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Aabra

Skulltag 98a Released

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AlexMax said:

Yeah, and look at where Skulltag is now, over 100 concurrent players last night. And who knows where Skulltag would be if all that development time spent on Odamex was instead contributed to Skulltag mainline since after all, the developers are pretty open about letting other developers on board.

The Odamex developers believe/d that it wasn't fair to be developing a closed source port. They were forced into this position.

What if Skulltag had multiple WAD loading, or accurate Oldschool emulation, or better demo support, or unlagged netcode. It's not like there's a lack of stuff to do, wheres your offer to help?

Come to think of it, where is your help anyway? The Odamex changelog dates back to July and it's only six entries deep, with Russell keeping the dream alive (Thanks). In fact, when was the last time a commit of yours ended up in the Odamex tree anyway?

I haven't contributed much to Odamex; to be honest the multiplayer community itself isn't something that specifically interests me. That doesn't mean that I don't have a right to comment on social issues within the Doom community. Sharing of code between Doom programmers is of interest to me.

And you want to fork Skulltag? Puh-lease, you wouldn't do anything with it if you had it. I understand, you're swamped with opl-branch and raven-branch of Chocolate Doom, which an amazing port in its own right.

I don't want to fork Skulltag. Others might. Like the Odamex team, for example.

Skulltag may be legally sound (it's difficult to tell with ZDoom-based ports :-), but it strikes me as unfair. Others, like me, are willing to share our work and build on each others' contributions, but the Skulltag and ZDaemon teams simply take the work of others and do not contribute back.

In the long term I'm also worried that this source code could potentially be lost. The situation is far more extreme with ZDaemon than Skulltag, so I'll use that as an example. Is it inconceivable that in five years from now, the ZDaemon developers will all have lost interest in the project, and abandon it? Where does that leave the users? If the source code is lost, or the developers will not share it, nobody can continue the project.

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Can we all just stop this? Everyone has different interests and values so we're never going to agree on this. I think the decent and civil thing to do here is to just leave each other alone at this point.

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Carnevil said:

Can we all just stop this? Everyone has different interests and values so we're never going to agree on this.

Yes, I'm sure it would be very convenient for you if the people asking for the source code would simply shut up and stop complaining.

I think the decent and civil thing to do here is to just leave each other alone at this point.

The implication being that if we do not do as you say, we are acting in an indecent and uncivil manner. Ironically, it seems to me that the people asking about the source in this thread have been perfectly civil, despite being referred to as "GPL parasites".

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AlexMax said:

To be fair, I do really wish that Skulltag would open their source. There are several good reasons to as well, which I won't even bother going over since they've been argued to death in previous threads (probably even by me).



I really believe that Skulltag could benefit a lot. One of the effects of closed source development is that much of what Skulltag does is not very maintenance friendly on the implementation side. Some effort should be put into establishing a basis in ZDoom that allows for less maintenance overhead when updating. Currently all the netcode related stuff is spread all over the code instead of discussing and developing a scheme that can be implemented in ZDoom to keep both implementation overhead and network data down. But as long as the source is closed (despite me having access to it) it won't happen.

For GZDoom I made an effort to change ZDoom's implementation of certain things so that I can hook into them easily without the need to change the game code all over the place. The end result is that there's only a very minor amount of differences in the main game engine code between GZDoom and ZDoom. Skulltag could certainly profit from a similar approach.


fraggle said:

In the long term I'm also worried that this source code could potentially be lost. The situation is far more extreme with ZDaemon than Skulltag, so I'll use that as an example.


For Skulltag this won't happen. There's too many people who do have access to the code. The bigger problem, I think is that those most likely won't do much with that code.


Is it inconceivable that in five years from now, the ZDaemon developers will all have lost interest in the project, and abandon it? Where does that leave the users? If the source code is lost, or the developers will not share it, nobody can continue the project.


Yes, with something as shrouded in obscurity as ZDaemon this danger certainly exists. Is there even one person with actual ties outside their own isolated community that has access to the source? I somehow doubt it.

