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Old 15 April 2015, 17:45   #81
clebin
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An readily-available "escrow" service for source-code would be interesting. I know this happens with corporate contracts, but an easy-to-use public version might be nice.

The source would remain closed until certain circumstances happen, when it would be released automatically under a chosen open-source license.

The death of the author is the obvious one, but (less morbidly) the developer could say "if I don't update the code in 10 years..." or "if I don't log in and hit the "Renew" button within 5 years..." then open the code under GPL. The criteria could be defined by the author themselves.

They could remove the code from the service later, but that's their decision. The thing is that they're not transferring any ownership or rights at that stage.

It would mean that there's no need to persuade a disinterested author to hunt through their attic looking for a disk, assuming they can be persuaded to put their code on there while they're still actively developing.

Does such a thing exist already? Would any devs reluctant to open their code sign up to such a service? Just a thought...

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Old 15 April 2015, 22:34   #82
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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
If something is still making someone money then you are basically asking them to forgo any future earnings and give it away for free.
We've already covered this. Releasing code ≠ inhibiting someone's ability to make money. Would you shell out $30 (or likely much less) for some program to support the author and a small hobbyist community, or not do that because you could setup a development environment and compile it?

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Personally, I have no problem with programmers keeping the code to themselves. What I would like though is if they have got bored or moved on to something that's actually going to make them money this day and age (like a PC or mobile app) then release their Amiga sources and let someone else take over if such a person is out there.
The moment you decide to abandon a project is hardly the right time to "find another developer". Why should be obvious.

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But ultimately how fruitful will this be? Dopus 4 sources were released and there was maybe 2 updates 5 years ago and nothing since. Scratch that, it was 12 years ago!! (Although looking at the source there have been some changes up to 2012 at least)
Where are you looking? I see updates this year.

http://sourceforge.net/p/dopus5allam...ode/HEAD/tree/

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Originally Posted by Megol View Post
Things have been released as "open source" a long time before now, in fact the operating systems for several early systems were released wholly for free. Then the microcomputer revolution created a lot of software that was available freely and modifiable. The main difference to now was that software were often available as public domain or without any explicit license (but released with the intention of it being freely distributed and modified). The GPL, MIT, BSD licences all dates back to the late 80's as does software that uses them.
Quite right. In fact it was actually _weird_ not to give the sources of the software if a user requested it.

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Originally Posted by clebin View Post
An readily-available "escrow" service for source-code would be interesting. I know this happens with corporate contracts, but an easy-to-use public version might be nice.

The source would remain closed until certain circumstances happen, when it would be released automatically under a chosen open-source license.

The death of the author is the obvious one, but (less morbidly) the developer could say "if I don't update the code in 10 years..." or "if I don't log in and hit the "Renew" button within 5 years..." then open the code under GPL. The criteria could be defined by the author themselves.

They could remove the code from the service later, but that's their decision. The thing is that they're not transferring any ownership or rights at that stage.

It would mean that there's no need to persuade a disinterested author to hunt through their attic looking for a disk, assuming they can be persuaded to put their code on there while they're still actively developing.

Does such a thing exist already? Would any devs reluctant to open their code sign up to such a service? Just a thought...
That's quite a cool idea. Could be done with some of the newer blockchain technology relatively easily. That being said, I still really can't see any benefit for hobbyist/retro computer fans to keep source closed in the first place.

Last edited by TCD; 16 April 2015 at 06:08. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 16 April 2015, 16:01   #83
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Dopus 4 sources were released and there was maybe 2 updates 5 years ago and nothing since.
DOpu4 sources have been available since around 2000, and the program was actively developed for about half of the time since then. The last update (bugfixes) was this year.

Suppport for long file names and big file sizes and partitions, popup menus, internal support for handling dozens of archive types or file crunchers, support for new icon formats, new internal commands, literally hundreds of optimisations and important fixes...

There are a lot of examples for source releases that didn't have much (if any) effect on the actual application. But DOpus certainly isn't such an example, it's a success story.

