POL open source

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phao
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Post by phao » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:09 pm

http://forums.polserver.com/ftopic1872.php

from this topic, talking about the changes that 098 intend to have , i've seen this line:
Implement using static include of HOARD libraries from www.hoard.org
when i've seen it, i begin to read the website and i've seen another thing (i'm seeing a lot haha).

There were some weeks i've read but, if I recal right, this library requires, if you'll use it, you releasing the source code of the program you're making.

so if in 098 you people of core development begin to use the HOARD, you'll need to release the source code of the core.

i'm not 100% sure.

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Post by ncrsn » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:16 pm

phao wrote:so if in 098 you people of core development begin to use the HOARD, you'll need to release the source code of the core.

i'm not 100% sure.
I spy with my little eye something that looks like... http://prisms.cs.umass.edu/emery/index. ... uestions-2.
FAQ wrote: Can I use Hoard with a commercial application?

Yes. Hoard is available under two licenses. The first license is the GNU General Public License. That license is free, but it requires you to open-source your application. The second option is to purchase a license from the University of Texas at Austin.
Not that I know if POL crew are planning to do so.

---

About POL being open.

If POL's source code were published with free license, I would not lose a thing. I might joy a while and play (try to play) around with the source code, doing things I would like to have in POL.

Would I contribute back to the community?

To be honest, I'm not sure. Right now forums are close to dead and developers rarely participate to discussions, giving signal that they don't really believe in this either. Is there anyone who would care if I DID do some incredible coremod? Would I take the shot and try to revive community spending my own oh-so-expensive time?

Would you?

I understand the fear that if POL's source were released, community would die. Is there anything else beside the core that keeps us (not counting newbies) checking forums every now and then? If so, what it might be?

If I recall correctly, some core developer (Muad?) told a long time ago that although he does not write reply into every thread, he reads all the interesting stuff that people post into forums. I believe that. There are many other 'lurkers' around, too. If even some of them would try to join the discussions, were it just saying 'Good idea' or 'Tip of the day': community would eventually pick up. Pick up and develop into real community.

Maybe I try some day and see where it goes.

While doing that, I don't really care if you turn POL open sourced or keep it closed. As long as someone is making it better.

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Re: Poor horse.

Post by MontuZ » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:08 pm

I totally agree.
Xpatriat wrote:Image

phao
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Post by phao » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:26 am

Can I use Hoard with a commercial application?

Yes. Hoard is available under two licenses. The first license is the GNU General Public License. That license is free, but it requires you to open-source your application. The second option is to purchase a license from the University of Texas at Austin.
nice, i didn't know about that, i mean, pol team spending money directly in pol development.

good to know :)

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Post by Xpatriat » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:18 pm

phao wrote:when i've seen it, i begin to read the website and i've seen another thing (i'm seeing a lot haha)...
There were some weeks i've read but, if I recal right, this library requires, if you'll use it, you releasing the source code of the program you're making...
so if in 098 you people of core development begin to use the HOARD, you'll need to release the source code of the core.
Does anyone else but me think it is ironic that someone ostensibly running a server that essentially requires their players to violate the ToS and EULA for their client software, would nit pick about the details of a particular open-source license?
:?

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Post by Havoc » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:10 pm

I dont post much, because honestly, I dont have much to say.
While doing that, I don't really care if you turn POL open sourced or keep it closed. As long as someone is making it better.
QFT.
Really.

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Post by elenaran » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:47 pm

I too would like to see pol open-sourced. I have several reasons:

I would like to add in some things that I've mentioned to core devs before that they had no interest in adding to the core:
  • XML/mysql support for data files
  • Fixing UOG/connectUO packet support
  • Multithreading support
  • Better implementation for custom boats
Like I said, the devs have no desire to put this stuff in core, so "Just join the core team to help develop for the community" isn't really a solution here.

Another big reason I would like open-source is that I hate when I get a segfault/core dump that it's virtually impossible to get ahold of the devs to figure out what the problem is. Don't get me wrong, I understand the devs are very busy people, so I do not blame them for not having time, but if it was open source, I could debug the problem myself in a matter of minutes.

