Author Topic: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project  (Read 87543 times)

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Offline Fury

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
I don't really like to use HPC board for feature requests, because once in a while someone like Spicious comes along and implements lion's share of code needed for the feature. Not everyone who can do that stuff once in a while have SCP badge.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
HPC is meant to be a place where projects and the SCP can work closely together to make sure the SCP fulfills the project's needs and the project is aware of the SCP's features.  There's a lot of traffic in the public SCP forum and I don't think it's a suitable place for feature requests.  Generally the feature requests get buried beneath everything else, frustrating both the project and the coders.  "Once in a while" does not seem to be often enough to balance that out.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
Okay, what I think is needed is a subforum specifically for feature requests, accessible to the public (lest we forget, we have quite a few solo modders out there who have feature ideas that could be worthwhile, but who aren't members of any project). In addition, there are a number of projects that aren't hosted here, and those guy's feature requests should be treated just as seriously as those that come from the HLP projects.

I know this'll need strict moderating to keep the customary offtopicness to invade it, and I would volunteer for that.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
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Offline Angelus

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
What about a public version of that board, where non-SCP members can read but not post, to keep that clean.
Or maybe a sticky in the public SCP board, where all this could be updated on a regular basis ( weekly, 2 weeks...), and if someone wishes to comment, there's the option to start a thread.

Edit: The_E posted his suggestion before i could post mine
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 01:34:46 pm by Angelus »

 

Offline Fury

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
So far HPC has had very little to do with anything but total conversions, it doesn't live up to needs of other mods in its current form. If you ask me, it should be made publicly accessible and renamed to Feature Requests.

As for this board, it should be moved to child of SCP and renamed to Documentation & Long-term Planning.

 

Offline Iss Mneur

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
Okay, what I think is needed is a subforum specifically for feature requests, accessible to the public (lest we forget, we have quite a few solo modders out there who have feature ideas that could be worthwhile, but who aren't members of any project). In addition, there are a number of projects that aren't hosted here, and those guy's feature requests should be treated just as seriously as those that come from the HLP projects.

I know this'll need strict moderating to keep the customary offtopicness to invade it, and I would volunteer for that.
I second this. As everyone keeps reminding me when I am developing features for wxLauncher, there is more to the FreeSpace community than just HLP and its large organized MODs and TCs.

I also volunteer to keep this new Feature Requests subforum strictly on topic.
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Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
No, HPO is designed for discussions between Project leaders and SCP staff only.

Yea I guess TBP and MULTI don't count as hosted projects either because I've never heard of it. 
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Offline Spicious

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
So far HPC has had very little to do with anything but total conversions, it doesn't live up to needs of other mods in its current form. If you ask me, it should be made publicly accessible and renamed to Feature Requests.
I thought the privacy was so private mod stuff could be posted.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
Yep. That was the original idea but I also agree that most people don't seem to care about that so I'd be in favour of a better method to deal with feature requests. The Hosted Collaboration board was meant to be open to all projects but it's a PITA to maintain it and it's obvious that people like FUBAR who definitely should have access have been falling through the gaps.

The problem with more open feature requests is that the good requests tend to disappear below of a sea of less-good and fundamentally flawed ones. More access means more of those, so there does need to be some way of vetting which requests are good and adding them to some sort of database of requests so that the good ones don't get lost.


As for the future of the engine itself, I am in favour of a more open discussion of the future of the engine but so far attempts to do that have been handled spectacularly badly with numerous posts from people not qualified to actually give an opinion on what needs to be done. It's all very well to say that the general public should be allowed to post useful comments but a lot of their comments are a pointless distraction. As Goober pointed out, the community tends to have a very poor understanding of what actually needs to be done which means we waste large amounts of time discussing things like Multithreading instead of actually dealing with things that desperately need upgrading.
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
I'm all in favor of the concept of taking a hiatus of sorts so that the engine can get proper documentation under way. Seeing as the team has agreed upon this point (or seems to), that's great.

...Unfortunately, I'm not really qualified to make such commentary...

