New Source Development

This is the process for developing datasets for inclusion in PCGen. Those familiar with how this process has worked in the past will note that it is essentially unchanged with the exception that the point at which a review of the source for OGL compliance and Publisher permission needed before the source can be entered into the SVN repository is now handled on an internal issue by the Publisher Liaison, Data License and Content Silverbacks.

Initial Development

It begins as always with our volunteers creating the datasets. The style of this stage of development is entirely up the individual monkey who is developing the set, they are free to upload the work to pcgen_experimental for review or not. Smaller sources being done by individually monkeys should ideally be complete or near complete before being submitted for entry into SVN. Larger projects, such as core sources or SRD additions that are being developed by several monkeys which could benefit from the cooperative nature of SVN do not have to be complete but should be a good ways towards this point. It will be the Lead Data Monkeys call when it should be submitted.

Resources

The following resources are available to aid volunteers learn to create LST files. The first place to go is the Documentation, which you are reading now. There are a variety of pages dealing with LST files designed to help get you up and running. For beginners we have a growing section of lessons in the LST file Class . If you are creating datasets for inclusion in PCGen you should pay close attention to the section on Official Release LST standards especially to the section on OGL Compliance . The docs are also available online on our autobuild site and are updated periodically.

In addition to the main PCGen Yahoo group we have several other lists to aid in data development. pcgen_experimental is used for development. You can get in touch with other data monkeys here and upload your files for others to review. It is a good place to coordinate activity if multiple monkeys are working on a source. Additionally it is the place where new LST syntax and new tags are developed. PCGenListFileHelp is the place to go for help with specific how-to problems with LST files. LSTFileClass is a group set up to publish lessons on how to create LST files. The LST File Classes here in the docs were originally published there.

Inclusion in SVN

When a source has been completed and is ready for inclusion in the program it may be submitted in one of several ways. Data sets can be uploaded to pcgen_experimental to the appropriate folder and, along with a shout out to your friendly neighborhood tracker monkey, they will be picked up for review. Once submitted the data must pass an internal review before it can be included in the SVN repository.

When a new source is submitted for inclusion in PCGen an internal issue is opened for the Source. This is a special issue for tracking New Source Development and will be the repository for all permission and OGL status reports concerning the source. This issue will only contain permission and OGL status reports, bug reports and the like will be entered in separately in the regular issues. It will be closed when it has passed all the required reviews and is checked in to the SVN repository.

New submission issues will be opened by the Content Silverback or the Chief Data Monkey. The dataset will be checked for obvious errors that would prevent it from running in PCGen as well as for completeness. Basically we are checking for show stoppers and not much more. If we find a major problem we will contact the author to get it resolved.

If the dataset meets these minimum requirement it is zipped up and attached to the issue. The issue is then reassigned to the Open Game License (OGL) personnel. If problems are found the issue is reassigned back to Data who will work to resolve the issue. Once resolved issue is again reassigned to OGL.

When OGL passes the Source it is reassigned to Publisher Liaison (PL) who will attach publisher permission to the issue, though the PL need not wait for this step and may attach permissions at any time he receives them.

When the source has passed OGL and PL the issue is reassigned to the Lead Data Monkey who will SVN the dataset in the appropriate directory. The issue is then closed.

Alpha Development

At this point the dataset author will be invited to continue development and be granted SVN access to continue work on the set. QA should be informed that a new set is in SVN which needs to be reviewed. The author, the QA team and the Tracker Monkey team will then work together to bring the set up to release quality. Once the Dataset has been though the QA process and all known issues have been resolved it is moved into a permanent location in the data directory.