The other day, we had an issue where pol had a segfault on startup - something to do with the pcequip.txt file. It gave us the stack trace, which I promply posted in #pol, but of course no one was around. So, our shard was down for over a day because I couldn't find out what the error meant. I ended up just having to revert our data, causing a timewarp and much headache to the players and staff. If I had the source, I would have had a much higher chance of finding the source of the error.

I've honestly considered switching over to RunUO for the adaptability, but our shard is just way too old and customized to even dream of doing it. I think a better solution would be to keep our existing scripts, but also have an open source pol.

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Post by chainsawcharlie » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:37 am

I second and sign under everything elenaran said, having been through the same since we're part of the same dev team.

Indeed - if the community is so noncontributing to development with scripts (and I can agree that it's not that active in that aspect), what harm could it cause to allow developer teams to add new content, fix bugs, add support for those things elenaran mentioned?

I'd be more than willing to contribute to the community. I've looked over some of my past escript work but unfortunately most of my relevant developments are inherent to specific major systems of the shard I develop in. Any utilities that can be widely used, I'll gladly post for public use, though, certainly. But I do believe that open sourced core development would greatly increase the contributions (in both quantity and quality) - hey, maybe I could put that C knowledge that I have in the backstore to some use after all!

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Post by MontuZ » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:28 pm

I think you guys should contribute by helping with the completion of the 097 distro. If you do that then people might actually start listening, because I know I'm not going to until I see your dedication towards POL, rather than just sitting around crying for pol to go opensource, give the true developers a reason not to, by helping with the distro first.

We don't trust you like we trust Muad, shini, austin, and that other guy(isn't there a forth?), lol. So help out or go runuo.

Kdieirlthnks.

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Post by elenaran » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:54 pm

It wouldn't make much sense for us to help with the distro, because our shard doesn't use any distro scripts.


If pol was made open source, I would gladly help out by posting any new developments, like the ones I posted above (multithreading, etc), available to the community.


The shut-up or go to RunUO attitude isn't very helpful either. I obviously do care about POL, or our shard wouldn't have been using it for 7 years now. Like I said before, it would be impossible for us to try to convert all our customizations over to RunUO, and I wouldn't even want to try. The only reason I considered RunUO at all was because of the abilities to do a lot of things that I can't do right now. However, the ideal solution isn't RunUO, the ideal solution for us is to stay with the UO emulator we've loved for years, but make it more adaptable.

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Post by Demostenes » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:06 am

elenaran wrote:
I've honestly considered switching over to RunUO for the adaptability, but our shard is just way too old and customized to even dream of doing it. I think a better solution would be to keep our existing scripts, but also have an open source pol.
I know exactly what do you mean, we have same problems.

This topic was very usefull and informative for me, because POL developers nicely showed me, that POL is more or less dead and wait other years and hoping that situation will become better is naive and futile.
Reactions on bugs and problems are VERY slow, or NONE and most importantly i have feeling, that authors have no more will to do some serious work. I understand, that after some years there is no more enthusiasm and energy, but this is exatcly the best time to go open....

POL even doesnt support newer clients properly and it causes many problems, especially for highly customized shards, who want to develop.
Only chance for POL is going open, but there is lack of open mind and imagination to see that. Well, who do not adapt will extinct. By opening run UO its community growed 10x, but it is too hard to admit the truth.....

The opinions about contributing to distro are totally out of mind, because how can somebody contribute to distro, if he is doing some unique custom shard? It is very naive to think, that somebody will waste his precious time on developing something, he will not use on his shard. Only chance is to make community bigger, so there is higher chance of contribution. But i would only repeat myself, i already wrote my argumets. No body was able to give me some proof, that i am wrong, instead of that some morons tried to start flame. Usual reactions of people, who have no arguments..

So after lots of discussion we decided to move to run UO. It will take us 1-2 years of work, but if we want some future for our shard, it is only chance we have. Because if i consider last years of POL development, almost nothing important happened. New versions of POL brought nothing important, there is only more bugs and problems now. We invested lots of work into switching on 0.97 core and it was totally wasted time. Nothing work better, there are only new bugs and problems. Some our features are even impossible to run on 0.97 core.

