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Stop shipping Minimal development test in release builds? #6987

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Wuzzy2 opened this issue Jan 29, 2018 · 32 comments

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@Wuzzy2
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commented Jan 29, 2018

Issue type
  • Feature request
Summary

Minetest still ships the minimal development test in release builds.
Is there any reason for this?
I think it should be removed or at least hidden in official Minetest releases. Of course it can stay in the repository, visible to developers, I don't mind. But it just doesn't make sense to ship a fairly obscure subgame that is useless for normal players by default.

@ThomasMonroe314

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commented Jan 29, 2018

I don't see a problem with that

@C1ffisme

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commented Jan 29, 2018

With the new minimal in #6716, we're going to both remove any kind of legacy support for the old minimal game and we're going to be making the subgame even less useful for gamers and youtubers.

Definitely remove minimal from release builds, so that new Youtubers and Gamers that don't know better don't accidentally choose minimal rather than MTG.

@nerzhul

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commented Jan 30, 2018

i think it's better to warn minimal is a test game permitting to test various MT functions than removing it

@Wuzzy2

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commented Jan 30, 2018

Minimal already does that in a chat message when you start it. But this is besides the point. The point is that this subgame is useless for >90% of people.

Why should Average Joe Who Is Definitely Not A Programmer be bothered with a test game? The few people who need Minimal know where to look. Note I didn't propose to remove Minimal. Just remove/hide it from release.

Here are our options:

  • Rip out Minimal from the Minetest repo and give it its own repo, just like Minetest Game
  • Keep shipping Minimal, but hide it from the main menu if Minetest detects itself as a release build, unless a minetest.conf setting says otherwise
  • Remove Minimal only from the release zip archives but keep the rest intact
  • (Insert own options here …)
@nerzhul

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commented Jan 30, 2018

removing it from MT core repo is not a solution as this is used in development for integration tests. One solution can be to hide it in release mode and add a toggle flag in settings, maybe

@4w

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commented Jan 30, 2018

as this is used in development for integration tests

So it is a development tool. Why are development tools shipped with non-development builds?

@nerzhul

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commented Jan 30, 2018

why does some games embed (it's rare nowadays but not on every engine) a graphics test if it's a devel thing ?

@jastevenson303

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commented Jan 30, 2018

nerzhul do you have a strong opinion that Minetest should indeed ship with Minimal Development Test in all instances?

@Ferk

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commented Jan 30, 2018

Just for the record, this was also requested in the past: #1740 #4006

@Megaf

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commented Jan 30, 2018

I totally support shipping the minimal subgame. It could be renamed to dev or test or something else if people want. minimal still a very nice and slim and lightweight dev environment for mods.

@4w

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commented Jan 30, 2018

why does some games embed (it's rare nowadays but not on every engine) a graphics test if it's a devel thing ?

And why do the samer stupid thing and ship a whole development subgame and unit tests with the release version?

@nerzhul

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commented Jan 30, 2018

@4w

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commented Jan 30, 2018

Debundle and provide as separate subgame then? People who want to participate here or want to develop mods without “Minetest Game” will download and install it, all others do not care if it is not there anymore. Plus: no-one accidentally selects the even more barren “minimal” instead “Minetest Game”.

Same with unit tests (provide a compile flag to enable them but have it disabled by default).

@paramat

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commented Jan 30, 2018

Minimal will become more useful when rewritten. Players are often also modders, the code and the game will become a useful resource for studying code and seeing how it works. So i can see good reason to leave it in, the name is already a good warning.

@4w

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commented Jan 31, 2018

Minimal will become more useful when rewritten.

But no-one ever will.

@pilino1234

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commented Jan 31, 2018

But no-one ever will.

#6716 ?

@4w

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commented Jan 31, 2018

#6716 ?

All checks have passed
This branch has no conflicts with the base branch
Only those with write access to this repository can merge pull requests.

Well then ...

@pilino1234

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commented Jan 31, 2018

Well then ...

‌> [WIP]

@C1ffisme

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commented Jan 31, 2018

Players are often also modders

Maybe, but Minetest is still in an "early development stage", so this is probably true just because of that fact. If this game reaches a more complete version with gameplay that will get people to download and try the game, then there isn't much of a reason to keep in minimal for those people.

Plus, for people that aren't modders who are interested, if they download the game and click on minimal without thinking twice, they might create a world in a crappy-looking subgame only to realize later, or worse never, that there was a much better-looking subgame available to them.

