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ellmo

how would a "Doomhub" (?) web-application be recieved?

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Hey there,
Some of you probably frequently use http://www.wadsinprogress.info/ to show off your in-rpogress maps to the community. The page was built upon a simple yet brilliant idea, it doens't however support any kind of community co-operation, it's for single map submissions only. I made an application of my own, (http://dtwid.herokuapp.com/) that was quite the opposite, at least in it's foundation, it served a single in-progress community project to collect submitted maps and comments related to them.

During the peak of DTWiD's homepage usefulness I thought it would be a good idea to invest some time into buidling a complex web-application, that would would serve as a community-based platform, where users would register their projects, decide how much they want to show to others, assign roles (project leader, mapper, musician, art leader and many more), of course the application would connect to some kind of a repository (probably Amazon's S3) to strore file-based resources.

Most importantly it would house an advanced (think facebook-like) system of commenting, rating, updating and notifying others - be it other users assigned to the project, or all observers interested in it, and some kind of a tool for planning releases, where you can select which maps and in which order are meant to be included in the upcoming release.



The question however remains - how many of you would actually use it? How many project leaders think that using forums, emails and irc is not enough and how many are "meh"?

(btw - cannot post polls)

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I'm sure I could definitely make a good use of it. I've seen people do some pretty creative project management on these forums but forums are still a very innefficient way of doing so. Especially when it's difficult to seperate actual project information from random people commenting and making jokes occupying a third of the thread.

I enjoyed that website very much. I recall checking up on that website almost daily for map updates and comments. It was very user friendly and I think it would be very useful for getting projects arranged.

I'm working on a project right now and I can admit that it can be a hassle PMing playtesters everytime I need them to check an updated version of my maps, and repeating information to different members, including things like project guidelines that usually need to be reread that generally get pushed to the bottom of their inbox.

A website where I can freely share resources among the people I'm cooperating with, while remaining private to the general public (except for comments and other feedback) would be super awesome.

A couple things that I think would be super helpful (for me anyway) is an assorted project management list. Starting a project will immediately give the project leader a bunch of categories to work with such as an announcement page (with the ability to toggle private and public announcements), a map list with map titles, screenshots, and downloadable demos, (just like the way dtwid's page was already layed out), a page for texture resources, a page for music and soundfx resources, a page for other resources such as sprites, graphics, scripts, unfinished scraps, etc.

Another thing would be a managable credits list and assigned roles. As of now I'm keeping a text file where I write down names of community members and websites so that I can cite where and who I got information or resources from. Often times I forget to update it frequently. It would also be nice to keep track of who's working on what, and being able to grant certain priviliges to who's responsible for what. (Mappers get access to editing resources, Playtesters get access to private demos, but not the texture packs and editing tools, etc.) Especially for projects with skulltag drama, project leaders may want to cut off bad members from access to the projects resources and updates.

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I tend to like forums because it's just so simple. You type and read text, and that's it.

I'm not saying I wouldn't like a web application like that. It's just that these tend to have so many features sometimes it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

Yours seems to avoid that so far, judging by the link you posted it looks neat and userfriendly, save for the white text on solid black background.

There's registration and the critical mass problem that comes with it, though. It can only work if most people use it.

Probably wouldn't use it myself, as I don't see much point in keeping things private when it comes to modding games, and I'm not interested enough in non-playable WIPs to bother.

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I would use it if I start any future community projects. My only concern would be difficulties attracting contributors to my project via website external to Doomworld. Obviously, this will be a self-sustaining thing. It needs people to make it work. With that in mind, I would support it.

Even without that guaranteed it could be useful purely for organisational purposes, whereas 'WANTED ad's' can be duplicated on the forum I suppose.

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Thanks for the opinions!

Just to make things clear - I'm planning to build an application like this, starting the next year, no matter the outcome if this little "poll-wannabe", even if it's just for the sake of trying to build something new and learn along the way.

I don't know how well will it do, or how popular it may or may not become, nevertheless - I'm open for sugestions concerning features people would be intersted in seeing, it's also why I'm trying to conduct a little research, to see what technologies I should use and how powerful a server should be.

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Maybe a web front-end for a subversion server? So people could upload their work without needing to setup an SVN client and a working directory?

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Sounds awesome! I liked WIP when I first found it, but it was immediately obvious to me that something like what you describe would be more useful.

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Untamed64 said:

Am I the only one who came here thinking that this was going to have the same concept as DO-TIMS?

Probably.
The rest of the people know what a "web-application" is :)

Nomad said:

Sounds awesome! I liked WIP when I first found it, but it was immediately obvious to me that something like what you describe would be more useful.

Thanks for supporting the idea. I loved WIP too and thought it would revolutionize the way how maps are made - however it's disappointing to me that it didn't really evolve much since the initial release.
And it's visuals are... substandard.

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bump:

Still gathering knowledge (both on hosting options and technology) and resources that will be used in the project.

I'm sure the application will be developed using Ruby on Rails 3.1, depending heavily on javascript (through jQuery and various extensions), with js backend probably also powered by Backbone.js

For the more "visual" information - I'm looking forward to trying ZURB foundation library, becase who the hell doesn't like simple shiny buttons and smooth inputs.

I'd love to hear opinions on hosting options, that give a VPS server with shell access, right now I'm almost decided to use Dreamhost, as it has good reviews concerning RoR applications.

Any opinions are welcome. HTML5 + CSS designers are even more welcome.

