[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD source licensing: beyond GPL? (fwd)

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Mon Dec 20 18:51:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Mon, 20 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> dennis towne wrote:
> > 
> <snip>
> > The GPL guarantees that the source is available along with the binaries.
> > 
> > The issue I see is that mud servers are not like this - binaries for the
> > server are not distributed or sold, so there is no need to release any
> > changes you might make to the server.  Any additions to the server
> > source that are made may be kept private, and withheld from the
> > development community.
> Actually, some are, or have been distributed or sold in binary form
> only.  I believe the Vortex driver, on which the dear lamented Orone
> mud was based, was distributed this way.  I know for a fact that at
> least one of the EmlenMUD servers provides the basis for Aturion
> Dynasty in just this way.  It has been and can be done, all
> depending on architectural considerations of course.

You are correct about the vortex driver. Achaea runs on the vortex driver,
but frankly, it's pretty bad. It was done by a friend of mine as a hobby
and many of you more technically-oriented people here would find it
appalling (I mean this as no insult to Ben Maizels, the author of it. He
realizes its limitations, but there's no incentive to improve it, as we
are developing a backwards compatible, but considerably superior
driver/scripting language, called Rapture, which we will own and
use. Seeing as how are are his only real customers (Orone used vortex, but
they weren't going to make any money, and Cardea uses vortex, but, well,
no players is all I shall say.) 

Incidentally, the only time we've ever felt a desire for the source code
for the driver is when Ben was what one might call slightly tardy in
fixing bugs in it, and just fixing the bugs in it ourselves would have
been faster. 

> What of the other code bases such as Cold / ColdC with Genesis
> Driver, where almost nothing resides in Genesis beyond the support
> and language basics?  It's sort of a souped-up compiler/interpreter
> with all sorts of facilities built in to support network connections
> and an object-oriented database.  [Brandon et al feel free to jump
> in and correct this admittedly sketchy distillation].  The MOO
> family probably also falls into this category of driver.  MOO and
> Cold are pretty closely related, or so I've heard.

That's essentially what vortex is, though it's not particularly

> > Any comments on this, other than most admins out there would hate it?
> > If a server were released under these conditions, do you think it would
> > be successful?
> Of course that depends on what you mean by successful!  But I think
> you know that.  My first guess is that knowledgeable, honest people
> would be hesitant to jump on the bandwagon because they wouldn't
> want to have their work shown to the world; knowledgeable, dishonest
> people would just take the license, make the changes, and not turn
> them in, or would turn in earlier/non-working versions;
> comparatively ignorant people would use it and not turn things in
> because they didn't think it really applied to them.  Some might do
> it though!

I would tend to agree here, especially coming from the commercial side of
things. I certainly wouldn't want the results of my time and money being
shared by any potential competitors, commercial or non-commercial. (and
no, that wasn't meant as a flame to the open-source crowd =)


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