@rubenwardy

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commented Jan 31, 2018

👍 for removing minimal from release distributions

@paramat

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commented Jan 31, 2018

Minetest is still in an "early development stage"

Erm no.

so this is probably true just because of that fact.

No, Minetest is about modding and always will be no matter how developed.

if they download the game and click on minimal without thinking twice, they might create a world in a crappy-looking subgame only to realize later, or worse never, that there was a much better-looking subgame available to them.

The game title and game screen reading 'Minimal Development Test' is warning enough, if they don't get the hints and also don't check out the other game they're stupid and we're better off without them =)

However, i don't feel strongly about this decision.

@C1ffisme

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commented Jan 31, 2018

No, Minetest is about modding and always will be no matter how developed.

Is it?

@jastevenson303

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commented Feb 1, 2018

Paramat please don't be unpleasant to users, we do stupid things for a reason.

@pilino1234

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commented Feb 1, 2018

they're stupid and we're better off without them =)

what the fuck?
I agree with the rest of your points, but what is this line supposed to accomplish?

(applying it in the other direction works too, btw)

@Ferk

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commented Feb 1, 2018

If minimal was changed to be more interesting, with testing tools and maybe some initial area around the spawnpoint with maybe signs or formspecs that served as a sort of introduction to the game for "players who often are also modders" , that would be cool.
But then the problem is that it might not be so "minimal". I'm afraid its possibilities will be limited it if it's actually intended to be a "minimal" subgame.

Perhaps the purpose of minimal should be defined before making a decision.
If it is to be the minimum necessary for a subgame to exist + some obscure stuff targeted to test the engine, then I think it shouldn't be in the releases, because that might not be very interesting for neither players nor normal modders who would typically target MTG, it would take space, even if minimal, and some users might be confused by it.
If it's intended to be friendly to devs and players interested in modding, then that sounds very good for it to be in the releases, it could showcase the new engine features of each new release. I think it was in the plan to ship more games with Minetest after all, but then it should be developed further in that direction, even if it means adding more content to it. It wouldn't be "minimal" in terms of content and maybe it should be renamed to "devtest" or similar.

@TumeniNodes

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commented Feb 5, 2018

hmmm, I gave a thumbs up to a comment nerzhul made but, thinking on it more, IMO it should be removed from releases and remain obtainable as a download for those who wish to use it for development or learning. Just be sure to add some notation regarding this on the main webpage.

To be honest, shipping this with a release can cause some confusion. Remember, many end users are children, and even not all adults/parents of those children are programmers/coders, and it can be as equally confusing for them.

The easiest thing for anyone, in any profession to forget is, not "everyone" out there automatically knows how to do what you do, or even understands half of what you say related to it.
The focus should always be on end users and, to do so, means you have to be able to see things from a layman's point of view.

"strip the shit, and ship the hit" (don't ask, I literally just came up with that)

@4w

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commented Feb 5, 2018

[…] they're stupid and we're better off without them =)

This says a lot more than you probably wanted to reveal.

@Wuzzy2

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commented Feb 5, 2018

So, almost everyone is agreeing to somehow remove or hide Minimal. I think this point is settled.

But we don't seem to agree on how to do this exactly. Let's focus on this now.

So. Removing it from the repo directly has already been ruled out by nerzhul. I agree with the reasoning. I do not want to dictate the core devs how to do their work. That would be silly.

If Minimal is just hidden in release builds, unless a special setting says otherwise, would this work without making core devs angry, I suppose? ;-) (I like to hear more opinions on this idea.)

Remember, the point is not to actually take anything away from anyone, just to remove distractions to the non-coding players (i.e. >90% of players).

@paramat

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commented Feb 6, 2018

Don't worry, my =) was to hint to not take the comment too seriously. I thought the concern was crazy and i was essentially saying 'i very much doubt any player would miss the hints given by the game name and title screen text'.

@C1ffisme

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commented Feb 6, 2018

i very much doubt any player would miss the hints given by the game name and title screen text

They are very obvious hints to us, the people that have been playing or developing the game for years now. As someone who knows people that often ignore important GUI text, cut-scene dialogue or stuff that the game intends for you to read and hear, it's not entirely impossible for accidents like this to happen.

@numberZero

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commented May 21, 2018

Just drop it from binary releases.
It may be nice to ship it separately, however, but as a special development tool, so that anyone who can be interested in it (i.e., any modder targeting more than MTG) should be able to find it. There should be other tools as well ofc, like formspec editor, for example (there is one somewhere IIRC...).

@paramat

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commented Mar 4, 2019

👍 for removing from release builds.

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