this scene. Items that organically grew withing this scene clearly have a place in it… items that are purely import, this is questionable. And I believe we have been very tolerant in this so far but if this gets severly out of balance, then it’s obvious that we have to adjust.

In no way we have ever put forward as a the home for all sort of textmode and text variations, on the contrary, as I see it the goal has always been very clear and mentioned in several places. On top of that I have difficulty to understand why people seem to think why it should be anything else. There exist a dozen of sites that accept all kind of digital art in whatever format. Why does it have to be this site where this is being released why its not serving the goals nor its audience.

There exist a multitude of sites that have similar goals as 16c and that are sticking to specific file formats or even aesthetics, yet I don’t see anyone trying to readjust their objectives or pushing those sites to publish their art. Ascii Arena will not allow anything else besides Amiga ASCII, MB21 will allow only teletext format, … and there are dozens of sites for Big5, teletext, MircART, videotex, minitel, … all text(mode) and serving their specific audience… I don’t even see the harm in that, but at the same time I don’t get why noone is uploading other formats to those sites and is uploading them on 16c, why is that? Is there any logical sense in this?
There are even 2 other ANSI/ASCII archives on the internet currently, yet I don’t see any of this content uploaded there. I really wonder why 16c is a target here.

Over the last months I’ve deleted at least half a dozen things that have no vague resemeblance with what an artpack is. The only common factor is that it was contained in a zipfile and eventually contained (raster) images. At the same time there are some clear parameters that define an artpack, the format, some of the contents and some are automatically verifiable. Of those things the file type ratio is one items, there is also the check for the presence of a file archive descriptor. Basic checks that allow us to weed out junk uploads for real artpacks and that without manual interference. Because you might not believe it but my time is short and precious, I don’t have time to manually moderate things.

On a sidenote, the first version of this ‘textiness’ check did actually contain an inspection of the color values used in PNG images in order to determine if an image was an 8-color teletext image or not. But I removed this for 2 reasons, during implementation I noticed that most if not all of these images are saved in a very lossy way, increasing the amount of color deviation, making it harder to identify them correctly. From a purely technical point of view this is annoying but it also made me feel if people aren’t serious enough about the the presentation of their creations, then why should I be? And secondly, as your suggested here, it wouldn’t be very clear towards the site’s goals as it’s not a natural deviation but an import format. So I dropped this as a valid textmode format. Note that I’ve raised the lossy saving of files multiple times to concerned packagers.

There is no doubt that organic visitors should ideally see what the site is about at first glance. Latest releases is at the top of the page to accomodate the returning visitors who usually only check this. There is no benefit here for anyone to see something that is not an artpack by any measure. Not for me, not for the visitor and not for you either. And if i can resolve the import/deviation issue at the same time, then this is killing 2 birds with 2 stone. And let that it be clear that for me this is the number 1 most heard complaint about the site, I’m adjusting here to those who bothered to voice their opinion and as a result I’ve proposed a solution and requested feedback months ago already. And quite some suggestions I’ve received go much further than just the ‘latest releases’ block on the main page.

I already made public the archive, the fully extracted/converted archive and a fully functional public API which allows access to all the data. On simple request I will also disclose a meta-data export generated by editors to anyone with a serious project. Releasing the code is not a priority to me, because I don’t see it as the core of the site and because the code is not in a shape where it’s reusable by others, it was never the intent either. On top of that, coders always have a preference for a language or a framework and the chance that it would fit anyone else is almost non-existent. It showed at the time where we were looking for a joint effort between all parties somewhere in 2018, there were no goals being discussed, in stead it was about technologies while I seem to think technology should serve the goal and not the other way around.
But every building block to build a new site is present and available, anyone who wants to put in the effort can do so. And that does not only count for a full archivation site, groups could also extend their own website to put things on display, I don’t see much difference between that and hosting on 16c, if they want to put in the effort of course. And to be clear, my interest was to host and develop an archive for a specific medium. The expansion or import was envisaged by others, I will take the blame for having been too tolerant.