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I really think you over estimate the popularity of the platform for programmers, I imagine the enthusiasts are working on their own stuff already and anyone else has already moved on to current platforms
Let's assume that is true (one could argue there's still some life in the retro gaming area for the Amiga), there are still plenty of reasons to have a program's source code released:

1. somebody might want to port it to another platform. Not very likely for GUI based apps - but I could really use a decent AmigaGuide -> HTML converter on Linux, for example. And there's plenty of Amiga games out there which are tremendous fun but would benefit a lot from not being tied to proprietary ROMs and an emulator that requires intimate knowledge of a 30 year old computer platform. Plus smoother integration with the host platform (proper task names/icons on your desktop, standard shortcuts for going fullscreen, location of save games...) or actual improvements to the gameplay...

2. sources for word processors, spreadsheet and similar business applications could be useful for people trying to reverse engineer their document formats, e.g. because they want to write an import filter for the libraries of the document liberation project.

3. historical research. the sources for Photoshop 1.0, 8 bit MS Basic and earlier DOS versions have been made available in the last few years. They're certainly not useful for anything these days, but there are people interested in studying old code.
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Old 17 April 2015, 03:07   #84
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Deluxe Paint V sources wold be nice to have.
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Old 17 April 2015, 10:13   #85
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Hewitson was banned??
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Old 17 April 2015, 18:29   #86
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"Ami" saw what we were doing here, and registered just to supply some additions to my list of open source games. Thanks a lot!

Here are his additions, some very nice 8 bit remakes, some unfinished game projects somebody might want to take over, plus the polish, formerly commercial FPS "Ubek":

Code:
Abbo                    2001   (E)     (?)               Source
AmigaNitzu              2013   (C)     (?)               Source
AntiISDA Warrior        2004   (C)     (?)               Source
AntiISDA Warrior II     2005   (C)     (?)               Source
BlitzBros               ?      (BB2)   (?)               Source
Cave                    ?      (ASM)   (?)               Source
Crazy8's                1999   (BB2)   (?)               Source
CrazyCrane              2013   (C)     (?)               Source
DungeonEx               1995   (BB2)   (Custom)          Source
GalagaWars              1999   (BB2)   (?)               Source
MiniArcanoid            1998   (ASM)   (PD)              Source
MissCmd                 2006   (C)     (?)               Source
Nuclear Assault         1999   (BB2)   (Custom)          Source
Robbo                   ?      (ASM)   (?)               Source
SnakePit                1988   (C)     (Custom)          Source
Solo Flight             ?      (ASM)   (?)               Source
Ubek                    1995   (C)     (?)       (Info)  Source
UnivConq                1997   (E)     (Custom)          Source

Last edited by Korodny; 21 April 2015 at 16:07.
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Old 20 April 2015, 13:47   #87
wXR
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Not having a lot of luck getting people to consider opening their software.

It really seems like the majority of the people in this community are against the idea, for reasons that are either personal or historical. I would like to advocate it further, but maybe this is the wrong way to go about it.

Last edited by wXR; 20 April 2015 at 18:18.
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Old 20 April 2015, 13:50   #88
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edited

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Old 20 April 2015, 13:59   #89
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Are you on a witchhunt ?
Not at all. A bit frustrated about the response, perhaps, and looking for some guidance as to how to proceed in order to further advocate this (or not, as the case may be). My view is that not making the source available causes more harm than good. Therefore I would like to at least try and paint the picture of why everyone is better off this way.

Anyway, I posted those links here for guidance -- to ask, how to answer to these kinds of responses -- not to shame anyone. Sorry if it appeared that way.
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Old 20 April 2015, 14:24   #90
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People may not want to open source things due to the extra work and potential problems it can generate.
Just opening something up will in many cases require cleaning of a codebase intended for one person only (the author), probably require writing support documentation etc. Getting ones name associated with sloppy code (or what is perceived as sloppy code) may cause problems professionally, getting ones name associated with some code release _will_ in most cases generate extra mails and/or harassment* even if the code is released as is. Don't forget the GPL/BSD/whatever licence fanatics that will harass people to change the licence to their preferences even if they don't care of the actual code or can't even code...

For a project in development there will be a greater workload in keeping the code up to date, documented etc. A coder can be very productive, two coders on the same project decreases productivity and having several coders can decrease output greatly.