So run UO won. We made some serious research and it is far better, than we even thought. We are running on POL cca 7 years, but we would be stupid if we let out feelings about POL ruin future of our shard.
If you want some future of your shard, I recommending you to do the same :sad:

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Post by ELSoft » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:07 am

Your criterion makes me think that always you had well-considered to migrate to RunUO but only to open this post with the intenseness of seeing if the dev were changing opinion.
To my preference i use Pol, since it is exactly what I need for my servant.
I care little if in RunUO there are more or less people who in alone Pol. Only it is important for me if one could offer what I need, a stable core and a good distro.
In my server I have distro 95 with one of the first cores of 96, and I never had problems with the core.
My problem is that a would need to update the distro, and after seeing 97 it was what i needed for my server.
Probably take a few months to pass the customs of my server to distro 97, but if the distro is not finished does not serve me.

If Pol becomes open source, probably appear many forks(as happens with RunUO), and probably end up in nothing.
I seen many projects move to open source and view appear 1000 forks and the project dies.
To be the most popular solution is not to move to Open Source, RunUO already has the reputation that you can never get.
A project should only be open source only if you have enough fame to know that the community is going to contribute.

There are many people who think that just want to download the .exe and run the server. For those people, have the source code of the core or not given the same.

Finally if the objective is to contribute to the community, I do not know why they are obstinate in saying they are only going to help to programme the core and not the distro. Community means, core and distro and if we want to help to that the community grows, we should start by making a good distro.

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Post by elenaran » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:19 am

ELSoft wrote: Finally if the objective is to contribute to the community, I do not know why they are obstinate in saying they are only going to help to programme the core and not the distro. Community means, core and distro and if we want to help to that the community grows, we should start by making a good distro.

I have nothing against the distro development community, I think it's great for pol to have a strong working distro available for people, but it would not make sense for me to help develop distro, as our shard uses zero distro scripts. I have no experience with them, and how would I develop new scripts if I am spending all my time coding for my shard that does not use it?

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Post by Luth » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:23 pm

Before I get to Replying to whats been said, a brief introduction and statement...

Who the hell are you and why should I listen?
I'm a professional game programmer currently working in the industry. I've got a game shipping next month, actually. I've been programming for more years than I care to recall. I've been in the UO community for a decade. I've been using UO emulators for eight years. So with those and other qualifications I wont list (because bragging is only fun for so long), I am 100% against POL going open source.

What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.
As for the RUO vs POL, I'm going to pass on a lesson from my time at AskChopper... for those that dont know, AskChopper.com is the UltimaOnline Bug Site. Yes, we handle and publish bugs for player run shards too. As such, the AC community has spent MANY weekends terrorizing RUO shards due to the numerous heinous and gaping bugs in the RUO server. Not bugs like memory leaks, or core slowdowns, but fun bugs like placing houses in town, infinite money, breaking vendors, etc. In all the years I've been running that site, the very few POL bugs to be submitted were shard specific and thus a result of bad scripts, not a bad core, whereas the RUO bugs we publish are generally usable on every major RUO shard.

____________________________________________________________
Austin wrote:The starter originally came to me in a private message asking for POL to be open sourced. He said he has programmers who would like to do stuff with the core such as make it support multiple processors, fix remaining memory leaks and add many other features.

I told him that he should have his programmers talk to Adam, Shini, Muad and I to get them onboard to help the community.
Hey, thats how I got here. 8)


ncrsn wrote:Would I contribute back to the community?

To be honest, I'm not sure. Right now forums are close to dead and developers rarely participate to discussions, giving signal that they don't really believe in this either. Is there anyone who would care if I DID do some incredible coremod? Would I take the shot and try to revive community spending my own oh-so-expensive time?

Would you?

I understand the fear that if POL's source were released, community would die. Is there anything else beside the core that keeps us (not counting newbies) checking forums every now and then? If so, what it might be?

...

While doing that, I don't really care if you turn POL open sourced or keep it closed. As long as someone is making it better.
Excellent points, really.