Everything together, I’m seeing a lot of fuzz for practically nothing. We’re talking about a handful of “packs” uploaded by people who never bothered to even read the instructions, rules and hints before pressing upload. How would the community not benefit from preventing those who deliberately ignore a site’s policy to upload junk items to actually publish their material. And at the same time, fix a long standing issue whereas the effect is only really in the ‘latest releases’ part of the website and meanwhile avoiding undesirable deviation for this particular site. I find the whole purist/gatekeeper mantra nonsense, we’re not preventing anyone here to do anything. This is just a single site with a specific purpose and it’s only logical that it’s used in the way it is intended.

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Thanks for the lengthy and detailed reply! I don’t have much to add or comment on because I think you were pretty exhaustive in your reasoning which I understand & appreciate. Although regarding toxicity I meant super nasty misogynistic/homo/trans-phobic stuff spewed by some sceners, but that’s offtopic regarding this thread.

It would actually be nice to read more about almost everything you mentioned regarding different technical aspects & evolutions and how certain styles (like PC ASCII being influenced by calling Amiga boards) developed etc. I am too young to have been part of the BBS era and the og art scene myself so I don’t have the knowledge you and many others here have, but I’ve done my best researching and reading about it and there are still many many things shrouded in mystery that I suspect nobody has thought of writing down or then they are just scattered around in obscure places impossible to find. Maybe I’ll come back at some point with questions in another thread.

As a relative newcomer to the ascii scene, there definitely is a lot of exclusivity and gatekeeping (in the community, not specifically on this site) because I’ve seen it myself firsthand many times. And even though there are various sites for various different textmode styles, there really isn’t one for people who are interested in textmode more generally as a method for creating art, not solely for the technical (or historical) aspects of the art. It’s a really fun hobby and there’s so much potential in textmode style art / text art in general that I think in that has been the next best thing filling that void, although misplaced. But there definitely seems to be a need for one, so I guess it’s time to build one.

I’m going to say what the ansi scene gatekeepers think of this rule without the balanced approach of Burps. Let’s do this. It’s long overdue and quite frankly the percentage text could be greater than 50% text and that’d be just fine.

We all like to think art is art and you accept that some art is bad and some is good but all belongs in a museum equally. But that isn’t what happens in the physical world and I’m not sure why that expectation was ever reached here on 16c. The site states clearly it’s for text-mode art and for-fucks-sake the name is 16c implying anything other than 16 colors is by nature not the intention of the site. That the site broadens its mandate to all text-mode should already be seen as less gatekeeper and more accepting but that’s not enough is it?

The fact is the vast majority of Mistigris art is awful to behold, lacking direction, talent, taste, or skill. I’m genuinely shocked if I can find a redeeming piece in each pack worth the time it took to click it. Too many pieces I look at I think, “Man if they had just taken more time and worked on this and refined it and not rushed to deliver it we might have something great to look at here.” That’s not what we see, though. If Mist was putting up packs with truly high quality art from a variety of mediums Cthulu would be worshiped instead of reviled, the modern Radman. That’s not what we have here. And too many pretend it’s otherwise.

Why come into this site and pretend you represent our values when you clearly spit on them? Why fight every step of the way and pretend you are jilted/spurned because you don’t want to adhere to what makes this medium awesome? You have places on the Internet for your art. DeviantArt specifically exists just for this reason. Accept you don’t make text-mode art and leave or start making text-mode art and I’ll be there to help you just as others were to help me.


I’d like to thank burps for everything he’s done for 16c, it was no longer functional until he took the reigns and brought life into this site. He’s always been transparent about his intentions, ideas and future outlook for this site. It’s called 16c… it’s a site dedicated to Ansi/Ascii art, and always has been. WE are the priority here. Whilst i will congratulate cthulu on his achievements with mistigris, i must also note that his group is minimal when it comes to contributing ansi/ascii. Maybe focus more on ansi/ascii and you’ll be on the front page.

take care.

