In my shower brainstorm I was thinking about possible reasons why Unity is so popular. Part of that is not just Unity seems to be a really nice engine, but Unity also provides services to its users that makes it enticing over other options.
They have the usual services such as forums and a stackexchange clone. But they also have a marketplace integrated in the ide that has a lot of free and paid for code and assets that makes it quick and easy to get going. Making a market for panda is a bad idea, but I had a couple of thoughts that are solutions looking for problems
- A mercurial gist clone linked to user forum accounts. I’ve always found it awkward posting and finding code in the Code Snippet forum. Longer code that is pasted can make it difficult to follow. Pastebin or self hosting are other alternatives, but there is no guarantee that the pastebin wont eventually expire and there are plenty of examples of links eventually going dead.
It could also be used for users to create documentation and sample code without polluting the manual.
This is something I think I could do (lord knows rdb has enough on his plate). After a quick search I found this and would be more than happy to throw together a prototype.
- P3D package builder and hosting. Here might be panda3d’s “market.” If I want to make a pyyaml package I have to host it myself. Not a big deal, but others would have to trust me to keep it up and not sneak in malicious code. It has a C extension so if I want to keep it cross platform I would need to buy a mac. A community repository and build system would function like launchpad.
To make the system more trustworthy I would never upload any code. Instead on the package setup page I would provide a link to a github or bitbucket repository, so the code is always visible and verifiable. I would then paste in a textbox the configuration (or link it to the gist clone ), and the build system will compile whatever is needed and create the p3d file. The package will then be available for all on community-repo.panda3d.org.