I figure the breakdown is something like this:
99% of people will never look at the source, and if they did, wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of it.
0.9% of the people will understand it, and fiddle around with it, but ultimately abandon the effort because people are lazy.
0.08% of the people will make a modification that affects something, but it'll be shard-specific.
0.01% of the people will make a modification that benefits everyone, but they'll keep it to themselves.
0.01% of the people will actually make modifications that benefit everyone. Hi, I'm the lastest one.


elenaran wrote:I would like to add in some things that I've mentioned to core devs before that they had no interest in adding to the core:
  • XML/mysql support for data files
  • Fixing UOG/connectUO packet support
  • Multithreading support
  • Better implementation for custom boats
Like I said, the devs have no desire to put this stuff in core, so "Just join the core team to help develop for the community" isn't really a solution here.
You speak against yourself. The devs, myself included, work on what we want to work on. Same as everyone else. If, as a dev, you wanted to work on SQL integration, guess what... you'd work on it! and your statement of "devs have no desire to put this stuff in" becomes invalid because, again, you'd be a dev.

I joined the dev team because I didn't feel like bitching about things that I wanted in the core, I felt like doing something about it. I fixed a couple bugs that'd been in for quite awhile, changed some improper procedure handling, and yes, even added brand new functionality. Wishing and whining doesn't do a whole lot....


chainsawcharlie wrote:Indeed - if the community is so noncontributing to development with scripts (and I can agree that it's not that active in that aspect), what harm could it cause to allow developer teams to add new content, fix bugs, add support for those things elenaran mentioned?

I'd be more than willing to contribute to the community. I've looked over some of my past escript work but unfortunately most of my relevant developments are inherent to specific major systems of the shard I develop in. Any utilities that can be widely used, I'll gladly post for public use, though, certainly. But I do believe that open sourced core development would greatly increase the contributions (in both quantity and quality) - hey, maybe I could put that C knowledge that I have in the backstore to some use after all!
Follow the comparison. No one works on Dev Scripts because everyone's doing their own thing, and most of it doesn't have anything to do with everyone else's project. THEREFORE, if (barring my earlier numbers) everyone were to start modding the core, everyone would be doing their own thing, and most of it wouldn't have anything to do with everyone else's project.

How many people do you really think would jump into core dev saying "OH oh oh! I cant WAIT to fix bugs!"? (okay, there was me, but even still I added something to POL specifically because I needed it in my shard [it just so happened that its useful to others, too, so Shinigami decided it was worth keeping].)

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Post by elenaran » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:45 pm

Luth wrote: You speak against yourself. The devs, myself included, work on what we want to work on. Same as everyone else. If, as a dev, you wanted to work on SQL integration, guess what... you'd work on it! and your statement of "devs have no desire to put this stuff in" becomes invalid because, again, you'd be a dev.
Maybe I misspoke then - if that is truly the case, where does one apply to be on the core team?

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Post by Luth » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:04 pm

(NB: DO NOT take my word for anything more than its worth... I am a dev, but I'm the newest dev, and have the least "policy" experience of them all. Talk to Austin, MuadDib, and all of them if you're truly interested.)

You didn't misspeak, but I may have given you a false impression. I believe that if I were to start adding components onto the Core that benefited my shard alone, and ignored the other work to be done, I expect that I would find myself the newest ex-Dev of POL. While its true that we work on what we want, for the most part, we all want to work on core Core issues: fixing bugs, improving performance, adding the latest compatibilities, and such. So, a slightly over-the-top satirical statement may be: You're free to work on whatever you want, provided you want to work on what we want you to work on. ;-)

You apply by talking to the likes of Austin, Adam, MuadDib, and Shinigami. If they're suitably impressed with your C++ skills (no use trying if you haven't any), ambitions (see above), and attitude (I'm sure your forum posts would be used as reference), its not impossible that you'll find yourself the newest dev.