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avg, dude: Mist has enriched the database by over a hundred like-them-or-not, uncontestable pieces of ANSI art so far this year. If we were to continue at this pace (I hear we’ve been generously juiced with some new motivation!), unless the rest of you slackers get back to work, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us end 2021 as 16c’s number one most-prolific ANSI-contributing crew to 16c for the year (… which would no doubt take everyone here by surprise once they stop seeing the announcement of new releases.) If you don’t like our ANSIs, that’s absolutely a fair judgment, and if you don’t like the other material in our artpacks, that’s something else, and of course if you’re not bothering to look in recent packs then perhaps you really shouldn’t be speaking to the subject, but if you tell me that my crew is minimal when it comes to contributing ANSI, I have to do some simple arithmetic and ask you to take it back. (If you mean that little of the ANSI that we make stands among the works of the titans of the medium, I can’t really argue that point, but it isn’t an algorithmic quality metric that’s being debated here.)

Proportionally ANSI is a small part of what we do, but we’re definitely minting our share of it – probably this year more than ever, after a concentrated and focused effort to boost its production. That’s part of why the specific timing of this announcement is so very disappointing.

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Cthulu: If you’re hellbent on getting Mistigris’ uncontestable pieces of ANSI art published on 16c, why don’t you release 2 seperate packs then? It’s been done in the past by other groups. A Mistigris Ansi/Ascii division and another ‘general’ Mistigris release?

Just a suggestion.

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Heya mate, I’m not knocking your artpacks at all, if anything i welcome them. i’ve been a fan of mistigris and applaud what work you are doing, you have been carrying somewhat of the scene with your packs. Every time i look at your packs i always skim through to find the ansi works, the other stuff doesn’t interest me, not that it’s bad, its probably far from bad, but it’s just not for me… You probably will be the most contributing ansi group this year for sure, it does get tiring when you’ve been drawing ansi and releasing packs since 2000. Blocktronics needs a much deserved break. I will stand by my words of you doing minimal ansi in your packs. the % of ansi compared to the rest of your art in every pack is always low. But as i said mate, this is an ansi/ascii site primarily, just get the boys to release more ansi/ascii, or maybe even drop some of the stuff you put in packs to make the ratio more ansi/ascii? i dunno mate… just a suggestion.

When making assertions you rarely provide facts or figures for them so now that you do provide a number, I need to put it into the right perspective. Below are the releases in this year with their text and other items:

group text other
mistigris 102 501
blocktronics 95 9
impure 61 2
legacy 40 3
break 23 1
lazarus 19 2

So, yes Mistigris has released a little over 100 pieces of texty art this year. Other groups needed less packs to get to a similar number of text art, on the opposite side however, mist released a whopping 501 ‘other’ items which is the large puddle of quantity where the this texty art sinks in to almost never surface. It takes an experienced visitor interested in ANSI/ASCII art to filter out the interesting items out of such a Mistigris pack. So is it really surprising that barely anyone noticed this year’s quantity? And this is exactly where the balance issue comes into play, mist packs are obsessive in quantity and it makes them hard to digest for a visitor with any interest whatsoever.

Far too many times I’ve heard this “artpack vs. ansipack” argument: historically artpacks would contain much more besides ANSI/ASCII art. And yes, other formats live in artpacks, but it’s importance of presence are usually greatly exaggerated for you to be proven right. And conveniently, no numbers were ever provided for this. So here is a graph which indicates the file type content in artpacks by file count.


Image formats (GIF/JPG/PNG) found their way into artpacks early on, in the nineties the content of these images would be very similar to ANSI/ASCII contents, BBS/group/site advertisements, in any case scene related images. In the years after 2000 displaying the text formats became an issue because less viewers were availabe for the operating systems in use at the time. It lead to artgroups releasing their art in the original textformat along with an image version to make displaying easier in image viewers and browsers. Namely iCE released duplicate formats and also all text entries of ACiD 100 (duplicated hidden in default view) were released in both formats. This practice carried on in 2006-2012 (aka the dark ages of ANSI art), even though not much text art was released in this era, you’ll find NFO release groups releasing their ASCII in inverted ‘notepad’ images for example. Starting from 2017 we see for the first time in history images completely outnumbering text art and it only increased in share till today.

There’s no point in denying this scene has always primarily consisted of ANSI/ASCII text art and the share of other formats has always been minimal compared to that. In second place are images, but they have not always served the same purpose.

