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RFOR: Is LGDC really crap?

[RFOR: Request For Other Ramblings]

Looking at the (still current) poll makes me think a bit...
35 out of 167 votes are on the "LGDC is crap" option, and while I'm sure 
that shouldn't be taken too serious (such an option is just too tempting 
:), this number is nevertheless a bit disturbing.

So - is it really that bad? What is missing, what needs to be improved, 
what would be nice to have?

Here are my current thoughts on that matter. Perhaps these can serve as 
starting point for a little discussion:

What's bad

* The site content is almost static currently - no new news items, no new 
articles, no new/updated links. I know that's my duty but, well, I simply 
won't ever do this as much as I should. By a far shot. These tasks simply 
aren't something I enjoy, and since I work on lgdc in my spare time I'll 
concentrate on the "fun" stuff. And of course there's the thing that I 
never ever developed a game :)

* The poll clearly lists the mailing list as the least valuable part of 
lgdc (14 votes, with the others at 35, 38, 39 and 41), and the mailing 
list traffic also indicates that. There's a group of 10-15 people who 
know each other (partly got to know each other via lgdc, granted) and 
post to the list from time to time, but that's about it. So lgdc's 
original goal of building a (and serving as common "communication 
platform" for) a Linux game development community has not been reached. 
Not even remotely.
I don't think I can do much about that. As I said before I'm no game 

What could be done (from my side)

Note: basically all points listed here concentrate on the *platform*, the 
code driving the lgdc site, the tool I provide for you. That's what I can 
do, that's what I enjoy doing.

* I have some plans to allow everyone (well, everyone with a valid site 
account) to post, edit and delete news and resources. Of course all 
changes only take effect after someone trusted has reviewed them, but it 
allows everyone spotting an error, a missing thing etc to simply "fix it 
on the spot" (using the nice web forms that are currently reserved for 
maintainers) and it simplifies the maintainer(s'|'s) job of handling such 

* I think it would be useful to have (optional) "verbose" descriptions 
for news items and resources - just have a look at these CrystalSpace 
announcements :)
This is a low-priority thing on my list for several reasons though:
  - Verbose descriptions mean even more text to be maintained (especially 
for resources). So until there's someone (or somemoreones) really 
spending time on writing that stuff and keeping it up-to-date it simply 
doesn't make sense
  - It's not a trivial addition but requires some changes in the code 
that very much overlap with some cleanup I've planned for sometime later

What I would like others to do (and other stuff)

Well, I don't really know. It would be nice if a big, friendly and active 
community could grow around lgdc, if the mailing list would have 
(non-noise) traffic worth mentioning, if our (admittedly way 
underadvertized) irc channel (#lgdc on irc.openprojects.net) wouldn't 
have to be held open by bots etc. But I don't see that happening and I 
don't think I can do anything about that.

Side note: The poll lists the resources section *after* articles. IMHO 
resources are *more* important than local articles, simply because it's 
much easier to link to many good articles than to write many good 
articles anew (and the ones we have are a bit dated..). Perhaps the 
situation would be a bit different if there were a big community with 
several good writer-gamedevelopers around lgdc - and even then it's much 
easier (and better) to link to e.g. Steve Baker's ramblings 
(http://www.sjbaker.org/steve/omniv/index.html) than to convince him to 
write them on lgdc ;)

Christian Reiniger
LGDC Webmaster (http://lgdc.sunsite.dk/)

"These are the people who proudly call themselves "hackers" --
not as the term is now abused by journalists to mean a computer
criminal, but in its true and original sense of an enthusiast,
an artist, a tinkerer, a problem solver, an expert."