Sponge Status Update – 2nd November 2015

It’s been awhile since our last Status Update, we’ve been really busy getting ready for our upcoming Beta release. @Zidane has assured everyone that we will see the Beta before 2015 ends, so get excited! But first, check out Sponge interacting with Thaumcraft 5:

In addition, we have prepared the latest visualisation of all of our Git Repo for your viewing pleasure:

In other awesome news, we would like to welcome the Sponge Docs Team to their new position within the Sponge Staff. For almost a year now, the Docs Team has been doing an amazing job of making it easier for everyone to understand the entirety of the SpongePowered project. In recognition of their achievements, @Saladoc, @Tzk and @Zirconium have all been promoted to staff and granted Moderator status on these Forums. I would further like to thank the Docs Team Lead and Mighty Lord of FLARD, @Inscrutable for doing a fantastic job in getting the team to this stage! As you will see below, we have some big upcoming changes that the Docs Team will be helping out in.

Downloads

SpongeForge | SpongeVanilla | SpongeAPI

If you need help setting up Sponge, check out the Documentation here:
https://docs.spongepowered.org/en/server/getting-started/installation.html

[spoiler=DISCLAIMER]
SpongeForge and SpongeVanilla are both still in development and highly experimental. We encourage you to try the product but give zero guarantees of the stability and/or usability of it. If choosing to migrate existing worlds, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING A BACKUP FIRST. Additionally, we recommend performing frequent backups of the server in order to minimize damage caused by bugs.

These builds are meant to be used to test plugins in a production environment or to try out experimental features and/or bug fixes. If you have little to no experience with beta software, please do not use these builds. Once we feel that Sponge is stable enough for a release, we will make an announcement to that effect. We are not responsible for any permanent damage done to your server, software, and/or it’s data.
[/spoiler]
Forums

Discourse or Xenforo? Have your say.

When we first started Sponge, we decided to take a break from the Xenforo/Flex scheme that is a mainstay throughout the Minecraft community. Obviously, there have been plenty of opinions on that matter, with people arguing passionately in favour of either software. Due to our upcoming Beta, this is the last time that the issue can be decided upon without becoming a serious pain to implement. As such, we would appreciate the community’s opinions and input on this matter. Below we have a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each software as the team sees it (in no particular order), and what these mean for us as a project.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Discourse:

  • Used currently, no migration needed.
  • Open source under MIT
  • “Clean” Aesthetic.
  • Sets us apart from related forums.
  • Usedwidely across programming communities.
  • Not many plugins.
  • We have a few developers familiar with the software.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Xenforo:

  • Used widely across the MC community.
  • Wealth of plugins.
  • Many developers have experience with the software.
  • Resources plugin may be useful if Ore is not ready in time.
  • Everything would have to be migrated
  • Closed source – hard to modify further than plugin framework allows
  • Requires a license

Please comment on this thread with any additional thoughts and opinions that you have on the subject. While the final decision will remain with the team itself, we highly value all input that the community can provide.

Forum Cleanup

In preparation for beta, we are removing old and outdated resources on the forums in order to prevent confusion among new users and community members. Our fantastic documentation team has created comprehensive guides that supersede many of these older forum threads and as such, we would like to redirect people to these newer guides.

We greatly appreciate those who are eager to help out the community by posting a thread explaining some topic. However, if you wish to do so, we ask that you contribute to the Sponge documentation instead. Explanatory threads can become outdated quickly, yet can still discovered by people months after their creation. Posting explanations and tutorials in the documentation will make sure that they will stay updated and visible for all to enjoy; advancing our documentation so that more people can understand, work with, and enjoy Sponge.

We would love for as many people as possible to help out, through identifying old resources and reporting them to us on THIS THREAD, as well as submitting pull requests to the Sponge documentation here: Pull requests · SpongePowered/SpongeDocs · GitHub. You may also talk with the Docs Team at #spongedocs on Espernet IRC or on the SpongeDocs subforums

Development

Development has been steaming along recently, with the inventory implementation finally making some great progress, the finish line is in sight. The remainder of the Inventory API is almost done, meaning we can all focus on finishing off the Data implementation, Event implementation, and bug fixes. As it stands, we are still on track to enter beta phase by the end of 2015.

We would still love assistance in implementing the Data API, so if you have Java and Minecraft development knowledge, hop on over to https://github.com/SpongePowered/SpongeCommon/issues/8, and choose a piece of Data to implement and make your own!

Documentation

While we are on the topic of implementing DataManipulators, there’s a how-to guide that may be helpful. It’s one of many pages that have been completed recently by the diligent Docs staff, many thanks to Saladoc, Tzk, Gabizou, and Zirconium.

We are now trying to refocus on the completion of our basic API documentation to time with the imminent appearance of Sponge Beta. They should serve as a useful stepping stone to help developers create a cornucopia of new plugins, so if anyone else feels capable of writing some API documentation, now is the time to join us, join ussssss….

Web

Development on the web section of Sponge is ramping up again. Ore is staged at https://ore-staging.spongepowered.org/, so please hop on, test it, and report any bugs to the issue tracker. We are preparing for its release in conjunction with a beta of the Sponge server software.