The difference with images released in the last 5 years and those in the early years is that the contents are using “hirez” specifically as a medium. In the last few years image formats were introduced as a transport for other types of art that had no natural or even technical way of being displayed correctly on the web ANSI/ASCII gallery sites that exist(ed). A minimal amount of images created in the last years were deliberately created in “hirez” as a medium, it was mostly used as a container for importing other types of art, out of necessity for “web display”. On top of that in this scene artists would actively submit content to their group’s releases, the practice of importing non-actively contributed (scraped) content corresponds greatly with those last few years of increased image shares in artpacks.

The share this “import art” has been taken in the last few years is not just a deviation or watering down the original cause, it’s entirely taking it over, especially in terms of quantity. Thus asserting artpacks have always been like this is very much being creative with the truth.

You haven’t been entirely honest with “your crew”, you cultivate the “it’s them against us” doctrine towards them and frame the scene as nasty gatekeepers and purists who are trying to eridicate you. Why trying to be part of something you’re rejecting so much? I can’t help but see that causing controversy is a goal here.

I believe the above shows that this scene has been more than tolerant in these last few years. In fact, in quantities it moved a lot more in your direction as you moved into their direction. And this bring me right back to the original topic here, you were part of the original discussion in january 2021 where the idea for “textiness ratio” was coined, you’ve provided exactly 0 counter proposals and shot down every single idea, and once again used it to spin more controversy. But now you’re suddenly acting all “surprised” or even tell “your crew” that if you had seen this coming on the horizon you would certainly have put in counter proposals. Again, being very creative with the truth here.

It also shows in the way how you are cherrypicking the items to reply to in this thread and ignoring the actual arguments/questions/suggestions standing as an elephant in the corner of room. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mistigris contributors having another or broader interest in text(mode) and among the mist avalanches we’ve seen some great work from them, but the fact that they believe(d) the artpack dogma and the self induced outcast aura is entirely on your account.

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I have to apologise to avg, I had been reading ak’s message before writing that reply and I had gotten all riled up. (This historical moment really has had a way of inspiring five years’ worth of criticisms of Mist – mostly, I think, dealt with and moved on from – to emerge from the woodwork and all converge on me simultaneously, which has felt a little overwhelming.) Every time one of these conflicts emerges my brain is on fire for a couple of days before I can see clearly.

Burps has the numbers (in many cases, he is literally the only one who has those particular numbers), and he uses them to good effect to support his arguments. My dude, your unflappable demeanor in the face of my periodic meltdowns is admirable. Your arguments are consistently very sound, they’re just irritatingly inconvenient to me. It’s doubly impressive given that with the clout of your status at the gallery, you aren’t required to back up your positions with data and are at liberty to simply implement them. I appreciate that (unlike some parties) you don’t come across as simply having it in for us, you simply have a vision for the site’s mandate, you know what you want most effectively representing that mandate, and you have correctly identified that the contents of Mist packs will not, for various reasons, be effectively representing that mandate anytime soon. You have even left us a pathway out of invisibility, if we choose to follow it. So no hard feelings. (The rest of the haters, conversely, are welcome to go Google what you can go do to a rolling donut.)

Please, however, find a way to fine-tune your artpack display algorithm so that the hypothetical next Galza artpack is not thrown under the bus for our sake.

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First off, apologies if this has already been mentioned - I’ve skimmed through the thread but I haven’t fully read everything.

I think the 50% ratio is a fair compromise, and I agree with the sentiment that 16c is mainly about preserving ANSI/ASCII art, though general scene material also plays a major role in it.

My suggestion is as follows;
Keep the 50% filter ratio, but add a section somewhere for “other content” that didn’t cut it for the ratio. It would present a clear separation between the two, rather than just “censoring” (for the lack of a better word) certain artpacks. This would encourage textmode packs, but without penalizing other packs as harshly.

I’ve made a quick mockup that shows what it could look like. For an actual implementation I think that there should be some graphical changes that distinguish it more clearly as a separate category, and it should probably also be positioned further down the page. That said, hopefully my screenshot helps to get a basic idea of what I had in mind.


