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AlexMax

Skulltag has a new home

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While it's true that Carnevil is the real owner of Skulltag. I think it's pretty obvious that the only reason all this hit is going down is because he wants to feel like he's still in control. Not because he want to do anything with it. But just because.

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<insert IMO here>

I'm looking at it from both sides here and it seems like it's really not that big a deal. Both sides are overreacting and the whole thing could be sorted out pretty easily if you all calm the fuck down.


@carn: If you want to take a back seat and let other people run the project for you, then take a back seat and let them run the project for you. It's kind of self explanatory. They're doing a good job and they have the community's best interests at heart. They're not trying to steal anything from you.

@current admins: Whether carn's actions in banning people were justified or not, there's still no need for getting into some stupid power struggle over it. While I agree that the need for a new host was pretty evident, it still could have been handled a little more tactfully and you should have cleared the air first before doing it.

Solution: Give carn full access and admin rights, under the understanding that you discuss things in a civil manner before making any changes in future.

Voila.

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This whole scenario is a great example of why software should not have owners. Skulltag's community is the important part here - the ability for its players to continue playing Skulltag and for it to be managed by the leaders of that community.

When Carnevil says that "Skulltag has been stolen from him", what does that really mean? The source code? I'm pretty sure he still has a copy of the source code and that the Skulltag team will give him a copy of the latest source if he wants it. The name? Partly, although I bet they'd change the name if he demanded they choose a new one. No, it is the community that has been "stolen" from him - he no longer has power over how Skulltag is developed or over its users.

I feel for Carnevil who has obviously put a lot of work into developing this over the years, but from what I understand, he has all but moved on to other things now. Respect should be given to people like Carnevil who dedicate their time to developing programs like Skulltag, but that does not mean that they have the automatic right to be a dictator. That's particularly the case in this situation: why should someone have power over a community if they no longer contribute anything to it? You can see the simple conflict of views in the log that he posted:

[15:16] <@Metalhead> Are you going to continue to develope Skulltag?
[15:16] <@Metalhead> (again)
[15:17] <@Carnevil> I doubt it
[15:17] <@Carnevil> Does it matter?
[15:17] <@Metalhead> Yep.
That's not to say that there haven't been obvious failures in communication here - reading Carnevil's account on skulltag.com, I can't help but wonder why both sides didn't talk this all through properly sooner, instead of letting it get to the stage where all this happened.

From everything I've read though, what has happened seems like the best outcome. The only minor thing I can think of is, if Carnevil doesn't want anything to do with Skulltag any more, and he doesn't care about the new maintainers using the name "Skulltag", then he should probably just do the sensible thing and transfer the domain name to the new maintainers, instead of disrupting Skulltag's users (I doubt it's a major problem though).

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Oh wow, forum drama, how did I miss this? I thought it was simply a move to handle expected traffic with the upcoming skulltag release.

My thoughts on this are that in the end, the only thing that all this drama accomplishes is alienating a devoted community of modders, and makes it difficult to get anything done. I've been working on a GZDoom mod for quite some time and I'd not have gotten as far as I have without the support of the developers (thanks graf) or without other modders (thanks doomworld/zdoom/skulltag.) If we draw a line between the two, we could miss out on some of the talents or potential talents in the community. Plus, this makes it difficult for new players to get into the action. As mentioned earlier, there exists now 2 Skulltag sites. One comes up right away in a google seach, while the other does not. This poses a huge problem of keeping the game alive. If new players get it in their head that skulltag is dead then we'd lose a lot of potential to keep the game alive, as I understand there's a pretty significant multiplayer community (even though I don't really participate in it.) The multiplayer community (especially skulltag) I think is largely responsible for keeping Doom alive until this day.

In addition to this, the idea of branching skulltag is equally bad. If the two branches ultimately diverge too much, inevitable compatibility issues will arise, crippling the game even more. If we look at the example of GZDoom/ZDoomGL, there are some nifty features that each respective ports share and some that don't even come close. The only problem is that one of the developers has apparently evaporated and the other is far too busy to be asked to move the features over. An old ZDoomGL wad I had in progress back when I was only on Mancubus.net had to be completely changed to move over to GZDoom. It honestly wasn't worth the trouble and I ended up scrapping the project.