Or, if you're like me, ghost-code a few bug fixes, let the other devs put their name on it, and then ask for a Dev seat. ;-P

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Post by Pierce » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:33 pm

*own post deleted*

I misused my own rule: Never post if you are angry :D

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Post by BoMbY » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:02 am

Luth wrote:As for the RUO vs POL, I'm going to pass on a lesson from my time at AskChopper... for those that dont know, AskChopper.com is the UltimaOnline Bug Site. Yes, we handle and publish bugs for player run shards too. As such, the AC community has spent MANY weekends terrorizing RUO shards due to the numerous heinous and gaping bugs in the RUO server. Not bugs like memory leaks, or core slowdowns, but fun bugs like placing houses in town, infinite money, breaking vendors, etc. In all the years I've been running that site, the very few POL bugs to be submitted were shard specific and thus a result of bad scripts, not a bad core, whereas the RUO bugs we publish are generally usable on every major RUO shard.
Do you really think your server is more secure, because of not releasing the source? Ever heard of disassemblers? Security through obscurity will never really protect anything.

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Post by Luth » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:51 pm

BoMbY wrote:Do you really think your server is more secure, because of not releasing the source? Ever heard of disassemblers? Security through obscurity will never really protect anything.
YES, of course it is more secure. Lets explore...

How many people will want to maliciously disrupt a shard, or exploit for their own benefit? Lets be extra-cautious and say 10% of users. How many of them know how to read code enough to follow, if not write it? This time, lets be generous and say half. So the potential abusers of an Open Source application are 5% of the user base. Now how many of those users know enough to use a disassembler AND know enough assembly to follow it? Again, generously, maybe 10%. That drops your potential abusers from 5% to 0.5%.

Will keeping a closed source result in a more secure application? Yes indeed. A completely secure application? No, of course not, and in that much, you are correct. However, I'll take half a percentage over five percent any day. 8)

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Post by Madman » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:20 pm

Security via obscurity can never be an entire wall of protection. But it steepens the hill, makes it more work to get to the exploits.

In any case- if you are interested in helping the Dev team, email me. I'm serious.

I haven't been around on the boards much lately, I know. For those who are too new to know me, I am Madman Across the Water, and currently I'm the one who holds the "rights" such as they are to the POL code.

I am going to admit that I haven't gone back and read this entire thread. I will mention that I have permission from Syz to "go open source" if (and only if) it is that or the death of the emulator. There are a lot of issues with going open source- many of them figgling little legal issues, like that I would technically have to contact everyone who has ever contributed to the code and get their permission to release under a license. If I didn't bother, would there be trouble? Probably not... but it would still be the proper way to go about it.

I don't really want to deal with it. I will if I have to, though. But for now, I would rather see a vital dev team and a new version come out soon. If you're interested in helping make that happen, email me: madmanatw@gmail.com .

I DO NOT promise that everyone who emails me will get drafted. And I would really like it if some people would volunteer to help flesh out the distro. It's one of our weakest links right now.

Actually, this is the wrong place for me to be posting on that. I'll post a "Seeking volunteers" thread over in the Dev Discussion forum in a bit.

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Post by Yukiko » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:45 pm

It has been a while since I have logged in and posted here. November last year to be approximate. I read this thread and decided I would post my own response. I will address the points I can remember from the mental list I made as I read the various arguments listed here. Their is no significance to the order.

Security of open source versus closed source
Now I am by no means an expet on programming and/or security issues so understand my observations here are purely anecdotal and not based on my personal experiences.

It seems to me that there are many open source projects that need to be secure against hackers and exploiters and from all appearances they are pretty well secure. Where security flaws are found, it seems that the "community" involved with the project responds and either fixes the problem or at the very least determines where the issue lies so that it can be fixed. Also, by being open source, code is made available for security issues to be found by the community so that they can be fixed. I realize that this makes it easier for true exploiters to find the problem but if, and I say 'if' with emphasis, there is an active community behind the open source (OS) project then those security issues will get fixed thus twarting the exploiters.

Some of the open source projects that I thought of when pondering this issue were the PHP server, MySQL server, Apache web server, TrueCrypt - an open source encryption system which I use and PGP - a public/private key encryption system which still has an open source version I believe. Oh yes I almost forgot about Linux which I believe is the most stable and secure operating system in existence. FYI I am not a Linux user just in case you were wondering.


If you won't develop for the Distro then why should we believe that if POL were open source you'd do anything useful for the core?
I thought about this and at first glance it sounds like a logical question. I mean it stands to reason that for all intents and purposes if you won't program scripts then you won't program core right?

