VDC re-write project

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Exist, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Exist

    Exist L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    306
    Positive Ratings:
    136
    We all know it sucks, we all hate it, and we all want to change it. Of course, I'm talking about the VDC. The VDC is a horrible self help tool. Many of the articles aren't helpful and many are out dated.*

    Heres and example of how horrible the VDC is. Last week I had a problem. My install of SDK gave me this error whenever I tried to open Hammer or any of the SDK's tools. "no game data to run with." Now if you search "Hammer won't open", one gets these results. None of these results even relate to the query. I found the solution when a user with a similar problem posted a thread here and Seba (the greatest person ever as of late) answers the question in 1 sentence.

    I'm calling for a major revamp of the VDC. The site is out dated and with a major mapping community like TF2maps.net, I feel like we should archive all our combined knowledge (?) on to the VDC. The VDC is more universal then TF2maps.net because most of the knowledge here can be used for all Source games.*

    I'm going to start by fixing the poor grammar and horrible phrasing on the leak page. I'm surprised that page didn't cause a leak :p. If you want to see how deplorable the page is, look over here (http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Leak).
    If you feel like helping, post here what your working on and such.
     
  2. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

    Messages:
    2,363
    Positive Ratings:
    2,692
    It sounds like a good idea, but it'd take ages for even a large group of people to do it properly. Most of the articles are outdated and would require serious testing, which would take a long while in itself. But, if you get a large enough crowd, I'll follow like a sheep and devote some of my time to this, because I think it'll help the mapping scene a lot.
     
  3. Mr. P. Kiwi

    Mr. P. Kiwi L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    244
    Positive Ratings:
    95
    I think it's a nice idea, too. But I don't think we should do perfect - that every last article is re-written, we can just say 'fix one article'. Maybe it wouldn't be complete but 200+ new re-written articles without a lot of effort is a pretty good achievement.
    I would happily devote some of my time to re-write an article or two.
    Of course, we could always do a competition…
     
  4. red_flame586

    red_flame586 L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    437
    Positive Ratings:
    122
    I can devote a bit of time as well, though i think this would benefit if it was organized in some way shape or form. Otherwise people are just going to fix one or two articles and then it's going to just stop. Also, what I'd like to see is have some of the tutorial found in this forum to be put in one straight easy to get to place where everything is. Maybe someone could copy that stuff to the VDC.

    EDIT: Ninja'd by kiwi, though the idea of a competition would be a good motivator. There would need to be some guideline that monitored quality though it still could help quite a bit.
     
  5. Nacimota

    Nacimota L1: Registered

    Messages:
    29
    Positive Ratings:
    18
    I agree that it has serious issues in terms of being outdated and just not very well written. I, also, will lend a hand if such a project gets underway.
     
  6. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,920
    We all hate it? It seems pretty damn useful to me. More useful than any forum.

    It doesn't need rewriting, it needs adding to.

    The article linked to, leaks, has absolutely nothing wrong with it and is probably one of the better articles on the site. It might not be Chaucer but it explains exactly what a leak is, how to find it and how to fix it. It even goes on to tell you other causes of leaks other than the obvious.

    Focus your effort on current stubs or explaining entities that have no explanation at all.

    And please, for the love of god, don't write every damn article through TF2's eyes.

    EDIT: Just make a big list of things that you think should be added to/reworded/updated (with links) and let people do pages at their leisure. mark the big list with a bold, red "(DONE)" once someone reports the requested edit made. That way people can come and do an article a day, or week or five a day. Whatever they want. Easy to keep track of, and no problem if anyone doesn't do a specific task assigned to them, since anyone else in the community will be able to take up the slack.

    So, go find 50 articles that need writing/editing and put them in the OP and get people to suggest things to do, and to make the changes listed in the OP. Because we ALL know that it needs doing but an organised list thread will actually get people to do stuff.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  7. Mr. P. Kiwi

    Mr. P. Kiwi L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    244
    Positive Ratings:
    95
    I agree with YM. When I said we should 'fix one article each' I didn't mean fixing the good ones. There are a lot of useful articles there that are not outdated, and will never be. I found it to be a riliable source of information and most of the time it covers the basics guide-lines, the ones most people use.
    These are the ones that should be fixed.
    And these.
     
  8. Wilson

    aa Wilson Burial by Sleep

    Messages:
    1,256
    Positive Ratings:
    938
    VDC is fine, but a lot of articles need to be made more clear or need some cleaning.
     
  9. Nacimota

    Nacimota L1: Registered

    Messages:
    29
    Positive Ratings:
    18
    Oh I think the wiki has a wealth of information which is why I link to it when assisting people with a particularly issue. But parts of it a quite messy and overall it's not as clean and consistant as it could be and I do think it needs some serious attention in that regard.
     
  10. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,920
    A lot of those are tutorials imported from outside sources, and of the stubs a lot of them are mod descriptions. As a list of things that need to be improved, they're not that helpful. I mean, if every one of those pages was made A* quality, the VDC would still be about as good as it currently is.

    What needs to be updated is pages like the Train watcher page that is -only- used for payload maps and has very specific usage, needs to be connected to pages like this payload tutorial. (Making that edit now)
     
  11. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,518
    Wow, this was basically what went through my head when I read the OP, and I was pleasantly surprised to see I didn't have to type it out myself.

    For the record, I don't find much wrong on the VDC, the wording and images are sloppy in places but that's about it.
    Some stuff is missing completely though.
    I can't find anything about the displacement sculpt tool. which is the best tool in the entire editor.
    Nothing on quickhide either, but it's really basic and probably doesn't need explanation.

    EDIT: for the record, the problem you (Exist) had in your OP is explained on the VDC in the prominent FAQ section.
    Click the "Source SDK FAQ" link in the left navbar -> Under common errors "I get an error "The configuration information for the game is invalid or missing"."
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  12. Fraz

    aa Fraz Blu Hatte, Greyscale Backdrop.

    Messages:
    944
    Positive Ratings:
    573
    Some things could be clearer, but I would have no idea where I'd start editing since I only visit the VDC when I want to learn more about entities etc. which doesn't happen much for me any more. Instead I'd love it if more people made amazing video tutorials much like Ph4T3's seeing as I prefer watching someone doing something then doing it myself six or seven times until I know how to do it, and I understand it.
     
  13. red_flame586

    red_flame586 L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    437
    Positive Ratings:
    122
    I agree, people, (like midget) don't know where to start or what needs to be done, if poor articles, stubs and non-existent articles are found, then perhaps you could put it in the op so we can be a bit more organized.
     
  14. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,768
    My only problem with the VDC is that it doesn't explain the usage of some of the entities very well. Often citing the same unhelpful text that was listed in the info panel in the entity description that lead you to search online for explinations in the first place.

    I guess the VDC just wasn't supposed to be that comprehensive.