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esselfortium said:

Alex is either trolling hard, or is both missing the point and a complete asshole. Nice!


Ironic, calling someone a troll after a post like that...

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Carnevil said:
I think the decent and civil thing to do here is to just leave each other alone at this point.

We love the idea of open source here and you know it. Take the seasonal "source plz" comments as a small fee for any publicity from news posts here in this GPL stronghold. You might think you could gain more if we shut up, but you're gaining something even if we don't.

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AlexMax said:

perfectly legal

I don't recall reading any comments about it being illegal, just immoral. Imagine you've got a buch of kids playing with building blocks, each building their own towers. Most of them are cooperating and playing fair, but you've got one little brat in the corner who says "MINE" and won't share the blocks, is it really any surprise when the others get pissed off with him? Play nice already.

AlexMax said:

who knows where Skulltag would be if all that development time spent on Odamex was instead contributed to Skulltag mainline since after all, the developers are pretty open about letting other developers on board.

"You can't use the blocks unless you're helping build my tower". Yeah, that kid's gonna make lots of friends. :p

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DooMAD said:

"You can't use the blocks unless you're helping build my tower". Yeah, that kid's gonna make lots of friends. :p


I'm pretty sure what the Skulltag Developers are hearing is "I hate you and I hate your community, but I want your blocks anyway so I can use it in my own tower (away from you). I'm not really entitled to it, but I'm just going to whine a lot until I get my way because everyone else is sharing their blocks."

I think it is immoral to tell programmers what to do with their code. They are the ones who put in the blood, sweat and tears, and they should have final say in what happens to it. ZDoom's license is a tangled mess, but it's pretty obvious that there isn't any form of copyleft in it. If people didn't want the possibility of their code possibly being poached by closed source they should not have contributed to ZDoom. There are plenty of other options out there.

Graf Zahl said:

For Skulltag this won't happen. There's too many people who do have access to the code. The bigger problem, I think is that those most likely won't do much with that code.


Having easy access to the source tree does not mean that people will magically pop out of nowhere to contribute. Again, if people want to contribute to Skulltag, getting on the team is relatively easy.

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AlexMax said:
I think it is immoral to tell programmers what to do with their code.

It's based on Carmack's code and the only reason the old, less-free license is available is because re-licensing is not retroactive. So, in this context, it isn't immoral. They do have the right to retain the old license, but demands to open it cannot be considered immoral under the circumstances.

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AlexMax said:

I'm pretty sure what the Skulltag Developers are hearing is "I hate you and I hate your community, but I want your blocks anyway so I can use it in my own tower (away from you). I'm not really entitled to it, but I'm just going to whine a lot until I get my way because everyone else is sharing their blocks."

IF that's what they're hearing (and I'm pretty sure it's not, you're exaggerating slightly there :p ), it's because they've successfully alienated the wider community by not playing ball.

AlexMax said:

If people didn't want the possibility of their code possibly being poached by closed source they should not have contributed to ZDoom.

That's hardly a constructive attitude. We could just as easily say that if the Skulltag developers wanted a closed source project, they shouldn't be working on an open source game, but that's not going to get us anywhere now is it?

myk said:

It's based on Carmack's code and the only reason the old, less-free license is available is because re-licensing is not retroactive. So, in this context, it isn't immoral. They do have the right to retain the old license, but demands to open it cannot be considered immoral under the circumstances.

Exactly this. Skulltag are lucky that they're legally allowed to be closed source, but they might as well get used to the idea that some people are never going to like it and will continue to bug them about releasing it.

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DooMAD said:

We could just as easily say that if the Skulltag developers wanted a closed source project, they shouldn't be working on an open source game, but that's not going to get us anywhere now is it?

Well, actually, that's going to get us here.

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fraggle said:

The implication being that if we do not do as you say, we are acting in an indecent and uncivil manner.

I would say that immediately trolling every Skulltag-related thread here falls into that category, yes. Not that that seems to matter to those in your crowd - you seem to wear it with a badge of honor:

exp(x) said:

Can a moderator please set my title to "Annoying GPL parasite"? Thanks.