I propose that we simply settle the differences in a diplomatic fashion. If we get someone who makes a good impartial moderator (Creaphis seems to be a good candidate. I honestly couldn't think of anyone better on this forum to do it) to get on an IRC channel with the opposing parties, and discuss this, I think a good compromise can be reached. All the flaming and trolling doesnt accomplish anything.

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Patrick said:

This poses a huge problem of keeping the game alive. If new players get it in their head that skulltag is dead then we'd lose a lot of potential to keep the game alive, as I understand there's a pretty significant multiplayer community (even though I don't really participate in it.) The multiplayer community (especially skulltag) I think is largely responsible for keeping Doom alive until this day.

Seems like a massive overstatement to me. It's basically just changed domain from skulltag.com to skulltag.net.

In addition to this, the idea of branching skulltag is equally bad.

There is no branch, it seems like you have greatly misunderstood the situation. Carnevil is the original creator of Skulltag, but has now stopped working on it and moved on to other things. He wanted to remain in control of Skulltag despite this, and the new maintainers refused. The end.

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Give carn full access and admin rights, under the understanding that you discuss things in a civil manner before making any changes in future.


He had admin rights before and it didn't exactly work too well. The current staff have a system for banning or purging people, and Carn didn't seem to think he needed to follow that system. Considering that Huy was banned for simply telling him that he was acting like a child and I was banned for criticizing Carnevil about the ban in this post , I'm not sure he can be trusted with that power.

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Craigs said:

Huy was banned for simply telling him that he was acting like a child

What is wrong? If you, being guest on my site will talk something I will consider that an insult, then you will be banned immediately. Probably with making a laughingstock from you. Create you own doom port with site and forum and introduce democracy there when anybody can call you a fool / baby / etc.

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entryway said:

What is wrong?


The problem is it wasn't how the staff wanted to do things. After Carn stepped down and stayed out, regulations and rules were made for the staff to follow. Just because Carn made skulltag that doesn't mean he was the man running it. The fact is he wasn't. He went against all the staff and did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to. It created internal hostility. And at the time he was in no position to do what he did.

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entryway said:

What is wrong? If you, being guest on my site will talk something I will consider that an insult, then you will be banned immediately. Probably with making a laughingstock from you. Create you own doom port with site and forum and introduce democracy there when anybody can call you a fool / baby / etc.

But this is the internet, where an inflated sense of entitlement is normal!

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Craigs said:

He had admin rights before and it didn't exactly work too well. The current staff have a system for banning or purging people, and Carn didn't seem to think he needed to follow that system. Considering that Huy was banned for simply telling him that he was acting like a child and I was banned for criticizing Carnevil about the ban in this post , I'm not sure he can be trusted with that power.

The following post linked is an extension of Carnevil's 2-day abuse of power on #skullrant. Consider this:

1. #skullrant is not affiliated with Skulltag.
2. Carnevil was given ops status.
3. Carnevil banned Craigs and I repeatedly, after the fact that we've been unbanned by several ops including the channel serv. See the above link for more dirt.
4. The channel serv saw the abuse and de-opped carnevil, he ragequitted, more drama ensued.

The problem is that Carnevil is acting like the community and Skulltag is his toy and he's entitled to do whatever he wants with it, when in reality it's a dynamic entity that no individual can ever say "I want to control it," or "I started it, so it's mine."

Related to above problem, he feels like he wants to control the community without knowing what it really is. In order to understand the community, one really has to accept the vulgar dialogue that comes with it, apparently he's not handling it well at all.

Then again... isn't comparing trolling on IRC to mass murder a bit... vulgar?

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Doom Marine said:

1. #skullrant is not affiliated with Skulltag.
2. Carnevil was given ops status.
3. Carnevil banned Craigs and I repeatedly, after the fact that we've been unbanned by several ops including the channel serv. See the above link for more dirt.
4. The channel serv saw the abuse and de-opped carnevil, he ragequitted, more drama ensued.


ChanServ could care less about abuse, it's a bot which can partly be controlled by people on the access list. Somebody issued the unban and deop commands.

Those posts are just the same people over and over again to incite trouble. Usually logs are snipped of the boring stuff so it stays interesting and the real story is covered up.

If you don't like somebody, don't give them ops or let your friends op him?

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DaniJ said:
Skulltag is Carnevils. End of story. Other devs may come and go and ultimately Carn may step back from active development but that in no way should be seen as disowning (unless described as such by Carn himself).

