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Devblogs

edited 2014 Jun 2 in Developers
Three years ago we started posting regular weekly updates about our progress with Doomsday. The goal was to keep ourselves and everyone else up-to-date while we worked toward stabilizing the code base after a long beta period.

However, circumstances have changed since then. We have our own issue tracker for project coordination and planning, a relatively high-quality master branch, and we do our work mostly in private work branches. The need for weekly updating has decreased, and for a long time now, I've been the only developer doing it regularly. Thus I did some rethinking on the subject, and concluded that a different kind of blogging convention would be more suitable.

I will stop posting weekly updates. Instead, whenever something of significance is merged to the master, we'll write a post about it. Since our objective is to merge ongoing work to the master every couple of weeks, this should still result in regular blog posts, although not as regular or frequent as before.

Another important component of my weekly posts has been details of what I've personally been working on during the preceding week. I like sharing this stuff with you, however doing it on a rigid schedule is not ideal: I've had to write it in a hurry and mostly based on the memory of the past week's events; sometimes having to browse though the week's commits to see what actually was done. Some of the most important insights or notes have been forgotten by the time the post was written.

The best solution I came up with was to move my personal progress to my own blog, where I can be as verbose as needed, and post conveniently whenever I have a suitable opportunity or need to do so. This should result in a more detailed, albeit also more difficult to follow journal of my work on the project. If you are interested:

Comments

  • The rigid schedule and split presentation of the old style devblogs has always been particularly off-putting to me. Fact is that development progress on hobby projects rarely conforms to a fixed schedule and consequently it was inconvenient and tricky for me to always blog every week in concert with skyjake.

    My plan is to create a new Developers subforum for blogs, at our user forums. This means my blog content can be factored into the homepage and it will be syndicated via the existing channels and RSS/Atom feeds.

    Unfortunately we were unable to reach a compromise that would make things easier for users to follow all developer progress through the same channels.

    On the bright side, now that there is no longer an imposed schedule I intend to post more content, more frequently.
  • A shame I must say, I enjoyed reading the weekly posts. Skyjake, why not just post your thoughts in "developers" section of the forum anyway? it's subtitle is "Blog and day to day discussion" anyway. That way it's easy to read. both your and dani's thoughts.
    why not a different post per post? then skyjake can post once per week, and dani can post whenever
  • KuriKai wrote:
    A shame I must say, I enjoyed reading the weekly posts. Skyjake, why not just post your thoughts in "developers" section of the forum anyway?
    I might return to making weekly posts in the future, but for now I want to try out a convention that doesn't take up a rigid time slot in my week. By writing blog posts when I have a suitable opportunity to do so, they are more topical and detailed than summarizing stuff on the following Monday. Also, when using WordPress, I can just press a button in my text editor to publish a post — or I can publish from my phone/tablet when I have idle time away from home (our phpBB theme is very mobile-unfriendly when it comes to writing posts).


    I will certainly be keeping you up to date on my progress as I work; it just isn't delivered on a fixed schedule. When stuff gets merged to the unstable builds, there will be a post here on the forums like before detailing the changes.
  • I always enjoyed reading the weekly development status as well. The OpenMW project does that as well, it gives non-developers an understanding for what is going on, rather than staying quiet for months. Of course I understand your arguments as well, and whatever benefits the project's development will benefit users more than these weekly updates. I have added your blog to my RSS reader, so I'll always be up to date anyway.

    (BTW, I haven't forgotten about Duke 3D, but I had overestimated my amount of free time for the next couple of months)
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