Mmmm... well, maybe not. I think it's an issue of motivation. Let me see if I can illustrate this with an example from the past.

I remember back to my Apple II days when the entire schematic for the computer was packaged with every Apple. Think of the Apple as an appliance that ran programs. If that appliance malfunctioned anyone with some digital electronics experience could trace down the problem and fix the appliance and thereby get back to using it. One advantage in those days was that all the integrated circuits (ICs) were on sockets so that facilitated easy removal and replacement. One could even, with some modifications of the circuit board, add to the system, albeit in a limited way but it could be done.

Now aside from curiosity the user of an Apple had no motivation to open the case and start poking around inside even if they were an electronics technician. Nor did they have reason to try to fix the program since they knew it worked fine as long as the Apple was working correctly. However if they found the computer to be exhibiting odd behaviour while running a known good program and could attribute that to a faulty circuit then they would have a reason to open up the case, find and fix the problem. In other words they had a motive or need to do the repair.

I see the POL core in this same light. It is an appliance. Scripters use it just like the people used the Apple II. They feed it scripts and it performs its magic and makes the game work. It appears to me that, if the appliance has a bug here and there that prevents the scripts from working properly and the schematics, code, were made available to the community at large they could "open up the case" and fix those bugs and thereby make the appliance work. In other words there would be motivation to fix/work on the core if for no other reason than to fix the bugs. Likewise there is no need for them to mess with the Distro because they have their own scripts to worry about.

Understand I am not trying to excuse the lack of participation by the community with the Distro. I merely state, in what I freely admit is my opinion, the nature of the problem as I see it.


*chuckles*

I have forgotten most of the other topics I wanted to discuss. This is probably for the best as this post is long but I do want to touch on a few things before I close.

It might seem from the above commentary that I am for POL being released as open source. Frankly I have mixed feelings on the subject but what I think or feel is not the issue. POL doesn't belong to me or anyone of those who have begged, argued, pushed or demanded that it go OS. It belongs to Eric Swanson, atleast that's what the copyright notice says, and it is his to do with as he pleases. He pleases to keep it closed and so I am with him on that.

It seems to me that many times those who raise the open source argument are the ones who post the least on the forums. I also get the feeling that they are the least willing to share any of their scripts with the community as well. Not that this is any gauge really but I would think that if a person is asking someone else to share their property, that the asker should be of the same mind to share atleast a little of his work. That's just my opinion though. It's not worth more than two Ningies at the intergalactic monetary exchange.

I have great respect for the POL developers. They can be frustrating at times like when they reorganize the directory structure of the POL Distro, that has been pretty much the same since POL 88, so that it makes my brain go to mush trying to integrate the old with the new but still I respect them.

The fact that the developers have made an open invitation to people who wish to be on the development team should satisfy those who wish to actively work on POL. If that isn't good enough for you then I guess you'll have to decide what you will do.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for the moment.

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Post by runtest » Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:24 am

POL is by far the most customizable shard emulation system I have ever seen. You can do just about anything from the scripts. I do believe it needs to stay closed source, just for two simple facts.

1. The Ultima Online population has died down. The users here are pretty well it, well except for a few new-comers here and there. We can expect (and have) seen a large decrease in the amount of playable shards. With the number of active users POL has now, it would be insane to open source it. The community would pretty well look like Lonewolf's.

2. This is a FREE software. They do the best they can to keep up with demands. The fact is though, they own this and they do not owe us a lick. They still try to render a free service with support and hosting.

I expect somewhere in the future lightcone, that POL will either be handed over or abandoned. All good things must come to an end. I do not want to see this happen. BUT, if for some reason it is to be, open sourcing it would be a good idea. This would allow someone else to take over development.

Targun
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Post by Targun » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:27 am

Whad language is PoL written in anyway?

I think, PoL could go opensource if it had a complete unbugged Distro.
It would be like RunUO - you download pol, install it and you have ready to play OSI style shard.

That would make PoL MUCh more popular and pol community much bigger.
And big community is a basic requirement of a succesful opensource project.

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