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Maintaining Data

Discussions between the code and data teams for new features and implementing long term projects

Maintaining Data

Postby LegacyKing » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:34 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm increasingly feeling that I'm spending an inordinate amount of time and energy fixing/converting sets that aren't being used by anyone else. I spent my entire day off yesterday implementing a project that has been in a holding pattern for several years - converting ADD:FEAT to BONUS:ABILITYPOOL. Along with a few other updates that we need regardless of proposal outcomes.

In my fixing session, I'm noticing code I know can't work, and if ever used would have produced incorrect results. Which leads me to one glaring conclusion. A vast majority of the books we continue to support are not being used.

Reviewing the prospective sets I'm certain that nobody is currently using (or if they are, they're ignoring errors or not reporting them) these systems:
3e, deadlands, gaslight, legends of excalibur*, sidewinder*, spycraft or xcrawl*. *= 3e required derivative systems. I would almost put Modern in there, but I had a couple of bugs raised by ONE user. However, I think Modern should be considered for retirement as well...

I'd like thoughts, from everyone, about the idea of retiring these gamemodes to an OOC Download to enable us to track usage per system. If nothing else, we'd know if people use them from the download stats. I can't justify to myself the number of hours I personally spend on updating sets that are gathering dust. And by continuing to include them in our main repository, we're placing a contract on the data team to have these error free and updated for each production release.

I would rather retire these systems before our next slew of mandatory updates comes with the FACT/FACTSET and FORMULA system work. Those are already massive projects, and adding 'dead weight' work to it doesn't make sense to me. If folks want to use these sets, let them speak up. If a monkey wants to adopt a system and personally maintain it, even better. However, I think moving these sets to a download section on SF will give us data to review. And decrease the burden on our volunteer pool.

In a perfect world, we'd have the data sets / systems be pulled from a central server, which would record usage for us, we could issue update alerts for those sets, and have a nice stats review. But alas, we don't have that today.


Thoughts?

Andrew


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Re: Maintaining Data

Postby Nylanfs » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:45 am

Personally I would be alright with it as long as there is a "placeholder" pcc put in that tells the users that these are now OOC datasets and where to get them.

Then if we see large amounts of traffic on those sets we can update them and reinclude them with the regular releases.


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Re: Maintaining Data

Postby LegacyKing » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:10 am

Hi Paul,

Do you have any idea how many "placeholder" pccs you're asking to have?
(After asking Douglas to remove the defunct pccs for the Psionics Expanded line) we have a grand total of 438 pcc files!

Take away 5 for the testing suite in zen_test... Still, that's 433!

Broken down:
2 xcrawl
2 spycraft
2 sidewinder
84 for 3e
5 deadlands
55 for Modern
1 for Legends of Excalibur
----
151 total...

In case you wanted the rest of the break down: We have 88 in Pathfinder (pfs holders account for another 49), 138 in 35e, 1 for killshot, 1 gaslight and 1 for fantasy craft.

I'd rather do a press release, the release notes, something "more"...

Placeholders are a lot of work.

Cheers,
Andrew


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Re: Maintaining Data

Postby Snowyfurrkat » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:30 am

I think in a perfect world, placeholders would be a good solution, but given how much time it would take to make that many placeholders I would say that at least putting it in the press release and the changelog would be next best. You might get a few people that don't take the time to read it but sending them a response that says "Those are now optional, download them here:" would take a lot less time then updating things nobody uses anymore.
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Re: Maintaining Data

Postby LegacyKing » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:40 am

Perfect world is server which the program interfaces with to download the latest working versions, tracks usage for metrics, and ideally makes cyclic updating less necessary.

Placeholders, yeah... I don't have the time or inclination to do that. We have way too many sets. By 6.6 we'll find out real quick how many users use the old sets by the inquiries.


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