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Old 7th Nov 2000, 07:32 AM   #1
I_ABuGa
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Open Source and INF or other mods

Didnt know where this fit in so I posted this here in the general section - better readership it seems.

This regards this article on PlanetUnreal. The article discusses open sourcing - releasing a development teams source code to the public that they may see the "innards" of the game, or mod, they are playing.

I would like to know what you people, Sentry Studios people especially, think about this. Why not open source?

I tend to think that people want to protect "intellectual property" and all those nifty secrets or code that the team members may have conjured up themselves because "they" thought of it. It is argued that these algorithms and secrets should not be considered such because in programming you can only do so many things in so many ways. Chances are the idea you have thought of has already been thought of or will be thought of sooner or later due to the simple fact that the "your" idea is the best/fastest/easiest way to do it. But for the moment, your way is the best way and you want to keep it that way for as long as you can to gain the egde.

Besides that, a dev team will want to take credit for their idea, you dont want others to come poach it and claim credit - even if it is kinda selfish. Just about the worse thing that can happen to a dev team is to have their ideas "copied" by team b. This in itself is not too bad, but when team b creates a mod that does better, its gonna hurt. When team b, due to the success of their mod, claims the stolen idea was theirs, its gonna suck really bad. This is what I think of these intellectual property things and close sourcing.

I believe that open sourcing has advantages and disadvantages - i didnt really discuss this at length coz I havent really got my thoughts together yet. I would also like to know how people here think open and close sourcing would effect the dev team and community - not just the Sentries but others teams like those who make Firearms, Science & Industry, AUT, TacOps and SF. BTW please try not to do any biased comparisons, if any comparisons at all, while answering this post.


There is this post by 383Stroker which also relates to this thread. Would you give him the aiming system?

[This message was edited by I_ABuGa on Nov 07, 2000 at 08:40.]
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Old 7th Nov 2000, 09:14 AM   #2
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I code in 'regular' languages (Asm and C++ mainly) but C++ is pretty similar to UTScript so I'll say something anyway.
Open source development is an extremely inefficient way of building an application. One of the most time consuming parts of creating a working program is the debugging, a phase hard enough when working with your own code. Debugging someone elses code, especially if 'someone else' is an amateur, is hell. Having said that, debugging an open source application where maybe fifty more or less talented people have done a piece of the work would take ages (where an 'age' is an excessively large amount of time). Because of this, it is, in most cases, more convenient, efficient and secure to just let the team coder/s/ do the job him/her/them/selves.
There is also another problem, which is specific for applications similar to game modifications in certain situations (depending on how the open source is dealt with). Every time someone made a change to the mod and uploaded it to the net, a new version would be out. If fifty people made their own individual version, you'd have fifty incompatible versions of the mod to choose from. How would you manage internet play, support and troubleshooting in that situation? This problem is not an issue with applications like Linux, since most (if not all) versions of the OS are compatible with each other and it's a matter of personal taste which one you choose.
All in all, there is no point to develop most applications with an open source code. It's slow, inefficient, insecure, inconvenient and it easily gets out of hand (someone might add a cheat for railguns in Inf, for example).


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Old 7th Nov 2000, 09:47 AM   #3
Alpha_9
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Uh, isn't Infiltration already open source? I believe you can load up any .u file in UED & take a look at the base code right there...

Unless I'm wrong of course.
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Old 7th Nov 2000, 10:07 AM   #4
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I'm going to have to disagree with you, Devon. Open Source, or free (as in free thought, rather than free beer) software isn't all about having the perfect development model. It's about sharing your ideas with the rest of the world and letting people learn from you - and reward you with their contributions to your effort.

Please don't try to make people fear Open Source with the threat of backdoors and cheats. If managed correctly, with both a development tree and a stable tree into which development code is merged, there is no such threat. This model has successfully worked in countless examples - not just Linux.

However, the Infiltration team's development model is working just fine right now - so if it's not broken, I'm pretty sure we don't have to fix it.

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Old 7th Nov 2000, 11:12 AM   #5
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Actually, I have nothing against open source code in itself (as Inf and most, if not all, other UT mods already has as Alpha already pointed out), it's the development model I disagree with. My point is that someone would have to go through all the submitted code, and instead of doing that, it'd be easier for that someone to just code it him/her/self.


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Old 7th Nov 2000, 05:31 PM   #6
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Actually, i consider linux a fairly poor example of open source. Consumer distribution is completely shot because there is no tech support, everyone has a different compile anyway, and it's always changing...
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Old 8th Nov 2000, 09:19 AM   #7
I_ABuGa
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neat, some responses.

Devon : you got a point there.

Casull : how the heck do you manage open source?

PHD_Alpha : yeah, i forgot.

The thing i was concerned about open sourcing is how the original development team would deal with it. There are bound to be some lazy types who would go through the original code and extracted bits to make their own mod better. How then? Would this constitute theft of intellectual rights?

Devon mentioned that it would be slow and difficult to manage. Wouldnt open sourcing allow other minds outside the development team to get on cracking on how to do things better? Maybe suggest better methods of implementing this or that. overall, it seems to me that the team would benefit even if it may take more time.
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