“gbdev” is the home of the Game Boy development scene. A community of retro-hardware enthusiasts. Maintaning and developing many projects, including RGBDS, the de-facto standard development toolkit, curated collections of resources, documentation efforts, digital preservation and an open archive of homebrews.
I serve as community leader and directly mantain some of the projects under the gbdev umbrella.
There’s been a lot of drama going on the initiative so I’ll try to just focus on what happened in our instance.
TL:DR: It had an overall healthy effect on our projects (either direct or indirect).
It pushed mantainers to streamline the contribution guidelines and flag beginner friendly issues, sometimes breaking epics in smaller, feasible tasks. We received ~30 total PR (across different repositories), most of them being minor changes and typo-fixes but we also had some additions to Homebrew Hub and brand new chapters-additions to Pan Docs.
I really appreciate the time maintainers took to talk and discuss with me on these topics, preparing Hacktoberfest. We also had the chance to welcome new contributors that joined our community through this initiative.
Unfortunately, we also got some spam PRs and a lot of bot-traffic on the discord server (not sure if related). This made us realise that we can’t just spread join links around: probably, a “central” community channels landing page is a better fit to cover this role (ticket). In that way, we could filter (with captchas or other manual steps) legit traffic and keep links updated in a single page instead of disseminating them (github, twitter, blogs, discord, ..).
I’m also disappointed to report that, after all the time I (and many other) personally committed on this, the initial promise (to be claimed from Oct 15) of the “Hacktoberfest Maintainer Love Kit” (25$ OpenCollective credit, 1000$ in Ethereum tthrough Gitcoin , some physical items, exposure) is being completely ignored by DigitalOcean and GitCoin, after we ticked every requirement, including spreading the word about it on socials and preparing dedicated pages on our website. I’m still trying to contact them and I hope they are just overwhelmed right now.
UPDATE, November 11:
After many emails, DigitalOcean managed to reply and actually delivered! Unfortunately, GitCoin is still a no-go.
Game Boy Advance Development
In October, we said our last goodbye to the #gba channel. We’ve assesed the activity to be enough to deserve a separate server with dedicated channels. We launched a new gbadev server that you are to welcome to join here. We are planning to give the gbadev scene the same dedicated treatment that gb received, resulting in a completely renewed community enjoying curated resources and channels. Join the gbadev discord server to stay updated, give feedback and join us in making gbadev great again.
Independence, lock-in to proprietary software
Recently, a moderator of this community had his Discord account disabled indefinitely, losing access (and moderation power) over the gbdev server. We think this happened because that moderator was using a third-party software to access Discord. This is a reminder that we do not really own this space and anytime we could lose access to chat histories, channels and everything we built here in the last years, being tied to Discord ToS and essentially locked in to their propetary platform. Discord has been an incredible tool and enabler for this community to live and thrive, but our independence is a priority, and being able to freely move to open source and self hosted solutions is an essential possibility we need to enable as soon as possibile. I am personally working on this and I’ll keep you updated. Nothing will change for you (at least in the short/medium term) but we need to have fall backs ready in case of anything similar happens again or ToS start to limit our freedom. Related ticket.
@tobiasvl and @Dovuro stepped down as moderators. I’m extremely grateful for what they did from the early days of this initiative (2015!!), helping and supporting me in taking critical decisions to move this community forward, after having took over a very fragmented and scattered scene.
@AntonioND , @BlitterObject and @Sanqui joined the moderation team. They are super knowledgeable and just having them as active members is a great addition. I’m really thankful to be able to count on them also for the moderation of the discord server and directing/organising the gbdev future.
cool, but why are you posting this here?
Uh, I’m also experimenting posting these updates directly on my blog, since twitlonger doesn’t allow edits, discord has a limit per message and it’s not indexed/public and I’m not sure this type of content fits gbdev.io. Feedbacks welcome as usual.