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  • For those that use wowace.com

    http://www.wowace.com/forums/index.php?topic=14316.0

    For those that can't read it.

    Hi guys. Kaelten here. Over the last three years or so we, as a community and a website, have changed a lot. We started off with very little, just a simple forum and three guys, then people came, and people went, we got a wiki and changed forum software. Then we started sponsoring and hosting an official ace svn and allowing other authors to use it, and well that kinda changed everything. When you guys started killing our svn server we had to start hosting zips and things changed again. Lastly when pprovost wrote the first version of WAU it all went crazy. Now here we are with a wiki, huge forums, one of the largest repos around, and hosting more than 1.3k projects with several hundred more locked away in tags. The evolution of the path described here is amazing, and I continue to be shocked at how far you guys have taken us. And now its time for WowAce to be reborn.

    Many have commented on the limitations, and shortcomings of the current framework and the various issues we have in the current system. These include:

    * No differentiation between stable and beta builds.
    * No real project management.
    * No sane issue tracking.
    * Maintenance issues of the ever growing repository.

    This is by no means an all inclusive list, but should showcase some of the less esoteric issues. These issues by no mean devalue what we currently have either, it's worked well enough so far, but I believe it is time these problems are addressed.

    As many of you know I work for Curse.com, and they have been funding WowAce's servers for quite a while; without their support we'd have to have shut our doors on several portions of the site long ago. Also, many of you may know that I am project lead for CurseForge.com. I've poured all of my knowledge and expertise that I've gained from working with WowAce into CurseForge. In doing so I actively and continually strive to avoid the same pitfalls that WowAce has, and on a daily basis I take feedback from the authors that use it and incorporate their ideas and respond to their criticisms. I'm also excited to say that I will continue to develop and improve CurseForge's software for the foreseeable future, and that it is by no means considered 'done.'

    Because of these things, I've petitioned and received approval to deploy the CurseForge Software for use on WowAce.com.

    This means a lot of things will change, but there are things that aren't going to happen either. Please listen and read the rest of this as I attempt to outline the coming changes in more detail. I'm going to start going over things section by section to answer some basic questions.

    The Repository

    Arguably the heart of WowAce's content, the repository, is important for many reasons and it will continue on... in a fashion. Currently each folder under trunk is more or less an individual project, but they are all clumped together in the single repository. This has had many complications including permissions issues, slow downs, and maintenance issues. The management overhead on the current repository is monumental and takes large chunks of several peoples time. This overhead continues to grow in correlation to the repository's size and popularity.

    Again, it is time to fix these issues.

    I'm going to split the repository (by methods so arcane and time consuming I cringe) into separate repositories. From these I will gather all the information possible and create projects on the new site. In the continuing spirit of the current repository all of these repositories will be open so that anyone can commit to them, and it will be up to the individual owners whether they wish to close them off or not.

    The Wiki

    The current wiki works, but is generally unstructured, and things don't always map back to the various projects like you think they would. All data currently in the wiki will be preserved and carried over to the new site. These pages will be categorized by project and attached to the appropriate content, by hand if need be.

    The Forums

    The forums will be retained in their entirety and will undergo the least amount of changes. The main being is that they'll be imported into vBulletin. Unlike other content on WowAce the forums will be shared with CurseForge, in order to offer more competent and complete support for both communities.

    Files and WowAceUpdater

    files.wowace.com and WAU and their popularity has come as a surprise to us all. As it currently stands files.wowace.com pushes out an incredible amount of addon updates. In an average month we're talking about more than thirty terabytes of data! In a busy month clearing sixty is no problem, and I don't even want to talk about what happens on major patch days. While this has indeed been very amazing, it has been a mixed blessing. The ads on the files homepage and inside of WAU have been an attempt to offset the costs. They have failed.

    Unfortunately, these cold realities have forced me to make some hard decisions in relation to these features. files.wowace.com will be discontinued, in its place we'll be using the same syndication framework as CurseForge.

    In addition, WAU will, for the time being, be discontinued as well as it won't be receiving any new content. In the immediate, however, WowAce's content will be available via the new Curse Client that is in development. The new client will be a great departure from the current one, and I'm glad to say I'm in a position to influence its future development, and I will continue to use this influence to push for the features that you, the community, want to see.

    As far as the timing of what I've outlined here, it's not going to be immediate. I'm looking at rolling out the new site towards the middle of August. I'll, of course, be announcing the exact date once we get a little bit closer to the big day.