Which brings me to a new question/statement:

I do have a... seemingly unimpressive single semester of C++ under my belt. I really do love the language, but the level of coding involved in FSO is certainly over my head. What would be a proper way to better improve my skills with the language while potentially being of service to the SCP somewhere down the road?

...In other words, is there a platform/standard in place so new coders can get involved in the program or start learning the ropes of FSO?
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Offline The E

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
The usual entry route is by going through Mantis and looking at the bugs there. While it's rather hard to find the really trivial ones still left, some of them may be solvable even by novice coders. And if the fix you've submitted is bad, well, I'd say that's a learning experience right there.

Other than that, I'd suggest having a language reference nearby, and to get comfortable with running FSO with the debugger attached.

Also, the "associated" projects, like PCS2 or the wxLauncher may be glad for some help.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
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Offline Goober5000

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
So far HPC has had very little to do with anything but total conversions, it doesn't live up to needs of other mods in its current form.
That's deceptive.  Most of the mods on HLP either 1) are happy with the state of the SCP, and are busy working on their project with current features; 2) have a coder already on staff, and therefore don't need to use the board; 3) inactive.  Blue Planet is a rare exception in that it's an active project that requires new features, yet doesn't have a coder on staff; furthermore, the guy who is the project leader (Darius) leads behind the scenes.

The obvious solution is to add Battuta to the HPC forum because he interacts with the SCP to a much greater extent than Darius.  (As for Fury, he's an admin so he already has access to that forum.)


Yea I guess TBP and MULTI don't count as hosted projects either because I've never heard of it.  
Nobody added you to the Project Heads membergroup when you were made a Project Head. :doubt:  You should see it now.


The Hosted Collaboration board was meant to be open to all projects but it's a PITA to maintain it and it's obvious that people like FUBAR who definitely should have access have been falling through the gaps.
It's only a PITA because SMF's permissions system is a PITA. :p  It's only necessary to remember to a member to the Project Heads group whenever he becomes a Project Head.  This controls access to Hosted Project Support as well as Hosted Project Collaboration.  It's the same situation as remembering to add project membership as a secondary group rather than a primary group in order to avoid overriding custom titles.


Quote
The problem with more open feature requests is that the good requests tend to disappear below of a sea of less-good and fundamentally flawed ones. More access means more of those, so there does need to be some way of vetting which requests are good and adding them to some sort of database of requests so that the good ones don't get lost.
The problem with this is that it requires active organization on the part of the board moderators, and people are lazy.  It's far better to make the process self-selecting, i.e. to prioritize feature requests from hosted project senior staff.

And yes, good requests definitely get lost beneath the sea of everything else. :sigh:  For others reading the thread, this was discussed extensively when the HPC forum was first created.  And some of these issues were even discussed back when the SCP internal forum was created.  Take the "read-only" proposal for example: by the law of unintended consequences, that would only result in people complaining in the public forum about what they couldn't respond to in the "private" forum.


I would say that most of the problems on this subject can be solved immediately by expanding the definition of "Project Heads" to mean "Project Senior Staff", and by making sure the list is up-to-date.  So for people like FUBAR and Battuta, that's already been taken care of.  If anyone else is aware of a senior project member who should have access to Hosted Project Collaboration or Hosted Support and doesn't, feel free to say so and one of the admins will immediately add him.

 

Offline Fury

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
This still does not address the issue that HPC board completely leaves solo modders and projects hosted elsewhere out of the loop. They should have as much of a voice around here as hosted projects. I honestly don't see much benefit in keeping HPC board private. In my opinion there would be more benefits of having it public, despite requiring little bit more moderation.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
We can add solo project leaders and external project leaders to the membergroup if there's a solid rationale.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
That won't help them if they have no idea it exists.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
Why not do like you had it in The Padded Cell, during the brief period when that existed? Opt-in membership. Or possibly opt-in (with approval) to post, but visible to all?

 

Offline Spicious

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
If it's made entirely public, what purpose would it serve compared to the current public forum?

If feature requests are falling into obscurity, perhaps something like moderator could help.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Welcome to the Rendering Engine Overhaul Project
Because having one place where feature requests are concentrated is easier to keep track of than the SCP board, where these things may be buried.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns