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13 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Does that matter? The important thing is people see there is activity

Well considering a big part of activity is community based, I'd say being accessible matters a bit ?

June 4 2020 is not that bad I'd say considering it's the holidays after that and then usually the start of the work year. Sure I'd love to have a release by now but life doesn't seem to comply.

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12 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I take responsibility for that. I've been very inactive, both here on the forums and on social media the last couple of months because of other engagements and, personal reasons... In fact, I even owe you a PM response which I've neglected and apologize for. Expect more activity and engagement in the near future. 

But there's no reason for anyone to think that the project is dead. As the project develops, demands and expectations grow, and Alpha 23 and Alpha 24 have been very demanding on everyone involved in development. But a lot of work really does go on, a lot of work that's difficult to communicate to the community because it's too technical. But people are working on it, every day:

https://trac.wildfiregames.com/timeline?from=Sep+27%2C+2020&daysback=40&authors=&milestone=on&ticket=on&ticket_details=on&changeset=on&wiki=on&sfp_email=&sfph_mail=&update=Update#

As I said, @Sundiata- not intended as a criticism - anyone who is an active part of the community will know how much hard work is happening 'under the hood' - so to speak. Those on the outside looking in, they might draw an incorrect conclusion based on the metric of visible activity and engagement at a surface level - that would be my concern. 

@Stan` & @Sundiata- couple of things to float at you here. Does 0AD need more support/help/volunteers from it's community in the more non-technical aspects of the project, like community engagement on it's social media and video channels or public relations in general? I know the more people you involve the harder a project like this becomes to 'manage' - I'd be keen to shift the narrative of the discussion from 'why aren't you doing this' to 'okay, appreciate your situation - what can we do to help, add value to the project and make things easier for the dev side of thing.'

Second thing is a bit more of an aspirational suggestion this, but interested in your take on it. If I've understood the current situation right, latter 2020 (i.e. right about now) is the date that was previously sort of tentatively touted as the intended A24 release. There has been some muted hype about it, and as a result - right now, there is a sense of expectation, and probably reading this thread and seeing the kinds of challenges still present in terms of getting A24 out into the wild, you're going to see a bit of collective disappointment. That has happened, and you're right, announcing that in Social Media now - probably not a positive thing to do. 

I reckon the only way you could still maximise the release of A24 is if you utilise a PR strategy in conjunction with the release.

Pick a time in the future, a decent timescale, say June/July/August - maybe even a Sept (a whole year from now) - basically a timescale that even the most overworked, time-starved volunteer dev could reasonably turn around and say, 'yes, even with what is outstanding, that is more than enough time to finish and make A24 ready for release.' And then you build a PR/Social Media/Video content strategy around it - all leading up to that release. Aim to build as much positive engagement and most importantly, momentum, to that release date. Make it become a seismic event with huge anticipation. 0AD is a niche game, in a niche genre. But the genre is a pretty big niche, and I see 0AD as a something of a 'sleeping giant' within it. I'd love to wake it up! With the foundations already in place, the community you have already got fully engaged and actively playing their part, there is potential to really move the needle. Don't trade forever on the 1m downloads of Sourceforge claim or look at the A23 trailer on Youtube having had over quarter of a million views, that's the past. There is plenty of time, there is a great existing community, 0AD could be something really significant, and a strategic release of A24 could be the transform the narrative from an unfortunate delay in 2020 to an epic triumph in mid 2021. Just a thought :) 

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22 hours ago, Stan` said:

Also, I have no idea how many people actually look at the main page. @implodedok do we have any statistics about that ?

There are no analytics behind play0ad.com.  We should probably take care of that, but I'm not sure if that would require us to place a cookie wall as well.  I'll look into it.

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A24, casualization, effects and differences
all civs need siege workshop? those that only have a siege piece, it would not be better to do it in the castle or for athens and sparta to do it in the castle, now their castle will be an unnecessary stone expense
heroes and effects
esparta AGIS II: could be an economic here
Iber VIRIATO: you need a horse and if you could make a sword champion like kurus or chandragupta, it would be perfect
Poison Effect on Murian Champion Achaeans
fire effect in the ibera cavalry
cost and production of a siege workshop, if a workshop does 2 things or 4 because it has the same cost, the cost of the workshop is 300 and the castrum 500 I see no need for a workshop with Rome, if spending 500 in phase 3, that at that time you usually have enough wood 

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You can discuss balancing on Phabricator (code.wildfiregames.com) @soloooy0 and with the balancing team.