It is Carnevil's responsibility to ensure that the people working on Skulltag are doing so toward the goals he set for his project (unless disowned).

The apparent issue here is that that condition is at odds with the development of the port. How can someone who is not really involved in the project anymore take high level responsibilities?

It's also evident that, intentions aside, Carnevil's position helps make the popularity of the port shrink. Like he said, certain popular, productive people (Unidoom people, Doom Marine, and so on) can be jerks, and he tends to eliminate them instead of managing compromises with them so that they will add their productivity to the port's development.

From what I can see, the core issue is whether Skulltag is now being developed by a democratic republic, or caretakers in the absence of Carnevil.

The best scenario would be that Carnevil shakes hands with the admins and hands them rights to continue the project at their initiative. He can do that by quitting, officially moving on much like he has done in practice, and passing the original domain to Metalhead or whoever he trusts most, if he can acknowledge that the others will continue to credit him for the initial and founding work and can trust them enough to keep the port alive, which seems to be the case. This would put this "ownership" thing in perspective with the development reality.

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myk said:

The apparent issue here is that that condition is at odds with the development of the port. How can someone who is not really involved in the project anymore take high level responsibilities?

Although the Skulltag community may not appreciate it, a project like this is born of the set of ideals and goals of its founder(s). If said founder(s) then step back from active development it is not right that those who continue to develop the project change the manifesto without approval from the founder(s). I'm not suggesting that this is what I think has happened with Skulltag, I just wanted to raise it as a moral principle.

An altogether different viewpoint of this (which Graf touched upon) is whether a project such as Skulltag is ever the property of it's founders and rather, it is the community as a whole that 'owns' it. Lets not get into a ideological debate on the subject though, as I doubt thats really going to help anyone.

If a project is truly disowned by its founder(s) then I agree; they should have no real say in its development.

However from what I've observed/heard there seems to be confusion among the dev team as to the nature of their involvement.

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DaniJ said:

However from what I've observed/heard there seems to be confusion among the dev team as to the nature of their involvement.


There's a lot of confusion among everyone over everything right now!

edit: But seriously this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. I can't even remember the last time anything drew attention of this magnitude.

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"Get out of my fort! I built this when I used to live here!"
"Get off my yard."

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DaniJ said:
Although the Skulltag community may not appreciate it, a project like this is born of the set of ideals and goals of its founder(s). If said founder(s) then step back from active development it is not right that those who continue to develop the project change the manifesto without approval from the founder(s).

This isn't about a manifesto, it's just people grasping for control of the project. It's not about ideals, features or the code but "I don't like these people, I want them kicked out" and "this guy's a crazy control freak and will tear the project apart, let's do something."

Since it's proprietary Carnevil is entitled by copyright to do with it as desired. He has no community responsibilities as given by the GPL or the like. (See fraggle's post for more details.)

I wasn't referring to whether anyone appreciates what Carnevil wants, but that someone meddling with a project he's not involved in anymore, as in this case, will ruin it. I was making an analysis of the facts. I wasn't referring to anything I would prefer. It doesn't affect me much either way. It's a matter of attention and competence. Management requires involvement. I'm saying more or less that copyright and development here are at odds.

However from what I've observed/heard there seems to be confusion among the dev team as to the nature of their involvement.

Nah, it looks rather like they are in the position of the Thirteen Colonies during the last quarter of the 18th century.

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Carn is acting like a baby, now all I can smell is opportunity in the air..

http://www.khaaan.com

Seriously though, I cannot see why Carn wouldn't let his work be carried on by people with talent who want to build a community around the port and make it successful.

If it were me, I'd be like "holy shit my old semi-popular project is useful to someone", I mean sure I would still like to be credited somewhere, but I wouldn't come back and go "NA NA NA ITZ MEIN" and throw all my toys in the basket.

He obviously noticed the popularity grew over time now that he let a team of devs work on it and got the feeling of that he couldn't create the same level of community around it that they could.

So is it that he wants power control? unsure, some how I doubt it. Jealousy? seems like it.

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Man, are we going into he said/she said already? Less talk, more source code leaking! Mars needs women! client/server netcode in vanilla Zdoom!

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myk said:

This isn't about a manifesto, it's just people grasping for control of the project. It's not about ideals, features or the code but "I don't like these people, I want them kicked out" and "this guy's a crazy control freak and will tear the project apart, let's do something."

