Getting tired of it

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Zughy
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Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

Hey there,

today is one of those days where letting go feels kind of healing, so why not seizing the moment. I'm not writing this down feeling angry, nor my intention is to attack anyone. As the title said, I just feel tired of all of this, and I'd like to explain why.

I think we're all here because we believe in humans shaping tools to their need. We're curious, we want to see what's inside the box and we feel thrilled to the idea we can actually change what lies inside. Some feel powerful, some feel joyful, some just want to say "hey, see this little thing? I made it! There is a part of me in here!". Whatever the reason, that's what we do.

In the 7 months I've been here, I've never felt part of the Minetest community. Because, to me, there was no community to perceive in the first place. We're a bunch of strangers passing by, doing our thing, most of the time feeling kind of ignored, eventually getting frustrated. The general environment is cold, nothing really seems to happen even if it does happen, core devs resound like evanescent semigods and all gets lost in the echo. Maybe all the fun happens in the unofficial Discord, maybe I'm an Italian stereotype all about being expansive, but it doesn't really matter, because at the end of the day everything looks still; and it gets more and more annoying with the passing of time.

I'm probably gullible and filled with idealistic dreams. I repeat to myself my expectations are too high, that this is no company, no one is getting paid and we're all doing it for the sake of, well, doing it. But there is also a part of me which would like to scream sometimes; to many faces here, because that part doesn't want to belong outside of this reality, but at the same time doesn't seem to belong to this either. You find yourself stuck in between two worlds, where the one you chose to believe in doesn't believe in you nor, more broadly, in anything nor anyone. It just exists, and if you're lucky enough you'll find yourself going with the flow from time to time.

I get it, people at this point usually say "well, it's how open source communities work". But doesn't it sound like an old man justifying things from his age we now consider bad? Maybe the reality here is, people don't even want to try. And they feel justified by all the other people doing like so. I can also imagine who's gonna say this is an utopia, but I invite you to check Veloren and their weeky blog. How on Earth they have a weekly blog and we don't even have an updated website? Why they know what's happening and what they're aiming at, while we have zero official communications from core devs and no ideas of what's gonna happen next? I proposed a generic roadmap months ago in order to show some respect to whom creates content, but it's currently labelled as "Possible close". To me, and now I'm angry thinking about it, it's like a giant "fuck you". And I have quite a nice collection of fuck yous I could link, now that I think about it... But for real, I don't want to flame.

Talking with a user the other day, he said to me, and I quote: "If I was a dev, to be honest, I would have actively JUMPED at the chance to have somebody as talented as you to overhaul the menu any and other visuals we can get you to work on, even if it would require a bit of my own time to get that up and running". It was this message that actually brought me to the epiphany: core devs don't care. Now, beware, I'm not saying they don't care about me specifically; they just don't care enough about what's happening outside their fence. The other day I asked them who had ever played Minecraft, and 4 out of 4 told me... they never did. Sure, some of them watched gameplays, but trust me, you can't truly judge a game till you play it, as gameplay is empiric. So I wondered: is this a joke? The development of what was born as a Minecraft clone is handed to people who Minecraft never played it. For instance, one of them didn't know about dual wielding on Minecraft, something that's been implemented since early 2016. More than four years ago.

Before gearing up for a fight they say "know your enemy", and for a reason. And the sad truth here is that nobody knows no one, whether it's in or outside. All that matters is the cosy bubble someone lives in, where tapping it from the outside will only end up making you feel tired and demotivated. And then there is, that moment. Where you stop tapping and ask yourself: "Is it really worth it? Does it really matter?" and I fear the answer is no.

I saw a lot of topics wondering how things could be done better, I took part to a lot of them too, but here is the final answer to put some spirits at ease: what Minetest is really missing is a proper mindset. And a mindset is not something you can just "give" to someone. You can't really help them, especially if they don't want to. After a while you can only sit and watch, or, well, walk away. And I think I reached my "after a while".

I honestly think I gave Minetest everything I could: even now, where I skipped my lunch and postponed some work to do in order to write all of this. I've given Minetest the currently #1 texture pack, I've translated the whole modding book in Italian, I've started creating a brand new main menu, I've spitballed ideas, I've created fundamental mods such as parties, teleporting systems and a whole API for creating minigames (I'd like to highlight this is not an exhaustive mod list), I've widened up the community bringing new Italian players and developers, I've learnt C++ to try to help more. And nonetheless, it all seems useless. Because the problem is not me, nor are the other players or modders: the problem is at the top. The same evanescent top nobody knows how it exactly works.

I'd like to do an experiment switching roles up for a moment: if I had enough knowledge and I were a core dev, the first thing I'd do would be cleaning up those issues and PRs. I'd start communicating with my community, considering it, I'd provide a roadmap, I'd give hope to people through my actions and my words, I'd ask for a feedback, I'd port Minecraft ideas worth noting to Minetest, I'd make it visually appealing for common players. I'd stop thinking and acting just like a stereotyped developer. Basically it's nothing new, these are all things other people and I already suggested down the road. And I get it, someone will think "everyone is good with words", and to them I'd like to remind I do too have communities I take care of, mostly all by myself. And they're pretty healthy, even if I did all those things for Minetest in the meanwhile while working on my server with my friends.

