Unfinished Threads

Monkey Archive Forums/Monkey Discussion/Unfinished Threads

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#1]
I have just been browsing through the forum, generally reading threads that interest me in some way, but not looking for anything in particular.

What I have noticed is that there is a really high number of unfinished threads, and by unfinished I mean sort of "left floating" with no answer or conclusion to the discussion or problem.

It's a shame really as some of them would/could be quite informative, and I understand things evolve so some information and problems become obsolete, but if a new Monkey version cured the issue at hand it really wouldn't hurt to pop back into a thread and say so.

How big is the Monkey community?

muddy_shoes(Posted 2013) [#2]
Threads die without resolution for a number of reasons. Clear questions are normally answered though. Perhaps you could give an example or two.

The current registered user count is <900. Active users will be considerably fewer.

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#3]
As I said it's nothing in particular, a magic answer that is missing or anything like that, but just threads that seem to wither and die for no apparent reason, when there is obviously still life in the thread.

It's not even a big issue, and not something I would normally post about but the forums here are kind of quiet and I thought I'd try to get a discussion going.

I can post a few examples of threads I saw while browsing if you like, some a few months old, some 1yr+ and posting in them to ask what happened would be a little pointless now - but at the time a finish (of sorts) to the discussion would have been helpful to people reading them later (like me).

It's like reading a book and finding out the last chapter was written in invisible ink.

Also wow, didn't realise the Monkey userbase was so small!

c.k.(Posted 2013) [#4]
I'm getting discouraged at my inability to get stuff done with monkey in a faster timeframe. I wonder if the BlitzMax community would be better to ask questions or submit requests for modules, or if maybe I should switch to something more mature at this point.

I have seemingly simple projects but very limited free time. Maybe my expectations are too high and I need to re-prioritize. But I love programming and would hate to have to stop (by which I mean, having to switch to something like Construct 2 that isn't traditional programming but at least lets me embed ads or IAP on every platform with one line of code [that's an exaggeration]). :-)

Wylaryzel(Posted 2013) [#5]
I have the same feeling as rIKmAN.

Several times I were searching for answers and didn't find a final solution but on the other hand, at least most of the time I got it somehow to work and then it was fine for me and I didn't want to reactived a long gone post.

Even it isn't the perfect solution, as long as there is no impact on the FPS and it doesn't crash the app, its fine.

There are a few points - one like the ads implemention mentioned by c.k. - were I have the feeling that everybody in the community is re-inventing the wheel by themself and as soon as they found the answer for themself, its something they are keeping for themself which I understand.
What I would be interesting into would be really options for an easy to implement Ad's, In-app-buy modules, etc.

The user count is maybe low based on the fact that there isn't alot of knowledge of Monkey in the world, the learning curve can be a bit hard - its easier than other languages, but the documentation isn't really supportive, and there are other tools which gets by far more public attention as if you look on the website there is no killer-app shown that was made with Monkey.

My 2 cents

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#6]
C.K., Construct2 lets you embed ads and iap with one single line? Definately not out of the box. So which 3rd party plugin are you refering to? And which provider does it utilizes?

therevills(Posted 2013) [#7]
if you look on the website there is no killer-app shown that was made with Monkey.

Apart from the Bafta award winning New Star Soccer...

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#8]
Construct2 lets you embed ads and iap with one single line?

but at least lets me embed ads or IAP on every platform with one line of code [that's an exaggeration]). :-)

Note the underlined part...

Apart from the Bafta award winning New Star Soccer...

Beat me to it :)
I have to say they don't advertise this as much as they could and should.

Midimaster(Posted 2013) [#9]
There are definitely too less tutorials in the forum. If someone is a starter he definitely will not understand "how to start". The documentation descripes all commands and classes... if you know, what the commands are good for! This is more a reference. It would be very helpful if there are more code snipplet, that demonstrate the use, because often the use is a combination of commands!

And there is no documentation,..Forum ..etc about "How to".

1. Sample:
"How to text?" could show all aspects of texts like loading, displaying manipulating, saving, Fonts...

I'm a starter in Ads. My status: I heard about, that it will be possible with monkey. But no idea, whether this is ready now or not. And no idea about "how to..."

I would love to start with MiniB3D on monkey. But I do not understand anything. A the forum thread is not on a level for beginners. And I also don't want to ask for each simple question I have. So I would need a tutorial.

I would like to combine JAVA, ANDROID and MONKEY codes. But I do not know, how monkey uses android? How can I connect to classes of android? Which classes are already integrated. What are my class names? The Android reference is nearly useless, because I don't know, where or who is my monkey code in this context?

it is difficult for me to say it in english... Do you understand what I mean?

How is monkey working in the deep of android?

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#10]
What do you think about the tutorials that ship with Monkey? Aren't they any good?

About Ads, it is ready since V67c or f I think. Monkey ships with docs which include sample code. Look under modules/brl.admob in the help files.

About MiniB3D... did you ask its creator to write a decent tutorial?

About combining Java...
look at the admob example, or my flurry module. Have a look at the native files of mojo.

Midimaster(Posted 2013) [#11]
These tutorials are more like "Give me your hand, I will teach you game coding". This is good for 100% newbees.

What we als need are tutorials about one aspect of the language. To resume to the topic of this thread:

Those tutorials should be a compendium of threads about the same question. Compared to the threads they could be expicit and up-to-date. A lot of solutions given in the forum during the last years are not longer up-to-date and meanwhile replaced by good monkey functions.

I did not find the information, that Admob is now ready... Now I see, there is a sample closed to the reference. OK! For me the best source to offer new feature are always "The bananas" But they should not be displayed by the name of the developer or the name of the game, but by the tutorial content they present.

