Fosdem2012

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki

General information

This page is meant to somehow coordinate the small Wesconf taking place at FOSDEM 2012. That is everyone attending should please list him/herself in the list of arrivals and stuff like this. FOSDEM 2012 will take place at the first weekend in Febuary 2012, on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th.

Schedule/Plans

(nick)name(s) Arrival Departure Accomodation
AI Friday? Sunday? 2go4 (booked by Ivanovic)
Boucman Fri, 3rd Sun, 5th not sure, to be confirmed
Crab Fri, 3rd, (Friday 12:20 to Dortmund) Sun, 5th (Monday 8:35 from Dortmund) 2go4 (booked by Ivanovic)
elias Fri, 3rd, Brussels Midi 18:42 Sun, 5th 2go4 (booked independently)
fendrin Fri, 3rd Sun, 5th 2go4 (booked by Ivanovic)
Ivanovic Fri, 3rd, "afternoon" (~17:00 at "chokopolis"; not 100% sure yet) Sun, 5th, leaving right from ULB campus 2go4 (booked by Ivanovic)
Mordante Fri, 3rd Sun, 5th 2go4 (booked by Ivanovic)

For accommodations please keep in mind that parking in the center of Brussels is really problematic. It might make sense to drive to the University where FOSDEM takes place, park there and take the bus into the town center (where some of the hotels/hostels are).

Possible hostels that we at least contacted over the last years (some of them might already be booked out by now!):

  • CHAB
  • 2go4 Note: groups bigger 6 are not allowed, so we can (officially) not form a complete Wesnoth group at this hostel, got to meet somewhere in town/at the university...
  • Bruegel YH

On the official FOSDEM page some more possible hotels/hostels are listed.

Maps

Transportation

Information about how to reach the FOSDEM is listed at the official transportation subpage.

Short version of how to get there for those that reside in Bruegel YH and Novotel Grand Place (basically town center):

  • Enter Bus 71 (Debrouckere - Central Station ("Gare Centrale") - Delta) somewhere at 'Central Station'
  • Leave the bus at "ULB" (crossroads Ave. Adolphe Buyl - Sq. Deveze)
  • Walk down Ave. Paul Heger on your right hand.

Wesnoth Hacking Room

Wesnoth will not have a room of its own (though there will be the open source game dev devroom on Sunday where hopefully many Wesnoth devs will participate). Instead we will use one of the "general hacking rooms". So far it is not sure which room it will be, if we do it like the last three years, it will be room number 115 in the building AW1 (okay, new booklet is out, now it is AW1.117). Last year this was the smaller of the two hacking rooms and we had no real problem with conquering (and holding) the first row in this room. There were not too many power outlets, so this year at least Ivanovic will bring one multi-outlet power strip plus some extension cable (5m or something like this). Mordante will (hopefully) also bring a multi-outlet power strip and a 20m extension cable. There is no wired network, everything wireless (and sometimes rather/very unstable!). Beside this you should bring laptops since there are no computers available for hacking.

Short version:

AW1 - Room 117 (at least on Saturday)

Discussions and Results

We usually discuss all sorts of things at FOSDEM, this section is basically a (really short) summary of things that were discussed including their results. First are the discussions that were done "in plenum" with basically all attendees around. At the bottom is an area meant for discussions that were held in sub groups that not all devs might be aware of that were around.

Below you can find a list of things we discussed and that were done during FOSDEM.

Campaign difficulty levels

As a follow up of the difficulty level discussions on the ML we also discussed if it would make sense to (slightly) adjust the way we advertise difficulty levels for our campaigns. The basic idea is to come up with a list of maybe 8 to 10 "non discriminating" difficulty level descriptions getting rid of terms like "easy" or "normal" but going more to describing the players ability and encouraging players not to use one of the mid levels if they don't have the experience for them (yet). Some proposed terms were:

  • Beginner (guided)
  • Beginner
  • Advanced
  • Challenging
  • Professional
  • Nightmare
  • Impossible

The general idea is to not rate the campaigns as well as the single difficulty level inside the campaigns but to provide one scale which is only shown when starting the campaign. So "Advanced" in campaign A would be similar to "Advanced" in campaign B. The higher level campaigns would eg start with "Challenging" and reach over to "Impossible" while some easier and short campaign might have "Advanced" as highest difficulty level. Yes, this is somehow similar to the current system, it just means to get rid of the extra "campaign wise" difficult level we have.

Currently we explicitly list the number of scenarios per campaign. There it might also make sense to not list the explicit numbers but more some "estimate how long a player might need". Not in hours but more like "short", "medium", "long" and "epic".

Campaign Selection UI

The UI for campaigns was discussed at well. Several ideas were raised, most referring to some ancient mockups. They still seem to be good mockups. The idea is make the campaign dialogue to look like this, but the list of the campaigns has a small `+' like this. When clicked the row expands like this, except it shows only difficulty and number of scenarios.

The problems with the current dialogue are:

  • Description and information are in one list. This means the engine does not know about things like difficulty and number of scenarios, due to the fact it is `hidden' in the text.
  • There needs to be better sorting and filtering of campaigns.

Change of the VCS from s­­v­­n to git?

The subject of moving to git was another discussion. For us the main advantage of git is that it's easier to use with branching and especially merging branches back. The decentralised work-flow is another plus. Sub­­version seems to be working on better branching support, but it is not expected it will change its centralised work-flow.

Several extra issues were mentioned, these are listed below. Note some of the points obviously only become valid if we move to git.

