I'm sorry I missed this thread when it was new--as a new developer here, I must say the process was harder than it needed to be. Here's how it went:
Jan 18: I PM Phade about writing a recommender system; I had no idea whether he was the right person to ask that question to.
Jan 24: I post
in the site feedback forum that I'd be willing to build a recommender system. The only person who responds is mirko, and nothing comes of it.
Feb 9: Phade gets back to me saying that he'd like me to do it.
Feb 25: After working with Phade for a while, I have the star ratings database and start coding.
May 8: Core recommender system code is finished, I ask Phade how to plug the code in
May 9: I join #AMV and get directed to doki for questions about the codebase. I contact doki over irc and he gives me access to the programmers forum.
May 10: I go to the programmers forum. Discover that the most recent thread is five years old. I post in the thread there about getting access to the svn repository where the a-m-v.org code is kept. Apparently one other person got so far as to get access to the developer's forum back in 2008, but he was ignored when he asked for svn access.
May 12: PM derobert asking for access to the repository--it appears he's the only one who can do so.
May 17: derobert grants me access to the svn repository.
Note that during this process of getting access to svn, I was also asking for feedback on how to plug in my code, but never received any suggestions. So I just started doing what made sense to me, with no knowledge of the system I'd be deploying on.
June 28: finished what I could of the process of plugging my code into the a-m-v.org codebase; but without more of the database I can't actually plug it into the website logins, etc. I message doki over irc again and he says he may be able to plug the code in, but he has other commitments so it may be a while.
I don't want to sound like I'm blaming anyone--Phade, derobert, and doki have all put in a tremendous amount of work to make this site what it is. I know that they're volunteers and overworked. But the fact of the matter is, as it stands, that we are dangerously close to it being impossible for new programmers to start working on the site. We have extremely few active coders and no good way for them to communicate. This means we may have no way to replace the site's technical admins if one of our current admins needs to leave us. There's no way I would have jumped through all these hoops had I not already committed a huge amount of thought and effort into planning and building the system.
The programmers forum seemed to be working fine back before everything gets cut off during 2005--there were a fair number of people volunteering who seemed to be capable coders. I think people should, like before, be able to grant themselves access to the programmer's forum, and I'd probably be willing to figure out how to make the change myself if I had some more of the phpbb database.
Sorry to dwell on the negative, but I feel like this is important.