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Oluseyi

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quote:
Original post by DudeMiester
Sounds to me like the resource section we already have, except updated more frequently.
Precisely, with a better index.

It struck me yesterday that rather than embarking on some ambitious initiative, I should consider modifying and improving existing resources, etc. The Articles & Resources section is highly underappreciated.

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Sometimes it''s also a little bit difficult to navigate when your topic might span multiple sections. Will the HyperFAQ have the ability to link some resources under multiple sections? For example: would the articles about developing a GUI for DirectX appear only in DirectX or would they also appear in general design?


Thanks Salsa!Colin Jeanne | Invader''s Realm
"I forgot I had the Scroll Lock key until a few weeks ago when some asshole program used it. It even used it right" - Conner McCloud

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I am strongly against any such wiki. I would wager 80%+ of the questions asked on the GDNet forums are generally resolvable by a 10 minute search on Google, yet I have never responded with the pointless Here is your answer. A wiki will not add anything productive to gamedev, people will simply replace the annoying Google references with the wiki reference and feel justified in doing so, since the wiki would presumably be sponsored by GameDev.

The point of a forum, even a technical one, is not necessarily to simply receive an answer to a question and move on. It is also ( and arguably more relevantly ) a medium for discussion/commentation/suggestions. Some things might be utterly repetitive, such as "How can I tell if a point lies in a polytope?" but I, personally, enjoy answering these questions. Even though often basic and completely generic, many times these topics lead to some of the most informative discussions. They also help keep you 'sharp'.

As a radical example, consider Yann L for a moment. He was one of the most informative members that GDNet has had, yet quite a few of the well known "Yann L threads" started off from fairly innocuous topics which could easily have been answered with the typical google reference. These forums be much less interesting when information is obtained from indexed references as opposed to human interaction and creativity.

A wiki is not a good idea. If people want to look for prepacked answers there is always Google.

[edited by - haro on April 15, 2004 3:04:27 AM]

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The major problem I see with the Articles and Resources Section is that it is not suited to one-line answer type questions. Something like (from my own experience) "What''s the right way to read a line from an istream into a string?" This has little potential for an article-length reply, but is still a worthy question. (I had no idea until someone pointed out the global getline().) Perhaps a wiki would be better suited to answering these types of questions.

I think haro also raises some good points about how it''s sometimes fun (and keeps you in good practice) to answer some of the more common and mundane questions.

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Instead of making a Wiki. I suggest make an XML based database. And an offline/online client like MicrosoftEncarta. This will help to manage/organize large amount of data.

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@haro:
Read my last post. It''ll index articles, summaries, links to external resources and threads on GDNet.

As much as you may like arguing the same issue for the Nth time, some people sometimes just need-straight-to-the point answers. This system balances both considerations by collecting resources onto a single entry page. The intent here is not to eliminate discussion, but rather to eliminate redundancy. With this system it''d be no problem to bring an issue up again (and again, and again, and again) because there''d be a single thread Canonized for frequently-debated issues, readily available references and a history of past discussion on the site.

Breathe.

@Invader X:
Yes, cross-referenced indexing will be a critical part of this effort. Artificial Intelligence Programming will be listed under both Artificial Intelligence and Programming.

@DirectXXX:
We have no incentive to make this a downloadable dataset. We want people visiting the site. Data size isn''t the problem; streamlining discussion, encouraging good practices and making it easier to find things even by browsing are.

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
@haro: As much as you may like arguing the same issue for the Nth time, some people sometimes just need-straight-to-the point answers.


If they need straight-to-the-point answers then they would not be posting in a forum in the first place, they would be checking out google. How many threads have you seen where people actually reply thankfully that somebody referenced them to google? Next to nobody. When people ask a question its not only a question but a discussion piece.

Looking over a couple of the current threads on the top of the Graphics Programming and Theory forum: One blatantly asks "What are shaders". Typing that into google picked up 35 sites who are virtually titled the same string. Searching in google without quotes offered some ~300,000 sites with enough pertenant information to instantly answer his question.

