Could we add a beginner's forum section?

It would be nice to have a beginner’s section- with some of the more common beginner questions so they are easier to find. (the most common stickied to the top)

It would add a layer of friendliness to the board’s appearence.

Any thoughts?


1 Like

I like that suggestion. Many of the simple questions get asked over and over.

Maybe also some thing that is not related to developing with panda3d but related to games such as distribution, financing, sites, promoting.

I third the motion.

Uhm, is there any good reasons to split the forums into beginners and advanced users sections? I’d hate to create a separation between beginners and pro’s like that.

A “frequently asked questions”-section (instead of calling it beginners) would be cool and a “own projects”-section, too.
So i fourth the motion.

Even through seeing the pros I also do see the cons of that solution.

Having a separate “beginners” section would help keeping the more challenging posts longer visible. It also helps beginners with finding already answered questions they might have.

Many of the “advanced” users might not want to look into the beginners section any more. So Questions posted there might not get an answer even if it would be easy for us advanced ones to answer them. This might not “go wrong” there right from the start. But laziness would make sure for that sooner or later. Some questions are interesting for both - advanced and beginners. Should they post it for both then? Which one is going to be answered? Its going to creates “classes” of users here. Atm we don’t have elitism. The few devs and mods take care to NOT overuse their powers. For most of them its a burden. Not that much of a privilege itself to feel “chosen”. (I hope you get what I mean ^^) With the separation some might get the idea of sending the beginners to “go play in the beginners area”. Now they are fully accepted members as long as they don’t post really BS. - This WILL change for sure.

For now the cons outweight the pros for sure. Thats why I don’t like the idea too much. You are right that new users do have a problem with getting “beginners” stuff easily. However, I am suggesting a moderated “Beginners”-Thread instead. The first post being updated with useable ressources, common problems/solutions and the rest of the thread being available for posts. The mod would/should have the ability to delete posts that won’t belong in there or that ask questions already answered.

But thats also just an suggestion, through.

Regards, Bigfoot29

Edit: Praios:
The FAQ-Section should be an thread. - Managed in the same way as the “beginners” thread. I support that from deep within my heart. But a whole section for it? Cmon… :open_mouth:
We do have a “own projects” section already. Its called “showcase” and or Code snipplets - depending on what you might want to talk about.
The forum is not made for sharing big chunks of code. So thats why an direct forum section isn’t the best area to talk about ones projects. But actually thats why we created Panda3DProjects ( Webspace, Wiki/Blog - what else do you want/need? :slight_smile: You can discuss those projects here in the showcase section or talk about it on your own page at P3DP (if you install a forum). But I would not suggest the last one. It would mean to split userbase - needing them to have logins at multiple forums just to be able to talk about “your” projects…

Id be happy with a faq-thread in each section but just moving threads to a faq-section would be easier for those who take care of that.

If this project-stuff already is there - links to it should be much more visible (didnt find them on the first look on the pages)

It looks like the projets-site is not yet finished. i dont know how much is done yet but maybe just using Origo would speed things up…

praios: The projects page is well hidden because its sort of a free offer. And we don’t want millions of bots trying to get an account to sell ther junk. Currently the p3dp accounts are granted manually. A person that needs some space will have to tell the maintainers WHY he/she/it needs it. The space is not being granted just like: “hey folks… I have seen P3D yesterday. I need some space” - “Hi there. Here you go!”. At the moment we do have to take good care on whom to give an account. Expensive traffic is a high motivation there. :wink:

Regards, Bigfoot29

Edit wars… yay! ^^
P3DP was created out of 2 reasons:

  1. P3D itself does not allow to upload bigger files
  2. Many great contributions are lost because the contributors hosted them at their own webspace (university or such). As soon as they close that webspace, the content is gone. At P3DP we can make sure that old examples (thus links here) are at least not gone as soon as the maintainer fades.
    There are many options for projects to be stored onto. But none of them gives the P3D community the option to preserve the given data long term.

I just realized there already is sort of a Beginner-Section called “Manual”…
So i think the best place to put FAQ would be the manual.

But there is a FAQ, in the manual.

But its neither very big nor very clear laid out (looks like one blue text).
Moving “important” (eg many views) topics from the forum to the faq (or linking on them in the faq) could increase usefulness.
There should be a way to make it look clearer (eg at least empty lines between questions).
Maybe moving it up or even link to it from the “home features … blog”-line to incease visibility could help.

Beginners are by default- beginners. There are ideas and concepts that advanced users use intuitively and even the manual does not cover these.

A FAQ is a wise and smart thing to do- but an all knowing FAQ would be huge.:wink:

A beginner’s area would be a place one does not feel embarrassed by asking ‘NOOB’ questions (like what I ask). As a novice I am using Panda3d to teach myself Python-because I find Panda3D much easier than Pygames. So having an area devoted to fundamentals makes sense to me and helps to sort between advanced topics and novice ones.