  • Should be move both the hosting of the code and the bug-tracker at the same time. The idea was that it might be better to do the two separate, but look at the bug-tracker of the new hosting party.
  • The integration of the bug-tracker and the commits is an important feature. (If in a commit message bug #xxxxx is mentioned the commit message is posted in the bug as well.)
  • The hosting party should have a commit mailing list.
  • GNA uses Savannah which seems to be unmaintained, so we might be forced to move anyway, unless GNA switches to another system.
  • The GNA bug-tracker is rather nice, the new hosting party should also have a nice tracker. Some trackers were mention:
    • Sourceforce's Trac (They also have an older tracker.)
    • Gentoo's Bugzilla
  • Git has a higher learning curve than Sub­­version, which can be an issue for non-coder developers:
    • Translators, they send a po-file but need to update their repository.
    • WML authors.
    • Artists, some artists commit themselves. Is git an issue for them? At least Jetryl is familiar with git since he uses it with Frogatto.
    • Map balancers, some of them use Sub­­version others send maps to others with commit rights. (Not discussed on the FOSDEM.)
  • The question is how well it git supported on all common platforms:
    • Linux obviously supported.
    • Mac seems to be supported and have several front-ends.
    • Windows has TortoiseGIT which seems to be TortoiseS­­V­­N but then using git. This has some advantages, most Windows users use TortoiseS­­V­­N so the switch is easy for them. It also `hides' several of the more advanced features of git, which can make git more daunting.
  • It was discussed whether it was an idea to move Wesnoth-UMC-dev first but AI mentioned it was planned, but not for the near future.
  • Some hosting parties were mentioned as an alternative to GNA.
    • Sourceforge
    • Github (They have a soft-limit in size of 300 MB, which might be a problem we should ask them before considering.)

GSoC 2012

During the FOSDEM a new Google Summer of Code was announced and the discussion rose whether to join or not. Some developers thought it might be an idea to skip a year, others wanted to join. It was decided that it would be discussed further on the mailing list.

Some points were mentioned:

  • GSoC mentoring and preparation cost a lot of time and that time especially mentoring is done by core developers, who can not use that time to hack on Wesnoth.
  • The amount of students that stay is rather low. The whole idea of GSoC is to gain new students and keep them. The disadvantages are:
    • The project is abandoned after the summer.
    • The mentor suddenly has an extra feature to maintain.
    • Getting a new student up to speed takes quite some effort, so it would have been faster if the mentor did the work him/herself. This should pay itself back by gaining a new developer. The first happens, the second too little. (That it takes time and is faster to do it oneself is expected, just like training a new colleague.)

Wescamp-i18n

This project has recently moved to Github since Berlios was scheduled to shut down at the end of last year. AI did this move, but still the (automatic) upload of translations doesn't work. Shadowmaster recently discussed this as well on the mailing list. Mordante is still interested on working on this project, but GUI2 has stalled it. Still he's interested to restart this project in the near future. Some features which were discussed are:

  • The email address will become mandatory. This allows us to contact the author is case there is an issue with the add-on either with the translation or in general, content that is not free, add-on broken, etc. etc..
  • The add-on will automatically be uploaded to git if the "translatable" flag is set.
  • The translations will be separated from the add-on. This makes it easier to synchronise with Wescamp. In the current set-up the translation is part of the add-on and synchronising means modifying the add-on. This has been one of the reasons for not really pursuing the issue.
  • Github has several upload hooks and a JSON API.
  • At the client-side there needs to be a preference which translations to download (always including the current language). Then the client can only download the wanted translations. This means the server has to be told which translations to download.
  • The replies for the user send by the server should be translatable, like wesnothd.

Mordante has already started a paper with more information regarding this subject.

Fun stuff

  • Lua was updated to 5.2 (committed).
  • A working prototype was shown for difficulty selection in multiplayer campaigns, turning standard SP campaigns such as Legend of Wesmere or The Son of the Black Eye into multiplayer campaigns with no WML changes involved.
  • AI was tricked to complete a single-player campaign, "Two Brothers", in fully unattended mode (no human mouse clicks in scenarios or between them, fully unattended from launch from command-line, until victory in the last scenario).
  • AI was tricked to complete the campaign "An Orcish Incursion".

The Open Source Game Development Devroom

Ivanovic was responsible for organizing the Open Source Game Development Devroom which took place on Sunday 5th. There were many many interesting talks and presentations held during this day. One of the highlights was probably boucmans talk about game balancing based on the knowledge the Wesnoth team gathered over time.

Overall the devroom was a huge success: most talks were full, some were even a little "more than full" meaning that further attends were not allowed in. For many talks slides and/or audio recordings are available. Just go to the talks specific page where you will find slides as well as audio recordings if they are available.

Mordante's `email'

Here's my summary of the WESDEM 2012. We met Friday the third after some delay, traffic in the Netherlands and Belgium is complete chaos as soon as some snow appears. After a late dinner at the our favourite restaurant we went to the hostel. Fendrin loves the free wifi in this restaurant.

Saturday we grabbed the hacking room as usual and had some discussions, whose summaries are below. We also hacked and especially Crab managed to pull of quite a bit of work. Afterwards we headed for the greek again.

Sunday it was the first time we hosted a devroom and had presentations of several games. During the first talk the room was not crowded, but that might have to do with the time, 09:10. With the other talks the room was crowded or over-crowded. There were several very interesting talks.

I assume Ivanovic will post more information about that event later. I'd like to thank all speakers for their talks and Ivanovic for his organisation. The German product `Deutsche Gründlichkeit' is still no vaporware :-) I think the room was a success and I think we should try to host another room next year.

Below the details of the discussions at the WESDEM.

The mentioned content was merged into more clear entries listed above.

Group Picture

No group picture was taken during FOSDEM 2012. But all participants were already part of the FOSDEM 2011 group picture.

Previous Years

This page was last modified on 21 March 2013, at 03:09.