Another individual asked about collision detecting using a system with an octree/scene graph. Typing: scengraph octree collision detection into google returned 146 hits of sites which appeared to answer his exact question. Of course his question wasn't explicity "How do I implement collision detection", it was more of a discussion topic and this is exactly what it turned into. Here is the thread. GDNet is currently a very helpful resource for many many people. The second these threads become spammed with moderator supported "wiki" references instead of comments is the second this site loses its utility and function as a FORUM for discussion.

[edited by - haro on April 15, 2004 4:17:35 AM]

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quote:
Original post by haro
If they need straight-to-the-point answers then they would not be posting in a forum in the first place, they would be checking out google. How many threads have you seen where people actually reply thankfully that somebody referenced them to google? Next to nobody. When people ask a question its not only a question but a discussion piece.
Not true.

First off, some people lack initiative: they want to be spoonfed, so they''d never apply themselves and search with Google or on GDNet. I''ve seen instances where two posts covering a topic were on the first page of a forum and someone posted a third.

Second, lots of people are ingrates, and being told to search Google - especially if they lacked initiative to begin with - isn''t going to bring out their good side.

Believe it or not, you''re not the median around here.

quote:
GDNet is currently a very helpful resource for many many people. The second these threads become spammed with moderator supported "wiki" references instead of comments is the second this site loses its utility and function as a FORUM for discussion.
Colorful use of invective. Referring to "wiki" references as "spam" - nice touch. But I''m not impressed.

Are you saying everything is perfect, and we shouldn''t make any changes? Or do you have counter-suggestions to help improve the forums?

We''re going to try this thing and see if it works. If it doesn''t, we''ll roll back the changes. If it does, my belief is that it won''t disrupt your pleasurable rehashing, but in the unlikely event that occurs then we''ll have to weigh how many of our members feel negatively about the feature.

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So Best Case:

People goto the GDNet encyclopedia, look for what they are interested in. They find it get info, if they have ideas on that topic that arn''t discussed in the encyclopedia entry, then they start a thread stemming from the entry itself. Other people can see these threads as if they were created in the forum to begin with, reply, discuss, and if some info there is worthy it is added to the encyclopedia entry and the thread and relavent posts noted in the references section.

Some people also submit articles and info directly to the admins/editors for approval an entry.

Worst Case:

Everyone just ignore the encyclopedia just like they ignore Google, and things continue as they are.


I find the worst case far more likely. However if you only allow people to start topics from the encyclopedia entries, then they will be forced to use it, and disaster is averted. Of course, how do you make entirely new entries. I suppose you could have regular forums, where topics all stem from entries, and have another set for entry proposals and/or unanswered questions. However, now that you have this unanswered questions forum, I would expect them to post many redundant questions there. If you made a warning/temp ban/full ban system for people who spam the forums with useless questions you can get around this, but you must make the encyclopedia extremely accessable and easy to search to justify this.

I find that the only way to make this successful is to completly rework how the forums and reference sections work. You have to force users to search the encyclopedia first, and then post if they have a good idea or an unanswered question. If you don''t force people to change their habits, then things will never change.

Of course, if you do get it to work, their is a plethora of possibilies available. You could publish it yearly as an actual physical encyclopedia. Make a dynamically updated downloadable version.

Naturally, the general forums and hosted forums would be left as they are.

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Are you saying everything is perfect, and we shouldn''t make any changes?



To be blatant, yes. The one thing I would desire to see on these forums is an increase in the number of experienced developers. A ready made set of packaged answers is likely to just scare off or frustrate many new developers, not to attract more experienced developers.

The time and energy it will take to create the wiki could likely be better spent trying to create something unique and unarguably positive for the GameDev community. An example might be organizing monthly programming challenges for users. Non-cash rewards could be offered, such as a temporary avatar or title. This would be fun and definitely attract some new users to GameDev. It would also probably end up spawning some interesting contest related threads. The potential for negative consequences would not exist, unlike the wiki idea.

Ironically, the contest idea would also probably take less effort than the wiki would. Some previous informal contests have already taken place - the compression thread, encryption/decryption contests, etc..

I really don''t picture the wiki as adding much to GDNet in the best case scenario. I do picture it as having the potential to actually frustrate users in the worst case. Its a no-win.

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