A couple of weeks late, but here's finally the promised review of this version:
Consistent formspecs coordinates:
Thanks! This is a much awaited and needed update. I also noticed the introduction of formspec_version, but the docs don't specify which versions currently exist or what exactly the relevant differences are.
Excited, I immediately tried to switch one of my mods to the new coordinate system only to notice that it's actually not trivial at all. According to the docs, I have to change ALL the coordinates by hand. So simply slapping a formspec_version will break everything. The docs even say I have to do everything from scratch. OMG! At least the docs write down the exact formulas to convert but, oh boy, ooff, this is a ton of work! That's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm afraid you are going to have to support version 1 till the end of time. :P
But given that I have all the numbers available, I could write a script to autogenerate version 2 formspecs from version 1 formspecs. :)
Also, the inventory slot coordinates seem to have gone completely, although those was what (I believe) the majority of all formspec elements were using. I actually found this system quite useful because I did not
have to bother about paddings and such.
In version 2 this is all taken away from me and I have to handle it manually … I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing as I haven't tried it out yet. The amount of work to convert old formspecs is too boring.
I will try out the new system when I need to create a brand-new formspec.
Well, to be honest, I find this feature to be not of much use for now. The only thing that can be colorized are normal text buttons. Everything else, that is, image buttons, scrollbars, text fields, etc. can not be colorized yet. There are other styling features available, but they are all very esoteric like clipping. It's not bad to have, but to be honest, I never needed noclip for any of my formspec in my countless mods. Definitely very esoteric feature. Anyway, with only one formspec colorizable, I will likely not use formspec theming in my mods and games. It looks weird if text buttons are colorized, but image buttons aren't.
This is undoubtedly very useful, but not tested yet. I definitely must try out this feature and use it in my games. I just keep forgettng about it …
Cool that carpathian includes rivers, too. But they are actually river channels like in v7. Very similar. The flag should have been called “ridges” for consistency. But oh well, I'm afraid it's too late now.
/help opens formspec
The new behaviour of /help is that a window pops up when you use it. It certainly looks nice and bling-bling, but I still think it's conceptually flawed. The only way to open the help is by typing, but you are forced to use the mouse to use the formspec. The arrow keys don't work after opening the formspec. That's slightly inconvenient. I noticed that when you doubleclick a command, it appears in chat. Okay … but why? What's the use of this? Especially since the chat only displays the command name and syntax, but not the help text, which is weirdly inconsistent.
I mean, the formspec is not bad, but being unable to use the keyboard is dumb since the only way to open this thing is by typing
. Maybe this is a bug.
Item entities are now being forced out of solid nodes. I did the basework for this, but sfan5 changed it. Still, I am quite happy with how the end result turned out.
Rename "private messages" to "direct messages" (Calinou)
This is definitely a reasonable change, as these messages are not really private. Today I have updated the wiki pages as well to reflect that.
Automatically enable depending mods in the dialogue
That's very helpful.
But overall, I still think the dependency management usability still needs improvement. For example, the GUI doesn't warn you when a mod is missing hard dependencies. Or that mods in the dependency lists are not colored and cannot be double-clicked to enable.
All settings: Fix missing flags checkboxes
Ahh, this is definitely much better now. The old weird system with 2 checkboxes for both the “on” and “off” state for each flag was really confusing. Now it's only one checkbox for each flag, exactly how it should be.
Group "immortal" also protects players from damage (Wuzzy)
Woohoo! This means we can have per-player god mode! Wow, I totally forgot I even added this. I'm glad it made it in. XD
Move debug.txt after it grows too big (HybridDog)
Ooff, finally debug.txt no longer grows to insane sizes. Important change. Previously, debug.txt was unlimited size and just grows and grows and grows.
Trigger on_place in many situations even if prediction failed (DS-Minetest)
No idea how this works.
Mark tool filtering in node drop documentation as deprecated (Paramat)
Thank you. The tool filtering is just very weird how it's implemented now. Hopefully one day this strange feature gets superceded by a group-based implementation.
Add disable_jump to liquids and ladders (SmallJoker)
Tested, works fine. Will be useful for quicksand.
The ladder/climbable node is definitely more esoteric, but maybe could be fun for puzzle games as some sort of one-way ladder.
What is funny: You can only prevent going up with this. There's no group to prevent going down. This basically screams for a new group “disable_sink”. :)
Velocity modifiers for players (sfan5)
Yeeeeesssssssss!!! Finally, we have knockback! This is definitely a big one. I have not used this myself yet, but it is already used in the game “The End” by DrFrankenstone. And it totally works very smooth, how it should be. The applications for this are endless.
I have no idea how it works, to be honest. How is it calculated? Can I, as a modder, control/tweak punchwear in any way? Haven't found anything in lua_api.txt yet.
The translation in Minetest Game works beautifully. But only because I watched you closely do it. xD Anyway, thanks.
Most other features are not really noteworthy, and pretty much no gameplay changes. One thing that I do like is the floating water sound. I will probably “steal” the code one day. :) Maybe this could be the begin of a fully features and non-laggy (!) environmental sound API, who knows? What is bad are the new desert undergrounds. Desert stone now extend about to Y=-255, which is a lot. This means: Absolutely nothing but desert stone. No coal, no iron, no copper, etc.. And at Y=-256 or lower, BOOM! Now the desert stone turns into stone and you suddenly get coal, copper, tin, iron, gold. Gold!! So the ore density jumps from 0 ores to 5 ores by going 1 layer deeper. Well, that's not balanced …
Feature-wise, the MTG update is tiny. Not much has changed. MTG as a whole is still pretty boring. MTG is still a big empty world that is really boring in singleplayer. However, I recognize that MTG is very useful for modded servers. It should be advertised as that instead. Advertise MTG to server operators, not to players.
Mining in deserts got more boring because biome stone goes much deeper now, and there are no ores in desert stone.
MTG is still distributed as the default game, despite its obvious shortcomings. There was a discussion to add Repixture to the mix, but I basically prevented it. Maybe this was a mistake. Repixture is very stable now, maybe I was too paranoid. I argued before that MT should not ship with any default game because we now have so many different ideas. But then the question was how to teach players how to obtain games, I did not answer this question. But being more “neutral” would be the long-term solution. However, maybe it was a mistake to reject inclusion of Repixture because that clearly would have been at least a short-term solution. Oh well. But the main reason I rejected this because Repixture would have been forced under the same release period as Minetest itself and simply bypassing the whole Content DB …uote]
It's a bummer the Weblate was not updated in time for translators to react, but I understand the reasons now. I see you have in the meantime updated Weblate and given more core devs to Weblate. I hope this means that for the next release, the translation work will be done more smoothly. This shows how important it is to give core devs access to all the important platforms.
Overall, the update's an improvement. I'm very glad you have adopted a regular release schedule now. The updates are looking smaller now, but the big benefit is that players can give feedback much faster.
There are still a couple of rough edges in Minetest here and there, but I'm sure it will be sorted out eventually. The formspec updates sounded more promising on paper than they really are in reality (sorry), especially updating old formspecs to version 2 is going to be very painful boring work. Formspec theming just looks incomplete to know and I'm sure it will be completed in future updates.