It is very instructive to study other code samples, thank you... but this does not replace the need of a good documentation. At the moment I like to "harvest" in diddys java codes. But this is a hard way to try to understand how monkey is implemented in the android enviroment. Don't you think too, a good documentation would be more helpful then suggest everybody to "reinvent the wheel by digging"?

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#12]
Sure, perfect documentation can't be a bad thing.

I got the info about Admob from reading the release topic that Mark usually posts and the version.txt file that ships with Monkey. Then I looked into the class description.

The aspect oriented tutorials you ask for, you can create these in different ways? For an example the text thingy. The help file for Mojos DrawText clearly states that this is just for debugging purposes. So I guess you are not talking about that but rather about how to use bitmap fonts.
As we have several solutions to use and display bitmap fonts, are you talking about how to use one specificaly or how to create your own solution? And then, should it support a specific tool that creates bitmap fonts that is available on the market or do you want to create your own and would like to know how to do it?

Midimaster(Posted 2013) [#13]
"...I got the info about Admob from reading the release topic that Mark usually posts..."

Thats exactly the problem of the forum: If you read all forum entries in time, you will be informed. But if somebody later joins the forum, he will never find this information again, because this thread became "one of 1000".

I keep on saying: Those information should be placed on a prominent place in the forum!

With "text" I did not mean the text command, but "text related themes". Any situation somebody wants to use texts in any way. "Text" like "written words". Now, if somebody has the need to f.e. "display text to a user", a good documentation forum can inform him about the possibilities monkey offers: like "Use DrawText" or "Use Bitmap fonts modules" or "Use a GUI" or "Use an image instead of text" and so on...

A good documentation forum could offer any possibility, because everybody can add "solutions" to it.

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#14]
I don't agree with you totally.

1) We have already a tutorial forum. Then someone wanted to create a documentation site. But the problem is that not may experienced users are willing to spend their time teaching others. Look how many requests for this and that were voiced lately. And? Nothing happened. And I can understand why it doesn't happen. It takes a lot of time. Time in which someone could work on their own game. Time where no one pays them for.

2) Imho a forum is the wrong place, as you still need to search through its content. The order of topics change as soon as a topic gets updated. These informations should ship with Monkey in one form or another. Be it in the HTML help file or inside a PDF.

I agree totally with you that EVERY tool needs good documentation. But what is good documentation? Some don't have a problem finding the stuff their need in the current one. Some have. And then you have to think about what kind of documentation. Taking someone by the hand or targeting the (half) experienced devs.

Creating tutorials and documentation takes the most time when you create dev tools. And you have to be aware that you create it to be used by a user basically just once.

Again, I am not against good documentation. It just needs people to create it.

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#15]
How about a "commands" forum, where each command has its own thread and people can post their own examples and/questions with regards to that specific command?

I guess a forum version of the php docs, where people add their own usages of each command from basic to more complex usage.

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#16]
Can't that be done already in the tutorials forum?

"How to use DrawText?"

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#17]
Yeah it can, but nobody has.

I think if the threads were pre-defined (the commands) then maybe people would be more likely to post in them with snippets and info.

Lots of talking going on and not really much action, so who knows.

AdamRedwoods(Posted 2013) [#18]
How about a "commands" forum, where each command has its own thread and people can post their own examples and/questions with regards to that specific command?

this is how the old blitz docs were, which i liked.

i like the commands forum idea, may help.
Or maybe newcomers should post requests in the tutorials section?

i've been thinking about docs/tutorial on Minib3d, just haven't gotten there yet. time is what we need, but who has time?

rIKmAN(Posted 2013) [#19]
I think the lack of activity on the forum hinders newcomers posting new threads to be honest.

I experienced this myself when I first joined, I made about 5 replies and the main page looked like I had been spamming the board with my name listed numerous times in the Active Threads list.

It's much easier to go into an existing thread and post a question than to create a load of news threads when you a newer member (imo).

I'd be up for helping out create the threads and list the commands etc, but like anything else it will require people to chip in and contribute, otherwise all we will have is a list of commands with no content.

Having them there in the first place makes adding a bit of knowledge a lot easier though.

Midimaster(Posted 2013) [#20]
Hi adam
documentation is what you need! If you develop a module without documentaion you will have dozends of followers, but not hundreds! Did you ever count the followers on your thread?

A documentation starts with:
What is it good for?
Who can use it?
What are the requirements?
What targets are supported?
How to install?
How to test, that it is working proper.
First Hello World
How to handle problems?
A reference of all commands

Such a documentation can be done within 3 hours. Later it can grow and adapted by thinking about user's reactions/questions.

I would love to use your MidiB3D module. But I'm too stupid to get it started. Even the installation already failed. I don't know why.

And you need a ZIP file with the last "stabil" version instead of offering a GitHub access to the newest features.

And alway keep in mind: A new user, who only want to have a first look on it will not spend time to investigate, why it did not work...

Perhaps you should have some sub-forums. One for your development partners talking on a high level about beta-release features. But also one for beginners like me, where we can ask stupid questions about the use uf the stabil version.

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#21]
That not many people post in the forum about a module doesn't mean that not mean people use it. I have around 10 people posted something over the time but fE gets downloaded between 150-200 times with almost every new version.

c.k.(Posted 2013) [#22]
What we need is a sub-forum in Tutorials called "[Tutorial] Requests."

MikeHart(Posted 2013) [#23]
Or tag the title properly. Like "Request: How to handle files in Monkey".

Start with that. If it gets to much, I am sure that Simon will create another subforum to keep things organized.