JB Skaggs

Recently I have been making improvements to the FAQ page in the manual in terms of grammar, wording and formatting. In fact, I just made a major revision, cleaning it up quite a lot. But I have to agree with Praios here that it still needs improvement.

What about division of the FAQ by category? The Panda3D Forums FAQ page demonstrates this quite nicely. Right now, questions about command-line, Maya and Panda3D exceptions and techniques are all jumbled together. I think these could be separated to subsections of FAQ. I’m willing to do this if others think this would be a good idea.

Also, I agree that the FAQ needs more exposure. It’s a tiny link near the bottom of the manual. That’s pretty bad. Even moving it near the top of the manual would be a huge improvement. I’m willing to do this as well if there are no reasonable objections.

The point of a beginners section would not be so much to answer frequently asked question as to make the answers UNDERTANDABLE to beginners.

Many times here in this forum and in the blender forum and in other technical forums I will as a very newbish question and the answer that I get goes right over my head. There seems to be a kind of rule amoung people that use and are GOOD at using computers and software that says. “I understand it so everyone should be able to understand it.” That is not the case always.

When I was taking compostion and rhetoric in high school (30+) years ago one of the first thing the teacher said was that “Unless you are sure otherwise, assume that your reader knows NOTHING about what you are writing.”

Not to be a ass Shaba, but what makes people different and pros at a subject is cause they understand fast and know what they are doing.

Not so true, really they say it right, but you just don’t understand or its not to your liking of an answers. Plus they don’t know how “new” you really are to programming. Take me, I still feel new even though I been programming for almost 10 years of my life. Now, I only do this as a hobby and not a job, but I can still miss something that makes me feel new or make other people think I am new even though I may not be. So I don’t always need “lower” end help. (aka bing talking down to)

A lot of those people that think that way do is cause they started the same way, but took a chanes and just started playing around with it. They usally finde it’s really easy to mess with with out being told. I for one just jump right into python with little background into coding a more basic lang. Now, I did have coding background before starting python (c++, GM, html, and some others) but I learn this on my own with out a teacher.

Thats really hard with short post; plus when you write a lot of anwers (such as rdb, bigfoot, treeform, and drwr for examples) they really don’t have the time or the amount of time per person to really get into writing the post to answer your question with people asking so many at once. That goes with any field really. Plus at maxs it’s free help, panda 3d is not making any money off of this, and the people that are building the builds for the public are not either.

Now I understand we need a section for newer people. Thats why I been pushing for a better manual examples. One where we keep adding to the Hello Word section instead of just jumping right out of that and into section of random code how tos and help. I feel if we had one big example that we jsut keep adding into, but still keep each add on in its own section, would help show users how the code should/will work in their own games/code. The manual it self is really detailed, showing off many different things you can do with panda, but it lacks “how to add it all togathers” really. This is why people feel the way they do.

Remember, “If something is hard, don’t think you’re going to make it easy.” Aka, don’t exacept much untill you understand it; even if you ask help to understand it. It’s not going to come to anyone easy; it takes time, not a day, a week, or even a year.


What helps me the most is a snippet of code showing an example not a whole program. And why I should see the code. That way I see how the wording is supposed to be:

For example: return.task gives me error but return.Task works. Now the manual shows the return.task capitalization. Which gave the error.

An experienced programmer knows that it is return.Task because of experience but a newbie will not know it is a capitalization error because he will have cut and pasted from the manual which had the mistake.

When people refer to a whole program example it is hard for the newbie to extrapolate, so I would suggest a snippet followed by a link to the sample program for follow up.

Now having been involved in various forums since the BBS days of the early 90’s (How I wish I would have studied programming more and played less Wolfenstein in those days). One problem is you do not know how much the other person knows, and the second is you don’t have the time to explain everything. Thus the reason for beginner’s forum- by posting in that forum you know they don’t know anything and you can answer accordingly.

Ie-"Well your problem Bob is that you do need to grasp python a little more, because you are struggling with Lists and Sequences so I reccomend you follow this tutorial at www.t….

Being a novice I was trying to program by editing existing programs (ie pulling code from various places and gluing them together) to try and make them do what I wanted- except that I wasn’t learning anything. It was not until I tried create my own code and solutions first then look for clarification second that my learning improved.

JB Skaggs

I have actually experienced this first-hand with several people to whom I’ve introduced Panda3D. They’d ask how to start, and I’d tell them to go through the Hello World tutorial in the manual. After a bit, they’d come back and say, “So, what now?” The only answer I have to give is, “Well, think of something you want to build and look through the manual to see how to do each part.” It’s overwhelming to them, though, and this is precisely why the most useful guides on the Web are tutorials. I know that when I want to learn something, the first thing I look for on the Web is a collection of tutorials; not just the user manual.

