Thanks for taking the time to give such a comprehensive reply. I know you have another project you are passionate about and would most probably rather be doing that. :)
I acknowledge and appreciate your apology. No hard feelings.
From my perspective, automation is one of those domains about which people allow their personal feelings, prejudices and innate cognitive biases to influence their opinions.
That makes discussing it difficult because people say "I think X" but provide no evidentiary or logical reason for thinking that.
We're not talking about ice cream flavours here where personal preference is what matters. What you think is less interesting what why you think it, particularly if you have sound evidence or logical reasons for thinking it.
To address the points made:
1. Both you and Mercury71 have overlooked the fact that you are already using automation in the STEP guide. Two examples are any mod manager and BethINI. These are both forms of automation. Given that, you drawing the line at Wabbajack seems rather arbitrary and illogical.
2. Following on from #1, your points about automation 'dumbing down' the user base also logically apply to automation tools like mod managers and BethINI. Yet you both seem to again arbitrarily draw the line at Wabbajack. This seems inconsistent to me.
3. Your thesis that automation causes the 'dumbing down' of the user base has no evidentiary support. It might be persuasive to you, but it isn't to me. Maybe you're suffering from a phenomenon that we all suffer from at times: confirmation bias (that's not a personal attack but a well-known human failing). Further, and again going back to the points above, if your thesis had merit, we would be able to tell if there has been a 'dumbing down' due to the effects of other automation tools like BethINI and mod managers. I've seen no evidence that users are 'dumber' now than in 2006. Further, some things in life are counter-intuitive. This could be one of those things. Use of automation tools might actually contribute to users becoming smarter mod users. One person's experience isn't enough to conclude either way, unfortunately.
4. As I stated before, but this point was ignored, virtually all of the points made by you and Mercury71 about automation can also be made about curated modlists. How do I know this? Because other people have made them to me over the years.
5. I don't agree with your statement that automation contributes to information being lost. In my experience (which in this domain is considerable) automation improves people's productivity because they can focus on doing more important, higher-value tasks. Information isn't lost, merely the experience of performing the repetitive, low-value tasks.
6. Even if I agree with you that information is lost, you've ignored the fact that time is gained. This may not be an acceptable trade-off to you, but it is to many people. If I might paraphrase your earlier comment: this is time that could be better spent with families, making mods etc. What would you rather be doing: resolving mod conflicts, or making mods for the game?
7. Neither you nor Mercury71 have defined how much knowledge one needs about modding in order to avoid suffering from 'dumbing down' when using automation tools. Given there are so many variables to consider here, and your statements are very 'general' in nature, I would think that this question alone is fatal to your statements about automation with regards modding, especially given you are already recommending automation tools in STEP.
Our actual support for the Guides is quite low.
This seems to contradict your earlier statement that automation creates more support than it prevents. It could be that one reason the support requirement is quite low is due to the effects of using automation tools.
I don't expect my responses to convert you into automation disciples but I think your views would benefit from exposure to a fresher perspective, which I have tried to provide.
Actually, he's right. Most users will add more mods on top of the STEP Guides.
No he isn't. The sentence terminates at the period, not at the first bracket. Ironically, he's misrepresenting his own comment. See here, underlined:
Most A few people also adds mods outside off the STEP Guide for there own taste (at least i do and i belive all of you do so to) and then go to forums saying the guide is broken (i have seen that for current Wabbajack lists, STEP Guide, Lexys guide and others).
Didn't read as imposing, but an opinion, as have all of your statements.
You missed the 'should' part. Where I've given my opinion, I've provided a 'why'. In other words, I don't expect people to believe my opinion just because I said so.
I don't recall a single staff member reporting to actually using STEPupper.
That's not actually the point I was making - I was highlighting your value judgement in contrast to DoubleYou's comment. However, you've since clarified so it's irrelevant now.
But i do belive that it is not good if the STEP devs had to service a Wabbajack version of the STEP Guide.
First Tech has stated they do not have the resources.
Having an official version at Wabbajack means it must be updated and maintained like the guide here on STEP.
"Spreading out" , so to say, a guide in different places is never a good thing. I belive there where a discussion in this line about a STEP Discord if i am not misstaken when it commes to STEP support?
It is very easy to be "everywhere" but very hard to maintain it and keep the quality up i think.
This is not uncommon in software development. People who highlight all the problems as justification to not do something rather than being aspirational and looking for solutions. This is how cool tech is made.
Nobody said that Tech and z92669 had to also maintain a Wabbajack guide. New/existing team and community members may like to step up.
I'm happy to contribute however I can.