Is there an actual community here?

General AstroSynthesis discussion

Is there an actual community here?

Postby EDG » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:41 pm

While I appreciate the help that ed_NBOS offers, it seems to me that he is either unable or unwilling to devote too much time to support users here (e.g. the API remains an almost useless bare framework with little explanation and very few examples, advice on plugins is short and cryptic at best, and it seems that he has to be poked in order to get a response to questions). I find that a little frustrating considering that we pay $35 for the program - a little more support would be nice.

It seems to me that what this board needs is a community to help eachother out, which is pretty much non-existent at the moment. I don't know if that's because only a small number of people are buying AS3, or if those who do aren't aware of the forums, or if they buy it, try it, and then give up without ever coming here. There seem to be no "resident experts" (other than ed_NBOS) who can share their knowledge, answer questions about how to use the program, and help people figure out how to make sense of the API (I guess I may even be the closest equivalent to one right now, but there are huge gaps in my AS3 knowledge).

So are there any knowledgeable people lurking on the boards? Is there anyone else other than me here who wants to help people out? (Alan Bartholet seems to have disappeared, he wrote a lot of good plugins a couple of years ago and would be exactly the sort of person we need around here to help out...)

Basically - if you're out there, post a message here and let's see if we can build up a network of support!
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Re: Is there an actual community here?

Postby KeithM » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:08 pm

I'd love to see that sort of thing as well.

Right now the single biggest issue is the documentation. With a proper API, hell even some decent examples, things would be much easier to figure out.
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Re: Is there an actual community here?

Postby EDG » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:52 am

KeithM wrote:I'd love to see that sort of thing as well.


That makes one other person at least... I'm not even sure that there is anyone else who frequents these boards though. I suspect most folks show up when they buy AS, maybe ask a question or two, which may or may not get a response from ed_NBOS, and then give up.

Right now the single biggest issue is the documentation. With a proper API, hell even some decent examples, things would be much easier to figure out.


Agreed. Unfortunately ed_NBOS does not appear to be interested in updating it, and just saying "use this command" doesn't really help without an example to demonstrated how to use it.
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Re: Is there an actual community here?

Postby kaladorn » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:09 am

For most FPSes (the other community-driven environment I can think of), the community is built up by a few crazy people undertaking a lot of pain to find out a lot of undocumented stuff (and pestering the developers they can identify for data) and compiling that sort of information. It seems to be a massive trial and error and a thankless task for a long time.

Then, when enough of that work has been done, they publish better API docs and provide examples and more people start to get interested. Once you have an active modding and scripting community, it becomes somewhat self-supporting but it also tends to poke the development team for additional changes here and there as time goes by.

So, in order for someone to get to that point, some one or ones of us have to undertake a painful effort of doing that up-front labour of misery.

Nobody spends money and time documenting APIs because if the consumer base for the product is small, the consumer base for API use is infinitesimal. I've worked on lots of projects with APIs and I've never seen one documented even halfway decently.

The other thing is we can't reasonably add certain capabilities if the API doesn't expose the hooks. That would require the ability to do something more fundamental.

I know I've been experiencing a fair bit of crashiness with AS3 (and not doing graphic things). I'm still happy with the product, I just save frequently and don't use certain operations. But as a working software engineer, I find unhandled exception conditions that cause program crashes to be lamentable. There ought to at least be a base level handlers to catch such exceptions and not have the program keel over violently, but that depends on this kind of thing having been a design constraint from the start. Library crashes can also be a problem since that's sometimes otside of your conrol.

No way we could fix something like that within the community; Those sorts of changes require NBOS to deal with them.
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Re: Is there an actual community here?

Postby Ed_NBOS » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:45 pm

kaladorn wrote:I know I've been experiencing a fair bit of crashiness with AS3


If you are experiencing program 'crashes' you should report them via the support email address.
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Re: Is there an actual community here?

Postby kaladorn » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:00 pm

I develop software for a living. I'd love to report them if I could reliably duplicate them and file a good bug report. One example was clicking on the search in AS3 and I got dialogs galore and a program crash.

But I'm not sure of what the preconditions were (which of my example sectors did I have loaded or did I not have one loaded? What was selected? etc) and I know that filing crappy bug reports is ultimately a waste of developer time.

When I have some good info to file, I will certainly file bug reports. Hopefully I'll be able to give you steps to replicate and provide any involved sector files, etc.
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