It's pretty childish to continuously demand that others behave in accordance with your values - even when they are under no obligation to do so.

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DuckReconMajor said:

This is gonna make me sound dumb, but what about cheating? I thought that's why they were closed source.

This thread pretty much covers that: http://www.doomworld.com/vb/source-ports/43485-yet-another-skulltag-source-thread/.

Carnevil said:

It's pretty childish to continuously demand that others behave in accordance with your values - even when they are under no obligation to do so.

Continuously? I think my posting is about as discrete as your public updates.

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Carnevil said:

I would say that immediately trolling every Skulltag-related thread here falls into that category, yes.

Why debate the issues when you can just label your opponents as trolls and claim they're "uncivil", right?

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Hi, I'm Rivecoder, the project lead for Skulltag.

DooMAD said:

IF that's what they're hearing (and I'm pretty sure it's not, you're exaggerating slightly there :p )

No, that's actually pretty much how we hear it. Every time Skulltag comes up here, it immediately gets derailed by people demanding the source release, and it's usually in a snide, holier-than-thou way.

Which is funny, because we're actually quite receptive to a source release. Torr Samaho (the main programmer) and I feel pretty similarly, and we developers have had several long, drawn-out talks about this. Trust me, if we could release it right now, we'd love to. There's plenty of great stuff in there (also plenty of bad, just ask Graf) that people can learn from. At the end of the day, the purpose of Skulltag is to be creative. Always has been. We're taking the basis of Doom and adding new things to it, showing others what can be done with a little imagination. Certainly releasing the code would go even further with that purpose, helping teach and inspire fellow programmers.

Naturally, the #1 reason we haven't is the risk of hacking. If we were to release the source, we'd have to replace our current method of cheat-prevention (security through obscurity), with something else. Pretending this issue does not exist would be acting completely irresponsibly to our users. Cheating is sadly an unavoidable aspect of any competitive game, and if it's not dealt with fairly, the game and the community becomes much less valuable.

Security through obscurity is certainly flawed by design, but it gets the job done. And while there are some tepid server-side solutions for wallhacks (Odamex started on one), and a few less for aimbots, none of the developers are interested in dumping a huge amount of time just for the purpose of playing a permanent one-up war with 14 year-old hackers and cheaters. It'd interfere with our main purpose -- which again, is to create.

If you're a skilled developer interested in fighting such a war, then join us, and we'll build the necessary protections and release the source. Until then, a source release is unlikely.

DooMAD said:

Exactly this. Skulltag are lucky that they're legally allowed to be closed source, but they might as well get used to the idea that some people are never going to like it and will continue to bug them about releasing it.

Lucky? We're here to create something. If we couldn't do it through a Doom source port, we'd do something else.

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If your only concern is cheating, then why don't you open up the code for older releases that are no longer compatible with the current servers?

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fraggle said:

Why debate the issues when you can just label your opponents as trolls and claim they're "uncivil", right?

The issues have been debated TO DEATH. Doomworld hardly needs another thread on this subject. And yes, it makes sense to label uncivil behavior as such.

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exp(x) said:

If your only concern is cheating, then why don't you open up the code for older releases that are no longer compatible with the current servers?

Damn it. We had actually agreed to do this, it just got lost in the release shuffle. :P Thanks for reminding me! Added back to the todo list.

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Rivecoder said:

Damn it. We had actually agreed to do this, it just got lost in the release shuffle. :P Thanks for reminding me! Added back to the todo list.

Why did no one say that in the first place? Heh. If that had been mentioned in the original post, I'm sure the tone of this thread would have been completely different. I think this should satisfy most of the critics.

</shitstorm>

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Giving back to the community is letting people do something, not giving them something like your hard made code. Why would anyone ever give up their code?

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geo said:

Giving back to the community is letting people do something, not giving them something like your hard made code. Why would anyone ever give up their code?

O_o

I had been silent in this debate, but that comment is just weird enough that I have to answer it. If not for id "giving up" their code in the first place, none of this would be possible. Without the authors of BOOM, MBF, and SMMU "giving up" their code, I wouldn't have a port to work on myself. Sharing is good, IMO.

