Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentoring?

Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentoring?

Postby Julius » 21 Nov 2017, 13:56

Sort of as a spin off from the other recent thread about the future of FDG: Would there be an interest in doing small collaborative coding sprints / competitions / mentoring session organized by FGD?

We could try to set up a CodePad and maybe a small git repo and use that as a collaborative working space for doing small tasks for FOSS game projects.

The rough idea would be to utilize something like this:
https://stratum0.org/wiki/CTF ( https://github.com/StratumAuhuur/CTFPad ),
together with this: https://github.com/LaKing/ep_codepad
and maybe a dedicated IRC channel.

And then schedule small weekend events open to anyone where we could collaborate on a small set of tasks for a FOSS game project (like: "make improved particle effects for the weapons in game X").

Is that something people here would be interested in?

We could also do some collaborative documentation writing efforts for FOSS game engines/tools if there is interest in that; yeah boring I know :eew:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” - Buckminster Fuller
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby Lyberta » 22 Nov 2017, 00:29

I think that one of the difficulties would be the diversity of languages and development tools.
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby c_xong » 22 Nov 2017, 01:18

In my experience, the biggest difficulties in FOSS collaboration are: matching my skills with areas that need help, and barriers to entry.

I did Hacktoberfest 2017 and most of my time was spent finding good projects instead of doing real work. I also skipped over projects that had no getting started guide, or if it ran on for multiple pages.

Unfortunately, most FOSS games are in a similar state; unless you talk to the maintainers you have no idea what areas of help are required or actually wanted, and the tasks either require lots of setup or very extensive knowledge of the project. This makes it really hard for newcomers.

So maintainers are an important part of the process; ideally, they would be present during the event to suggest tasks and mentor.

The same people can do both; I would be interested in a "quid pro quo" exercise: I'll contribute to another project if they also contribute to mine.

Another problem is that most projects are uninteresting, so people don't want to contribute just for its own sake. I've contributed small bits of code to a few FOSS games before but only after I've played them and really enjoyed them. Will these events have some other incentives?
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby Julius » 22 Nov 2017, 08:37

@Lyberta: yeah... probably not possible to do complex stuff. But often there are smaller tasks in script languages that should work quite well.

@c_xong: definitely this should include one of the current maintainers to ensure an easy entry. In the end this could be a good "recruitment" event for new contributors too.

But I don't think it is really feasible to do a fair exchange (other that rotating projects) or some other incentive scheme though. In the end people should just contribute when they actually like the project I guess.
Nothing would stop someone to run a funding campaign on bountysource or similar in parallel though. However I doubt this would yield much funds for these kind if small weekend sprint kind of events where each individual is spending a few hours at most.
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby onpon4 » 26 Nov 2017, 07:30

For what it's worth, this is something I would have absolutely no interest in.

However, here is a different idea that might be worth considering: libre game showcase events. You could have an event, maybe once a year or a couple of times a year, where libre game developers can showcase their games. A few organizers could host an IRC channel, special sessions (which could include the "sprints" you're talking about, or lessons, or mini-competitions, or what have you), and some "awards" for the best of the games that have entries. Another thing you could do, if someone has the time, is set up e.g. an Icecast server and stream the games; I know that I, personally, really like to see people play the games I've worked on and give critical feedback, and I'm probably not alone.

For the sake of transparency, this idea is actually directly a ripoff of a very similar event held by another community, so it's not out of the blue and I know from personal experience that it can work really well.
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby Julius » 26 Nov 2017, 07:49

Ah, like Quakeexpo ( https://qexpo2016.com/ )? Sure that is also a nice idea, although if done too often it is likely to loose steam quickly. The irregular, maybe 2 year schedule of quakeexpo is probably a bit too low though. Furthermore people seem to struggle with the idea of an online-only expo :)
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Re: Small collaborative coding sprints / competition /mentor

Postby onpon4 » 26 Nov 2017, 18:17

Yeah, that's the sort of thing I'm talking about. Yearly would be a pretty good rate, I think.
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