But the truth is, I'm no core dev nor Minetest gives any sign of will to step up its game. And I grew tired of it. I could even create the best mod in the world, it'd still be pointless. I mean, sure, it may help bring new users, but the core of it will be as chaotic as before. Actually it'd be worse, because it'll have to deal with twice the issues without having learned how to clean them up in the first place.

So am I quitting Minetest? Not really. Because as I said before, I don't want to belong to what's outside either. I've already lived there: I had my fame, my "internet friends"; fuck, a dude even tattooed a drawing of mine on his body. But the foundation is all wrong, no matter how good is the rest. If I'm here is to build something new while having fun, to build tools in the hands of people and not people in the hands of tools. For me, for my friends, for who'll come after me. Just, the environment is all wrong. So I'll wrap it up, I took enough of your time: if someone wants to fork Minetest and they want to actually address all those problems I listed in here, count me in. As a core artist, as a game designer, whatever: I'll be more than happy to build it with you. Here, I feel demotivated. And this is 100% on who manages the community, not on me. In the meanwhile, I guess I'll live in denial working on my server with my friends because I still enjoy creating videogames and I'm aware of the potential of this tool.

Now I should probably go eating something. Thanks for your time

EDIT: grammar
Last edited by Zughy on Mon Sep 28, 2020 20:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Getting tired of it

by GayJesus » Post

Over the past years I've seen at least 1 core dev quit, other devs and server admins. Maybe discuss and recruit others to work on a fork rather than quiting all together.

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

GayJesus wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 20:10
Over the past years I've seen at least 1 core dev quit, other devs and server admins. Maybe discuss and recruit others to work on a fork rather than quiting all together.
Do you mind providing me names, even in private? I'd like to hear their perspective too

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Re: Getting tired of it

by freshreplicant » Post

Zughy wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 14:01
Maybe all the fun happens in the unofficial Discord
Pretty much, from what I've seen, at least from the community side. The Dev stuff is on IRC, but much of the interaction with devs from outside occurs through the Discord-IRC bridge. That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish and is being discussed elsewhere on the forum I suppose.
How on Earth they have a weekly blog and we don't even have an updated website?
I've seen this with other free software games and projects. I think what often happens is that the original core dev retains control of the official websites and social media outlets for the project, even though as is the way, they usually have largely moved on to other cool projects. They usually are very technical minded people, so they do the git/development handover well enough ensuring that in their absence others can merge pull requests and such for the actual game, but pretty much nobody can do basic community, website or public relations related maintenance. And trust me, yes, this is super important even for free software projects that are being run on a voluntary basis.
I'm probably gullible and filled with idealistic dreams. I repeat to myself my expectations are too high.
I find myself getting caught up in this trap too. In my case though, I don't really have easily applicable skills I can bring to the project...or at least not the two big ones: programming or artwork. Maybe there are some transferable skills I have but as I pointed out above, these other avenues for contribution are often locked down or too undervalued to get involved in.

Community management, a bit of basic marketing and public relations are not only important in commercial projects: whether you're just working on a free software project for fun, or have some world-changing charity, you still need to roll up your sleeves and at least engage in this to some extent or your project will gradually falter, no matter how inherently worthy the core idea is.

I am 100% certain there are people with real life experience in those areas that would be more than happy to contribute their time to help Minetest flourish even more, the same way that professional developers and programmers do with code contributions.

Minetest and many free software projects also tend to fall down on the visual side much more frequently than on the programming side, so having somebody active in an official capacity, even just to steward the artistic vision of the project would make a massive difference. If anything the importance of visual polish is only becoming more important by the day.
I've given Minetest the currently #1 texture pack, I've translated the whole modding book in Italian, I've started creating a brand new main menu, I've spitballed ideas, I've created fundamental mods such as parties, teleporting systems and a whole API for creating minigames (I'd like to highlight this is not an exhaustive mod list), I've widened up the community bringing new Italian players and developers, I've learnt C++ to try to help more.
Recognising or at least acknowledging contributions that people make to open source projects is also something that might fall under the 'community management' angle. I don't mean that just in a cynical, bullshit corporate way, but just having volunteers in place to help the devs interface with their community and other non-core, but still important contributors, might be a good idea. I think that's what projects like Veloren have done - they have tasked somebody with just keeping track of new developments and then putting those details out in blogs or other easily digestible public comms.

Some people work perfectly fine without acknowledgement, more power to them. They just have fun doing it and need nothing more to sustain them. But then again, many others probably do better if they are recognised in some way.

Basically my philosophy is: you can both recognise the core devs are busy and still improve things by allowing others to take over non-essential tasks for them. Their skills are better suited for being neck deep in PRs and creating amazing new features for the community, but there are other people who are perfectly suited to be their helpers in other areas like website maintenance, social media or with public communications on project updates and roadmaps, etc.