To add to this, the “other releases” section does not even have to be on the main page. In the interest of fairness, it should probably be somewhere on the main page, even if that happens to be at the very bottom of the page… but I digress. What really matters is that there is a clear separation between textmode and other packs, and that it is easy to find both - exactly how it’s separated is of a lesser importance.

I would disagree, the 16c artpack archive is available at (8.6 GB) and the fully extracted/converted archive at (31 GB). Anyone willing to download and dive into it has as much information as I do.

It’s hypothetical indeed that a new Galza pack would surface as it has been more than 2 years. It’s also hypothetical that they would bother to upload such a pack to 16c as they didn’t bother to do that with their last (PETSCII) packs, they were uploaded by others. And just in case it would happen, personally I think such a pack not being featured on the main page would match the intention of the mechanism. I don’t know of a C64 site accepting ANSI/ASCII art, yet storing such a pack for the legacy and documenting of Galza’s history which clearly started off with ASCII is totally fine imho.

Furthermore, there would be more groups/packs (rightfully) affected by this mechanism: the raw teletext packs, the ‘mysterious’ bl5 pack which stored everything in PNG and even Mistergirls wouldn’t have made it to the front page.

On the subject of scoring in textiness I’ve seen some comments about mist0421 that it looks at first glance very texty but scored ‘only’ 48%. It’s matter of 1 single file more (or less) that would have pushed it over the limit. I’m surprised about those comments, because we had this conversation already when the first version of this pack was staged. Half of the pack are contributions by littlebitspace who uses text and not textmode graphics and his contributions are thus not recognized as textmode ANSI/ASCII art and this is correct.
Again as a couple of times before in this thread, some history should be known to fully understand this, new artists dive into what they find interesting and explore further but that doesn’t make it necessarily fit into a retro textmode artpack. Does that mean he’s not allowed to do that? By all means no. He should do whatever floats his boat but you can’t expect it to be recognized as a technical format that it’s actually not.

Text is not textmode: textmode is a way to display characters which is directly supported by the display adapter. You have to imagine this is a raster of columns and rows and the display adapter directly writes characters from a map of characters (a characterset) to the display. Such textmode console were mostly in use in early personal computers and they were mostly a cost saver (very little memory use) and fast, they didn’t need to store every single pixel of the screen in memory. It would also allow you to show output before a real operating system was loaded. The most common character set on IBM PC’s is codepage 437, variations of this western codepage existed to support localized characters as an (extended) codepage is limited to just 256 characters.

Depending on the platform textmode often has specific characteristics, an example on IBM-PC is the letter spacing which is spacing introduced in between these characters directly by the display adapter and it would even behave differently based on which character being displayed. But it’s responsible for the typical spacing in ANSI shadeblocks.
You likely need to have a certain age to have experienced real textmode on a personal computer. Windows did still support it by going full screen when pressing alt-enter on a command prompt and handing it over to the display adapter till Windows Vista iirc. Linux being using using a framebuffer device to achieve a higher resolution for the text console (and a penguin per CPU at bootup) :slight_smile:

The contributions in mist0421 by littlebitspace are PNG images of terminal output in Linux using the Ubunto mono font. this however is conceived in a terminal window that is part of graphical user interface (comparable to command prompt in Windows) and not in textmode console or an editor simulating a textmode console. A font in a graphical user interface are glyphs that are basically vector images. They have many advantages over a characterset like gracious scaling and a limitles amount of characters/glyphs. They don’t compare to a textmode characterset which are very limited, especially in this scene artists are often attracted to the limits of the medium. Despite possible visual resemblance in some cases fonts and charactersets are very technically different.

It’s very reasonable for a creator to be desiring his works to be perceived in the same way they were conceived, but the fact that it’s not possible to store them in a text format already indicates that they are in essence different. And to be clear, none of this was ever about the aesthetics. Next to what lbs is doing, there are many other visually pleasing things we would never put into the archive just because of the goal of the archive, yet we do store quite some less visually pleasing things just because of the format they are creating it. It fits the goal or provide context or show evolution for a style, group or artist. Those things are related.