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Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Ask and discuss policy about game conduct and rules.

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pubby
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Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby pubby » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:18 am #481175

Who determines what codebase we're using? Can the headmins decide to switch, or is it an MSO-only decision?

I ask this because currently the coders have more power than the headmins. Coders can change and influence policy through code, overruling whatever the headmins do. This was made evident by this comment:

oranges wrote:just so we're clear, if any headadmin makes these roundstart I will remove all species configs and set them to how I want instead.


The coders have had good judgement over the years and their actions have been benevolent. I'm not calling for them to be removed, but I am wondering what the server can do should they stop benefiting the community. I'm wondering what checks exist to an extremely powerful un-elected position. One that has gained power over the years by asserting that they're outside the headmin's influence.



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Stickymayhem
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Stickymayhem » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:40 am #481179

pubby wrote:The coders have had good judgement over the years and their actions have been benevolent.


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Arianya
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Arianya » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:15 pm #481186

The codebase and the server exist in a state of Mutually Assured Destruction, essentially.

Let's say that the codebase tried to push a change that was entirely non-viable from the server's point of view (this covers both MSO and the headmins, more on this later). For the sake of brevity, lets also assume all attempts at discussion and compromise had ground to a halt and so the two are basically in a standoff.

In the short term, the server can use testmerges (as has been done several times in the past) to ensure that a change is not "active" until concerns have been addressed or changes made, but this isn't something that works indefinitely since the longer the dispute goes on, the more problematic the testmerge can become to maintain (depending on the code in question, etc).

In the longer term, the server can obviously choose to stop using the "tgstation" project as its codebase. Effectively it would mean making a fork of the codebase with different maintainers/leadership on this new fork. This is obviously not ideal for either side, since it would lead to sides being taken and a split in the community.

As for who would make this decision on the server side, it's fairly obvious that MSO owns the servers and so ultimately would decide what is run on them, but he has also stated in the past that he refrains from overriding headmin decisions made with unanimous votes. Ultimately the answer is that both MSO and the headmins have to be involved in that decision, since there's no point if one side is entirely against it.

Now, realistically, things should never get that bad, but the threat exists there to bring people to the table, to encourage discussion and come to compromises, in either direction. At the end of the day, we're one community and we have to do the best we can to work together on this project that we all enjoy and want to see prosper.
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Grazyn » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:53 pm #481199

I'm the first one to say I don't like when oranges tries to bypass the headmins but this isn't the case, he just used an unfortunate phrase to express his opinion on snails being roundstart. In reality, any headmin worth his salt would understand the objection and listen to coders when they say that making these roundstart would cheapen them to the point of making the genetic feature pointless in the first place. I don't think they even considered the idea for a second. It's the same as if oranges said "if headmins set assimilation mode chance to 100% I will remove it from the code", it's not something that headmins would ever do.

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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby MrStonedOne » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:00 pm #481276

Actual answer:

While I decide what codebase to use, a third party, Rockdtben ensures that decision is never made for frivolous reasons.

Rock owns the tgstation13.org domain, and can press two buttons in his control panel to grant oranges control over it if he thinks I've gone full erro (you should never go full erro).

So effectively me and Rock decide.
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby PKPenguin321 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:47 pm #481307

The server can fork whenever and the code leaders would get fucked if they did. The code is useless if there's no server to represent it. People like to joke about NTstation or whatever that shit was called whenever forking is brought up, but they neglect to mention that that wasn't a full fork since we still had servers running the original codebase. I'm not saying we should do a full fork, but if we chose to it would effectively just rotate out whoever is in charge of the github repo forcefully and they would have no say in it in the end.
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oranges
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby oranges » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:40 am #481365

that's one way to look at it

the other is that if you try to drive the code in a direction the senior leaders dont' want they're all going to drift away anyway and that's a huge loss of experience.
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby WarbossLincoln » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:12 am #481377

oranges wrote:that's one way to look at it

the other is that if you try to drive the code in a direction the senior leaders dont' want they're all going to drift away anyway and that's a huge loss of experience.


I was going to make a similar argument. I'm not a fan of one person having absolute authority over what gets merged but I can't think of a better idea that doesn't end in coders bailing or other shitty outcomes.

The only way you can not have a person in charge of merges and features is to have a vote on it.