Core devs can save themselves tons of bickering from people like Zughy (I mean this in the best way possible) by just making those kinds of things accessible to those that might be interested in contributing. This is the way it works in any company worth its salt: you have people to do the less mission critical stuff for the people on the top.
The other day I asked them who had ever played Minecraft, and 4 out of 4 told me... they never did. Sure, some of them watched gameplays, but trust me, you can't truly judge a game till you play it, as gameplay is empiric.
Not sure how important this part is. Wuzzy's shock 'confession' that he's never played Minetest is actually pretty interesting, especially with how he explains that he can gleam a lot from the Minecraft wiki and documentation - maybe even more so than your average casual player can. I don't think it should be a requirement to buy from or support Microsoft to work on Minetest. Not saying that's your perspetive, but I respect people saying 'No, I don't want to play Minecraft'.
Last edited by freshreplicant on Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Wuzzy » Post

I believe a major reason is that all or most core devs are forced to work at some job to survive, so only a fraction of their time remains for Minetest. The second reason is that the core dev team is very small.

But to be honest, I also have a strong feeling there's a general lack of enthusiasm to truly make Minetest into something great. Progress is slow. I have contributed several small and not-so-small features to Minetest over the time, and my experience is that contributing is very painful, because you always have to go through a lengthy and inefficienty code review process. Code review is not the problem but the most of the time in this “review process” you just spend waiting for a reaction and when this goes on for months this can be extremely demoralizing. Also, we have over 900 150 open PRs, and this is a really big problem in my opinion. This means there is big potential for new stuff in Minetest, but it's just not being dealt with.
The core dev team is very small, it's a really bottleneck when it comes to reviewing things. There is no way this problem is getting solved anytime soon with the current tiny core dev team.
A lot of problems might be solved if only the PR reviewing process would be more efficient. The fact that there are 900 150 open PRs really shows that something is seriously wrong with the organization. Think about it: Being "open" does not mean "rejected" it means the PR has not been dealt with yet, neither rejected nor approved. THAT's the problem.
I mean, it's NOT like we are lacking in potential contributions. We are DROWNING in contributions. The real problem is that most contributions are not even considered because of the bottleneck. :-(
And it gets even worse: A lot of PRs are over a year old now, meaning the codebase has advanced so much that a merge today is going to be painful. I believe you could basically throw away most PRs that are over 1 year old, as sad as it sounds. I think it often would be easier to restart from scratch instead of going through conflict hell. THIS IS BAD, because it's EXTREMELY demoralizing for any potential contributors.

I don't think that "not having played Minecraft" is a real "gotcha" moment. Minetest should not be about cloning Minecraft. It initially started like that, but even then it was more like loosely based on the general idea. Minetest NEVER was about trying to faithfully (!) clone Minecraft. This is a VERY important thing to understand about Minetest.
Minetest is vaguely about Voxel games. It started about something something sandbox, but the true aim for Minetest is to be usable for other game genres as well (see Inside The Box).

"Know your enemy" is a good argument but I'm afraid if Minetest solely uses Minecraft as the frame of reference we're always being kind of stuck, we're actually limiting ourselves. We have to think beyond that. And I say that as the MineClone 2 developer. But for Minetest to become something great, it also must do something new. Just cloning Minecraft is NOT going to cut it, no matter how good or faithful it will be. Minetest's true potential lies in being generic, allowing for all types of different (voxel) games. That having said, we can and should "steal" ideas whenever we can. But only the good ideas. ;-)

I 100% believe even right now, with all the technical shortcomings in Minetest, you already have the tools to create good games with it. True, there are still hurdles, but the basics are definitely here. It's just we don't have many great games yet, and especially most genres except sandbox are not really explored yet. The exsitence of two, three high-quality games could already be a big boost fo Minetest.
The ContentDB was a big step forwards, because it emphasized the games much more in Minetest. Now what Minetest needs is a complete menu rework to make the emphasis on custom games even stronger, and not just hide it behind some obscure button.

That having said, I completely agree that current Minetest development is not encouraging at all. Progress is too slow. There are still many big problems in the core. My biggest problems currently are: 1) Bad usability in general 2) Bad and ugly main menu usability and design 3) A LOT of bugs and limitations regarding to objects/entities, especially with regards to spawning, movement and collisions

You mentioned dual wielding. True, the engine cannot do it right now. But you need to understand this is a extremely specific gameplay mechanic that's specific to Minecraft only. Cloning Minecraft features that exactly on the spot like this is a bad idea because it's ultimately limiting on what the engine can do. What Minetest could instead do is look at the concept, but take it apart and generalize. For example, mods could be allowed to add arbitrary wieldhands to the HUD (representing different inventory slots) and leave the implementation details up to the mods.

I half-agree with the lack of vision/roadmap. True, Minetest does NOT have a real roadmap for upcoming versions. It's really just like things are getting done when people feel like it. There is no structure. This should really change.
However, there IS a overarching vision, although a rather vague one. Minetest is meant as an engine for voxel games (not just Minecraft clones!). The goal is to have an engine that is more or less generic for most types of games (as long it's about voxels!), and not force one specific genre. New API features should therefore be as general as possible, and not just clone exactly whatever Minecraft did.
celeron55 also wrote a general vision years ago (too lazy to find the link now).


------------

So having said all that, what can we do to fix all of that?

First of all, I think the entire PR review process needs rethinking. It's way too inefficient because most time is spent waiting for the other party to reply, so it takes ages for any PR to finish (if ever) … There needs to be a complete new strategy in order to deal with hundreds of PRs.
Old stalling PRs should be closed more aggressively, just to bring the huge PR count down. As sad as it is to see a good PR die, if it's >1 year old, and no party reacted in that time, this PR is probably doomed anyway. Instead of pretending that this PR might be merged "someday", it's better to be honest.
Then, short-term roadmaps definitely need more attention. Even if it's just ONE feature for the next version. This could be a nice helper as well.
Then, more core devs are needed. Or at least people with the right to approve PRs. The more reviewers, the smaller the PR bottleneck. Thing is, nobody wants to do that. :D

Then, more thoughts about organizing in general should be made. This community is surprisingly big, for a FOSS game. If the right people would be assigned to the right tasks, that could be a big help. I have no concrete ideas how to do it, though.

Finally, the website should have a news section. For starters, this could just mirror the News forum. But I feel even the News forum just updates super rarely. Only very huge changes are announced.

----------------
EDIT:
Oops, we "only" have over 150 open PRs, not 900. That's still a very big number.
Last edited by Wuzzy on Tue Sep 29, 2020 15:47, edited 1 time in total.
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jas
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Re: Getting tired of it

by jas » Post

lol

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Re: Getting tired of it

by cuthbertdoublebarrel » Post

Zughy wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 14:01
Hey there,
The other day I asked them who had ever played Minecraft, and 4 out of 4 told me... they never did. Sure, some of them watched gameplays, but trust me, you can't truly judge a game till you play it,

LOL minecraft is just a blend of other game genres rolled into one . I am not really intrested in playing minecraft clones based on a previous vanilla additions as they do not represent minetest.
nor do i have any interest in games that are so far removed from minetest they are unrecognizable as minetest .
getting real tired of mincraft fans moaning about minecraft features or lack of in minetest , so there is no shield therefore this is not minecraft you carry a larger weapon that you have to wield two handed, problem solved . forget the shield.
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Re: Getting tired of it

by rubenwardy » Post

For the last few months, I haven't had much time for Minetest. I've had other things going on, and feel like my free time is better spent on other things that give me a bigger benefit. I'm not happy with the progress and management, but I have historically invested too much time and I can't justify significantly more time. There needs to be someone to lead any increased organisation or planning, and currently I don't think this can be me.

Minetest does not aim to replicate Minecraft game play, it's not a Minecraft clone in that sense. I don't develop Minetest because I want to recreate something that already exists, I use it for new things. Ironically, I end up being pulled into the technical side rather than the creative side. Minetest has never claimed to be a faithful Minecraft clone, nor do I think that would be a good idea. I see it as a platform to make prototyping and creating voxel games etc very easy.

Zughy: your recent mainmenu designs have had good feedback from me and celeron55, I'd like to see it continue. There's also some discussion needed on how to best represent games in Minetest - my design uses the analogy of a taskbar for games, which I hoped would be familiar and would flatten the hierarchy a bit.

Also, small correction: there are "only" 153 PRs, not 900. 900 is the number of issues. This is still way too many. I agree with what Wuzzy says, both in terms of problems and solutions. We've added two more core developers in the last month, but I have stopped being active. Wuzzy: you have already been invited to be a core dev, perhaps instead you could help with triaging issues and PRs.

I support a news section on the website, there's a section on the forums but that's much less visible and less reliable. It shouldn't be too hard to do that if someone wants to pick it up, remember the website is open source too: https://github.com/minetest/minetest.github.io

In terms of roadmaps, again - time. Our long term roadmap is https://dev.minetest.net/TODO
There are also a number of pinned topics in the Partly official engine development forum, where core devs lay out their plans for Minetest.

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Steamed_Punk » Post

Personally I haven't been around long enough to have a real idea about who does what and in what order or time delay. To be honest I don't really care because I understand how difficult it must be to organize the devs so that things come together for a new release or update, time is of the essence. Apart from kids not everyone has the free time to be almost permanently online. Most adults have real world jobs (Un / fortunately) I don't at the moment so can spend a little more time playing around with models, textures, mods and code. Saying that..... I do agree that there is room for improvement but only on the website dev side of things and how minetest can be pushed more into the limelight.

> Nothing changes, nothing is new and the Dev's not caring about the community (In a nutshell)? which can be demoralising.

yesterday I started a new thread about doing something new and different viewtopic.php?f=49&p=381485#p381485 and the second reply was from one of the devs which is more than encouraging to do something new. At first I was expecting to be burnt to the ground and kicked out of the forum (PHPBB? that's another story) but no. I am still here and my moral level has gone through the roof :D

The only real community issue I can think of but is not minetest related, it's all forums around the world related and that is....
most user don't know how to read. They only read part of a post and only read into what they want to see and then talk about that one small point they didn't like. It happened to me here and I was almost ripped to pieces over how licensing works. I am new to linux and minetest and open-source and licensing. What I was doing before never needed it, so my ideas were genuine (if ignorant), but it didn't stop people from having a go at me, even a dev or moderator had a go, stating I was calling him a thief (no idea who it was though). A few threads in and I was already thinking about leaving minetest for dust and tell everyone where they can get off. Luckily I am Big enough and ugly enough to let it slide and realise that some people just don't read through to put everything into it's proper context, or use their brain to be sure they have understood before mouthing off. General communication can always be misunderstood and that's why smileys help with some sentences. Here on this forum we can't use them which is completely ridiculous in this day and age.
Before you prove my point and have a go at me for what I just wrote, take into consideration that I am not putting everyone into the same bag. I have had some very friendly and very helpful advice and even people I don't know help do some of the work on my mod. So not all is bad.
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Re: Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

Wuzzy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:35
Minetest's true potential lies in being generic, allowing for all types of different (voxel) games. That having said, we can and should "steal" ideas whenever we can. But only the good ideas. ;-)
That's what I meant, I didn't mean to clone Minecraft. Also, real talk here: you're not really forced to buy Minecraft. You surely don't write it on a forum, but you can do it. Or... you know, having a friend who actually bought it. Also, I don't agree with the "you don't really need to play it" part; yes you do. You can retrieve a lot of useful information from videos, wiki etc but you can't theorise something that's empirical as the gameplay. You can have a vague idea, but it ends there. I know it because I've been there. Also, remember there are games which are nice to watch but pretty boring to play and vice versa (such as FPS Arenas, for the latter)
Wuzzy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:35
You mentioned dual wielding. True, the engine cannot do it right now. But you need to understand this is a extremely specific gameplay mechanic that's specific to Minecraft only.
I've never said we need dual wielding
Wuzzy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:35
First of all, I think the entire PR review process needs rethinking.
Yes, Wuzzy, I agree with you. But we're stuck in a loop here. This is your topic about the same exact issue, from April 30. How much changed since then? It's been 5 months. Two more core devs, no MTG new features, that's true, but on a practical level nothing changed.
rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 14:35
Zughy: your recent mainmenu designs have had good feedback from me and celeron55, I'd like to see it continue.
But I don't. And it saddens me, Ruben, for real. I have sketches that have been lying on my desk for months but I really don't want to do them. As I said, I feel demotivated. And, beware, I don't suffer from depression or any unpleasant mental condition: I feel demotivated contributing to Minetest, thinking about what I should go through in order to have (a chance to have) it approved. It's just insane.
rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 14:35
I'm not happy with the progress and management,
I'm sorry to hear that, as I can only imagine the time you've spent on Minetest

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

(I inadvertently pressed "submit", sorry for the double post)
rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 14:35
I support a news section on the website, there's a section on the forums but that's much less visible and less reliable
But don't you see the problem, man? We're talking about this only because I stomped enough my feet, and that's honestly debilitating. I'm not gonna trade my mental health for a bunch of people I've never seen in real life, even if I really think you're a good guy. About the news, I think the real question should be: why did no core dev think about this before? You care a lot about code quality, technicalities, and that's awesome, but as I stated in my first post it ends there: there's no planning in management, no sharing with the community any ideas/doubts, no delegating, no will of engaging with people outside of what happens on GitHub or on here (or, about the last one, I'm just missing all the fun on Discord). The only survey trying to understand what community wanted was - ironically - mine.

In my humble opinion, Minetest needs a leader - or a bunch of leaders - (and not a boss, beware) following an overall vision. For those who don't know the difference, the leader is the one proceeding and working along with the people he's guiding, while as the boss, he's just the arsehole doing nothing and getting all the merit. Celeron is neither, he's basically a lurker - his words. There was this interview Wikimedia made him, where I remember at the very beginning I was curious to read, but after a while I thought - and I still think - : who cares? I mean, why should I learn about his vision through another site instead of having him here once in a while telling people what he believes in? So that if someone doesn't agree with him, at least we can talk about it. The best case scenario is when some core dev reports what he told. But I wanted to collaborate to a project, not taking part to a revival of the Bible. Is Celeron like this and people are fine with it? Fine, then I'm the problem, I acknowledge it, and I take the decision to not be part of it. That's why I asked for an eventual fork. This "Chaos development" Celeron talks about is not for me, and in all honesty it doesn't seem to me is bringing all these great results or happiness ("I'm not happy with the progress and management")

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Re: Getting tired of it

by jas » Post

You hit the nail on the head: "Time."

Why would he invest a single second more?

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Re: Getting tired of it

by v-rob » Post

As the newest core dev on the team (or maybe second newest... it might be pyrollo by a few hours; don't remember), I'll give my opinion for what it's worth.

I am a programmer, and as such, my main interest in Minetest is the programming aspect. I think that a lot of the core devs are in the same place; the reason they're core devs is because they've invested a lot of time in the programming aspect of Minetest and have shown dedication and responsibility. People have long complained that the devs are lazy, or that they lack dedication, motivation, time, whatever, or that they don't care about the community. Most people know that most of this isn't true, but it's an expression of frustration because things don't get done.

The million dollar question has always been, "How do we fix this problem?"

But I think the billion dollar question is, "Why?"
jas wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 20:33
You hit the nail on the head: "Time."
This has long been proposed as the reason why. I don't think that's right. Yes, the devs have limited time, but I don't think that's the main issue here. What the developers need is coordination. Look: imagine the devs as an army trying to take a castle. Each dev is working in their spare time with no coordination. One dev attacks the main gate with a battering ram. Another uses siege ladders. A third decides to mine under the walls. A different one attempts with a catapult. Do we get anywhere fast? No. But if we all storm one thing together, it gets done.

I think Zughy has already hit upon this before, but from another angle. The devs really lack coordination. We have no leader; everyone does as he/she sees fit. Part of the slowness of reviewing PRs is saying "maybe someone else will do this one", or "I'll do it later after I'm done working on this one thing". If someone said, "v-rob: review that PR. Rubenwardy, review this one. Pyrollo, help Rubenwardy. SmallJoker: We need another approval for that one", and then each dev does it as soon as possible, then we would get somewhere. I don't say there should be any deadlines (we do work in spare time), and nor would this really apply to assigning someone to make a PR (PRs get made easily enough), but someone needs to be coordinating what is worked on. I work very well if I'm told what to do; doing things independently often leads to procrastination.

A second problem: the core devs are the only people who have authority on the project, and anything that happens has to go through them. But the core devs are not graphical designers, nor game designers, nor bloggers, nor website creators. We are programmers. So should we be in charge of these things? I don't think so; we aren't good at it. TBH, I think that another team should take care of this, a team with authority backed by the core devs. How about user communication? Core devs aren't experts at this; while issues get a lot across, we have 900 some (another good thing for leadership to assign), and not all users know about GitHub. I wish GitHub had separate sections for issues and feature requests. If other teams had control of these other things, I'll bet a lot more things would be solved.

So, my proposal? Choose a leader to coordinate core developer movements. Celeron55 would still be benevolent dictator-for-life, but not the main coordinator. Make teams dedicated to other aspects besides development and leave the core devs to programming. The core devs should still have the main power as they are the most respected (or at least their authority is respected). Maybe it would work, but getting such a thing off the ground is the hardest thing. I would back it, but I couldn't organize it.

---

Anyway, I have to say one other thing: your work on the main menu design is pretty great, but I don't especially want you to work on it yet. I'm the formspec developer, and I really want to get a better replacement for GUIs before big things get implemented. I think that's the only way to really get very good user interfaces. That's the main reason why I didn't say anything; I just want things to be even better. Perhaps I'm expecting too much; it will probably take a long time to make. If anyone wants to see what I'm working on, they can have a look at this: https://github.com/minetest/minetest/is ... -698646731. But that's why I didn't say anything, and I apologize.
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Re: Getting tired of it

by eyekay » Post

@v-rob you are absolutely on point with the fact that there should be a separate team for everything else like website management, designing etc. I had suggested a separate team for the official Youtube channel in a post I had made a few days ago (which no one responded to lol)

I have a suggestion for a 'hierarchy' which will be responsible for different elements of Minetest. 'Suggestion' being the key word, it may be very incomplete or possibly completely wrong, I'm also sorry in advance if this is against Minetest's philosophy, or is too idealistic. The main motto is to distribute some tasks among the community to relieve the core devs from any 'extra' work.

I suggest the following 'hierarchy' : (hierarchy is the wrong word, maybe just distribution)

Celeron55 will continue to be incharge/ dictator/ <whatever.....>

Programming (the main thing of developing the engine with current core devs, who will also supervise the other teams)

Communication (responsible for the management of IRC, official discord /matrix/ whatever)
- A separate team under this for blog, website management etc
- A separate team for YouTube etc.
- forum mods

Content management on ContentDB

[This may come under the core devs only if they feel this should not be separate. I'm not even sure if this is done by Minetest themselves or the distros] Package management for all the different distros, Android etc.
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Re: Getting tired of it

by rubenwardy » Post

Zughy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 19:17
I'm not gonna trade my mental health for a bunch of people I've never seen in real life
Don't feel obligated to. If your mental health is suffering, step away. I did the last few months
Zughy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 19:17
We're talking about this only because I stomped enough my feet, and that's honestly debilitating.
You could have opened an issue for this, or a PR if you have experience in web dev.
Zughy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 19:17
About the news, I think the real question should be: why did no core dev think about this before?
This was mentioned earlier this year, when the forums were down, but the forums came up before this was done. The news forum is from before the website was easily editable and from when the majority of the community was on the forums (apart from the servers). Organisation would not have helped with this, you would have needed someone with a different perspective to raise this as an issue for more than just availability.

Minetest is a community project; anyone can suggest things or contribute them. Especially for simple issues like this. It's great that you're artistic and user-focused, you can use your perspective to point things out.
Zughy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 19:17
no sharing with the community any ideas/doubts, no delegating, no will of engaging with people outside of what happens on GitHub or on here (or, about the last one, I'm just missing all the fun on Discord)
I talk a lot on the forums, Discord, IRC, Reddit, Twitter, and Mastodon.

Minetest is community-developed, and GitHub is the open platform we use to do that. It's public, and the more involved users tend to be there. I also regularly post GitHub links in Discord, which is where are players tend to be nowadays (rather than the forums). There have been many times where we've asked for feedback on different things on the forum, when needed. I do get that you are asking for more end-user involvement outside of GitHub - again, this falls down to time and someone willing to do that.

We have delegated things like documentation (Shara), website maintenance (Calinou), and community moderation (VanessaE, Shara, etc). It is possible to delegate things, there just needs to be someone willing to do it and/or an effort to find that person. A project manager role could be useful, but I'm not sure how that would work in open source projects.
Are there any examples of projects roughly our size doing this?
What other roles could be delegated?

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:28
Don't feel obligated to. If your mental health is suffering, step away. I did the last few months
Thanks Ruben, but I've never said that. I said that dealing with what happens here on Minetest would bring me to suffer, hence the having enough.
rubenwardy wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:28
Zughy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 19:17
We're talking about this only because I stomped enough my feet, and that's honestly debilitating.
You could have opened an issue for this, or a PR if you have experience in web dev.
I'm sorry but you know I'm right: there were 154 PRs open before I posted. After two days, there are currently 139 PRs: In 7 months I've never seen those numbers going down that much in so little time. No meetings were planned, so either this is a huge coincidence or I actually hit a nerve.


But again, this is not a matter of suggestions, of hiring new developers, graphic/sound artists, designers, nor is about delegating: this is, again, a matter of mindset. How many potential developers you (core devs) think you lost long the way because they had to wait forever for a PR to be considered? And how much do you think your life would have been easier today if those people had stuck in the community because of the good impression they had? For instance, I really appreciated when Pyrollo went straight down to the oldest open PR and took care of it, because to me that gesture showed respect to the guy who took the effort to help Minetest (and, well, you core devs) THREE years ago. Because let's not forget, people do talk. When someone feels disrespected, they won't say nice things about their experience. Take my Italian community, for instance: listening to my struggles, they probably think the whole project is a concentration of idiots. One of them, when he read the post, actually said (I translate): "Minetest is a really pointless thing as who's on top doesn't give a bloody fuck". And I'm not one of those people swearing around on public chats, I always try to moderate. Now imagine if I were.

I fear that a coordinator might be the equivalent of the manager in a company, and nobody likes the manager. This should be a happy environment, not something resembling the frustrations of the daily routine, where devs are somewhat pushed away in order to make the manager shine. I'm pretty sure electing someone will bring discord between people, as some of them probably don't like to hear someone telling them what to do - with celeron probably being the only exception, as he's been here since the very beginning; or, well, having a plebiscite. I guess it should be up to the devs theirselves have a better coordination between each other, to have some sort of bound. And if they don't want or can't, well, nobody can help them. Again: maybe they're super happy to do what they're doing and I'm the one in the wrong place. It's not up to me telling people who've been developing for years what they should do, that would be arrogant. What I brought to the table is simply my discontent.

The only smart thing I can think about is to hear directly from core devs: how they've been living Minetest and if it's up to their expectations. Exactly like Ruben and V-rob did (which I'm thankful for)

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Re: Getting tired of it

by rubenwardy » Post

Note that the website is a different project and is delegated to Calinou is in charge of it. The contribution requirements are much more relaxed.

I care a lot about this project and I hate this situation. Quite a few times I have gone on sprints to reduce the number of PRs, but they spring up faster than I am able to close them. It is very time consuming to deal with, and not very enjoyable. I don't know how best to reduce the number of open PRs rather than brute force, which is unsustainable.

The last few days, I have returned and made quick wins by closing abandoned PRs, but this can't be continued much more.

You are right that we are losing contributors - I have known this for a long time - but I see no way to resolve it that doesn't result in me exceeding the number of hours I want to spend on this project

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Re: Getting tired of it

by cuthbertdoublebarrel » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 14:35
Minetest does not aim to replicate Minecraft game play, it's not a Minecraft clone in that sense. I don't develop Minetest because I want to recreate something that already exists, I use it for new things. I see it as a platform to make prototyping and creating voxel games etc very easy.
.
And some of us see minetest as a dedicated game engine. not a collection of different games . we are more than happy with vanilla , as mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, change the creative feel and personalise the experience . just the same as minecraft gamers adding mods to the minecraft engine to extend longlivity while the base gameplay still retains a very familiar feel .
imo sub games never have the same appeal as the dedicated engine with additional mods as they are created mostly to change the entire look, feel and gameplay of the original base game . and that creates a conflict of interests within the community as sub games are intentionally designed not to be compatible .

