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Author Topic: That special spark of uniquity  (Read 18716 times)

Offline Arantor

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That special spark of uniquity
« on: October 21, 2009, 06:37:36 AM »
*tap tap* Is this microphone on?

Hi, I'm Arantor, and you may have seen me from such websites as... this one. I'm here today to tell you a little bit about the Customizer team, what we do and so on. Judging by some of the comments in PMs, we're seen almost as code ninjas - or something. Either way, we seem to be shrouded in mystery and I'd like to open up a little bit of what we do, what we're going to be doing in future and generally how that looks for the community.

So... on with the show!

* Arantor awaits a round of applause

Mod & Theme Approval

This is what we spend - right now - a lot of time doing as a team. Every theme and mod submitted to the Customize site is reviewed by us, by hand, to check all kinds of things in it. Themes, for example, are checked for originality of images and XHTML compliance (amongst other things), while modificationss are checked for security, performance and other things.

We're also the people who receive the initial report for mods and themes reported as unsafe, and investigate and advise the author, or take other action as necessary. As you can imagine this takes an awful lot of time to do - at least, doing it properly - which is why mods/themes take a few days between submission and approval, longer if we have a lot in the queue.

Sometimes we do also approve some mods ahead of others if they are simpler mods - avatar packs, smiley packs tend to be approved faster because there's just less to check.

But wait.... there's more!

Writing Mods and Themes

We don't just check everyone else's. We do - as time permits - go play with code, images or whatever, and make our own. That's what being a Customizer ultimately is about, not about checking and studying and reviewing, but customising. While of course the above is hugely important, because we want you to feel as safe with those mods/themes as you do with SMF itself, the heart of Customization Team is about customising - taming SMF to work not necessarily how it works right now, but how we want it to work.

You'll find that most of us have written multiple mods - some of us even in the 20+ mods category as time has allowed, or created multiple themes - just because it's us doing what we love doing, working with SMF how we want to. Some of them we release ourselves, and some we do release as a team - which you can find on the SMF Customization Team profile. You can expect to see more of these in the future, too :)

And there's more...?

Supporting new Modders and Themers

This is something we haven't traditionally done so much of, but something we're definitely looking to promote now. We all make SMF work how we want, adding new code, and so on. Now we're trying to open that door to you too, to help you make SMF work how you want, meaning we'll try our hardest to support you when you want to make that first (or second, or third, or 145th) mod, or make that theme have just a little dash of you in it.

Come find us in SMF Coding Discussion for support on making new mods or tweaking some code in SMF, or Graphics and Templates for more on editing the look'n'feel and making new themes. We're also mostly responsible for keeping an eye on Tips & Tricks so as people post things in the forum that suit, we generally move them there so everyone can benefit. Already you may have seen an increased level of activity in these boards; this is something we're going to try and encourage happening in the coming weeks and months - and we'd love you to join us, whether it's to ask questions on these things, or even to help answer them!

More? Yup!

The Customize site

One of our lesser known - though entirely related - concerns is the Customize site, where mods and themes are shown and promoted. We mostly have responsibility for looking after that, rather than the Developer team who look after SMF itself, and we have some plans in the pipeline for improvements to that part of simplemachines.org, to help modders and themers create new works of brilliance, and also to help us help you.

I won't go too far into what we have planned, don't want to spoil the surprises just yet, but rest assured, it'll be new tools that streamline what the site can do, streamline the customisation development/approval process and ultimately mean we can spend more time helping you with your mods and themes, and all the fun things you want to do with SMF!

Over to you? Well, as much as we want to review your mods and themes, and develop cool things to help with modding/theming, we do also want to get you all involved a bit more.

We know the kinds of mods you want to see - we see them in Mod Requests. And as time goes on we do try and make them as time permits, but for anyone that wants to take on a mod from that board, we'll definitely be able to help you write it if you're not sure.

So, that's what we do: we help you make SMF special, unique and awesome for what you want.

We're always on the watch for people who want to do the same too, whether you just enjoy helping people make their own mods, or helping them tweak SMF - to have it their way - or even to create your own, come join in the fun in Coding Discussion, and Graphics and Templates, where you really can make it do what YOU want!

