Author Topic: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download  (Read 2597 times)

Socapex

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Hey there, as somebody else mentioned, it would be great to have multiple branches of flixel downloads. For example 1.25, 1.37, and 1.4x . I was thinking the download tab on github is probably the best place for that. From what I've read currently, you should manually be able to add stuff on there (I don't know how it looks behind the scenes though). The download tab will also link all tags you've created. It seems fairly easy to add a tag: $ git tag -a v1.4 -m 'version 1.4' (-m being a comment).

As I read here: http://learn.github.com/p/tagging.html

Any which way, I'm sure the download tab is the right place for flixel version downloads... cause it's called download? :P

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BullitSpeed

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #1 on: Sun, Dec 13, 2009 »
Eh, it seems it would splinter the community if everyone can randomly pick which version they want to use for whatever reason.  You could get tools or tutorials that support old versions, while the community makes less new resources for newer versions.  Seems too chaotic.

Haledire

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #2 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
Well, problem I see with not making any tagged versions is this:

You could get tools or tutorials that support old versions...

Direct download-able versions are available from v1.25 and earlier, and the current master commit.
To reach the update of v1.27, you have to go through the history of commits, download each file one at a time, and replace them in your own files.

Then to reach v1.37, you must follow an even longer line of commits to download, some several times over (unless you can sit there reading over the commits and be able to figure out what files changed, what ones were left untouched, and what ones where wholly removed - downloading only the final commits at whichever point in time they arrived).  Luckily I don't think anyone made any tutorials for this version (thankfully I never got that far trying to translate seifer's tutorial during that time).

mcasperson's tutorial on Bukisa doesn't explain which version he is using (it's 1.27 if I recall correctly), and the only available versions to easily obtain don't fully work for the tutorial.  This starts putting people off from completing the tutorial as it becomes a false start - perfectly viable knowledge "if" you find someone who can give you the version that relates to it or even know what version you're dealing with.  There's the option of telling him to update it for the current version, but when the structure of everything changes enough to break the tutorial again, now he's got a job he didn't expect (and may not have wanted in the first place).

There is also the tutorial by Shane Johnson on activetuts+ that also might use v1.27 (presumably, it could still be v1.25 since his tutorial was posted the same day that the version jumped).  Again, if the proper version isn't readily available, and the tutorial is broken by the standards of the available versions, you might turn more people away from wanting to learn the framework as they've now stumbled upon a second false start.  This is harder to sit down and update as this is a series of -videos-, not simple text.

By this time, the community now has to explain the differences between the code they were just reading, and the code that is in use now, possibly causing more confusion as the trail of breadcrumbs becomes a mountain.

It's a double edged sword - withhold easy access to specific commits and damage the interest in others to learn, or constantly change the newest commit and damage the interest in others to teach.

http://flixel.org/forums/index.php?topic=62
This didn't seem to cause a huge riot over versions,  I don't see why having tagged newer commits would either.  So long as the tagged versions don't have overly hacky workarounds to make them work under the concepts of previous versions, it shouldn't be an issue to make them available.  They just have to be stable enough to make an understandable tutorial to encourage people to grow with the developing framework.

Don't get me wrong, I love that the framework is constantly developing and optimizing, but it's just as chaotic to try to keep up with Adam's current version as it would be to simply define versions as "stable enough" and make them easily available to learn from. Tutorials can always explain that the framework is ever evolving, and to let people take their own time to adapt to it, but they can't all evolve themselves at the same pace as the framework.  Giving people a place to start is the purpose of a tutorial.

Gah... I'm rambling again and I have a 1.25 tutorial to migrate and a game to plan...

BullitSpeed

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #3 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
I definitely see the merits.  I just fear that since it's easier to keep using the old version because it works with previous tutorials, the community and Flixel as a whole might suffer as it progresses, becoming more advanced, more complex.

It wasn't too difficult to port up to the current version and now take advantage of all of its benefits.  Once the tutorials are moved to the Wiki, it should be much easier for the community to keep them up to date and allow newcomers to more readily get on board.

Adam says this was the last major re-factoring of Flixel (although I'm sure it will get re-factored again as the years come and go) so it might just be some growing pains right now that will pass in a few weeks.

It should be up to the community to keep Flixel accessible with up to date tutorials and not force anyone to confusingly go back to obsolete versions.
« Last Edit: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 by BullitSpeed »

Adam Atomic

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #4 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
These are definitely good points, and I agree that FLIXEL WEEK exacerbated the problem; these were overhauls that were long overdue and any future changes should be very minimal (e.g. the last 4 updates didn't break anything except for I think changing background colors).

THAT SAID I should probably be *slightly* more responsible and add tags to these things as I go, organization is not my strong point on this particular project :P  I'll definitely keep tagging in mind as I move forward, but I also hope (for my sake as well as the community's) that my changes to flixel will be less dramatic!  v1.45 is about as close to "perfect" as I've ever hoped the core would be, and all the things on my wish list are weird new features that shouldn't break existing things much, if at all...

i hope!

Socapex

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #5 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
Hey BullitSpeed, to answer back to your statement, I understand what you might be scared of and it is a concrete and legitimate concern. But then again, whats best: to have outdated tutorials that ppl can't use/follow because they can't get the version for which they were made for. Or having outdated tutorials, that you can still follow with an older "stable" version of flixel, and then port to the newer? Especially if you are a beginner, I think the latter is all fine. There's also the fact that ppl are creating long term projects, so if major revisions arrive and you've been working on your game for let's say a good couple months, you probably wont migrate yet. But you might want that little bug-fix commit that you missed though... (for example 1.27) Especially when the machine dev creating the framework is on fire (;D intended as a compliment Adam).

Anyways, I didn't think this was such a big issue. Most open-source software comes in stable-unstable-nightly builds. With links to older versions, for ppl who experience bugs or simply aren't ready to port their project. As Adam said, this week has been crazy (for the good), but yeah, I would agree a little tagging couldn't hurt :P . Or manually adding major revisions bug fixed etc... to the download page (I personnally think version 1.37 would be a nice, legacy candidate... what do you think?).


It's a double edged sword

Be careful how you use the EDGE word... *wolves howling in the distance*

P.S. On another note, breaking stuff is quite essential in the span of software IMHO, and you've put a HUGE disclaimer up, so I don't think there is any problem there. Never breaking stuff ends up with software like...  ::) Internet Explorer? Anyone? hmm?
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fefranca

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #6 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
Please keep breaking everything! Nothing is worse than keeping backwards compatibility in a relatively new project like Flixel instead of improving it properly.

Let's move forward like Godzilla, smashing and hmm.. shooting rays off our mouths.

Socapex, IE6 is awesome, its like the best-est browser since IE5. It makes the internets the way we like them (sluggish and blocky)! 10% of the world (and decreasing) can't be wrong, pfft!

Socapex

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #7 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
lol, IE6... I'll be having nightmares tonight.
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Titch

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Re: Suggestion: Having multiple versions for download
« Reply #8 on: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 »
Please keep breaking everything! Nothing is worse than keeping backwards compatibility in a relatively new project like Flixel instead of improving it properly.

Let's move forward like Godzilla, smashing and hmm.. shooting rays off our mouths.

Agreed.

Also...Flxzilla. Awesome project mascot or WHAT?!
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