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  A little rant  (Read 1339 times)
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kul_th_las
Guest
« Posted 2004-06-25 23:13:53 »

Ok people. This is about you!

Open sourcing your projects does not make them more likely to succeed. Large and/or long-term projects require consistent leadership, and a core group of people who love to work on it.

Sourceforge should not be a dumping ground for your abandonned projects. Many times I've read something to the effect, "Hey, I don't have very much time to work on 'x' project anymore, but since the community seemed to be interested in it, I figured I'd open-source it and see if anyone wanted to pick up where I left off". News-flash, buddy! No one wants to wade through your code and liklely poor documentation to try to figure out what the hell you were thinking, for weeks on end, and then try to "pick up where you left off". If you don't even care enough about your project to continue it, what makes you think that anyone else is even going to give it a second glance?

Furthermore, writing an online journal and making your project public in other ways does not increase the likelihood that your project will succeed, because the power to finish something comes from a personal drive to complete the job, and no amount of publicity, nor an infinite number of fan emails will make you finish it if you don't already have the ability to finish the job.

Don't give me your pathetic excuses about how busy you are - we're all very busy people, and yet we all love programming and seem to find a way to fit it into our lives nonetheless. Scale your games back to a managable size if you have to, but don't tell me that you don't have time. Don't tell me that you're dropping the idea because of a lack of interest - either you personally want to complete the game, or you decide to give up - your gaming project depends entirely on you, especially as an independant developer, which many of us (the community) are.

And that's all I have to say about that.
Offline Chman

Junior Member




Nothing more that... Java games are cool !


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-06-25 23:19:44 »

Simply perfect.

Nothing to add.

Chman
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 85
Projects: 25


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-06-26 08:36:19 »

Very apt, very judgemental, and very inappropriate.

I can't count the number of times I've wanted to understand a topic, picked up a piece of opensource software (abandoned or not) and learnt plenty from their code.

While I agree that sourceforce has become a dumping ground for abandoned software this is more a problem with sourceforge (i.e. they don't prune non active projects) rather than with the sentiment of the developers giving away what essentially is their time (whether they continue to do it or not).

As you say we're all busy people, and the last thing we need is for people to start becoming afraid of releasing their source//project because they might not be able to support it fully. It might be nice if the community started to actually get invovled rather than just expecting to use the projects that are given away so willingly and more to the point expecting to both get the code, documentation and support for free.

As you've put in the title this is a rant, a personal one by someone who has obviously just recently been effected by alot of abandoned/useless projects (and it does appear to have been pretty painful). This isn't to say that there arn't many people out there (including myself) that have benefited from "dead" projects and more to the point got of their arses and got involved with bringing useful code back from the dead.

Quote

Furthermore, writing an online journal and making your project public in other ways does not increase the likelihood that your project will succeed, because the power to finish something comes from a personal drive to complete the job, and no amount of publicity, nor an infinite number of fan emails will make you finish it if you don't already have the ability to finish the job.


I don't agree with this at all. Different people, different resoponse. For me I very rarely intend to finish a game, its all about the learning experience. For you its all about personal drive. For other its about ego and community respect. For many its about money. For others still its about not being bored when ill at home. The point being that differemt people are driven by different things. It is true to say that if you don't have the ability you won't finish the job, but its not fair to critisise the way that people keep themselves motivated.

As to online journals, its fair to say that writing a journal about the development of your project _can_ get a community started. Which when you run out of time. enthusiasm or ability can be very useful. I.e. an interested community can/will help out. However, yet again this comes down to getting the community to get involved which seems to be blood from a stone.

EDIT: looking back across this its probably an equally personal rant, feel free to ignore it.

Kev

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 284
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-06-26 10:17:40 »

Perhaps the problem mostly comes from a case of mistaken identity - "open source" as in, say, SPGL, which is just me letting everyone look at the source of my games, or "open source" as in, f'rexample, JOSRTS, which is just a bunch of people getting together on a collaborative project.

Cas Smiley

Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-06-26 13:48:57 »

Nice rant.  You see it all the time, people reinventing the wheel then discovering "oh, this really is hard" and abandoning the project.  Thats one reason I've thought of trying to  find a nice, mature opensource project i'm interested in and start contributing to help it reach that 'polished' state.

As someone who recently started a sourceforge project I have to say my motivation was quiet different.  I know my app is completely useless and no one in their right mind will want to use it.   The main reason I put it on sourceforge was to get free hosting with php/mysql so I can get some web developement experience with out paying for it Grin

As far as keeping a dev diary, I found it to be a great motivator because I would want to have progress to post.

Sourceforge does have one built in the mechanism to keep trash off; the lack of documentation for the site and obtuse interface.  I know at least one person (a windows user) who wanted to post their semi-complete, not-very-useful tile map editor on there and failed due to the lack of step by step instructions.
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 85
Projects: 25


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-06-26 13:53:29 »

Quote

Sourceforge does have one built in the mechanism to keep trash off; the lack of documentation for the site and obtuse interface


I love this concept!  Grin Quality control via instruction obvusucation! Neat! Smiley

Kev

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