    I know that this will be taken differently by all of you, and I'm sure that there are many questions. This is a major change, but I for one am excited. Because of the common software used on both WowAce and CurseForge I will be in a position to develop features and fix issues on WowAce fulltime. This will be the first time that I'll have been able to commit that level of effort towards the site.

    In the meantime, myself, and some of the others leaders here will be answering some questions, however, we're going to host a few irc chats on monday to answer more questions. The first will be at 12pm CST (7pm CEST), the second will be at 7pm CST (2am CEST), these times are meant to allow anyone who's interested attend. The chats will be held in a temporary chat room, #wowace-upgrade, on freenode, and logs will be posted in the forums. During this chat we'll be answering questions about the software rollout. In addition, we'll also be discussing or answering questions regarding some future plans including a joint AuthorRewards program.


    Aestryd 80 Prot Pally / Epimetheus 70 Feral Druid / Yuusei 74 Enhancement Shaman
    Camsmule 70 Fury/Prot Warrior / Tamrissa 70 Affliction Warlock / Aegyn 70 Holy Priest
    Shyff 70 Arcane Mage / Indrus 62 Combat Rogue

  • #2
    Re: For those that use wowace.com

    Why the sad face? Sounds like a pretty reasonable evolution. I was worried that it was all going away, and that's not the case at all.

    The fractured repositories will be interesting. I maintain some small SVN servers and I can certainly imagine the wealth of problems one might have administering a big one. Cosmos just had their SVN repo corrupted and lost 6 months of history. (I don't think this is specifically a Subversion problem. I suspect it's a general risk of serving a large and evolving data set.)
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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    • #3
      Re: For those that use wowace.com

      Does someone want to summarize the changes for those that aren't interested in reading the whole thing?
      70 Priest

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      • #4
        Re: For those that use wowace.com

        Basically no more files.wowace.com or their AceUpdater (which is where I'm sore)...

        Instead, the main guy of WoWAce is also the guy at CurseForge.com where most of the final addons will be available.

        SVN means open source code repositories used for multiple coders working together on one project.

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        • #5
          Re: For those that use wowace.com

          The site is suffering from bandwidth meltdown, and the repository and wiki are major maintenance headaches. I didn't read all 16 pages but I skipped to the end and it sounds like they're switching from Subversion to git.

          Open source is NOT being dropped, nor is the open repo concept. Individual addon authors will be able to control access rights to their own contributions. Right now that's hard to do with Subversion because access control is hard to configure. (It's done through a special Apache module. I run a few svn servers and have seen what's required.)

          git is what's used to maintain the Linux kernel. It's "fork friendly" in that it allows many copies of the code in different states and with different patches applied, which serves the kernel well, because every Linux distro uses a different set of patches.

          The AceUpdater is really a custom Subversion client, written in .NET. Nothing stops someone from writing their own client to do similar things. I don't use it, and instead use the standard Subversion command line client in a batch file to keep my addons updated.

          CurseForge (which operates the WoWAce site) will provide its own client, but you should be able to get your own. If they stay with Subversion, use something like Tortoise. If they go to git, then I'm sure there are nice clients available for that, as well.
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: For those that use wowace.com

            Sad face comes from having to go to curse to dl the addons ,since I have a strong distaste for updater programs (they carry bad juju-hex-magic :p). That place goes down more often and longer than wowace (at least for my experiences), and I expect it to get worse, not better.

            The change from SVN as I understood it was a great thing, and it seems even more so now, I jsut despise curse is all. too graphics heavy in addition to everything else imo.


            Aestryd 80 Prot Pally / Epimetheus 70 Feral Druid / Yuusei 74 Enhancement Shaman
            Camsmule 70 Fury/Prot Warrior / Tamrissa 70 Affliction Warlock / Aegyn 70 Holy Priest
            Shyff 70 Arcane Mage / Indrus 62 Combat Rogue

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: For those that use wowace.com

              Don't ask me where I got it, but I use JWoWUpdater. It pulls from wowace and can even have curse-specific addons downloaded if you provide the initial link.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: For those that use wowace.com

                There is also another option for automagic updates to your addons:

                http://www.wowmatrix.com/

                It's really user friendly. It uses known sources for the addons and installs / updates / deletes them as you require. The downside is that it's not open source so you don't really know that it's not doing something nefarious. I've been using it a couple of months and I haven't had any problems. I was a bit nervous about it at first but it was recommended to me so I tried it.

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