Who votes? Admins are supposed to be separate.

Players? That's not going to work cause players don't know the code, the issues, the bugs, what's possible, what's a giant ass pain, etc. What if players vote for a feature that's buggy, and no coder wants to fix it? Or no coder can fix it cause it sucks? Does it go in buggy? Does it just get shit canned? If so then what's the point of voting if coders could just say "Don't want to work on that, sorry". Which since they're volunteers they can do whenever they want.

This is all volunteer work and not a business but at the end of the day someone has to be in charge of deciding what goes in or out of an application, like a business.
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby iamgoofball » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:58 am #481385

WarbossLincoln wrote:Players? That's not going to work cause players don't know the code, the issues, the bugs, what's possible, what's a giant ass pain, etc. What if players vote for a feature that's buggy, and no coder wants to fix it? Or no coder can fix it cause it sucks? Does it go in buggy? Does it just get shit canned? If so then what's the point of voting if coders could just say "Don't want to work on that, sorry". Which since they're volunteers they can do whenever they want.


None of this is the server's problem. This is the codebase's problem.

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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby oranges » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:18 am #481391

WarbossLincoln wrote:
oranges wrote:that's one way to look at it

the other is that if you try to drive the code in a direction the senior leaders dont' want they're all going to drift away anyway and that's a huge loss of experience.


I was going to make a similar argument. I'm not a fan of one person having absolute authority over what gets merged but I can't think of a better idea that doesn't end in coders bailing or other shitty outcomes.

The only way you can not have a person in charge of merges and features is to have a vote on it.

Who votes? Admins are supposed to be separate.

Players? That's not going to work cause players don't know the code, the issues, the bugs, what's possible, what's a giant ass pain, etc. What if players vote for a feature that's buggy, and no coder wants to fix it? Or no coder can fix it cause it sucks? Does it go in buggy? Does it just get shit canned? If so then what's the point of voting if coders could just say "Don't want to work on that, sorry". Which since they're volunteers they can do whenever they want.

This is all volunteer work and not a business but at the end of the day someone has to be in charge of deciding what goes in or out of an application, like a business.

mm, I wouldn't even go as far as to say it's one person either.

I make a big show of my absolute power, but there are really two headcoders and I can't operate outside what the maintainers are willing to accept.

I just happen to be very active and outspoken
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Shadowflame909 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:08 am #481396

oranges wrote:I can't operate outside what the maintainers are willing to accept.

I just happen to be very active and outspoken




This theory goes deeper then I expected

Oranges isn't actually the final boss but just another Puppet?


I bet the one actually running things turns out in a twist of roundabout fate, is goof



Edit: Uh. This leaves me with one question. If it's essentially just 3 maintainers deciding code changes together. Does Orange Man just take the most controversial ones, or is there some sort of hidden pecking order of who gets to receive the salt of the player base by being the one to merge said changes.
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby oranges » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:50 am #481399

I take them because the salt is the only thing that makes me feel anymore
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby WarbossLincoln » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:48 pm #481437

oranges wrote:I make a big show of my absolute power, but there are really two headcoders and I can't operate outside what the maintainers are willing to accept.


Gotcha. And despite the meme that you have limitless power over the code there's always the nuclear option. MSO and that dude he mentioned that owns the domain can always fork the code and get rid of a head coder gone rogue.

Uh. This leaves me with one question. If it's essentially just 3 maintainers deciding code changes together. Does Orange Man just take the most controversial ones, or is there some sort of hidden pecking order of who gets to receive the salt of the player base by being the one to merge said changes.


It could be that. It could be that the fruit is the most active on the forums and gets seen the most. It could be that he's very [passionate/stubborn](you pick) about his opinions so that annoys people who don't agree with his decisions.
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Dax Dupont
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Dax Dupont » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:47 pm #481472

Oranges is way more active vs Cyberboss in most if not all places.

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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby Aranclanos » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:18 pm #481475

you are correct, coders develop the game and admins administrate
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Re: Power of coders and who determines what codebase to use

Postby obscolene » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:35 pm #481478

pubby wrote:
oranges wrote:just so we're clear, if any headadmin makes these roundstart I will remove all species configs and set them to how I want instead.

he literally said in the PR thread, something along the lines of, "if this (snails) is a roundstart race i am going to remove/not merge it"
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