(* yes entitled pseduo-psychopaths are everywhere - see the "greater internet dickwad theory")

Edit: I actually have had an idea of a "fork-off" licence that perhaps will be realized one day, essentially a PD license with a "do what you want but don't bother me, fork the codebase to enhance it" philosophy.

Last edited by Megol; 20 April 2015 at 14:33.
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Old 20 April 2015, 15:12   #91
wXR
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I get your point, although I have been running a moderately popular open source project for iOS for a few years via GitHub, and it hasn't been as dramatic as you describe, by a long shot. Perhaps that says something about the culture of GitHub? Still, it's hard to imagine an Amiga project being significantly more heavy on the maintainer... And I seriously doubt that sloppy code in that case would cause problems professionally.

As for "fork off", it seems implied to me. If the author doesn't answer, and the license is appropriate, they already know what they can do.
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Old 20 April 2015, 16:01   #92
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Anyway, I posted those links here for guidance -- to ask, how to answer to these kinds of responses -- not to shame anyone. Sorry if it appeared that way.
You're pointing fingers and that's going to bite you in the ass later on, because people witnessing that aren't likely to answer future inquiries from you. And it does look like a very impolite thing to do (i.e. "witchhunt") even if it isn't meant that way.

I think you should remove those links again. If you want guidance, use examples of responses you got without mentioning names.

There's not much you can do anyway, other than politely ask and maybe point out that others did the same already and what their experience turned out to be. You simply have to accept that people in the Amiga community aren't very fond of the idea of "sharing code" - I've seen people complain about about the "GPL/BSD lunatics" for decades - people that used BSD licensed TCP stacks, font libraries and JPEG decoders and compiled their code using gcc. I guess that kind of mindset is shaped by growing up in a home computer/cracking scene environment and watching incompetent idiots fight about the Amiga remnants for ages.

The only thing you can do is create some positive vibe that might entice others to join in on the 'fun'. I always wanted to do a website that collects information about open source Amiga games, and tracks/celebrates whatever things are done with said code.
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Old 20 April 2015, 18:20   #93
wXR
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Originally Posted by Korodny View Post
You're pointing fingers and that's going to bite you in the ass later on, because people witnessing that aren't likely to answer future inquiries from you. And it does look like a very impolite thing to do (i.e. "witchhunt") even if it isn't meant that way.

I think you should remove those links again. If you want guidance, use examples of responses you got without mentioning names.
Yeah you're right, links removed. kipper2k if you're reading this I would appreciate it if you would remove those links from your quote as well.

EDIT: About the "open source Amiga" site. That's quite a positive idea, and it might do the trick to get people interested. I guess we could start in the most obvious way, using GitHub pages ("amiga.github.io" ?) or even just use a GitHub wiki page to assemble the data in the rawest possible form. Need to catch a train now but I'll think on it. If you guys have any ideas, please drop them in here.

Last edited by wXR; 20 April 2015 at 18:25.
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Old 20 April 2015, 18:55   #94
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Cave, Robbo, Solo Flight have status PD. Few years ago I emailed with Korin (author ) and he said that status is Public Domain for Cave, Robbo, Solo Flight.
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Old 21 April 2015, 02:10   #95
Minuous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korodny
supply some additions to my list of open source games.
That list is very short currently, there are many more than that. For starters, there are various open source games I have written here: http://amigan.1emu.net/releases/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Korodny
watching incompetent idiots fight about the Amiga remnants for ages.
Agreed, there is far too much of that. Eg. certain OS4 programmers refusing to open source programs for the purpose of enabling a port to OS3.
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Old 21 April 2015, 03:47   #96
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Agreed, there is far too much of that. Eg. certain OS4 programmers refusing to open source programs for the purpose of enabling a port to OS3.
How much dollar value is actually wrapped up into OS4? Does anyone have any idea? What I wonder is, would it be possible for us collectively to do something like a Kickstarter with the goal of buying full rights to AmigaOS, and then releasing the whole thing under a highly permissive BSD or MIT license.

