[May 17, 2014] Dev meeting, office hours, and some stable builds (#terasology on Freenode IRC)


Org Co-Founder & Project Lead
Been a little while since last, did end up doing more frequent stable builds, but then ended up not writing about each of them ;)

Since last we've actually gone through two major stable builds, two small ones, and a broken one. First one was sort of a checkpoint with a bunch of assorted stuff, then the second one finally let us deal with complex module relationships better in Gradle, along with a bunch of bug fixing and polish to modules and logging

As always get the latest release via the Launcher, from GitHub, or from Jenkins

  • Headless server is stabilizing! We can run an instance right out of Jenkins now, with parameters for modules, world type, etc. Still needs better parameter support when run from a binary. Jenkins cheats by building from source then launching
  • A new crash reporter is now available, allows you to directly upload the log file to pastebin, and has shortcuts to file an issue on GitHub or join our channel on IRC
  • Modules support transitive dependencies now (A -> B -> C) and generally behave better in Gradle - part of the bigger Logistics Arc (could use some more volunteers there!)
  • Console commands, auto-completion, help, coloring text, mini chat console - all sorts of new goodies for text! (Doc links could use some updates or merging)
  • Applet is very close to working again too with a "real" certificate rather than self-signed
  • Wood & Stone finally works properly in the binary format of the game, woo! Previously there was an issue where some stuff only worked when running from source (overrides)
  • Better block support options have been added by Marcin Sciesinski - we need to put this to use! Idea was for better destructible buildings like for Light & Shadow
  • "Prefab deltas" are now supported, which allow you to apply tweaks to existing prefabs from elsewhere (write one module to modify another)
  • More shaped blocks have been added and structure type ones are now collected in a new module - StructuralResources
  • "Crouching" has been moved to CTRL from 'c' not that it crouches much - that needs more work
Known issues:
As always our issue tracker on GitHub is the best place to check for known bugs: https://github.com/MovingBlocks/Terasology/issues

Other news:
  • Special kudos to msteiger for really pushing code in all sorts of directions - headless server improvements, getting the applet back to 99%, figuring out about a proper signing certificate, building a crash reporter out of nowhere, getting the launcher working via Java webstart etc. Quite some effort there!
  • We're going to try out doing "office hours" on Saturdays - more info below and in its thread (which is also has the meeting topics for the soon'ish meeting)
  • VoxelShop + COLLADA can be used with Terasology now - thanks flux and Mike Kienenberger ! We need more testing of this!
  • New organization on GitHub - MetaTerasology for "meta modules" - repos that contain raw assets that we convert into some sort of different format before using for in-game modules (like Blender models for block shapes or full-size music files). Only a few modules are likely to need an accompanying meta-module. Comes with a new top level project directory "meta" and shiny new Gradle magic: gradlew fetchMetaStructuralResources
  • The official soundtracks by Chrisk are finally going to make it into the game proper! Previously we only had a few pieces included, like the excellent menu theme (still my fav!)
  • There's a method coming to start the launcher via a Java Webstart approach - very handy!
Dev meeting, office hours & the push forward:

We've been pretty loose and random lately, last dev meeting was quite a while ago. In an attempt to organize better I've suggested keeping office hours on Saturdays each week, where we'll do some design discussion, see who working on what (or would be able to), do some multiplayer testing, and so on. We'll probably launch the headless server and have a little fun, maybe sometimes do other games too.

After a poll to figure out when this should ideally be there's a bit of a split between an "early" window and a "late" window. I made the windows as when I could be available and will actually try to make both work. Immortius mainly can make the later window (US afternoon, European evening, morning his time Sunday) while we have a broader crowd in the earlier window. This sort of works out as we need to do more to (in The Goal / Theory of Constraints terminology) "elevate" Immortius as he's the top architectural resource yet is also only one person, so the more we can figure out up front the less we need to pester him :)

I figure in the early session we'll do some light topics and find/test some bugs, then hopefully get some work done over the day (between the sessions). We'll try sorting out some things ourselves without burdening Immortius, then prepare any really architecturally heavy questions / topics for the later session when he'll be better able to attend.

The early session will be 10 am EDT / 4 pm CEST / midnight AEST (Sunday) - time zone link
The late session will be 5 pm EDT / 11 pm CEST / 7 am AEST (Sunday) - time zone link - this is the time for the event tied to this thread

Next weekend will be the first try at the general "office hours" although it won't have the official meeting, that's the weekend after that, May 17th. I've got word from begla that he should be able to make it, along with Immortius so hopefully along with most other active contributors we'll have a "quorum" for any big decisions and prioritization.

See the meeting thread for more details - in short the main goal will be figuring out what we'll consider needed to consider Terasology alpha ready, and what might be better for a beta goal. Time to push forward to a new stage!