Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:10
We have recently closed the SharpDX forum after a bit more than one year of maintenance and support for it. I would like to explain here in more details the reason of this change.
First of all, the forum has received close to 1000 members, with in fact half active users (480 with at least a single post), with a total of 900 topics and 4100 posts. Let's just look at the big cake of posts:
As you can see, the spread of the number of posts per users, and repartition is quite exponential. From the top, xoofx and Artiom have been mainly answering questions to other users. For the users in the top 20, they were both askers/answerers though most of the time it was more for asking than answering.
Most of the posters are coming for one to a couple of questions, sometimes it is the same issue we have been responding many times.
The whole forum can be quite considered as a big FAQ. There are plenty of issues spotted, plenty of issues resolved, it is a goldmine for whoever is looking for some help. That's great. But unfortunately, for the two main maintainer - xoofx and Artiom - of this forum, It is way too much work considering that we have: a daytime job, a family (with kids), a life, some coding projects outside SharpDX, bug fixes for SharpDX, preparations for next releases of SharpDX, developement of new/requested features... etc. and of course, the forum to maintain. With only 1 hour to a few hours per day of spare time, we cannot afford to spent an hour on the forum and sometimes, believe us, It can take some time to track down what is presented by someone as a bug but is in fact a wrong usage of the DirectX API.
Since my last post
in June where I explained that I would no longer help on the forum/bugfixes, Artiom has been trying to do this job as much as he can, but of course, as It was for my case, this cannot be done by a single person, and at some point, we are completely exhausted (and bored, let's tell the truth), to answer to questions that could have been solved most of the time if the person reporting the issue would have spent more time on google, on msdn documentation and/or digging into the problem more carefully.
Last week, Artiom was not available to help on the forum, and after few days of questions stacking up, I have decided that It was no longer possible for us to maintain it. We would love to work on SharpDX fulltime, being paid to provide better documentation, helping on the forum and building some nice demos showcase with it. But well, this is not the case and we have to deal with it.
I don't know how much they were behind the development and support of XNA, but they were definitely not two people maintaining and building the whole stuff behind the scene!
So we apologize for the inconvenience, but we really need to enjoy also our spare time as you surely try to do in your life. We have spent - and are still spending, a large amount of our spare time to provide a free, open source and viable solution for DirectX for .NET, but as I have said previously, SharpDX is just
a backend project. It is used to build higher level framework/engine (like MonoGame, like DeltaEngine, like Paradox...etc.), used by some serious group/company to develop game/demo/tools/multimedia applications, used also by hundreds of wannabe just trying to jump into the DirectX galaxy.
Just look at Calcifer demo by Still
), recently released at Evoke 2013 demo party, hey, they are using SharpDX! But SharpDX is a very small contribution in this whole great production, it is mainly their talents
and hard work
. And these guys have not requested a single help on the forum or by email, they know how to program Direct3D11 and do great things with this API.
Calcifer Demo by Still (using SharpDX)
Yes, SharpDX is mainly a low level API, it is almost a plain DirectX for C#, nothing more, and if you want to master it, prepare yourself for some hard work, not just a little XNA sample grabbed on internet that you can download and press compile/run easily.
But hey, SharpDX forum closed doesn't imply that you won't find any help on Internet!
If you have a question regarding:
- The usage of the DirectX API, you can try to post your question on gamedev.net DiretX and XNA. You can also find some help on gamedev.stackexchange.com.
- For anything specific to the SharpDX Toolkit, you will find little help on these forums. The Toolkit is a bonus in SharpDX, a little high level framework on top of Direct3D11 to help prototyping things much easily than using straight Direct3D11. It is open source, so you can dig into the source code yourself. The code is globally well commented and there are lots of samples already available. But if you are really still struggling with the Toolkit, try to use MonoGame instead. It is XNA compatible and has a bigger community. The Toolkit is mainly for people that want to access the full Direct3D11 API on all platforms with lots of helpers. It is not suitable for beginners as It still requires you to understand how things are working under the hood.
- For any bug regarding SharpDX, please use github SharpDX issue. Keep in mind that there are some level of priority between the API/Platforms:
- Direct3D11/DXGI/D3DCompiler on Desktop/WinRT/WP8 have the highest priority. The main reason behind this choice is that we are using SharpDX at my work, mainly these APIs, so any bugs in theses API are critical for my work as well.
- All other APIs have a lower priority.
- The Toolkit is a special case. It is not part of DirectX but can be considered as a bonus API. We are maintaining it because we are using it for our spare time projects, but if we don't, It won't get much attention. The Toolkit (and SharpDX as a whole in fact), is in the hand of their users.
I really hope that this post has clarify some of the obscure reason of the sudden forum shutdown. We are still committed to bug fixes and new features (Artiom has been working hard to provide DirectX11.2 for next release!) but we would like also to enjoy our spare time!
Thank you for your understanding,