I'll deal with this first, I'll be forthright, this is utter BS, if somebody else is working on something you want to help with, you talk to them, you don't just walk away and say fuck it somebody else is doing it I can't be arsed. People who do that aren't very good community members, on the whole, they are end users, not helpers.
Also, there are two very distinct groups that you mention here, and neither should be downloading non/half function WIP branches for whole massive loads of reasons. The same reasons that MS doesn't ship windows out 2 years before its ready, not even to the fanbois who want to see what the next windows look like. There are two working branches, the master branch which is and always has been old and stable and the dev branch which is most stable and functional, at no point should any branch on the repo be non-functional.
I mean the mighty epic has only 2 -3 branches per release, a tagged branch and a development branch, it has all sorts of others but they are sub-branches/modules maintained by specialists in that particular area of the engine, and they manage with a dozen paid engine dev employees and the odd 25k other potential contributors, this is mirrored or echoed across most of software development and software engineering, you may find a few clusterfucks amongst the FOSS family tree, but you will also find that 99.99% of open source is dead and forgotten, even domestos cant kill as well as open sourcing software.
I'm not sure what point you thought I was making but this rant doesn't address it. My point was that anyone interested in working on some upcoming release feature has to jump through hoops to do so, regardless of whether they have the technical ability to actually contribute. I'll give you an example: Let's say I'm a developer with some experience with graphics programming. I stumble on Torque3D and see talk on the forums about PBR being an upcoming feature. That's right up my alley so I fork the engine, compile the development branch and find there's no mention of PBR anywhere. I scour the forums and find it's tucked away in some other users's repo, amongst 100 other branches and elsewhere in the forums is a post I missed where that user discusses their most recent changes (maybe a nice thread about PBR being complete and how they're just waiting to PR the whole thing until some other feature is done). Maybe I spend my time sorting through all of that and go on to contribute something meaningful but I'd say based on what's left of this community that's probably not happening.
That example not good enough for you? Let's try another. Let's say I'm a game developer, not particularly good at programming but I like what I'm hearing about 4.0 and decide to get an early look at the new templates, maybe get a jump start on converting my game to the new tech (and 2 years of bug fixes which have yet to be rolled out). I see the latest development branch has some fun looking commits regarding the new templates so I give that a shot. Problem is, I missed that Discord chat someone had a month ago explaining the changes they made to the templates in their own repo that fixed that bug that everybody
knows about. On my end, I just spent half a day tracking down the reason the new template causes my game to crash. I post a bug report, get a link to some commit on someone's repo that fixes the problem but that's time I can't get back. Think I'm done testing things. After all, I want to make games not game engines.
The bottom line is this: Keeping up with the development of this engine means tracking 5 or 6 different users and their repos. That might be acceptable to you but ultimately it's another hurdle someone has to overcome to participate. And considering losing just one active contributor means we're losing ~20% of the total community effort I'd say we need to attract all the help we can get.
the problem here is that no single volunteer led and run open source project works to what would be considered commercialised schedules, not one; I challenge you to find one because it doesn't exist, you also cannot boss, rush, harass etc volunteer workers, you have no method of threatening them, so you have no option but to wait. if we had a wider community that would help, if we had a community that gave back more; that would help. Look at the number of names that helped in each of the years since the engine went MIT 7 years ago. to me that's indicative of users, not helpers, I'd wager the number of people helping is possibly consistent across an invested dev community, so the smaller the community the less the helpers.
Maybe somebody could do a better job that Jeff and company, but those people don't exist in this community, and if they do they have a) neither the time or the energy Or b) they are working on their own games (see a) If they did, they'd be evident, and they aren't,
You get asshats like duion who has no fucking idea what work actually involves claiming he can do better, its taken him 5 years to make ubergame, I'm not taking time management lectures from somebody like him :p
Nothing I said had anything to do with harassing volunteers. I said the current steering committee structure is not working, which aligns with what Jeff and others have said. Frankly, there's not enough active participants to even have a 'committee' at this point but we do need more active users with the rights to review & merge PRs and form some kind of consensus on what this version of the engine should be. Right now development on the official repo (you know, the one 100% of people are going to look at first) is stagnant, regardless of what the commit logs show. There's still a significant amount of work to do to get to 4.0 and about 3 people actually focusing on the features outlined in the roadmap. Meanwhile we have a backlog of 60+ PRs right now, some dating back years, because no one with the rights to do so has the time, energy, motivation, or know-how to review, merge, or decline them.
i literally lolled at this because that's is almost exactly how torque works, I'm just wondering how many people are complaining at godot because he hasn't done the bits they want to be added to his engine?
Do you know the difference between torque and godot? torque doesn't get enough money every month to pay 3-4 full-time developers/employees.
People are free to suggest features but they've always maintained an overarching goal for the engine that guides development which means when they reject those requests or PRs there's a reason for doing so. I'm sure some people complain occasionally but that's irrelevant.
And Godot didn't have significant funding until fairly recently but they've used the same structure for years. Up until last year they had one volunteer handling PRs, the main developer knocking out big features and the community formed around that. What's happening here is we have Jeff's thread where he posts fun stuff he's tinkering with that everyone takes as "4.0 UPDATES!" and 4 or 5 other people that lurk in their own repos.
To be clear, this isn't about replacing Jeff or anyone else, it's about forming a structure that works for the community we have. I use Godot as an example because it's an opensource project that's thriving with oversight that's possible to implement here with the limited people we have. Or it can just be a free for all where everyone spins their wheels doing whatever they think is interesting. That's worked well so far.