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It's getting almost official at this point.

I've registered doomhub.com - yes it's completely empty at this point. But since I'm enjoying the sheer idea of this website being an important stop for any serious doomer in the future, the question now is "when" and not "if".

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I would consider using it, if it actually met my needs. While I liked Wads In Progress, it was really restrictive in how you could present your project and did not feel very "homely" to me. Simply put, I didn't feel comfortable using it.

Forgive me if what I suggest is out of your intended scope, or seems impractical. I'm just pulling this stuff off my head as I type.

Anyways, what I would like to see is something simple, yet functional. I don't wanna get lost in the interface. These very forums are sort of like that, and the only reason I don't get lost anymore is because I've become accustomed to the software.

Look at the main forum index. To access my profile or member list or do forum searches, those are located at the top. Current users and private messaging are on the bottom. My login information at the top-right with a link to "view new posts" right beside it, but at the bottom-right is the "log out" option, and "mark all forums read". So you have relevant items scattered in different places, and sometimes irrelevant items grouped together (like at the top menu bar). Although there are probably reasons why things are like this, it doesn't make it easy to use, because you have to remember where some feature is within the interface before you can decide to use it. There are other features lurking around the site too that are easy to miss.

Now I don't mean to complain about the DWF because what I'm describing is in no means severe, but this is the kind of thing I'd appreciate if you'd avoid. :)

Similarly, users have certain expectations when using software. If I sent out a PM to a bunch of users, and I spot a mistake afterwards, I would more or less expect there to be a way to correct my mistake before the message is read (say an "edit" feature, or something similar to the message tracking here on Doomworld).

When it comes to content, I should be able to delete something I have created, especially if it's related to a project I am working on. Say I have made a post that is no longer relevant, or a screenshot, or a file download; I should be able to nuke it at my discretion, and immediately replace it with something else if needed.

The same goes for the project as a whole. If I feel a project that I am creating is not going anywhere, and will turn into vaporware, I should be able remove it entirely.

As for content presentation goes, I would expect some flexibility in how I can set things up. Not necessarily visual things like colors, or background images, or fonts, or silly shit like that, but more along the lines of page hierarchy. Say I want an about page, maybe a page with download links, maybe a page for screenshots, maybe a map index with screenshots and credits for each map, maybe even a FAQ, walkthrough, or whatever other type of page I deem necessary for the project. Using a simple CMS that allows page building with some BBCode-like markup would fit the bill perfectly. Essentially what I'm describing is a miniature wiki. A simple multi-post blog, or single-page project description (like WIP) does not fit my needs.

So uh, yeah. Some of that might sound crazy, some might be obvious, but there's my two pence.

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EarthQuake said:

Stuff

Thanks a lot.
Mind you the application will not have all the features from the start. I intend to build it basing ond the feedback I get from features that are already there.

I know in today's internet user interface and ergonomy is extremly important, that's why I'm aiming to avoid situations in which the user would be overwhelmed and intimidated. This means that the development phase (which in this case would be... neverending) will serve to emerge features that are most used (most probably searching, browsing, personal messages) and to make them easilly accessible.

I plan to limit the amount of features and options according to user's role in a specific project. For example - if you log in on your account you can freely view the projects of others without all the "stuff" popping out and taking space. After all you're only browsing. Should you log in and start browsing projects you are part of, you'll see more options. Even more if you're the project's administrator / admin / someone important.

The most basic features are meant to be available from the start:
-viewing projects
-adding projects
-editing projects
-editing roles for users in specific projects
-private messages (in a more "chatlike" or "forumlike" way, which enables you to change the content even after sending)
-adding maps and "resources" for projects
-defining the level of privacy for entire projects or/and just parts of it (e.g. maps are visible, can be commented, but are not downloadable and cannot be rated for non-project viewers, while the texture resource is completely unavailable to them)

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Brilliant idea, really... I was always a big fan of WadsInProgress but as you already mentioned, it's very limited. I am definitely looking forward to this ellmo!

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Tormentor667 said:

Brilliant idea, really... I was always a big fan of WadsInProgress but as you already mentioned, it's very limited. I am definitely looking forward to this ellmo!

Thanks Torm! Great to see someone comes over here evey now and then, to support the idea.

Bunch of news

  • Got a free shell account on my friends server, so I'll most probably cancel dreamhost's hosting offer (hopefully I'm keeping the domain)
  • I have more or less chosen the technologies (tried to force myself to use anything but MySql, but MongoDB has some serious limitations and Postgres is Postgres, after spedning 2 hours trying to start this thing alone, I tought it might prove to be counter-productive in the future too)
  • I set up an AmazonS3 account and MAH BUCKETS
  • Bought up a simple Github plan, made the application private and started versioning it
  • I whipped up a simple logo (tho calling a coloured word a logo might be an overstatement), which you are now allowed to hate:

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I like it (not just the logo, but the idea in general). :D I wish you luck with this project - will be happy to see it come to fruition. :D

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ellmo said:

  • Bought up a simple Github plan, made the application private

  • Can you please share more of your world domination plans? By when you plan/hope to overtake Doomworld in page views?

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    Tormentor667 said:

    I just tried the link to "Doomhub" but unfortunately, it times out :(


    I've recently moved to another server, so it took a while for DNS addresses to update themselves - you're welcome to try now. New server responds very fast!

    EDIT:
    By the way, you need to use http://doomhub.com/, without "www"

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