[stella] List guidelines

Subject: [stella] List guidelines
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 23:04:53 -0800
At 11:30 PM 10/30/2001 -0600, you wrote:
Perhaps it would be a good idea to re-establish the guidelines for this
list?  Obviously, the community has changed (which is not a bad thing).
Maybe the guidelines need to change as well?

Out of the ~200 members, there appears to only be a handful of people actively coding for the platform or offering advice to other coders.

If these active coders see fit to exchange sourcecode on a frequent basis, that is in accordance with the purpose of the group, namely to facilitate collaboration, relevant information exchange, and yes, sometimes go over old topics for the newbies (as we discussed in an earlier debate).

Noncoders are, of course, welcome. They are really helpful in play and bug testing the games as they evolve. That's what I tried to do before I started to code. But not every build posted to the list is going to look and play that different from the previous one, or that it will be fun or even completely functional. It just goes with the territory.

To me, I don't see an excessive amount of attachments coming through the list. I'm more worried when a long time goes by WITHOUT anybody posting their code to the list! We have had dry spells before. Attachments (or just volume of messages) indicate that people are actively programming. This is a good thing. In my own case, I typically post a build once a week, and I try to wait until I hit a brick wall and need input from the list. To me it's more important to welcome people's code in order to help them out than to impose bandwidth limits. It would, in general, be pretty silly to post more than one build a day. I can't see limiting people anymore than that. Zipped atari 2600 sourcecode and BIN files are not that big. If 20 people were working on games at the same time, it would be a different story.

Also, I think it's far more useful to post the complete sourcecode than to exchange code fragments in the body of Emails. That way you can see the code in context with the entire program, and maybe catch other details elsewhere while reviewing.

I also prefer the attachments in the list instead of, let's say, an HTML link. That way they get added to the overall Biglist archive, for posterity.

Stellalist really isn't here to entertain. It's primarily a utilitarian, rather than a social group. I think AtariAge has become the place to be for more casual of discussions.

I did not call a stop to the computer science thread because I think general computer science theory is highly relevant to any programming endeavor, including the 2600. I know some people thought that was too off topic. In my opinion it wasn't.

I also think generic game design theory is also highly relevant, or aesthetic discussions, because 2600 programming forces all of us to be the designers and the artists in addition to the programmers.

There are other professional mailing lists like the Lightwave3D one which have many times the volume that this list generates. Since I'm not doing animation anymore (although I may in the future) I took myself off that list because I couldn't justify the time each day scanning through the new messages.

If you are really into it, it shouldn't seem like such a nuisance.

Inversely, if you aren't really into it, it serves no purpose to be here.

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