View Full Version : Repository for tutorials and other data

01 January 2006, 04:35 AM
I know this isn't exactly a request for a new forum, or an improvement to a specific forum, but this is still related to the forum to a certain degree.

Due to the fact that this forum is getting older, a lot of links to various content have now become dead. This is especially annoying when you're parusing the stickies of a topic looking for tutorials or other resources. It's not really the fault of the forum in anyway, just more of the lack of foresight for the many different people hosting tutorials on their websites which sooner or later become defunct. On top of that, it's not the authors' fault because they can do whatever they wish with their websites.

With that said, I was hoping to propose the idea of creating a centralized online repository for tutorials and other useful resources. The idea would be to have any willing contributors to populate and/or mirror this repository with their articles, tutorials and reasonably-sized utilities (MEL/MAX scripts, shaders, et cetera). I also think that this would be a realistic compromise between having an entire tutorial/resources forum and keeping tutorials and links to tutorials/resources organized within their respected categories.

I'm guessing that the main obstacle for something like this would be bandwidth costs, so perhaps it could run off of user donations, or perhaps limit several tutorials (i.e. video tutorials) to users to pay for access. And then there are other issues as well, including the possibility of standardizing layouts, creating a CMS for users, integration, et cetera. And then there's the issue of how easy it should be for users to post their stuff, because there're always the issues of bogus submissions, viruses, exploit attempts, and the consequent staff moderation that would have to ensue.

I can't really suggest much in the way of means to overcome these problems at the present moment, other than ask the question whether or not the community would support such an idea.

Anyway, so far it's just a little idea I've had in the back of my head these past few days while rummaging through old threads only to find mild disappointments. And I know that several sites exist where you can find several of the resources you need. But even then, some of those sites can change their entire infrastructure causing changes to the URLs for those resources. But I wasn't exactly thinking of something on such a grand scale that would require having one universal source for all of the related resources in the world, just perhaps a place where people can put tutorials within the context of thread conversation while having the piece of mind that the tutorials might outlive the lifespan of their current website.

And again, I don't quite know what kind of a financial strain this would put on things, given the fact that there is a LOT of members here on CGTalk. So, I just wanted to toss out the idea and see if it's feasible at all.

And if it's been shot down in another thread (I did try searching, but I will admit I didn't try digging too deep), feel free to openly flame me as I probably deserve it.

Anyway, thanks for listening to the idea.

[edit] I am seeing a lot of polls in this forum, so I decided to add one. I hope it's not too annoying, but maybe it'll fish out some comments from those who don't feel like responding with a post.

01 January 2006, 07:05 PM
See the following poll thread, it's being looked into.

Your more than welcome to vote, if you like.

01 January 2006, 05:25 PM
^^^ Yes, but with that idea there are problems of having to creat multiple posts by a user for one single (large) tutorial, and issues of lack of space for attachments if the artist had several tutorials in mind, and then there's the problem of people who already have HTMLized tutorials, and maybe those people want to contribute them to CGTalk but don't have the time/energy to format them with BBCode.

So really, it still brings about the same problems. Even if there are separate tutorial forums, image attachments are still going to disappear years down the line because the author might have several new pieces of work he needed to upload. Links to tutorials on other websites will still go bad, since they're hosted elsewhere, and those two things are what bug me in the first place to write this suggestion.

01 January 2006, 09:46 PM
Im sure the good folks here at CG talk are quite capable of getting it right, but you are right about images etc being hosted elsehwere, but where else can they be hosted?
CG talk can't afford to put aside a server for hosting tutorials(or can they?)
I think if the forum got going it would be a start, then it could be improved at a future date, who knows.

01 January 2006, 01:03 AM
Yeah, bandwidth would be the big issue. I think it wouldn't be so bad if they were available only to registered CGTalk members. And, as I mentioned in the initial post, there could be possibilities for raising money... like providing certain tutorials to members who pay $X/month, or in an ideal world setting up some sort of donation system.

Another problem is that CGSociety membership probably provides this to an extent. I wouldn't know since I still don't know how well the benefits would outweigh the $30 USD/year, but that's another topic of conversation. Anyway, the point is that it could clash with whatever interests and intentions the CG Society conglomerate has for its projects.

I might also add that a solution to the problem of the lack of a somewhat centralized server doesn't have to be effected by CGTalk staff. Perhaps several users who want the same thing can all chip in and create a third-party site to hold content specifically for CGTalk. Just some food for thought.

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01 January 2006, 01:03 AM
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