snõwkit dev log #12 (moving forward)

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This dev log is going to a bit different than the usual ones!
It is going to be the last in this format of collated dev news, you'll see why below.

Tidying up

Since the inception of snõwkit - a collective, created to make cool stuff for haxe - there have been a number of issues that became apparent with regards to how I initially presented the goals and intent. This is normal and fine and part of the process, and as an iterative concept, we adapt to the challenges along the path!

Some of these things were resolved along the way, but some of them I've been trying to shake for a long time and nothing I've tried has worked. The biggest of which is that people keep confusing snõwkit and luxe as the same thing. There isn't even one particular reason that this persists, but it's a combination of things that stack to create confusion around the distinction.

The snõwkit connection

This seems like a small thing, but it isn't. The biggest thing that makes it problematic to me is the fact that the collective is a community, it's not just me, it's not just my efforts and it's not just my personal game engine. It's at least 20 repositories already, covering a wide range of work and time invested to make the Haxe ecosystem a better place. To see all of those people and their work erased under just one thing that's not related is frustrating.

I even spent at least a month trying to decide if I should rename snõwkit, as one of the reasons this gets confused is the kit part of the name. It seems to create the connection that it's ... a kit for making games. I was using the definition literally, so when viewed as “snõwkit is a collective centered around Haxe” it made sense to me:

This doesn't absolve me in the choice of naming of course, it's for interest sake. Not to mention the snow library was involved in the discussion, and is similarly named, just adding to the confusion. So don't feel bad and I don't feel bad but I think it's time to resolve this issue for good.

The correct solution is to remove the connection between the two entirely.

This seems odd but in fact I was intending to do this anyway when luxe was further along. For example, the luxe repo doesn't exist under the snowkit/ github url for this reason, in my head it's not related to snõwkit since it's technically a personal engine for myself that I've opened up for others.

When announcing, I used snõwkit as a convenient place to save myself time and energy maintaining a lot of surface area when I first posted about the project(s). Since I'm one person and I wasn't sure how it would go I took the easy path. luxe did make sense in the snõwkit community, since it does use the snowkit collective libraries and tools it seemed reasonable - and served us well until now.

luxe is no longer linked to snõwkit

Consider snõwkit entirely unrelated to luxe in any direct way. luxe still uses snõwkit libraries but it deserves it's own home, and snõwkit deserves to be treated as the community it's intended to be.

To be extra clear, snowkit exists outside of, above and beyond luxe. Just because luxe news will be posted elsewhere doesn't mean snõwkit or it's initiatives are going anywhere. Please note that!

A place to talk

A second thing that I wanted to resolve was how the community discussions are structured. I really like the way that the snowkit site promotes thought out, well formed posts but the space seems a little less open to talking about other things, and the comments format isn't ideal at all.

There also hasn't been many questions posted on the site since the chat was introduced, and I've seen a few questions get lost in the chat discussion. The chat is great for some things, but doesn't follow a single discussion over time well, and it's search is useful but not as easy to find specifics - especially if something had spanned over a few sessions.

This means that the formula was almost what I wanted, but needs some adjustments.

We need something in between the site and the chat, and after a lot of thought (and experience enjoying it) the best place is a github repo issue list. Technically we always had this right? However, since the code is there and the bugs are posted alongside the code, it feels like the wrong place to ask a simple question.

I can fully understand new users being intimidated to ask something "easy" in that environment so it needs to be a dedicated space, one created solely for the purpose of getting help.

Creating the space

This is solved by creating two dedicated places to talk about stuff.

One of them is for the collective as a whole (the repos have their own discussion place, but the collective doesn't). The other is a place to get help with luxe. They'll get fleshed out a bit info wise, but they're here:

github.com/snowkit/support
github.com/luxeengine/support

 

luxe community chat and twitter

Since there needs to be a place to talk about luxe specifically, I've set up a room for luxe on gitter. If you've joined the snowkit chat or followed on twitter specifically because of luxe, feel free to jump over. The snowkit chat and twitter remains and is focused on the collective and it's initiatives.

I'll be reminding people over time to migrate as needed.

gitter.im/luxeengine/support
twitter.com/luxeengine

snõwkit initiatives

The next area of clarity that was dangling since creating the collective, was the libs/ page. This was also adding to the confusion but it didn't really represent what I had intended all that well.

The idea is that we're just a group of developers with similar mindsets working together on initiatives, things that are directly aimed at improving the Haxe eco system and not necessary a list of libraries. When starting the collective, I only had a few things in hand, so I put them all in a list.

The list has now been refactored to be focused on the initiatives, and the libs/ url redirects accordingly. This will also be tidied up and improved over time too but the first pass is a much better reflection of the intent.

view the initiatives

Other repository things

Since they belong there, differ, snow and flow have been moved to the snowkit/ organization. If you run into 404 links because of the github pages being moved, please let me know. All other links should automatically redirect correctly.

I've also been working through other repositories but I'll be posting about those separately here on the site.

Moving forward

So the title - moving forward - and why the intro mentions this being the last dev log in this format. I know that the format of the snõwkit site fits well with the news and articles format, but I've found in practice is that it's pretty tricky to refer to some specific news about some specific library when referring to a dev log.

All this means is that collecting all the news into a digest style of dev logs was working nicely for a while, but doesn't fit well any more. I'll be posting the news about the initiatives and libraries as separate posts instead, which will make it clearer.

This makes it easier to post news over time as well, for instance if I've made lots of progress on differ (which there has been) but don't have a whole dev log worth of content to post yet, I had added this pressure to the mix which isn't needed. This will help in quiet seasons too (see below).

Articles
I also plan on moving over some of the Haxe Entry Point posts to the snõwkit site, and have a few more in the pipeline to post. More on that in future.

Better search
As another bonus, I also implemented a proper search functionality here on the site, and intend on tidying up the content to be more structured. I don't intend on removing any content or anything, just sorting it into an easier to navigate structure that reflects the collective nicely.

Site fixes
Lastly I've also done a bunch of cleaning up the about page here making it clearer, and removing a lot of the unnecessary info. I've fixed a few of the links that didn't make sense as well in clarifying things so it should be less confusing there too.

Quiet season

I know that not posting things for a while isn't super ideal, but figuring out some important decisions for the community, the engine, and for myself leads to me having not a lot to say but a lot to think about.

I do think it's worth considering that I've been posting and coding frequently on the many snõwkit repos for almost two years - it's expected at times I'll take a bit of time to myself, and to make sure that we're on the right track. It would have been better if I knew that it was going to be a little while before I'd post, but I couldn't tell up front.

It's been a good thing though, I've been able to reset and clarify the things needed to make the best of our path forward. I can't wait to expand on this on both snõwkit side as well as luxe.

Where to find luxe news

Since this post is the last about luxe here, where will you go for information about luxe? It's got it's own home!

luxeengine.com

 

There you will find the docs and site have been remade, and it includes a lot of tidying up in preparation for creating the community luxe needs. There's a lot of stuff that's just neater and tidier, but it's the same as the documentation before - just much better.

Since there's a new home for the luxe dev logs, it's a good time to post one eh?
You can head over to the new site to have a look around, and when you're ready there's a new dev log about what I've been doing on the engine design front, and why that's been taking time away from the code.

luxe dev log #1

Like always, thanks to the community and the contributors for joining us on this ride. There's a lot of good in house keeping and I look forward to moving forward together.

Onward!

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devlogsnowkitdevluxe