1 hour ago, implodedok said:

There are no analytics behind play0ad.com.  We should probably take care of that, but I'm not sure if that would require us to place a cookie wall as well.  I'll look into it.

We need to keep the GDPR in mind though.

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On 9/24/2020 at 6:54 PM, Stan` said:

Well in the current state we can't release on Linux, on BSD, Mac display is broken on Catalina and recognized as a keylogger, and the game cannot be played on Ryzen CPUs. So even if all the features where given up upon many wouldn't  be able to play. 

 

I checked the listed bugs based on the above and with my limited knowledge of 0ad development I see the following.

Mac display and keylogger issue can be fixed by simply updating sdl which is a nobrainer and a must do anyway. The only question if users of old mac os need to build from source on their own or whether to provide some ld_preload equivalent wrapper so one package can suffice or whether to provide two separate packages.

For BSD there are couple of patches probably by the maintainer of the 0ad port. The trivial bits should be merged and stuff you aren't sure about without some research can remain part of the port for now.

As for Linux the only obvious issue is the dependency on python2 which is against packaging policy due to it being EOL. From a quick glance python is only used for unit tests and maintenance tools as in server side components. So basically it's just dependency for running the tests and as such can be overlooked by a packager short term.

The Ryzen issue seems understood and patches are available even if you have to call them hacks.

 

Most importantly none of them are regressions. A broken a24 is still better than a broken a23. The most glaring issue of all is no release in 2 years and not the quality thereof.

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57 minutes ago, hyperion said:

Mac display and keylogger issue can be fixed by simply updating sdl which is a nobrainer and a must do anyway. The only question if users of old mac os need to build from source on their own or whether to provide some ld_preload equivalent wrapper so one package can suffice or whether to provide two separate packages

It's not a no brainer as SDL updates have been known to break a lot of things in the past. Also Windows is still using 2.0.5

My experience with mac players is that generally you can't ask them to compile the game

59 minutes ago, hyperion said:

 

For BSD there are couple of patches probably by the maintainer of the 0ad port. The trivial bits should be merged and stuff you aren't sure about without some research can remain part of the port for now.

They are by the maintainer. They require review nonetheless else it might break things in non obvious ways.

1 hour ago, hyperion said:

 

As for Linux the only obvious issue is the dependency on python2 which is against packaging policy due to it being EOL. From a quick glance python is only used for unit tests and maintenance tools as in server side components. So basically it's just dependency for running the tests and as such can be overlooked by a packager short term.

It's also needed to build SpiderMonkey which runs half the code of the game.

1 hour ago, hyperion said:

The Ryzen issue seems understood and patches are available even if you have to call them hacks.

They also affect all the other CPUs so they might make the game unplayable for other cpus

 

I agree with you that not everything is that bad but it's not good either.

 

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1 hour ago, Stan` said:
2 hours ago, hyperion said:

Mac display and keylogger issue can be fixed by simply updating sdl which is a nobrainer and a must do anyway. The only question if users of old mac os need to build from source on their own or whether to provide some ld_preload equivalent wrapper so one package can suffice or whether to provide two separate packages

It's not a no brainer as SDL updates have been known to break a lot of things in the past. Also Windows is still using 2.0.5

My experience with mac players is that generally you can't ask them to compile the game

A no brainer in the sense that dropping support for old mac os is acceptable but not supporting new ones is out of question, in the sense you need to stick close to upstream so that if you run into issues you are qualified to report them or get other forms of help. Also I'm playing a23 which was built against 2.0.12 without apparent issues for months albeit on Linux.

My experience with mac is you are a good customer while your hardware is less than a year old, a decent if less than three and out of luck thereafter. Unlike Microsoft which puts considerable effort into forward compatibility Apple is perfectly fine for it's user to run into issues few years down the line. So if Apple doesn't care why should you? And if someone actually cares putting out a community build is already good enough IMHO.

 

On 10/3/2020 at 1:51 PM, Stan` said:
On 10/3/2020 at 12:49 PM, hyperion said:

 

As for Linux the only obvious issue is the dependency on python2 which is against packaging policy due to it being EOL. From a quick glance python is only used for unit tests and maintenance tools as in server side components. So basically it's just dependency for running the tests and as such can be overlooked by a packager short term.

