[MUD-Dev] Information sharing (was: Re: Where are we now?)

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.COM
Sun May 6 09:54:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

> From: "Greg Munt" <greg.munt at btinternet.com>

> I've noticed that (some? most? all?) mud sources only enter the
> public domain when the mud has stopped running. Does this indicate
> anything? That mud sources become available because the mud they
> supported has 'failed' in some way?

I think that is sort-of true for quite a lot of released sources,
whether for MUDs or anything else. When the original author(s) are
actively working on the code, they don't want to release the sources
because they want to have control over them, and don't want a lot of
"versionitis" problems.  Only when they no longer plan on working on
them do they release them.  That could be because the project "failed"
in some way, or because of other reasons.

For example, my reluctance to release the sources of active projects
goes back to a "once bitten twice shy" situation. I released a version
of my Amiga Empire (a version of the old Peter Langston variant)
sources while I was still interested in working with them. Someone
else took a copy and made some changes. Some parts of the changes were
interesting. One part, however, was that the flushing of the data
cache whenever a player disconnected was removed. That made it seem
more responsive (most were run with floppy disks, back then). However,
if the system crashed (or was simply rebooted), the data files ended
up corrupted. That version got distributed, and its subsequent
reputation for corrupting data files got mirrored onto the whole
project, even though it didn't happen with my original version. So,
from then on, I haven't released the sources to things that I cared

I think it is possible to have the sources of active projects
available, but you have to spend a lot of time co-ordinating changes
and versions, and you have to make sure that *your* version is the
master version that everyone should be using. This can take a lot of
effort, and many programmers, if working alone, might prefer to put
that effort into the code itself, rather than management work.

Don't design inefficiency in - it'll happen in the implementation.

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.COM
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