[MUD-Dev] code base inquiry

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Mon Nov 15 22:33:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On 07:10 PM 11/15/1999 -0800, I personally witnessed Andru Luvisi jumping
up to say:
>On Sun, 13 Sep 1998, Philip Loguinov -- Draymoor wrote:
>> Please explain why you want people to drop very solid source
>> codes simply because you are upset you can't use them to make
>> money.  
>Please explain to us why you stopped beating your wife.

Not an adequate comparison of questions. See, you want the entire community
to stop using a perfectly good bunch of source code because it doesn't suit
*your* needs and desires. Whether you want them to do this because you
think everyone should have those same needs and desires, or because you
think the entire community should standardise on a single codebase, or for
any other reason, is completely irrelevant... you're basically saying
"everyone should use things that I would use, and nobody should use things
I wouldn't". That's pretty arrogant. I can't see how this would benefit the
community. Am I hearing you wrong? What exactly are you trying to say when
you claim the entire community should drop restrictive licenses that
they're often not the least bit bothered by?

>So that they can ask for donations on the login page without worrying
>whether it violates the license agreement.  So that they can have their
>mud included among the Red Hat or Debian packages some day.  So they can
>use their mud as a virtual office for real work.  So they can use their
>mud as a classroom which they charge people to attend.  I'm sure there's
>several more I can't think of right now.

All of these are good reasons for YOU to use some other codebase. I have
yet to see a good reason why someone with absolutely no commercial ambition
for their MUD should use a codebase that permits commercial use. Can you
provide one? I mean, let's assume that I don't want to charge for my MUD.
Ever. Under any circumstances. Why should I worry about whether I *could*
charge for it if I wanted to?

>> The only reason i can see is to force
>> people to use commercial code bases, code from scratch, or play
>> commercial muds
>The fact that these are the only reasons you see do not make them the only

Let me draw a parallel here. 

In the BBS days, charging for access to your board was something that no
BBS software author would proscribe... because running a board was
*expensive*, both in time and money. The average SysOp would buy larger
hard drives, more memory, more phone lines, more computers, networking
hardware, shareware CD libraries, networked CDR jukeboxes, faster
processors... not to mention the time and effort spent in security
configuration, menu design, userbase maintenance, FIDO/RIME feeds, netmail
gateways, "door" purchase and installation, shareware registrations, etc.
Running a BBS cost, on the average, four to six thousand dollars a year for
a small multiline board. That money had to come from somewhere, and it was
only fair to ask for twenty to fifty follars a year from each member to
help cover it. Just help -- usually, the revenue from the board was nowhere
near the expense level.

The internet used to be very different from this, as most of the things
used to run a MUD were "spare" parts and resources donated by helpful
operators and network admins. But today, we're no longer in a world where
the average internet user is a college student or professional who gets
access to the net for free -- most of us pay for our access. Many of us pay
for the bandwidth, CPU time, server space, etc. that we use for running the
MUD to begin with. It seems unfair that MUD software authors would demand
such an investment without any hope of recoup. But rather than demand that
MUD implementors use other software, why not demand instead that server
authors remove or relax their commercial use restrictions? It seems to me
that there are much fewer server authors than there are MUD admins, and
therefore less convincing would need to be done. 

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/ 
| U L T I M A T E   U N I V E R S E   I S   N O T   D E A D 
| 774577496C6C6E457645727355626D4974H       -=CABAL::3146=- 

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