It's also needed to build SpiderMonkey which runs half the code of the game.

Looks like spidermonkey-52 needs python for unit tests only. 52 is what I think Itms currently is at.

 

On 10/3/2020 at 1:51 PM, Stan` said:
On 10/3/2020 at 12:49 PM, hyperion said:

The Ryzen issue seems understood and patches are available even if you have to call them hacks.

They also affect all the other CPUs so they might make the game unplayable for other cpus

Well, with a bit grepping the only use I found for all that cache handling is an aligned allocator which cares about L1 while the issue seems to be limited to L3, so commenting out the respective code and adding a TODO should work for now.

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13 minutes ago, hyperion said:

Well, with a bit grepping the only use I found for all that cache handling is an aligned allocator which cares about L1 while the issue seems to be limited to L3, so commenting out the respective code and adding a TODO should work for now.

That's the launching bug. But then we get a runtime bug that make the game unplayable for Ryzen users. Just ask @Dakara
or @OptimusShepard
There is a patch for it, but I lack the hardware knowledge to know if it's the proper one. Which is why I'm waiting for Itms return.

13 minutes ago, hyperion said:

Looks like spidermonkey-52 needs python for unit tests only. 52 is what I think Itms currently is at.

And his branch is waiting for review from @wraitii
 

 

13 minutes ago, hyperion said:

Also I'm playing a23 which was built against 2.0.12 without apparent issues for months albeit on Linux.

Well that's good. Now that's one platform less to check. Still waiting for Itms's decision.

 

Look, I'm looking forward to ending this as much as the next guy, so we can move on to the next version and the ones after that. But we still need people to work on this. For now they are low on time and that's showing. But they are doing the best they can and that's the most you can expect from volunteer work.

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13 hours ago, Stan` said:

that's the most you can expect from volunteer work.

This part is not entirely true. Its the same argument people and companies were using against open source for years. Its just a bunch of dudes working during their nights. It wont go faster than a snail. But time and time again, it has been proven to be wrong, because those same people deliver. With all the complaining, the burnout, the turnover, things still move forward.

And its kinda disappointing to see this from a FOSS point of view because the principle behind the movement is being contradicted and we are to believe community development is a dead end. I guess you yourself believe we are marching towards oblivion.

I have said my interpretation of why that's not the case here, but alas, they were neither constructive nor on topic and were removed.

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7 minutes ago, smiley said:

This part is not entirely true. Its the same argument people and companies were using against open source for years. Its just a bunch of dudes working during their nights. It wont go faster than a snail. But time and time again, it has been proven to be wrong, because those same people deliver. With all the complaining, the burnout, the turnover, things still move forward.

Sure. Open Source has often exceeded the expectations. But it doesn't mean you should require it to. I also would have quit months ago if I thought we couldn't fight it.

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1 hour ago, Stan` said:

Sure. Open Source has often exceeded the expectations. But it doesn't mean you should require it to.

Well, of course, nobody owes anyone anything. That is a two way road though.

When the answer to everything is being an unpaid volunteer project, it says a lot more than what I presume you even intended to.

That statement pretty much says, "we are out of our depth here, don't expect much from us, this is an inherent aspect of the project we can't ever change, deal with it or move on". The message isn't something current and potential users and contributors like to hear. And most of the time, they will choose the latter and just move on because well, seems like it will all be a heathen effort.

And truthfully, people don't owe usage of the software being developed as much as they presumably aren't entitled to criticism because we are all altruistic here. And at that point, then what? development for development's sake? the means becomes the ends?

That last statement may seem hyperbolic, but that's exactly what I am seeing here now. "It's an unpaid volunteer project. Take your entitlement elsewhere". Sure, but then what?

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56 minutes ago, smiley said:

That statement pretty much says, "we are out of our depth here, don't expect much from us, this is an inherent aspect of the project we can't ever change, deal with it or move on". The message isn't something current and potential users and contributors like to hear. And most of the time, they will choose the latter and just move on because well, seems like it will all be a heathen effort.

So tell me, what would you want to hear?

56 minutes ago, smiley said:

development for development's sake? the means becomes the ends?

