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Re: RFOR: Is LGDC really crap?

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#Wednesday 02 January 2002 19:11# Message from Christian Reiniger:
> [RFOR: Request For Other Ramblings]

Well, you asked for it. First things first - what Steve said is IMO 100% spot 
on, I'd just like to stick my 2p in in a few places....

> 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.

Internet Survival Rule #56: Online polls are about as accurate as a one eyed, 
drunk archer. I know from harsh experience that they are far too easily 
skewed by people with an axe to grind or a motive to throw the outcome, 
especially if the poll is open to non-members (at least with member-only 
posts they can't use cookie tricks and dynamic IPs to fool the repeat vote 
checking mechanisms). Some people just do it for kicks. IMO relying on an 
open poll for such a vital discussion is problematical at best.

> 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
> developer...

There's a few problems connected with this:

- - visibility. How many people are there on the mailing list, compared to the
  number of authors and teams/team members on happypenguin? And is
  happypenguin a good indicator of how many linux games there are? I'm
  working on two and neither of them are on happypenguin and won't be until
  I'm good and ready to release demos. 

- - content scope. The list description is ambiguous about this "Helping people
  new to Linux game programming.", "Generally discussing game development
  problems / ideas etc" do not really help define the subjects that are
  permitted. For example, yesterday I was having a load of gdk related
  problems but I didn't ask for help here because the problems were in one
  of the game support programs (a texture file editor) rather than in a game
  itself. I wasn't at all sure how the list members would react to me asking
  questions about texture formats, Imlib and GdkRGB widgets. I doubt I'm the  
  only person here who has run into a problem but not asked here because I
  wasn't sure if it would be taken as too off-topic. Perhaps a document
  describing in more detail just how far from pure "game developmet" the
  subject can get would encourage people to post about such problems.

- - poor integration with the website. For example, there was no mention of 
  Steve posting the keyboard issue document on the site (although that's 
  probably as much my fault as anyone's :/) Important "problem fixes" like
  that need to appear on the site and make it plain that they came from the
  mailing list - that's the only way to get osme people to join.

> * 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
> changes.

Hmm.. I would suggest something closer to Freshmeat. As Steve said, most of 
freshmeat is useless to a game developer BUT the way they do things - each 
project has a page where all the details, comments and links to the homepage 
and files are collected in one place and users can "subscribe" to projects 
they are interested in - would be a very valuable way to handle developer
resources. Of course, this would mean getting authors to actually add their 
projects to the system, or have someone do it for them, but from then on
it would be a "developer's freshmeat": and with the subscribe option 
developers with little time on their hands could flag specific libraries or 
tools they are interested in and only hear about updates to them.

This will mean that all submissions would need to be moderated - we don't 
want to have games themselves listed, just the tools and librarires needed to 
make them.

> * 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 bit redundant IMO - the short description can link to the full text 
anyway, which avoids the text storage/maintenance problem anyway.

I've probably forgotten something, but I have 4 days of holiday left and 20 
different things that need to be done before I go back to work so.. :/

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