Re: More issues with RC2
The problem with an all-volunteer project, is the volunteers
focus on what matters to them the most.
The main reason why Java was the language used is exactly the
point of this conversation, it's meant to be a cross-platform
language, without anyone focusing on the particular cultures or
patterns in different operating systems.
Regarding #3 - In order for a volunteer to focus on an OS-centric
issue requires the ability to replicate the problem, and the
knowledge or understanding to address it. When you suggested that
giving a solution to a problem was a far-fetched issue, it meant
to me you thought I wanted you to find the proper solution in our
own code base and submit a PR. Instead, I meant you seem to have a
vast knowledge of this OS-Centric world and patterns, and would
have a much easier time in pointing a developer to a
website/wiki/knowledge base article/help ticket that speaks to
this issue with a Java language bent. I wasn't asking you to fix
the problem, but at least help out the person who will come along
and try to work on it. We have Linux, Mac and Windows developers,
they need a point of reference to handle issues pertaining to
specific issues relating to OS.
I'm still in the dark about this abstract concept of the paper size. How does this setting even come into play? Are you using the direct print option, or does this happen when you create a PDF? I use a Standard US sized paper on a standard printer and with some crazy exceptions where the Header and body separated (page size limits exceeded in the body forcing a page break into the next page), have never had an issue with printing sheets using the PDF option (I like having a digital copy of all the characters on hand).
Next we have the perception - Yeah, the project could well be
circling the drain, maybe not, the number of PRs, commits, and
activity on the three main communication networks says the
community is quite active and not in a death spiral. But hey
perception is what people make of it.
Buggy software? Maybe the content is buggy, or there is a perception, but to be honest, most of the bugs reported are merely a typo, a feature that cannot be supported yet, or a misunderstanding of the rules themselves. I filter through roughly 50 issues in any given month. The volunteers normally resolve half of them through the online support, and the other half make it into an issue. Of those most are homebrew support, misunderstanding of the rules or in a few cases an actual issue we can address.
Now, in the grand scheme of the developer hours - Where should I ask my java developers to concentrate their efforts?
The Formula System is also being integrated in the talks to disconnect the UI from the code so it can be dynamic. Allowing for the code to remove the hardcoded tight coupling of d20-centric rules that have no use in systems like Starfinder, 5e, and non-d20 games.
Basically, the improvements take away a d20-focused tag system,
to a game system neutral interface to allow for intuitive content
creation, that focuses on single task input/output.
Now, consider this, if I were to actually lose program functionality on Windows OS, then that would be a higher priority for the team to focus on. That's a fundamental function - if you cannot use the product, then features are useless. When we lost the ability to create a MacOS build, we discovered they could still run the jar or sh file we included. When Linux users couldn't use the sh file, we scrambled to find a fix to the end of line issue and get that resolved.
It's not that we don't care about Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.,
but where in the big picture does a paper printing issue, and a
typo for a version number fit into the priority scale when there
is no functionality loss. Who would know that the version is
incorrect for your discovered method? Most users look at the top
of the bar and see the version displayed there, the folder it's
installed in has the correct version, so not to belittle or
downplay the report here, but there seems to be a very small niche
of users who would even discover the issue(s) brought up here.
It's a credit to you for discovering them, but if I need a
Windows-Centric professional developer to find these issues, are
they really a major/critical concern in the grand picture for the
development of PCGen?
Who are the active developers?
Kar & Bryan are mainly focused on PR reviews.
Tom is focused on leading the Formula System replacement. He is
also working on getting the nightly builds back up and running and
the web server resolved.
Eitan is focused on updating libraries, refactoring existing code and streamlining processes (He wiped out several dead libraries and a few unused files).
Javier is available to assist with the build releases and even the Windows Installer.
Andrew Wilson has been working on improving our prettyLST into
TidyLST a program written in perl. And takes a look at the
eccentric bugs I ask him to assist me with.
We have 5 new volunteers who are learning the code base, and focusing on either the UI or other areas of interest to themselves. I won't consider them officially active until they begin participating in the project - PR reviews, submit PRs, or collaborate on issues of interest to the team.
All of them have a task/project they are focused on.
That's the active developers on the programming side (Java or others).
For the content side, Regan and Gwen are my active book and bug fixing crew.ï¿½ I have a non-team contributor by the handle of net-diver who submits a few PRs a month for fixes here and there. And I typically get one-off PRs from assorted community members with a patch of the day.
I don't believe the team is dismissive of issues, but where do the issues you report fall? What effort does it take to address them? Recall you sent me quite a list about content issues. Many of which are difficult to address correctly with the existing system, but could be managed easier with the replacement formula system. I have 20 pending content bugs waiting on the new system, and a handful of open Code requests that will drop off when the formula system takes over. One of your Pathfinder Society prestige deals required knowing whether a Skill was already granted as a class skill or not, something the new system addresses. Taken into context, the formula system replacement is a huge deal, handling a lot of outstanding issues left unresolved for well over a decade in some cases.
Your concerns are not falling on deaf ears, but either they
cannot be addressed today, or they are not a high enough priority
to be addressed today.
As to attracting/retaining volunteers, well, I presume when we streamline the code base into a less imposing monolith, (Drop JEP/Old System, and all the support tags tied to those 2 systems), then we will have more participation.
But you never know why people do what they do.
As to poor reporting, submit the issue in a separate post here or
on Discord, and post the error. We can always request better error
reporting from the code team. And meanwhile, tell you how to find
and fix the error. That's why we have volunteers willing to answer
Anyways, it's late and I need rest.
On 12/15/2018 11:05 PM, markjmeans wrote: