Staredit Network > Forums > Staredit Network > Topic: SEN and the future of BW
SEN and the future of BW
Aug 11 2016, 12:54 am
By: ejac1337
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Aug 14 2016, 10:59 pm Fierce Post #41



Quote from Mini Moose 2707
Regarding the codebase, a brief discussion about v7 came up today in the shoutbox in addition to this thread. Two major improvements I would like to see for SEN's codebase, at a high level, are more defined requirements and less reliance on single coders. It goes without saying that there are other infrastructure issues I'd like to see addressed as well.

We need to define what we want SEN to be, what features it will have, etc. SEN also needs many people to help build it. While many contributed to SEN v5 and v6, they were mostly products of single coders, being Isolated Purity and Devourer, respectively. While they put forth great efforts, I think we're well aware of the downsides of this process. Thanks to collaborative technologies (ie, issue trackers and git), we can move beyond this and have a better product while taking on significantly less risk. We have a lot of capable coders here who can help.

I'm throwing out the ideas of v6.1 or v7. I'm not opposed to either one, but ultimately I can't decide where we go because I won't be doing the majority of work. No one person should be doing the majority of the work. I can provide sysadmin support. Depending on what languages we use, I may be able to contribute code as well.

What do we want for SEN as a community? Is it worth going through with a big development process even if the patch is completely lackluster, disappointing, and doesn't attract new people? Assuming we do really want this, do we want to improve v6 or start over working towards a v7?

I agree.

I'd like to see SEN become a "built by the community for the community" project. It should be super simple though, and in my opinion, not have the old school IPB-esque foundation. I grew up on SEN and would definitely miss the nostalgia of IPB type forums but times have changed a lot since, and there's just too much to work on when it comes to a forum software of this size.

If BW is remastered, my vision for SEN would be:
  • Reddit-esque in that people can create project pages for their work. The key here is "built by the community for the community". Popular pages could be SC1 Modding, SC1 Mapping, SC1 Discussion & Assistance. Reading the past few posts in this thread leads me to believe that people should choose what they're subscribed to. I personally feel there will be (and are) better alternatives for SC2-related content and if a subgroup of users want it, let them subscribe to it.

  • The issue, I guess, would then become discovery of these pages. I think a combination of advertisements would help: most recent subpage, popular recent subpage, related to your interests, etc.

  • Allow users to quickly communicate with ease -- similar to Shoutbox.

  • Mobile support would be nice. Pair this with the Shoutbox and it helps build the community presence, in my opinion. Imagine dragging top-of-screen-downward and the Shoutbox slides down so you can quickly read and add to it.

  • File database that compiles a list of all submissions and organizes it. Submission authors would be able to tag a link to their subpage, have version history (for downloading older versions) and changelogs, etc.

There are tons of possible ideas but really it should be simple and useful. I'd be happy to help in any possible way I can (whether its design or development) but again I think this should be a site-wide effort. Like you said, git would be a great tool for this.



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Aug 14 2016, 11:09 pm CecilSunkure Post #42



Could one please explain what IPB forum is?



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Aug 14 2016, 11:13 pm Moose Post #43



Quote from CecilSunkure
Could one please explain what IPB forum is?
IPB is Invision Power Board. SEN used their forum software most recently in v4. We separated ourselves from it with the release of v5.




Aug 15 2016, 1:52 am Vrael Post #44



Quote from ejac1337
I personally have no steak in the matter
What do you have against steak? Steak is delicious.



None.

Aug 15 2016, 5:01 am Oh_Man Post #45

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Well, who is the boss here? Devlin? Roy?

Admins, start delegating!




Aug 15 2016, 8:36 am NudeRaider Post #46

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Oh_Man
Well, who is the boss here? Devlin? Roy?

Admins, start delegating!
As you should be aware Ex runs things here. Devlin is just his sock puppet to keep off the fans. But it might be time to overthrow him. Viva la revolución!




Aug 15 2016, 10:19 am LoveLess Post #47

Let me show you how to hump without making love.

Really though, who does pay the bills these days?



None.

Aug 15 2016, 11:06 am Moose Post #48



Quote from Oh_Man
Well, who is the boss here? Devlin? Roy?

Admins, start delegating!
Delegate what? We have some sets of fractured ideas, but no overall direction. I think we have to decide on what we want for SEN as a community so that whatever we do can be done smartly. Do we want to work on continuous improvement to get up a v6.1 or do we want to do a recoded v7? Once we know this, I would be able to start on gathering requirements and working on development processes. (Though, actually, I can probably develop requirements anyway.)

Quote from LoveLess
Really though, who does pay the bills these days?
DevliN.




Aug 15 2016, 10:11 pm jjf28 Post #49

Cartography Artisan

If the code has clear organization, a nice DB schema, loose coupling for any application logic, and good language choices then let's build on what we have.

However my understanding is that the code is disorganized (probably tightly coupled as a result) and built with sub-par technologies. If that's indeed the case, then I vote we identify and ninja any important existing bugs (like anything hindering file upload/download, display a last-updated date; anything that makes things hard on newbs), and simultaneously start from scratch.



Rs_yes-im4real - Clan Aura - jjf28.net84.net

Reached the top of StarCraft theory crafting 2:12 AM CST, August 2nd, 2014.

Aug 16 2016, 12:34 am Oh_Man Post #50

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

I vote to give jj access to the mainframe!




Aug 16 2016, 12:42 am CecilSunkure Post #51



Quote from jjf28
If the code has clear organization, a nice DB schema, loose coupling for any application logic, and good language choices then let's build on what we have.

However my understanding is that the code is disorganized (probably tightly coupled as a result) and built with sub-par technologies. If that's indeed the case, then I vote we identify and ninja any important existing bugs (like anything hindering file upload/download, display a last-updated date; anything that makes things hard on newbs), and simultaneously start from scratch.

Stop beating around the bush, and OOP.



None.

Aug 16 2016, 12:48 am Moose Post #52



Quote from jjf28
If the code has clear organization, a nice DB schema, loose coupling for any application logic, and good language choices then let's build on what we have.

However my understanding is that the code is disorganized (probably tightly coupled as a result) and built with sub-par technologies. If that's indeed the case, then I vote we identify and ninja any important existing bugs (like anything hindering file upload/download, display a last-updated date; anything that makes things hard on newbs), and simultaneously start from scratch.
The current languages on the backend are PHP and MySQL. There's Javascript on the frontend, clearly. (jquery.js, custom javascript, etc.) I'm not sure if the LAMP stack is currently at the top or near the top of the web development food chain, but it's more likely that the implementations are lacking more than the technologies. It does have the advantages that I can build most of it from source and know how to configure and administer it, but I could certainly learn more. (And if we do a recode, then we'll discuss language and technology choices as a separate topic.)

As for how well the current design is, I haven't examined the code in depth enough to say. Devourer himself was learning a lot as he was going, expressed that there was a lot he would do differently and would like to do over/better, and regardless is only one person.




Aug 16 2016, 8:08 am Lanthanide Post #53



Quote from NudeRaider
Why do you take the upper part out of context and address it as if the sentence/point stopped there?
Not sure what your point is. There isn't any further context for what I quoted, and the rest of the sentence is addressed separately.

Quote
Why do you ignore the part where I said what you want already exists in a superior version?
No, what I want doesn't exist. You're suggesting hiding forums, that's the opposite of what I'm suggesting - bringing all the content together so it isn't hidden.

The point of why its bad to have lots of forums is about first impressions. I don't know if you've been to other game sites before, but when I go to one and see *heaps* of sub-forums, most of which have very little activity, I think that the site is well past its prime and no-one has bothered to do a tidy-up / bothers to maintain it. It's also discouraging for new people to post as they're not quite certain if they're posting in the right forum or not. Similarly having a single or few forums that have more activity rather than spreading activity over a larger number of forums, in itself breeds more activity, as it requires less effort for people to follow everything that's going on the site.

Quote
Why do you ignore the counter arguments I quoted?
I was replying to you, not jjf.

Quote
This is not how meaningful discussion will happen. If you want your arguments considered you gotta address the whole point instead of what suits you.
I addressed what you said. Not sure what the problem is.

