A couple general dev build questions

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JudgeGroovy
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A couple general dev build questions

Post by JudgeGroovy » Tue Aug 30, 2016 18:26

First, thanks for all the work on maintaining GZDoom, my fav by far!

I lose track and check in maybe every few months, I noticed on the http://devbuilds.drdteam.org/gzdoom/ page it's all dev builds from this month. And lots of them, more than usual it seems, two from today even.

Question one, are older dev builds up anywhere? Just in case, for if an older mod has errors on a new version. And my other question is why are there so many dev builds this month, several today even? Are you finding more bugs than usual? I've looked at https://github.com/coelckers/gzdoom/commits/master and most of it is above my understanding. "Fix uninitialized mPipelineTexture and fix BindCurrentTexture using the wrong handle" for example sounds good, before that fix how did that wrong handle effect the game by the way? Just curious.

One more question, since there have been two so far today, and will probably be more in the next few days, do you know if the latest version is currently in a good place where I can stick with it for a while (say a few weeks), get into some WADs etc? No notable issues etc?

Thanks! I'll also throw in a bonus question, though I know people may not have time to look it up or remember. The dev build I've been using since my save files are in it (gzdoom-g2.2pre-605-ge107d8f) from about six months ago. Is there anything really broken or buggy in it? Or maybe an easier way to look at it, have any big things noticeable to the player been fixed since February 29th? Just interesting to wonder, thanks again for all the good stuff.

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Rachael
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Re: A couple general dev build questions

Post by Rachael » Tue Aug 30, 2016 19:43

  1. Yes. But they are intentionally hidden from public view. If you have a really good reason though, I will PM you instructions on how to view them. You must have cookies enabled in your browser. If you're clever though it won't take you long to enable the hidden view yourself without my help. :)
  2. Graf, dpJudas, and mental have been doing intense work on GZDoom lately with putting work in to allow post-processing and other neat effects found in modern games. Naturally, major new features require tons of bug fixing. So on one hand you're right. On the other hand tweaking and actually adding these new features requires more than one commit/pull request.
  3. The only way to answer that is how well does it run for *you*? If you're having problems, you should come back in a week or so and get a new build.
  4. I don't know exactly what you are asking here, but you should not be using older dev builds unless there is a very strong reason to do so. In most cases, GZDoom can upgrade your saves automatically to the newest version - though there are some cases where this may not work. Back up your old version before upgrading to be on the safe side. That being said, if you want a version to stick to for long periods of time you definitely want to stick with release versions. If you absolutely need dev builds, then it's time to create some folders and put the correct functioning GZDoom versions for each mods in each of them so that the save files will work with those particular versions.
Now - about older dev builds. Here's the dilemma they have:

First of all, they are beta. They are not a release product, and were never meant to be. On one hand, they allow you to test new features before they are made "public" (not that they aren't already). But - here's the catch: Their main purpose is NOT to allow you to preview new features. They are a testing platform - plain and simple. They are not made for designing mods off of. They are not made for your usage like release builds are. They ARE a sneak peak at newer features that are yet to come - and that's what makes them so neat. But in the grand scheme of things, they are placed out there to collect bug reports. They are there to help the project authors.

With this in mind, older builds will never be officially supported. That is why builds older than a certain time frame get hidden. That is why the folder structure gets pruned from time to time to actually remove (not hide) older builds. The only reason why the pruning hasn't happened much this year is because ZDoom has been left in an unstable state while its creator (Randi) took a vacation - without whom, some of ZDoom's features are still horridly broken and we actually need the older builds for testing some of the machine state stuff that got added and for developing mods. But they are still hidden, and they aren't supposed to be used for day-to-day things. Period.

That being said, make sure you are always testing the latest dev build before you post a bug report. Often, things get fixed in newer versions and it's pretty embarassing to post about something that's already been fixed. (I'll admit, I've made that mistake from time to time)

I hope that answers your question, and I hope my explanation didn't scare you. This is what they are here for.
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JudgeGroovy
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Re: A couple general dev build questions

Post by JudgeGroovy » Tue Aug 30, 2016 20:59

I appreciate the reply, thanks!

For the record, mods you find on the zdoom forum etc often do require a recent dev build. And since the official builds are often few and far between, grabbing a recent dev build has become the de facto normal thing to do for most players it seems.

Doom runs well for me, but there could be some behind the scenes bugs I don't notice, like say monsters or weapons not working properly in some strange way, or something not triggering properly etc. So was just curious if anybody knew of any bug notable bugs like that which have been fixed in the past six months.

And with the new features being tested at the moment, does that make the recent ones in some ways more likely to have quirks than an older version? You mention that I shouldn't be using the build from six months ago, but is there anything wrong with it? Thus you can see why, as a layman, I'm still confused a bit. But appreciative of the info.

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Rachael
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Re: A couple general dev build questions

Post by Rachael » Wed Aug 31, 2016 0:01

Yes - a lot of mods do require recent G/ZDoom dev builds. This happens because people get very excited with the newest features (this time around, it's portals and post-processing in GZDoom) and the release schedule is, as you said, very sparse.

As far as bugs go - all I can say is this. Just by clicking on each 4 of those links, you can quite easily see that bugs do get frequently reported and fixed. Those are really the only bugs we "know" of. If someone knows a bug and they haven't reported it in one of those 4 links I posted - well the first question that's going to come up is "why didn't you report that?"

Don't let my speech of "should" and "should not" discourage you. You are free to use whatever builds you want. Those come from a set of beliefs in the spirit of the entire dev build system and why it was originally created some 7-8 years ago. When I launched the site they were never meant to become official - and in fact they are still labeled as unofficial - but they have become fairly official now given the support both source port authors and team members and operators have given it.

But to answer your question, you "should" use recent ones the same reasons you use any recent versions software - and if there are problems you need to report them.

GZDoom does currently have quirks at the moment due to the new system being implemented, yes, but they are being ironed out. Your feedback, believe it or not, is needed to help with that. You're free not to help - you're free to use your 6 month old dev build as much as you want - but were I in your shoes I'd jump in with the latest and greatest and start testing and reporting.

The non-rendering ZDoom back-end (the part that handles monsters and stuff) is actually extremely stable right now. The trouble both ZDoom and GZDoom suffer from at this point is purely from a rendering perspective. We're hoping Randi comes back sometime soon so she can fix the ZDoom render stuff, since she's the only one who is comfortable diving into that code right now. I think I could tell you why she didn't, but out of respect for her I will let her speak for herself if she wants to when the time comes - that, and I don't actually know, I'd only be guessing.

However, GZDoom has a very active team on it right now. If there's a renderer that can be fixed - GZDoom can. So use it. Post bug reports on it. Those bugs are far more likely to be fixed in a reasonable time fashion than the ZDoom ones (again, with the exception of the non-rendering back-end stuff).
Spoiler: Zen Sarcasm

JudgeGroovy
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Re: A couple general dev build questions

Post by JudgeGroovy » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:27

Right on, thanks for the insight and info there. I'll go for the latest version and post in the bugs forum if I notice anything wacky.

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Rachael
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Re: A couple general dev build questions

Post by Rachael » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:22

That is great! I am sure that'll help us out a lot, thank you. :)
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