Web developers and designers, please look out for announcements coming soon about how you can help contribute to the Sponge project’s web presence. If you have web development experience, especially with Python and Django, or design experience, we’d love to talk to you about how you can contribute to Sponge. This also applies if you know anyone with web development or design experience. A more detailed announcement is coming soon, but if you are interested please send a private message to @gratimax on the forums. Thank you for all your support so far, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Subreddit

The subreddit has been given a makeover! Hop on over to https://www.reddit.com/r/spongeproject/ to see the new style. Post any feedback on the following reddit thread, https://www.reddit.com/r/spongeproject/comments/3qy47m/subreddit_makeover/

State of Sponge

State of Sponge VII will be on November 28th at 21:00 UTC, this will likely be the penultimate SoS before Beta, so get ready for an awesome demonstration of Sponge’s usability.

As always, we will be having a Q&A session, be sure to post any questions you have below, or tweet them with the hashtag #StateOfSponge, the more questions you have, the better! As always, we will be running a Sponge server loaded with plugins for everyone to try out, we’d love for everyone to join us on it!

Join us at: http://www.twitch.tv/SpongePowered

8 Likes

It takes a little while to get used to, but I really have grown on my opinion of Discourse.

The only thing I can think of that would be worth the pain of migrating, would be to organize the plugin section in lieu of Ore, but how hard would it be to either create plugins / mods for discourse vs migrating everything? and if that effort is being spent by people who have the skills and background to work on Ore itself, surely some more love could be given to Ore?

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Why not IPB for forum?
With the IP Suit you can have guides area/bug tracker/forum/etc in one place, so it will be easy to manage.
The price can be high, and also you have to pay the license every 6 months (if you want to be able to download the latest updates).

Anyway users will get used to any platform, so use what you know better and it is easy for you to use.

Thaumcraft events :heart:. Bye bye patches. Lets hope it will work for other mods as well :smile:.

Pls keep discourse :broken_heart: . I really like how usable it is on mobile.

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Congrats @Saladoc @Tzk and @Zirconium :wink:

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Good job! I have long dreamed about it. Thanks!

I would also prefer to keep Discourse. For me, the used experience is way superior compared to other, perhaps more traditional platforms (such as Xenfro). Also it is the first forum that I actually enjoy using on mobile devices.

Apart from user experience, I personally do not see a valid reason to invest time in migration to yet another platform. If the plan is to use Ore in the long run, certainly simple forum threads could be used to ‘host’ plugins until it is ready, Xenfro’s resource plugin is not necessarily needed. The time needed o switch to another platform could better be invested in finalizing Ore or improving Sponge’s rather horrible website.

2 Likes

I like Discourse because on mobile it is as useable as on the computer. I don’t miss anything with Discourse. It looks very clean, I like that! Please stick with Discourse. :grinning:

Might i ask what excatly looks horrible to you?
This could help us improve it :smile:

It is still planned to use Ore in the long run, the plugins will be moved there once we feel it’s in a usable state.

As a forum veteran I think we should stick with Discourse, it’s worked well for us so far and it allows us to stand out from the bukkit and spigot forums so I don’t really see much of a reason to migrate to an older more closed platform.

2 Likes

As a not very technical person, I found the different environment (discourse) a little confusing at first, but I quickly adjusted and rather like it now. My biggest issue is that I still have not found an easy way to get from the fourms, to the: documentation, downloads, github issues, and I’ve never been able to find ore. I guess I just assumed it wasn’t even public anyplace?

1 Like

Yes, we’re aware that something like a navigation bar or a similar possibility to switch between the different sites is missing. Currently the easiest way is via the frontpage (top right corner), it gets you to the forums, the docs and github. Afaik a redesign or at least adjustments to the design (and regarding the usability) are planned.

If you want to have a look at ore, just head to the repo.
Link to the Ore Repo: GitHub - SpongePowered/Ore: Repository software for Sponge plugins and Forge mods
Currently ore is hosted there: https://ore-staging.spongepowered.org/

Please note, that it isn’t ready for production yet. Any content you post there right now might get removed in the future and without further notice. Please also don’t attempt to host your plugins there until Ore is finished. The plugins will remain on the forums for now.

You’re so sweet to give me so much credit as to be technical enough to even give a thought to such a thing. I took a 3 month foray into trying to learn JavaScript with my kids this summer and the frustration of it nearly made mad. Fortunately, being better than “mom” at something seemed to have spurred them to work harder!

Where do I vote? Ohwell. Discourse anyway for me.

Definitely stick with Discourse - I find it far better than the “traditional” forums. As said, we don’t need resource management so long as Ore is finished when we need it.

Also, that timezone URL you put links to October 28th :wink:

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Fixed.


So far Discourse seems to win among the userbase. :blush:

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I’m definitely +1’ing Discourse for the fact that it supports native Markdown, which honestly was something that I found most forum software couldn’t manage to get right.

HOWEVER, I still prefer traditional forums in that they are quite possibly organized in a grouping perspective, I know always where I’m at in both forum software, but overall, there are just more features to be had in other well established forum software (like Xenforo or IPB, but I prefer Xenforo for the most part).

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Sponge: Its like a lot of the other things out there, but really different.
Sponge webserver: Its like the other things websites out there, but really different.

Seems like a self-marketing thing to me. Full steam ahead, no need to jump tracks now put the energy into tweaking this and have a different experience, for a different server.

Discourse all the way because Sponge is different. I feel that if most of the MC community uses Xenforo, it doesnt mean Sponge has to. :grinning:

1 Like