Thank you, thank you, you've been a super, smashing lovely audience :)

* Arantor awaits another round of applause
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

No good deed goes unpunished / No act of charity goes unresented.

Offline tyty1234

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 01:13:42 PM »
Awesome show Arantor!
* tyty1234 applauds!

I thoroughly enjoyed that article! It did give me a little inspiration, and it gives me new a new way to look at SMF. I think in the past, I came up with a couple "shortcuts" to make some of the SMF code do what I wanted it to do. I wish I could remember what those were...lol. I might remember what I did in the near future, because just like everyone else who uses SMF, I love SMF! :D

All in all, keep up the good work Arantor and the Customization team! Well done! :D
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Offline JBlaze

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 01:21:09 PM »
Awwww ;D

* JBlaze feels touched
Jason Clemons
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Offline Dragooon

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 01:27:06 PM »
* Dragooon groans and whines on wasting his popcorn on this post...

Do you guys got life? Or do you guys live inside the simplemachines server changing the hard drive's bits and making modifications and changing/approving mods?

Offline Arantor

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 01:28:17 PM »
Do you guys got life?

Can you buy it on Amazon or another online retailer, and can I use it in between coding? :D
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

No good deed goes unpunished / No act of charity goes unresented.

Offline Dragooon

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 01:31:05 PM »
Amazon doesn't have any life packs available, how about I get you one of the life packs from MapleStory?

Offline Arantor

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 01:31:51 PM »
Amazon doesn't have any life packs available, how about I get you one of the life packs from MapleStory?

Does it have a modding SDK?
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

No good deed goes unpunished / No act of charity goes unresented.

Offline Nibogo

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 01:40:20 PM »
/* NIBOGO Applauds all the Customization Team*/

Nice Arantor, keep up the good work Customizers, Hopefully I can be part ob the team in the future! :)

Offline Dragooon

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 01:44:56 PM »
Amazon doesn't have any life packs available, how about I get you one of the life packs from MapleStory?

Does it have a modding SDK?
Nope :(, it has a basic API for fetching data which sucks :(...all it can do is fetch the amount of HP restored.

Offline Fustrate

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 01:52:11 AM »
You guys don't know how many one-sentence paragraphs Arantor writes ;)
Steven Hoffman
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Offline Arantor

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 06:25:04 AM »
You guys don't know how much editing Fustrate did ;)

But even that shows something - we can work as a team and use things like this as opportunities for growth and development; I never realised I wrote a lot of one-sentence paragraphs and that actually it didn't flow so well.
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

No good deed goes unpunished / No act of charity goes unresented.

Offline Fustrate

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 11:10:00 AM »
We're awesome!
Steven Hoffman
Former Team Member, 2009-2012

Offline tyty1234

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 12:53:05 PM »
You guys don't know how many one-sentence paragraphs Arantor writes ;)
haha, yeah i noticed. xD
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Offline Dzonny

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 09:07:50 AM »
Good thred. :D
* Dzonny Applauds...

Offline Deaks

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2009, 01:16:44 PM »
Nice Arantor, keep up the good work Customizers, Hopefully I can be part ob the team in the future! :)

You are part of the team, all Language Moderators are, without you guys we wouldt be able to help people in there own language, you guys do a crucial role!!

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2009, 10:38:11 PM »
Someone has to do it.

Offline Do2

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2009, 07:57:13 AM »
Awesome! ;)

Offline Pentaxian

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Re: That special spark of uniquity
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2009, 05:57:30 AM »
I really appreciate everything that you all are doing. I really admire the enthousiasm of the SMF community and I love the product.

In reaction about the customizing site and the approval of mods and themes I would like to propose to divide the site in mods and themes that are being maintained and those that aren't. Be it by date of the last action performed on it or of the adaptation to the last version of SMF.
For someone like me, rather new to everything, it already takes a lot of time and effort to find the mod you're searching for. It is really frustrating to find out that the finally discovered mod that should do what you are looking for, is not (well) maintained.
I think it could be done by an automated process.

I hope to have contributed a useful thought.