Re: [THREAD] Copyrights, Wilderness, Credits, and Oatmeal Cream Pies

From: Chris Jacobson (fear@ATHENET.NET)
Date: 06/25/98

On 6/25/98 7:52 AM, James Turner (turnerjh@XTN.NET) stated:

>To be honest, in some ways, it chafes me to not release some code
>earlier.  I have a number of modules that I think people could really
>use (overland map, grantable/revokable commands, vastly improved
>personalizable color code, notice code, generalized menuing code (very
>useful and simplifies adding more of those silly CON_ states, and it
>works with non-menu based states, though that is where it shines the
>most), rewritten skill and magic code, rewritten ability code, plus a
>huge number of smaller pieces of code).  But the risk of copying too
>soon is something that bothers me.  I wouldn't want someone to take
>some of my code and use it before my mud even opens, so I wait, and
>post here occasionally and give pointers... but my code will be
>released, in its entirity someday.  When is a question of when the
>other imps and builders think the time would be good, and fair.

Another possible solution for those of us with highly custom codebases
(read: all snippets are applied by hand and require at least 75%
rewriting to work properly), would be to just release the 'core' of
certain code, and not the interface functions (or at least not all of
them).  This would provide a basis for someone to learn from, but unless
they are a decent coder, they won't be able to just plug it in and run.
I'm comfortable releasing code I feel will benefit people and is
'general' code, but never feature specific stuff - for example, I
released a basic implementation of vehicles, and an earlier (at the time
current) implementation of my LList template class from LexiSTL (my own
custom STL).  But I won't release my rewritten skill system (based on
ICE's skill engine!  Yeah!) and combat system (rewritten to be skill and
event/input oriented using the new system) to the general public,
although I would consider giving them to certain discrete individuals.

I would consider releasing my entire codebase, perhaps year-old versions,
except for the fac that I removed everyone's comments/names/etc in the
code from snippets I've used.  <gasp> you might say, but I say this in
return: I never intended for anyone but myself to see the code (I code
alone and never considered releasing the codebase), however, it is one of
the premiere sci-fi MUDs in existence (and the credit for that goes to
not just me but to many people including select members of this list for
their contributions and to the staff and long term players of the game
for suggestions and such).  It would be nice to see other sci-fi MUDs in
existence, but all current codebases (exception: TechnoMUD :-P) are
fantasy oriented.  Alas... (fortunately I have plans to do a WH40K MUD,
GW gave me permission ;-) and perhaps other MUDs).

- Chris Jacobson

PS. There are certain individuals on (And off) this list that I would
give the code to for their own perusal, because I trust them not to
redistribute it in full or part.  They could use the code as is to start
their own sci-fi MUD, however, only a minimal worldbase would come with
it, there are no "compatible" world formats.  My main concern however is
the lack of accredation at the point of use of certain code...  What I am
most concerned about is not people taking my code and using it and
claiming credit, but the fact that I have used others code, and that they
might take that and claim credit, and in some way it could reciprocate
back to me.

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