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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 3:09 pm 
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This topic is my reaction to a general spirit in the community, reflected in tr1p1ea's post (among many others over time, from a lot of people).

It comes to me as a disappointment that even longtime members of the community have the same cluelessness towards open source. Let me answer to tr1p1ea's sentence, which explains why releasing the source code is a bad idea :

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The last thing you want is a whole heap of people changing the splash screen and trying to pass it off as their own.


This is irrelevant on so many levels :

1) If this happens, the identity of the original author will still be known, recognised and defended by the community
2) It is already possible to do so by means of a disassembler
3) How many times has it happened so far ?

At the opposite of this fictional danger, there is the proven danger that a programmer vanishes off the community, leaving programs that will never evolve, or worse, just a bunch of screenshots released for months and months. Let's learn from the past and reuse the experience of communities that have succeeded in being vibrant. So please, eveyone, release early, release often, with the source code!


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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Guillaume,

You've taken that quote out of context and made me out to look like the forerunner in some kind of community movement against open source software. This is something i dont appreciate.

1) Open source and releasing the source are not the same thing.
2) I have no problem with open source software projects. In fact projects that involve as much of the community as possible are good! We just seem to have a problem getting some of them off the ground :S.
3) Likewise i respect the wishes of people who do not wish to release the source for projects 'until they are ready to do so'.

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 3:08 am 
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All of my tools are fully open source, this makes sense. You might want to modify them to suit your needs. This is the "open source" model.

However, developing a game is a different story. I don't want people to have incomplete or buggy version, and development versions don't really represent the final product. My games will always follow the "release the source" model.


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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 4:26 am 
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Thats pretty much the stance i have, an open source model fits some projects perfectly, but not all.

But i do like the 'release source when finished' approach for other projects, most of the completed work ive done has been too messy to distribute :(. Ill release everything one day however.

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:36 am 
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I'm sorry tr1p1ea if I haven't been clear, but you're interpreting beyond what I have written. So, don't get me wrong, I'm talking about cluelessness, not hostility nor malice! Maybe the word cluelessness is strong, but at least the quote of yours in my first post reflects what I feel: that even if you support open source, you haven't drawn all the practical conclusions. Have you read "the Cathedral and the Bazaar" ? Also, I'm reacting to one of your messages because you're one of the authoritative figures in the community, that's all.

I totally agree that only the author chooses what they want to do between not releasing anything, releasing the source code when the program is finished, giving access to the source code all the time, etc.

What I'm complaining about, is backing an author's choice of not releasing the source code with arguments that do not hold. In other terms, independently anyone's intention of formulating this argument, this is an unfounded fear. I'd really like to provoke this realization.

Now, I'm curious about the reactions to my arguments against "not releasing source code so that I won't be plagiarized". Do they make sense to eveyone here ?


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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 11:20 am 
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GuillaumeH wrote:
Now, I'm curious about the reactions to my arguments against "not releasing source code so that I won't be plagiarized". Do they make sense to eveyone here ?
*cough* ;)


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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 2:25 pm 
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There are far more creative and far less insulting ways you could have constructed this topic guillaume. That is how i feel, and that is how i will leave it.

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2009 6:08 am 
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tr1p1ea> I know how to separate attacks on ideas from attacks on people, and I'm only interested by the former here (hint: first sentence of my first post).

benryves> Ha! Good memories from the mailing list. Then, what happened to Hays ? They got totally discredited by everyone else, didn't they ?


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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2009 1:20 pm 
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GuillaumeH wrote:
benryves> Ha! Good memories from the mailing list. Then, what happened to Hays ? They got totally discredited by everyone else, didn't they ?
Yes, so I suppose it agrees with your point 1.


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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Releasing source is/has always been a big issue in this community. I think a lot of projects going on in the community in the past and present could have been finished had the authors left the code when they left. But it is the authors choice and in the end it is up to them. My projects included. Tr1p, I dont think gh was attacking you, even though his quote does seem to make it look a bit like you are against releasing source code. Personally I think there are a lot of how should I say this, legends, of the community that have failed this community. I appreciate how Spencer, ben, gh, kv, jim, duck, and yes you tr1p have released a lot of code not only with their projects but amongst the community to help others learn. It is only going to make the community stronger.

However one thing that bothers me is this. Just to name a big project, Metroid...Joe was a great asset to the community and yes he did make some awesome stuff and released a lot of his source of his other projects. But one thing that bothered me, was this...I know that Metroid is still "on going" but honestly, I think it is a joke that Joe never released the source. I know that he could come back at anytime but lets be realistic. Whenever I decide to call it quits, everything I have worked on Cobra, Cubez, Sonic, MLC, and all my graphics that I have made will be free to the public to use, learn from, etc.

I dont think the source code has to be released with each released version, but i think it should be released eventually to prolong the community and allow for better games. There are some great stuff out there currently being developed by some very talented people. It would be a shame if we never got to see all the talent and hard work they have put into their projects.

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2009 11:36 pm 
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Good points you have.

NanoWar's thoughts wrote:
I can understand everybody who keps his or her code closed. It's because people hate to get rated. The worst thing that can happen is that someone laughes at you because of your funny programming practices (you know what I mean). They dont want to defend their code against anybody.
I dont really share this opinion, because I have learnt a LOT from other people's code. Especially from beginners'. But I am still unsure about releasing my own work to the world. It feels embarassing, but it shouldn't be. I can't help it. Egoism?

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jul, 2009 1:59 am 
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I kind of have to agree that it might not be best to release "a mess." A lot of Jim's stuff was never really documented well imho, so it's kinda out there (in the mess known as group.revsoft.org), but collecting dust. This was partly because Jim didn't want people passing it off as their own, so he never released to ticalc as far as I know. Even if fakes get discredited, it doesn't change the fact that lots of fake copies are going to remain out there being distributed, and no regular user will bother fix that. I can understand why some people would not want that. At the same time, I feel only people who actually know how to program can really attempt to pass stuff off as their own (unless the whole dev folder, batch files and all was released). Normal people wouldn't go through the trouble. People who know how to program won't go through the trouble either. They'd just make their own program.

Anyways, I think people have the right to do what they want, so no pressure. Although from experience, I don't see much of a point of studying poorly documented code. It's more educational to just write it from scratch. The source for Lost Legends has been sitting around for awhile and it's basically been untouched. My only regret is that I basically made a lot of Jim's gs work available when I'm sure he probably doesn't want it out in public domain. From this, I can understand why JoeP never released source, although I wish he'd at least leave some sprites.

What I think is more useful is releasing theory/implementation ideas. For example, the crashmapper/dwedit's mapper/jim's mapper. Some of the ideas/optimizations in it are just crazy awesome. It's probably better to just toss ideas around instead of code. This is especially the case for z80 projects.

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jul, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Liazon wrote:
I kind of have to agree that it might not be best to release "a mess."

That is a great point Nano and Liazon I hadnt thought of that. Source Code is no good if it's so messy that you cant understand what is going on. I know I should have commented alot more in my own source, looking back on stuff there are times when I wonder what I was thinking. For me, when I was first starting out, I didnt really know about MC or Void or any of the other bigger sites at the time. Ticalc offered a way for me learn from others source whether they were well commented or not.

Like I said though it is all about to the authers, and I will respect their choices whether I agree with them or not.

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