Blog for Thaddeus
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|Monk, mage and protection update|| ||2012-06-03 01:10:52|
|Hardworking scribes have just finished copying out a fresh batch of leaflets
for you to use to spread word of the Monks.
Make good use of their efforts and 'inform' everyone you see!
Pendleton can now 'refill spellbook' or refill a specific reagent for mages.
Thanks to Arkham and Maker for these updates!
Update: Contracts of protection are now in principle available to competing professionals as well, although word has it the pressure to force all practitioners under a common guild is still going strong.
Update2: Also, the mudside webchat now supports donator soul emotes.
Update3: Donators have a new toy: the voucher.
|A Developer's Diary, take 4: Credits|| ||2012-05-27 02:04:51|
|Please excuse me for using the pronoun 'I' in a silly way here; it is purely a point-of-view term to denote that my ideas of what AA need not necessarily agree with anyone else's. It does not imply that I am running any show beyond that of what I do - AA is a highly distributed system that is mostly self-organizing.
Because I was brought back by a reactivation of reviews on my large
project, I have been putting some effort in chasing after inactive
reviews, inactive projects and interrogating almost anyone who logs in
on whether they have something stuck somewhere that needs help. AA is a
huge collaborative project with almost minimal project management, so a
lot of things have started to roll forward just by a poke here or a hand
there. The main goal of the effort is to have some overview, but I help
where I can. I have run headfirst into some beehives on the way too, but
for the most part people have been extremely understanding or even happy
to be hit by a ball of Fir. The best moments in this sort of excessive
meddling work are when someone who has not gotten any contributions in
for ages is reactivated and the game gets better as a result.
Since I do a lot of talking, you could get an illusion that I do a large
part of the work. But this is simply not true, so I would like to take a
few paragraphs to thank some people who I expect will only spank me a
little bit for naming them in public, in random pseudochronical order.
First, Exe, for keeping Alpha QC queue running single-handedly for at
least half a year, and most importantly picking up a review of my area
despite knowing I was away on maternity leave. I am horribly bad at
hunting for "service" for my own projects, so it had been stuck for
years before Exe went through the trouble of mailing me to ask if I
would have time to come deal with his returns. He got me to log on with
work on my mind for the first time for well over two years.
Then Scarecrazy, also for the first important seconds, as she grabbed me
and told me there was going to be a meeting of wizards to get an
overview of what kinds of things need to get done for the anniversary
year. There was no way I could miss something like that, so I landed
straight into her net! (This reminds me that we need another overview
meeting.) But after that, she has also installed a ton of
minor-effort-to-code fixes for me - without the hours she has put into
review and installation, there would be very little I could do to the
bug board. She has really been the mentor to keep me sane and motivated
all through my wizard career, and I have needed her help more than ever
with all the daring it takes to mount a task as huge and convoluted as
trying to have an overview of what goes on AA, software-project-wise.
Thanks to summer vacation last year, I have actually had a chance to
talk a lot to Paldin. For some reason he likes to pretend he does not do
a whole lot around here, but having recently spent a whole month
reviewing just one of his incredible projects I have to say I disagree.
Some time off Arch duties seems to light the creative fire of people all
over again... He has also debugged some completely ridiculous
phase-of-the-moon black-voodoo issues for me. I am extremely glad I got
to know this elusive miracle worker as something else than the Balance
Arch whom my first area was stuck on back in the day!
Speaking of time off Arch being good for people, Adinos came back to
progress some other wonderful additions, and blasted through a ton of
projects in need of high-calibre reviews while on a lunch break from his
own coding. He also has a knack for delegation, and is able to activate
people into working together for greater goals, which is just awesome.
Adinos is actually behind most of the spike of projects that got
approved in Jan-Mar; there is no way I could have pulled such statistics
by myself. But I am prepared to take credit for the major input of
reaching out to ask him to log in back in December! I want to one day
see us get to the point of installation of his magnum opus in return.
A more recent pair of review team cornerstones are Kamikaze and Theryn,
who at the moment deliver whatever crazy work hours that I need
delivering before I even ask it. Kamikaze's project bore the brunt of my
"MUST GET AN AREA IN" restless energy last autumn and winter, and I got
off his backside only when the area got installed in December. Then he
joined us at Alpha to fill in after Exe had to take a leave, and has
built himself an impenetrable nag resistance by keeping the turnaround
time of projects on his table too low to gripe about. Theryn, on the
other hand, is a great big inexhaustible hunk of Getting-Done that burst
back into being in March. I cannot really say I have closely worked with
him much yet because but I see his handprint when I log on, and it keeps
resupplying me with optimism.
Thanking your own boss is always full of awkward... Mendebar gives me
and others space to make ourselves useful, and puts up with at least my
incessant demands of attention without as much as a grumble. I respect
that. Eivu and Sylwen are managing their own turf and although
comparatively speaking we do not talk that much - all in all, I have
very little to contribute on World and Balance matters - I'm very
grateful that they have our backs. Before Eivu took over as Arch of World, I also greatly enjoyed working with Kasmune and I hope she will be back for some more fruitful collaboration soon.
If we did not have active authors, we would run out of projects to
review, and I would like to collectively thank everyone who takes the
time to contribute to AA. Special mention goes to Newt, Mordecai and
Maker, who do wonderful things that I really want to see done but would
not have a chance pull off myself.
|A Developer's Diary, take 3: Statistics|| ||2012-05-27 02:03:23|
|Long time no write! As you can probably see from previous posts, we have
gotten the process for small projects pretty much operational. There are still several large projects that should be going in by the end of the year and that have made huge progress in the last few months. Unfortunately the meticulous review system we have is particularly fragile at the final steps and for large additions, where the pool of people available to progress the work gets notably smaller.
Let me give you some statistics. There are over a hundred projects
actively tracked by our approval queue; the total goes well over 200 but
80 of that number are assigned as inactive, i.e. that the author is no
longer working on them. The projects vary in size from reasonably
straightforward bugfixes to projects larger than big areas. They are in
different stages of progress but all have been complete enough to submit
About half of the active projects await on the author to do something,
most of them for quite a while. Less than a third awaits a reviewer to
do something - mostly in categories where we have structural weaknesses
in work delegation - and a bit under a third have been installed or are
very close to it for the last two months. Just a bit under 30 projects
on top of the active projects are approved, but are chunks of larger
wholes and cannot be installed by themselves.
In the last half year, we've had 30 projects in and 50 projects out
(approved), which means we've actually shrunk the total queue size by
almost a fifth by active work assignment and a buttload of Getting
Things Done. Making clear percentage statistics is skewed by when the
queue happens to be cleaned up of installed projects, though, so let me
just wave my hands a bit on this part. From January to March, the queue
has been on fire - we had on the order of 40 projects moving in the
queue every month, although only the smallest have a chance of going
through the whole queue in just a month.
|Byakushin's journal - day 3|| ||2012-05-21 11:30:27|
Today, I decided to try my hand at artistic expression. I learned that my guild, the Snowfolk, are running a contest on ice sculptures, with some kind of a global prize to be won based on the fascination of the audience.
Alas, at my level of experience, sculpting turned out to be somewhat more difficult than I expected. I was going for a thought-evoking piece depicting the importance of free press, with a hint of self-irony and a sprinkling of expressionistic impressions of realistic romances, but ended up with a lump of ice that was not very articulate at all.
In the end, I decided I had better head out to get some more training before giving the contest a new try. You just wait, my dear competitors with cute sculptures of otters and arctic foxes and studies on agony, clockwork gardens and doom! I will be back!
The top rated sculpture this week is Remaker's 'Joy':
A miniature of Otter lays prostrate in a desert oasis under the shade of
a minute palm tree. In her hands is the smallest cone of Cloudberry ice
cream ever seen! A tiny grin is plastered on Otter's face.
Among recent additions are also 'Arctic Hunter' by Desiree:
You see before you a pristine snowfield with a single set of paw prints
marring the scene. As your eyes following the tracks you spot the most
beautiful arctic fox, camouflaged against the snowdrifts. His fir looks
so soft and fluffy, but don't be fooled if you put your hand too close
you could lose a finger or two. Shiny black eyes and little black nose
are the only things you can make out clearly of this cleverly concealed
Beware's 'Mischievous Otter' was highest rated a few days ago:
A small, lithe otter crouches here, her claws sharp and glistening
against the ground. You notice an intelligence in her eyes and an impish
look on her face. You have always been told that otters are playful
creatures, but you do not think it is play on the mind of this one.
I have yet to find out what the whole thing is with Snowfolk and small aquatic mammals.
Addendum: I just tagged Bazhi! Fear the press!
|Frosting and berry bushes|| ||2012-05-19 01:00:02|
|Frosty the snowman boasts of renovations in the Snowfolk igloo. Among other things, the ice sculpture contest just got tighter: artists outdo themselves competing for the snow globe prize! Guild Master Maker is rumoured to be plotting further updates already.
The botanical department of our fine newspaper, led by Theryn the chief tyrant botanist, has spotted a recent infestation of Anasazi berry bushes growing out of place, all over the map. Investigations of this phenomenom are ongoing.