It's up to the Skulltag guys whether they want to release any source or not. I'm in favor of it personally, but hounding them about it isn't right.

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Quasar said:

It's up to the Skulltag guys whether they want to release any source or not. I'm in favor of it personally, but hounding them about it isn't right.

I'm with Quasar here, I'd love to see ST join the Open Source DooM ports, but attacking the developers isn't going to get it anywhere...

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geo said:

Why would anyone ever give up their code?

So it lives on? Since Quasar mentioned MBF, I'll take it as an example. Who still plays MBF today? Nobody. Imagine if it were closed source: all the work Killough made would be forever lost and wasted. Instead, it's open, and most of the work has been reused and survived in PrBoom and Eternity (and even some bits in ZDoom).

Code needs maintenance, be it to fix bugs or simply to adapt to new hardware. (I'm not even talking about adding new features.) One day, you'll stop working on your program. Maybe you won't have time anymore for it, maybe you'll lose interest, and even if not, one day you'll die anyway. If the code was open, somebody else can take up the torch. Or not. It's perfectly possible nobody'll be interested, after all. But what's sure is that if it's closed, even if there are interested people, your work will be lost.

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And again, we're certainly not going to let Skulltag's code die. To let so many years of hard work and creativity be shut up forever, never to have an impact again, would be completely against our purpose.

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What ever happened to the prospect of separating the network layer into a closed module and opening the rest?

As to the concept of "giving up hard made code" I can't help but chuckle. I doubt there is anything in Skulltag that any serious developer has not come across before. By that I mean no disrespect. After God knows how many years of computer science and in a broader sense, algorithmic problem solving (dating back thousands of years); it is pretty unlikely there is anything truely new in Skulltag.

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geo said:

Giving back to the community is letting people do something, not giving them something like your hard made code. Why would anyone ever give up their code?

If you're not a programmer, perhaps a WAD author instead, I can see why you might think that way. But the simple answer is already in your question: because it lets other people do things with your work.

If Id hadn't given up their code, we wouldn't have any source ports right now. But the same applies within source ports themselves. It's actually a lot of work to get the original Id source up to a usable and stable level. Put simply:

  • If TeamTNT hadn't released the Boom source, we would never have had PrBoom, MBF, Eternity, or SMMU.
  • If Randy Heit had never released the ZDoom source, we would never have had GZDoom, ZDaemon or Skulltag
  • If _Fly_ had never released the CSDoom source, we would never have had ZDaemon or Skulltag
Note that I say "would never have had", that's not necessarily the case. They might still have existed but certainly not at the level of sophistication that these ports are now.

But in a sense that's really why you "should" release source. I think that source port programmers ought to share their code because code sharing is what has brought us the amazing source ports that we have today. However, I assume you want to know what the personal motivations are for programmers who release their code.

I'll give Chocolate Doom as an example. Since I started the project, I've had emails from people who have ported it to run on new platforms (for example, I had one email from an engineer at a company that was planning on using it as a demo for an embedded system that they were developing). It's really cool when you see how people are using your code in ways that you never previously considered or would have been able to use it yourself.

Similarly, I've had patches from people who have extended the code to do things it didn't do before (one contributor added high quality sound resampling, another completely rewrote the MIDI conversion code). Entryway and I have shared quite a lot of Vanilla compatibility related fixes that has benefitted both of our ports.

I've had compliments on multiple occasions from other source port programmers on the quality of my code, which I find to be personally very satisfying. The greatest compliment comes when people decide that they like it so much that they decide to incorporate my code into their own projects (doom64ex is using the Chocolate Doom network code, PSP Doom is using the dehacked code, Eternity is using the sound code, Eternity and PrBoom+ are using the ENDOOM emulation code, etc).

I don't consider other people using my code to be "stealing"; I love to see people reusing my code. However, I don't like it when other people don't play fair; that's why I ask that if people use my code, that they release their own code back as well, for others to build on in the same way. If others don't like this (and I'm sure there are some that don't), they can write their own code instead of using mine.

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