So I concur with adr here that either the Hello World needs expanding or instead needs to be divided up so that Hello World (or renamed to be more accurate) is just the first page of it (starting a Panda3D application), and further tutorials cover further things, all tying together so that going through from tutorial[0] to len(tutorial) - 1 would result in a simple, interactive world; maybe even a complete (albeit very simple) game. This does not have to cover developing special assets just as the current Hello World uses assets shipped with the package; rather, just developing with Panda3D. I suppose this is generally how the current Hello World tutorial works, but only vaguely and lacking quite a bit.

By the way, I should comment on my view of the original topic of this thread. I disagree with creating a newbie board in the forum. It creates an unnecessary divide, and it honestly will not help with anything. Think of it–how do you know if your question is a “newbie” question? I know even some of the really seasoned veteran users of Panda3D discover a new class in the API one day and have to learn how to use it. So what defines “newbie”? We already divide Python and C++ help, which is a reasonable segregation, but something abstract like “newbie”/“beginner” would serve only to cause more confusion. The average learner’s favourite resource is the tutorial in anything from Blender to Python and even to a video game.

So, again, I concur with adr that the most effective way to reduce “newbie” struggle is to make improvements in the FAQ and tutorial sections of the manual. As I said, I’ve been working on improving the FAQ, and I’m absolutely willing to put in effort to work on the tutorial section.

I also agree, theres no point in trying that sadly, or from the fourms that I have seen that people got bash for asking a “newbi” question in the exept section, so thats really not a great idea to have both.

We can take a look here at this poll
that people want new tuts and looks. Looks come from increase modeling and code. So if we took a creapy basic tut like the hello world and turn it into a beautiful looking pice of art people will want to take the time and learn the from that instead, and have a more basic understanding of how panda 3d works. This would keep basic question down and help people feel less annoyed for asking questions when a more advance user gives them a answer.

Now, I don’t think anyone here feels thats way when answing a basic question. You have to start some where :slight_smile: and with a better hello world tut I think people will be more help then just telling someone how to do something; it gives them something to look at too.

Only downside is finding people willing to help re-do the manual/examples.

I’ve scanned through the answers. I am honest, I didn’t read most of them in detail.

Good work on the FAQ. Having that improved helps a lot. :slight_smile:

Its hard to use the right atitude on the given question but let me try saying it like this:

Its all a matter of time and skill. When answering posts, most of us try to answer on the given level of the question. That doesn’t work ALL the time, through. I wasn’t too happy about not having a “beginners playground” section as well when I came here. I apologized in many threads for asking nub questions. However, thats what helped me to grow up. Think twice before you ask. Search the forums. The answers I got were either helpful or at least cheering up ones. I NEVER got those telling me that this are nub questions. (I hope that this is still the case.)
The problem is: Why should we set up a forum section when we don’t even have enough willing people to help fix the things HERE before reorganizing things? Is here a thread about/for starters summing up knowledge for newcomers? Have you seen the Poll about the models? Following the thread its even for 14(!) willing people not possible to simply change a models design. Who did some of the work? pro-rsoft/rdb. For me the new forum section means even more work. Not less. New people asking questions over and over again that are solved a hundet times in the “general” forum section.
Less talking, more progress. In case there is enough material here, I am happy to talk about a new forum section. For now, “general” is exact the right place. You can ask general questions/talk about general (and thus only limited related to Panda/Python programming) topics that the Panda3D user might have.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to stop the discussion at this point. And I am honest enough that I don’t know who contributes what already for many of you. But if you want to help beginners, think about how to do that with the current system of sections. You can of course keep in mind that we can move that to a new location later on. But let me say this:

  1. I am not happy about stickifying a hundret of posts.
  2. I am not going to be happy about creating forum sections. Each new section splits the awareness of new answers. The more forum sections you have, the less people will read all for the new posts -> less answers for those.



PS: I dunno who has the search function in its signature showing all posts with no replies. Thats would be an useful link for many us. :wink: Unanswered posts are always a sign that we left someone out there in the dark… Its not the problem that you need to ask in an maybe-professional environment. It just makes you sad if your setup question doesn’t get answered for days or weeks. Then all our efforts in being newcomer-friendly are in vain. :wink:

Edit: Found it. Its “radu” with his “Adopt a Panda” Link pointing to … unanswered

I bet more people will help if we were to post a “problems” post some place? Then have people check it off as they get done. This way people can see what needs to be done or upgraded for the community.

But your right, alot of the quest are just re-posted questions that can be found in the fourm with a little search. Mainly cause I think people don’t really know what to search for tho.

Take this post for example:

Not to bash, but it’s a nice example of what people have posted over and over, even I have when I for started… ok collision was my first post… but it’s still the same type of question. The thing is, I think this programmer feels a little to over come by all the different types of coding styles and the lack of a tut that puts it all togather.