Some people contribute to open-source for the sake of contributing to open source, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that, isn't it ?

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4 hours ago, Stan` said:

So tell me, what would you want to hear?

I look for two things in a project. Engagement from users and engagement from devs. If said project is meant to amount to anything, devs need to take the thing seriously.

The cruel reality of the this endeavour is that this is neither easy nor fun. If everyone is looking for something fun to do, I guess that makes a lot of sense. Noone is tackling the big issues. Noone wants to go through hell for N months for fun.

"We are doing this for fun" makes for a good tagline. But when things amount to something, it's no longer fun, it's work. Most projects aren't abandoned because there isn't usage. Most are abandoned because something someone did for fun became useful, others found it useful, and it became an actual thing that demanded a lot more than fun, which the maintainer couldn't offer.

I don't have authority to dictate how people should act or feel. But that attitude wouldn't really deliver what the users of the software expects. Maybe that's alright. Maybe this codebase is a tech demo for people to code on and having an end product 0AD, the RTS game built by the community for the community, is just a byproduct.

It's not about what people want to see. It's about what people expect to get and what you can offer.

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1 hour ago, GunChleoc said:

Sometimes, one just needs a break. It's not the end of the world or the project.

Its not quite as pretty as "everyone's taking a break". But i have no stake in any of that discussion, so lets just leave it be.

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I remember that sometime ago a person was hired to work part-time in developing the game. In general, how was this experience? What are the positive and negative aspects of it? Talking about it, what is the possibility of a new crowdfunding so that a person can work being paid to solve these specific points that prevent the release of a new version?

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10 hours ago, Sturm said:

Talking about it, what is the possibility of a new crowdfunding so that a person can work being paid to solve these specific points that prevent the release of a new version?

I guess, that's not that easy, if you want to hire a person for this special problems.

In general you need to find a person you can trust, the person needs the skills and also the code quality has to be good enough.

Second, there is much conflict potential. There are many volunteers, which had worked thousands of hours in the last years for free. So why paying an external, new person instead of them?

Third, one person wont be enough, as the code has to be reviewed, bevor it can be committed. If they only hire one person, this would be very inefficient, as he/she has always to wait, until someone has the time, to review the code.

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On 10/6/2020 at 9:08 PM, Stan` said:

But then we get a runtime bug that make the game unplayable for Ryzen users. Just ask @Dakara
or @OptimusShepard
There is a patch for it, but I lack the hardware knowledge to know if it's the proper one. Which is why I'm waiting for Itms return.

Yep, like @Stan` said. With the current Zen2 based CPUs we get random slow-downs and speed-ups while playing the game. It's, like someone suddenly sets the game speed e.g. from 1 to 0,1 or 10. I don't have the skills, to review the patch, I only be able test it.

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16 hours ago, smiley said:

Its not quite as pretty as "everyone's taking a break".

I guess, it's not the problem, that more than one of the guys has currently not the time, it's more who of them has currently not the time. Not everyone has the skills, to solve the last release blockers.

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On 10/8/2020 at 12:36 PM, OptimusShepard said:
On 10/6/2020 at 9:08 PM, Stan` said:

But then we get a runtime bug that make the game unplayable for Ryzen users. Just ask @Dakara
or @OptimusShepard
There is a patch for it, but I lack the hardware knowledge to know if it's the proper one. Which is why I'm waiting for Itms return.

Yep, like @Stan` said. With the current Zen2 based CPUs we get random slow-downs and speed-ups while playing the game. It's, like someone suddenly sets the game speed e.g. from 1 to 0,1 or 10. I don't have the skills, to review the patch, I only be able test it.

Are you talking about https://code.wildfiregames.com/D2726

First a general comment, the patch does more than one logical change and thus should be split accordingly.

Then let's just look at the changes in timer.cpp, which I assume is what Stan refers to as the Linux fix. Split out that part of the patch and ensure that without you experience the slowdowns and that the new minimal patch indeed prevents the issue. If so you found a bug in third party software and you should report it upstream and 0ad must not change the code in the name of fixing Ryzen.

This new minimal patch may have merit on it's own. Both CLOCK_REALTIME and CLOCK_MONOTONIC give different guarantees for measuring time elapsed and without digging through the use of timer in 0ad my first impression is CLOCK_MONOTONIC is likely what should be used in the first place.

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