Perhaps I am confused.  If this project is then so organized, why is there
no apparent direction?  Mailing lists, at least to me, seem quite a
disorganized way of attacking the problem of information dissemination and
retention.  The reason I suggest forums is that you can contain both canon
and discussion within a single organizational unit.  Persons who are
interested in only a subset of those organizational units need not plow
through/organize/search the myriad of discussions which occur here.
Further, by containing canon with the discussion people can know what has
actually been decided, versus what the last thing said in a discussion was,
which may not be an actual decision (and from what I have heard here about
people making suggestions but not running with them, this is often the

I'm not a big fan of over-organization, but there are common-sense, low cost
steps which can be taken to facilitate a cohesive development strategy.  The
wiki is a joke, honestly, as it's really just a collection of bullet points
with no one having bothered to distill or synthesize the ideas into a plan
of any sort.

If the group is really too lazy to bother to log into a forum (you know, add
a bookmark to your browser, it will remember who you are, just click it and
you are logged in) then may I humbly suggest that the group may not have
what it takes to really reinvigorate the game to the level which you have
professed to desire.  It's a serious task which is proposed, and even though
we are part-time developers on it does not mean we should be lazy about
doing what is needed to pursue that goal in earnest.

My goal here is to provide a means for organization and a mechanism by which
the leader(s) of it can communicate the actual plan and have that plan be
readily available to all developers who will be referring to it during their
development process.  Having a single point of access for discussion and
decisions means there is no need to know about mailing lists, wikis and docs
in source control as separate potential locations of information - it's all
in one place, easily found, easily searched, and if people are doing their
jobs, mostly up to date (and if the conversations are included in the
forums, then even out-of-date information can be corrected by review.)

How far are you willing to go to bring this game to that huge pool of
potential players?

-----Original Message-----
From: netrek-dev-bounces at
[mailto:netrek-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of James Cameron
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 5:29 PM
To: Netrek Development Mailing List
Subject: Re: [netrek-dev] Set a fitting subject

On Fri, Apr 06, 2007 at 08:11:26AM -0700, ChronosWS wrote:
> May I then suggest we set up a forum, [...]

I use this mailing list.  It is a forum.  It has a web archive.  If you
want a separate mailing list for authenticated pontificating, that would
mean people would have to look somewhere else.

I like mailing list because it all comes to me and I don't have to log
in anywhere.

> where the devs can log in, [...]

Log in to read mail?  Count me out.  ;-)  That's an access barrier.

> throw down
> their ideas and have them discussed. When a decision is arrived at,
> it into the official document so people can read what the current canon

We have official documents in the source control repositories of each
subproject, client, server, metaserver.  We also have Wiki pages.  That
doesn't make them official though, there is no central government yet.

> For my own project, we do a lot of brainstorming in IM during the day.  He
> then posts the IM to the forums so we have a complete record of how we
> arrived to the decision.

Yes, we've been doing that already.  We use instant messaging over the
IRC protocol, server, channel #netrek.  Several of us
log it.  The logs find their way into change control comments or Wiki,
or this forum.

> us and keeps things pretty well organized without going overboard on
> a bunch of Word or OO docs running around.

If it can't be expressed in text, there has to be a problem in how it is

> I can set up a forum for this on my co-lo box if people are interested in
> it.  Unfortunately, that box does not have properly configured email
> services, so it can't do nice things like notify you when posts have
> and whatnot.
> Is this something the group would be interested in?

Thanks for the offer, but no, I'm not interested in that.  If you think
there is a target group that won't use mail but will use forums, you
could set up a forum mirror of this mailing list, such that all posts to
it appear in your forum, and all posts to the forum appear as threaded
replies in the mailing list.  As long as it doesn't break and spew mail
everywhere, that would be fine.

James Cameron    mailto:quozl at

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