Quote
Also, what advantages do you even hope to gain by the mergers? (e.g. more activity, more incentive for productivity, faster finding of stuff, etc.) And why? (beyond a broad "makes sense" that has no practical impact)
As above.



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Aug 18 2016, 12:03 am Sand Wraith Post #54

she/her

Things I'd like to see in the new SEN:

-improved social features ("About me" sections)
-number of forums reduced (either by removal, merging, or archiving). Condensing the SC2 forums should be the primary focus here
-focus on SC1 instead of splitting with SC2
-more mineral games




Aug 18 2016, 12:38 am CecilSunkure Post #55



I agree with more games.



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Aug 18 2016, 5:40 am NudeRaider Post #56

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Lanthanide
Quote
Why do you ignore the part where I said what you want already exists in a superior version?
No, what I want doesn't exist. You're suggesting hiding forums, that's the opposite of what I'm suggesting - bringing all the content together so it isn't hidden.
If you actually need to track everything that's going on, we have a front page summary. And the colored / gray markers in front of each subforum also work quite well to track activity in forums that you're interested in. I ask you again, what's the actual benefit of mergers that isn't covered by other functions already? And why do you think that outweighs the disadvantages jjf listed? (Yeah sorry, you might have to address other's points too, even though I do understand the appeal of only discussing with me. :bleh: )

Quote from Lanthanide
The point of why its bad to have lots of forums is about first impressions. I don't know if you've been to other game sites before, but when I go to one and see *heaps* of sub-forums, most of which have very little activity, I think that the site is well past its prime and no-one has bothered to do a tidy-up / bothers to maintain it. It's also discouraging for new people to post as they're not quite certain if they're posting in the right forum or not. Similarly having a single or few forums that have more activity rather than spreading activity over a larger number of forums, in itself breeds more activity, as it requires less effort for people to follow everything that's going on the site.
I can kind of understand the intimidation concern, although SEN has always been a large forum and that hasn't stopped me from just visiting the sections I was interested in when I joined. And in retrospect I wouldn't wanna have it any other way, because that helped a lot in finding what I was looking for when I needed it. (Although v4 and v5 searches were better at that.)
Anyways, a way to remove the intimidation we could make the default view something like this:


The actual collapsed forums are of course subject to change.

As for sites being past their prime needing clean-up: I simply don't agree. What's there has a valid reason to be exactly where it is. The only solution I see is archiving stuff in a organized read-only forum, while having an active forum set with fewer sections. Although I really don't like that for several reasons. (You probably agree so I don't go into detail.)

I'd need a couple actual examples where people instead joined other sites, instead of posting here because our forums are too granular, to believe that point.




Aug 18 2016, 10:30 pm Sand Wraith Post #57

she/her

Granularity isn't a problem on its own. Seeing many dead forums is what disinterests me when I look at a prospective forum. We have a lot of fairly dead forums but I see that most of them are related to clans or SC2.




Aug 18 2016, 11:37 pm Sie_Sayoka Post #58



Whilst the forum itself is important I'd like to see improvements being made on the database as well. Being a 20 year old (or 18 for BW) game a great number of fan sites have gone down in that time frame. SEN is only one of a hand full of existing sites that still hosts files for Starcraft and only one of a small few that caters primarily towards UMS/mods. I think it would be beneficial to upgrade the database and repopulate it with more maps in order to attract more members whether they be players or creators.

Some of the issues that I've found when trying to use the database is the search function is quite bad and I also have problems uploading files. It gives me an error saying no file selected when I try to upload some maps. In addition many of the older file links are broken, which I would assume would be because the addresses changed when we last had a major update.

Aside from those major problems there's also smaller issues such as maps having no description so you have no idea what the map is about aside from its category and title. Ratings and comments are also lacking which just echos that problem. I don't think that this is a large issue but it doesn't differentiate ourselves from being just another 'map pack' site. There's also no simple answer to this problem as well. It could be remedied somewhat through incentivization or volunteers but the chance for abuse arises.

Categories can also be changed as many of them are either too broad or obscure. Having user-added tags to files may help with categorizing maps and organizing the database. It would also be good to add an example category specifically to show certain mechanics and triggers.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Aug 18 2016, 11:48 pm by Sie_Sayoka.



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