Ah but it is. I'm looking beyond the current incident which to me seems merely symptomatic of something deeper. I don't disagree that the incident in-and-of itself appears to be basically that which you illustrated.

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Carney may very well pick up his ball and go home. But I don't think he made any real agreements with anyone regarding the rights to the submissions people made to Skulltag. So basically, so can everyone else that contributed. Which would literary tear Skulltag apart. I don't think that will be the case though. But it makes one ask how much ownership can Carney really claim over Skulltag. Sure, the name. But what else?

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IMO, Carn overreacted, OK, he was pissed at the time he said some things, I don't think anyone is trying to betray him or scrap him off the development as it's said...

I think he needs to cool off and talk with the rest of the admins, fix the hosting problem (that seems to have caused this in the beginning), and arrange the hierarchy they will have. To me this seems to be a communication problem, someone misunderstood something and thought something evil was going on, which in turn didn't ever happened...

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Having considered everything, I don't think squatter's rights applies to software. If Carn is the founder he deserves to have his name on the project. That said, this seems to be SPECIFICALLY about him being angry that the site was moved after he expressly told them it was up to them to move it.

"Hey guys, we should move the server."
"OK, take care of it."
"Good, the server is now moved."
"WTF YOU STOLE MY SHIT!"

If he apologizes for his little girly freakout, things will be made right again.

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entryway said:

What is wrong? If you, being guest on my site will talk something I will consider that an insult, then you will be banned immediately. Probably with making a laughingstock from you. Create you own doom port with site and forum and introduce democracy there when anybody can call you a fool / baby / etc.


I would NEVER do this. If you came to DRD team and told me I was acting like a child, I'd ask why? I wouldn't go to the admin panel and attach a few IP bans to your name without discussion. That's lame.

Now, if you escalated it, and started trolling/insulting me, and not helping me improve on my "childish behavior", then you would be banned. But for god's sake, I don't ban over petty differences. There's a lot of people I don't like who use both Skulltag(.net version) and DRD forums.

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SoulPriestess said:

I would NEVER do this. If you came to DRD team and told me I was acting like a child, I'd ask why? I wouldn't go to the admin panel and attach a few IP bans to your name without discussion. That's lame.

Which makes you a better admin than Carnbarn.

Seriously, he goes around with his stupid do-it-my-way-or-the-highway attitude without showing even the slightest hint of listening to anybody. The community needs someone who's good with people and will actually listen and participate in conversation, and not just think he's the judge and executor.

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DaniJ said:
I'm looking beyond the current incident which to me seems merely symptomatic of something deeper.

The deeper aspect is mainly some long term personal antagonisms and the "form of government." I remember ZDaemon's totalitarianism started on similar grounds... even in regard to some of the same people.

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Patrick said:

(Creaphis seems to be a good candidate. I honestly couldn't think of anyone better on this forum to do it)


:D

:/

Carnevil can still be said to own Skulltag - at least its name, if not all of its code, and in the position of "owner" he has the legal right to dictate to his managers how they should manage, he has the legal right to veto their decisions, and he even has the legal right to reverse his own decisions. But it's also quite clear that the Skulltag community is better off without him in an administrative position, and what is legal does not necessarily have anything to do with what is right. So, where can we go from here? Should Skulltag's current management just come out and admit that, yes, we're breaking copyright law for the greater good? And then, in response, should Carnevil take them to court?

This may be an issue best left unmediated and unresolved.

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Everybody here is talking about 'ownership'. So what does he own? Certainly not the community so how can he possibly be in a position to dictate what they do?

Even in the worst case scenario they could just take the program and start a separate community without him. He can't do much about that considering it was legally released for free download.

As for ownership of the source, it's debatable which parts he had a right to withhold. Let's not forget that the one person who did most of the programming work in recent years is Torr Samaho and logically he also had some say in such a decision.

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Totally unrelated comment: I hate the fact that clicking on the "news" link takes you to the forum. Was it really that hard to have the news posts displayed on the main page instead of taking you to the forum where in order to actually view the latest news posts you then have to click on a thread which may or may not even be the latest news post?

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AgentSpork said:

Totally unrelated comment: I hate the fact that clicking on the "news" link takes you to the forum.

I believe that was changed when we upgraded to phpBB 3.0. No one bothered to convert the code being used and Rive doesn't think it's worth the time since the news page got close to 0 visitors.

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