Licensing (Part Three)

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When extending the code, what should we allow?

Poll ended at 13 Jul 2006 06:32

Complete freedom (including profiteering)
1
8%
Open freedom (no profiteering, but feel free to distribute changes)
9
69%
Only TE can release, but feel free to host the files.
3
23%
Only TE can release and host the files.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

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aarona
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Licensing (Part Three)

Post by aarona » 09 Jul 2006 06:32

Note: I hope people don't mind what I am doing here.
Ok on second thoughts I'm not sure the wording was correct on the last poll.

To summarise the findings so far...
One - TE will be free
Two - Others are not allowed to use parts of the TE code in "for profit" software

I think we need now to focus on releasing any modified product.

For all options the original authors must be acknowledged, and any changes must also refelect who the author was.

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Post by Purno » 09 Jul 2006 08:01

Not sure what to vote. But wouldn't it cause confusion if modifications appear everywhere on the internet? Dunno what to think about modifications, do we want them to be made and released by peeps, or do we prefer building in the best modification in one release; The only release available on the net. ?
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Post by XeryusTC » 09 Jul 2006 08:06

I think that people should be free to distribute modified code, but they shouldn't make a profit out of it (or we should get a part of that profit) and we will not support the game, the distributor should do that himself as he/she knows the changes better than we do.
I think that limiting the distribution of TE will only decrease it's popularity as people wont get introduced by it.
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Post by aarona » 09 Jul 2006 08:12

One problem I have seen with some maturing projects is that mid-way through, someone decides they don't like the direction the project is taking so they decide to split from the main group and form their own project. There is that potential here, especially due to the wide range of focal points people have with respect to where they see the game going. (Someone may release a more simulation based project, another might go for game alone, irrespective of any extensibility issues...)

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Post by charlieg » 10 Jul 2006 23:26

aarona wrote:One problem I have seen with some maturing projects is that mid-way through, someone decides they don't like the direction the project is taking so they decide to split from the main group and form their own project. There is that potential here, especially due to the wide range of focal points people have with respect to where they see the game going. (Someone may release a more simulation based project, another might go for game alone, irrespective of any extensibility issues...)
Why is that a problem? Surely that's an asset.

Don't believe me? There are plenty of examples where this has meant the evolution [even survival] of major projects - GCC was forked and the fork remerged some years later having been a massive improvement, Xorg is a complete fork of XFree86 by frustrated developers and now a far superior codebase.

So what if somebody takes what exists and makes it into another project. It means two games for the [developer] price of one. They will most likely go in different directions or one will emerge as the right way to go and the other merge into it or die out because it's the wrong way to go. Of course, it's not quite that simple (e.g. one project could succeed because the developer are more motivated rather than doing better things) but if it means the survival of TE as a game then surely it's a good thing for the game.

The decisive factor is what you want out of the project. If the most important thing is a playable game, then open source is best. There could be a fork, but only if the project is badly managed or needs to split to satisfy two audiences. If you are writing this game for yourselves and want complete control, no matter what, then closed source is probably best.

To the players the difference, at the end of the day, is negligible if the end product is freely available. However, I strongly believe open source is more effective as a development process. You are creating the game for the community, right? So it doesn't matter if somebody improves on your work and everybody gets to play, right? Or are your reasons more self-involved, in which case open source is so not the right path for you to take.
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Post by charlieg » 11 Jul 2006 00:26

Just to elaborate a little, there's also the possibility that the team here gets half way and then motivation peters out. If the game is open source, at some point in the future anybody else can take it on and improve it. If it's closed source, then it dies.
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Post by aarona » 11 Jul 2006 00:42

charlieg wrote:Just to elaborate a little, there's also the possibility that the team here gets half way and then motivation peters out. If the game is open source, at some point in the future anybody else can take it on and improve it. If it's closed source, then it dies.
I don't even want to think about that as a possiblity :wink:

With your main post...
It all well and good for a project the size of GCC and the like to fork off. Have you noticed how far TE has gotten over the last...three years? A forked project means that we have more than one capable person going against each other to try and make the best product instead of working together for a common goal.

You make a good point about motivation. Chances are if someone splits off, that might be the automatic death signal for the other group because the only motivated person (that is the only person who is willing to break away because they are passionate about their cause) leaves.

But...If progress is made on the game, then others might jump on board because they feel it might actuallying be going somewhere and then it will be a different story.

I believe that motivation is the key to an open source project. The question is, why would people chose to spend time on a project where the only benefit is the end-product? In some cases the end-product is something sorely needed by a number of people, and in this case, its only going to be an improvement/extensiion of an already popular game. Is there really such a strong push for another project in light of TT(D), TTDPatch, OpenTTD, Locomotion, Transport Giant, Simutrans...If the answer is yes then where is everyone?

I do agree with your suggestion that we should be going the open open (sic) source route (pardon the pun) but I think the reality of TE is a bit more sader and we may need to fine tune some details before we comitt ourself a license.

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Post by charlieg » 12 Jul 2006 08:58

aarona wrote:A forked project means that we have more than one capable person going against each other to try and make the best product instead of working together for a common goal.
Er... but a project only forks when capable people reach an impasse on their perceived direction for a project. Being closed source does not solve this scenario - in fact it worsens it because you will simply lose a motivated developer who strongly disagrees with project direction. At least if there's a fork you can merge back improvements from one project to the other (fork synergy!) or the fork thrives and becomes a decent game in it's own right.
aarona wrote:Is there really such a strong push for another project in light of TT(D), TTDPatch, OpenTTD, Locomotion, Transport Giant, Simutrans...If the answer is yes then where is everyone?
The number of people that have offered to help with TE over the last 3 years is surprisingly high. Since the project was nothing more than a meta project until recently [i.e. designing the design] most of the offers have simply sunk into the forum history. Once the project starts going properly [something tangible, something resembling the start of a transport game] you will find that kind of interest rekindled.
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Post by aarona » 12 Jul 2006 12:54

I agree, we need something that "looks" like a transport game. Even if the core were to be completed tomorrow I dont think anyone would care because its not playable, its not a game. If on the other hand there was a train running on some tracks, albiet a complete mock-up, people would be wetting their pants in excitement. (a.k.a. Transport Giant)

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Post by Steve » 12 Jul 2006 22:09

I think charlieg just changed my mind, with his forks. I now agree with the result of the poll, which is nice.

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Post by aarona » 13 Jul 2006 01:37

I'm extremely happy that the community has reached an open source decision. When I first joined I naturally assumed it was going to be GPL but there was no decision made. Alas months later we finally come to the right decision. Had it worked out to have been for commerical purposes I would have withdrawled my interest in the project in favour of another (open source) project that I was also mulling over at the time.

I support freedom for freedoms sake, not because people are cheapskates.

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