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Re: Getting tired of it

by jas » Post

v-rob wrote:Look: imagine the devs as an army trying to take a castle.
uhhh

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Re: Getting tired of it

by v-rob » Post

Perhaps I'm alone in wanting a leader, but I really do want someone to say, at least for me, what to do about reviewing. If someone could tell me every few days, "Review this PR", or "Review these two" because they're highest priority, and I do it as soon as I have time, then I could get a lot more done. As it is, there are a lot of things where I say "I can do it later" and it doesn't get done. But if I have a responsibility to do it because someone told me to do it as soon as possible, I get it done much better. Perhaps I'm alone in this, but I would like that, even if it's just me that it applies to.

But really, this is what I think my alternative would be to sprints of brute force, like Rubenwardy was talking about. Slow, consistent reviewing works so much better than fits and bursts. An hour or less a day, maybe. But it doesn't work if I'm the one telling myself to do it, or if it's some random person saying "do this", or it's saying "do this sometime, whenever"; it works so much better when it's an ASAP priority set by a person or people in charge. And yet, it still doesn't conflict with a lack of time because it's a priority for the next time that you do have time.

I don't know if this works in an open source situation, but I'm willing to be a guinea pig.
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Re: Getting tired of it

by FnControlOption » Post

If you do decide to fork Minetest, please don't use GitHub's "Fork" feature as it doesn't allow you to use the Search bar unless the fork has more stars (which will probably be unlikely for a very long time). I still recommend using GitHub since I think it's the easiest/most used means of collaboration for open source contributors, but just don't click the Fork button. That's my two cents

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Re: Getting tired of it

by duane » Post

cuthbertdoublebarrel wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 14:06
And some of us see minetest as a dedicated game engine. not a collection of different games . we are more than happy with vanilla , as mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, change the creative feel and personalise the experience . just the same as minecraft gamers adding mods to the minecraft engine to extend longlivity while the base gameplay still retains a very familiar feel .
imo sub games never have the same appeal as the dedicated engine with additional mods as they are created mostly to change the entire look, feel and gameplay of the original base game . and that creates a conflict of interests within the community as sub games are intentionally designed not to be compatible .
Hear, hear!

--------------------------------

To those who complain about the way things are done in minetest, I say, "Welcome to open source. You must be new here." The mantra of any open source project is (or should be), "If you don't like the way it's done, do it yourself."

Yes, do it yourself, whether that means gaining skills you don't currently have, investing huge amounts of personal time, recruiting, advertising, whatever. In order to fix a problem you, YOU, may have to learn to fix all the other problems first. If that seems overwhelming, congratulations -- now you see why there are so few developers.

There are generous developers who find motivation in constant complaints. Personally, it would turn me off at some point.

Also, the best place from which to change the nature of an organization is from within. If you really want things to be run differently, your best bet is to run them yourself.

Finally, let me quote someone much wiser than myself, "The problem with leaving is that you can only do it once and it reduces your influence."
Believe in people and you don't need to believe anything else.

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Re: Getting tired of it

by cuthbertdoublebarrel » Post

duane wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 01:42
- now you see why there are so few developers.
But look at the legacy of content that past mod developers have left us .there is some very impressive mods out there . looking back i see users making reference to huge lists of mods that they were running together. they do not seem to be active here now . though i know some are still playing older versions . i believe there is huge potential to really make minetest shine by utilizing that content regardless of any future engine updates .
Project BrutalTest...hide your Petz

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Re: Getting tired of it

by Zughy » Post

duane wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 01:42
To those who complain about the way things are done in minetest, I say, "Welcome to open source. You must be new here." The mantra of any open source project is (or should be), "If you don't like the way it's done, do it yourself."

Yes, do it yourself, whether that means gaining skills you don't currently have, investing huge amounts of personal time, recruiting, advertising, whatever. In order to fix a problem you, YOU, may have to learn to fix all the other problems first. If that seems overwhelming, congratulations -- now you see why there are so few developers.
Indeed that's what I did with a few mods, whether it was redoing them from scratch or creating PRs. But you can't compare the size of a mod to Minetest's. I don't think open source or, little correction, FOSS, should be all about "do it yourself". FOSS is also about communication, it's the possibility to directly interact with the ones behind a project. A thing you can't really do with proprietary software, aside of sending a ticket or an e-mail. That being said, if I'm aware I can't do all by myself and at the same time I feel the ship is not in a good shape - impacting on me as well - why should I just remain silent? Shrugging, to me, it'd be worse than trying to explain myself. And I didn't hide at all my intentions, I explicitly asked for a fork as I don't think things are going to change, backing my point of view with an in-depth analysis. And everyone felt free to say what they thought (a core dev also said to me TL;DR and I think this just proves my point, but ok). Or are you saying I don't have the right to complain?
duane wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 01:42
"The problem with leaving is that you can only do it once and it reduces your influence."
It saddens me you see me as someone who came here just to deliberately bitch to be under the spotlight. What you implicitly called bitching, I call it caring. And I think I proved enough how much I do, so I'd really appreciate to not be demeaned just because I spoke my mind. Especially because I don't think I insulted anyone

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Re: Getting tired of it

by jas » Post

I do not believe you are being demeaned here, and not intentionally by any means. It's just, we've seen this thread before.

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