Will the real Micropolis please stand up?

image This morning I stumbled across a project on SourceForge named Micropolis. Of course this got my attention and after realizing there was nothing there (no code, no web pages, nothing) I fired a note off to Don to see what was up? I knew his distaste of SourceForge and there was talk of setting up a Google code repository. Don visited the SourceForge site and left a nice happy-happy-joy-joy note for the to-be-named-at-a-later-date owner:

Would the person who started this Micropolis project on sourceforge please identify themselves and contact me? 

I'm Don Hopkins, dhopkins@DonHopkins.com, who developed SimCity for Unix and Micropolis for the OLPC. 
I did not start this sourceforge project myself, and I don't know who did.  
This is not the official Micropolis project repository.

I strongly want to avoid using sourceforge for hosting the Micropolis project, because I dislike sourceforge's baroque user interface and slow response time, and I absolutely do not want to use CVS.

Sourceforge requires far too many clicks and waits to simply download a file, and it takes far too long for all the heavy weight ads and pointlessly complex php, html and javascript pages to load.  
There is never any reason for a web site to say "please wait for a while until your download begins, and if eventually nothing ever happens, then click this link just in case." I usually end up downloading two copies because it takes so long for the delayed download to start that I click the emergency link, and eventually a while later the other "automatic" one starts as well.

I can't understand why web sites like sourceforge use this flakey "please wait" user interface for downloading, instead of simply presenting a link that you can click to download instantly. Sourceforge's bizarre approach to making what should be a simple download be so annoying and "automatic" never saves any time. The computer should never ask the user to "please wait for a while until your download begins" for no good reason, and it's ridiculous to have a javascript count down timer in the loop just to slow everything down, with no way to cancel it if you click the emergency download link. That is one of the most annoying things about sourceforge! My impression is that showing lots of ads is more important to Sourceforge than making it easy for developers to host and download code. 

I would much rather use google code to host the project in subversion, so I have set up the official Micropolis project there: 

-Don Hopkins

I didn't have heart to tell Don that SF does support Subversion, the owner of the Micropolis project there just didn't set it up that way. However I agree with him on all other points. Too many clicks to get simple stuff. CodePlex suffers from this as well. You have to click and accept a license agreement for *every download* you make. Overkill IMHO.

In any case, there it is. The new "official" Micropolis code repository up on Google code, where it should be. This latest version includes changes to the initial release in the C++/Python project to enable callbacks into the Python code. This will enable the UI to respond to the engine rather than the other way around. My next blog post covers using this in extensive detail which should be done sometime this weekend.

Have fun!

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