| Home Page | Recent Changes | Preferences

Trystan/01 19 03

Why my journal is a "Walled Garden"

I originally wrote a great deal on Tarquin's journal page and then realized I seemed like I thought his comment was aimed at me and me only. Looking around though I see greater activity in the Developer Journals and less and less information being put out to the Wiki in general.

Let me start by copying in what I had originally on Tarquin's page:

Trystan: Hope it's okay to comment here in regards to the "Everyone working in their own corner". If not, I apologize. By no means did I intend for my page to become a walled garden. I don't put stuff into the rest of the Wiki for a couple of reasons. First it seems that everytime I do contribute to the Wiki a comment is left criticizing what I've done. No one bothers to just correct what I've done, they just criticize it (No comments here, that's better there, don't do that, change this). Secondly, the amount of knowledge that I have is sparse compared to most anyone else here. Most of you have been working with some variety of Unreal for quite some time; others work in mapping (something I know next to nothing about) or it requires math knowledge beyond what I have. (Algebra II is the highest I went, although I just bought various tutorials in Trig and the like to help me out.) The information I have quite literally feels worthless to what others contribute. Third, I'm quite picky about what I write when it comes to articles and the like - whereas factual information I'm comfortable with others changing (ala the Weapon class breakdown, etc.) when I'm writing an article or a tutorial I consider it to be "my work" and I'm truly not comfortable with someone else changing it without at least discussing it with me. There's a variety of reasons for it but it boils down to while I may not be able to explain myself well, it's easier to explain myself when the only writing I'm explaining is mine. All of these things combined make me a bad fit for most of the Wiki. They're not derogatory comments, they're my opinion and feelings, but those two things do combine to make me comfortable changing things only in my journal.

The Wiki is by nature unorganized and open to editing. Both of these things irritate me to some extent - compare my journal and it's neat breakdown to the rest of the Wiki, or the other developer journals. I'm an anal asshole when it comes to spacing, spelling, and content. I want what I produce to be perfect, spelled perfectly, and 100% correct. It's a personal failing on my part that I feel that way - but am I inducing other developers to not contribute to the Wiki freely by staying within the confines of my journal? Looking at others mine is fairly active - and I've begun moving the appropriate knowledge to the appropriate places when I can find the appropriate place. But where are those places? Have you looked at the structure of the Wiki? It's huge. I'm having enough issues wrangling with UT2003 and everything associated with it that mastering the location of items within Wiki itself, much less what is UT, UT2K3, or whatever other journal is out there, is near impossible.

Another problem is that I'm on step 1 of 1000. Some gurus stand atop those stairs at stair #1000. Almost everyone I've seen on the Wiki is way past step #500. Chazums and I seem to be the only true beginners that I see active here in the developer journals. And as a true beginner I ponder at what level do I enter stuff into the Wiki? I know there's probably hundreds or thousands of people who visit the Wiki who never contribute and could learn from the knowledge I am entering into my journal, but when you begin mixing very basic, intermediate, and advanced topics you get a confused mass of text which no one can learn from. A person who's just entering the scene will grow confused by the number of terms being thrown at him. An intermediate programmer will become frustrated at the knowledge that should be easy to find but isn't. An advanced programmer will simply want to chunk the beginner crap and give himself a handy reference so that he can work faster. They're all at odds with each other.

Last there's the issue of "I'm writing it, let me finish it before you critique or change it." As a stupid, silly example take Mod Authoring For UT2K3. I began rewriting this classic tutorial to be specific to UT2003 because I thought it would make a grand opener for everyone looking to start working in UnrealScript without having to understand that expands is no longer used, for instance, or that other things now had better ways of being done. But I didn't make it off the first page of the journal before a conflict of opinion came about. (And no offense to DJPaul. He's a good guy who knows what he's talking about; a difference of opinion by no means implies a lack of respect.) At that point I decided if I would write something I would do it offline, complete it, and then upload it for everyone to poke with sticks. That's just my nature.

And my journal has pretty much followed along with what I've done and learned - which is part of the purpose of it IMHO. A person can start with my journal, from day 1, and make a pretty good go at the same road I've travelled. If in some far away galaxy I become a master UnrealScript writer this could be advantageous. =)

Chazums: True dat

EntropicLqd: I can't quite put my finger on why, but the above 2 sections make me slightly sad. In terms of writing anything to go on the Wiki - I always do it offline first (usually in notepad, occasionally in Word (if I want it spellchecked). I hate writing a huge article in IE only to find that it fails when I submit it and I've lost everything I just wrote. Being able to cut and paste into the content form from an external program is by far the safest way of doing things. Still, from someone who's developer journal is pretty inactive, it's interesting stuff.

The Unreal Engine Documentation Site

Wiki Community

Topic Categories

Image Uploads

Random Page

Recent Changes

Offline Wiki

Unreal Engine

Console Commands


Mapping Topics

Mapping Lessons

UnrealEd Interface


Scripting Topics

Scripting Lessons

Making Mods

Class Tree


Modeling Topics


Log In