./play.it website maintenance is interrupted, with no plan to start working again on it. This short post goes over the reasoning behind this decision, and why it was required to preserve the good health of ./play.it development, and its developers and maintainers. A short history
When ./play.it started, we used to discuss about it only through a couple French-speaking forums. Once we reached thirty supported games, I began working on a website draft to promote this software, kindly hosted by Debian-Facile DokuWiki instance
Near the end of 2015, I launched our own dedicated DokuWiki instance so we no longer had to rely on Debian-Facile servers. It was still a website in French only
, listing usage instructions for fifty games.
As ./play.it popularity grew, an English version of our website
has been added in 2016, causing the number of web pages to maintain to double. At this time, we supported one hundred games.
Of course our collection of supported games kept growing, and the current version of our website shows usage instructions in both English and French for almost 600 games. An unmaintainable website
./play.it website now includes roughly 1,200 pages, all hand-crafted, maintained by a single person. Unsurprisingly, this takes far too much time and energy when you compare them to the result. And of course it is detrimental to a lot of other tasks, including the handling of contributions to the actual ./play.it software, or welcoming new contributors and users.
Developing a new website relying on dynamic content could help a lot alleviating this huge workload… But this again requires time, time that is already taken by the current website maintenance.
So I decided to stop all maintenance of ./play.it website, to no longer waste so much time on an alienating task, and invest back this freed time to ./play.it actual development, and helping our other contributors. What’s next?
A new website will come some day. Maybe. Well, let’s hope it will.
To avoid starting a new unmaintainable mess, we started working on a new tool that can get some informations by scanning ./play.it files: Game scripts database
. It should help us make sure that what was the bulk of the maintenance work on our previous website should be mostly automated for the next one.
Meanwhile, it is still be possible to add or update instructions on our website for specific games, but we will only do it on explicit request by our users. For such requests, you can go through the usual contact methods
Update on GOG forums, including the threads in game-specific sub-forums, are discontinued too. As for the website, we can make exception for specific games on user requests.
Original announcement, on our blog: End of website maintenance