Surely it is not worth more than a few million dollars at this point.
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Old 21 April 2015, 07:26   #97
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Less than that, surely. But I would be much more interested in OS3.9 source code than 4.1...

I was talking more about independent developers rather than Hyperion, eg. the piechart.gadget developer...
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Old 21 April 2015, 10:53   #98
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Less than that, surely. But I would be much more interested in OS3.9 source code than 4.1...

I was talking more about independent developers rather than Hyperion, eg. the piechart.gadget developer...
Was 4.x written from scratch, or does it contain legacy code? If it doesn't, then you're quite right. If it does though, perhaps we should Kickstart for all versions, or at least everything below 3.9 (all "Classic" OSes).

Who actually owns the rights to those classic versions now?

Imagine how great that would be, to have the whole of the Amiga OS line available for collaborative development by enthusiasts on GitHub...
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Old 21 April 2015, 16:13   #99
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Cave, Robbo, Solo Flight have status PD. Few years ago I emailed with Korin (author ) and he said that status is Public Domain for Cave, Robbo, Solo Flight.
Thanks, moved the packages to Aminet (after some clean up) and updated the links in the above post accordingly.

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How much dollar value is actually wrapped up into OS4?
A lot. But the real problem is not the money that would be required, it's the legal mess. Hyperion has distribution rights, but they don't own the sources - these are owned by Cloanto (for the 3.1 stuff) and the respective authors (for all the improvements since 3.1) - most of which are more or less at war with Hyperion.

Quote:
Was 4.x written from scratch, or does it contain legacy code?
It's based on 3.1, plus all of the components from 3.5/3.9 they could get their hands on (Reaction, improved Workbench etc.).

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What I wonder is, would it be possible for us collectively to do something like a Kickstarter with the goal of buying full rights to AmigaOS
Not going to happen. And there's an open source reimplementation already available, better use that as a basis.
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Old 21 April 2015, 17:17   #100
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For starters, there are various open source games I have written here
Hm, I kind of figured you were handing out sources to interested parties since all those ports exist, but I never figured the sources were included with the actual distribution. Thanks.

But now that I read your license, we're hitting the old "open source" vs. "free/libre software" debate. I'm more of a "free software" guy, so your "open source freeware" license pretty much scares me

The following is meant as constructive criticism, I'm glad those sources are easily available (always wanted to have a closer look at the Interton console, the only proper game console ever developed in Germany).

You are using a custom license which doesn't fit the "free software" definition of either the FSF or the DFSG, which severely impacts the files' distribution in the Linux crowd: even if there were Linux ports, they wouldn't be distributed by the actual OS vendors, people would have to hunt them down themselves - which is a very rare thing to do on Linux. It also makes it completely impossible to merge your code with other (free) code - think about joystick or network support on Windows/OS X/Linux, for example.

Your code could theoretically still be adapted to SDL (since that is LGPL), which makes creating and maintaining lots of ports much easier (including automatic joystick/joypad support, which your emulator wouldn't have on WINE right now) - but since it's not free software, there's a lot less interest from the SDL crowd.

Out of the nine conditions in your custom license, five are pretty much covered by the GPL, one ("no logic bombs, spyware, DRM...") is more or less guaranteed by the GPL and one ("modified versions must be clearly marked as such") can easily be covered by trademark rights instead of copyrights - you own the "Arcadia" trademark, so you can decide who can use it and in what way.

That leaves the following two clauses:

Code:
    * you are not allowed to sell it, or modified versions of it, without
      consent (however, magazine covermounting is permitted);

    * you are not allowed to claim you wrote this software, or to remove
      or alter the existing credits (though you may append to them as
      appropriate);
That's just not going to happen with a GPL release of a an exotic emulator or a few smaller games. There is some abuse of the GPL, but we're talking Chinese hardware manufacturers stealing BIOS code here, not simple entertainment software.

I think your releases are a perfect example of why choosing a custom license has the potential to do more harm than good. They're well maintained, and judging from my experience of playing "Africe" a few times after its initial release, quite polished too. But despite them being open source, I can't use them because actually porting a game to Linux is more than I'm capable of and nobody else is going to bother due to the license.
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