Open Source Development (Wishlist)

Open Source Development // Wishlist

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methus

Jun 13, 2000, 4:39am
This is probably my biggest wish of all...I hope that maybe one day
AWCOM will let atleast the browser application be open source. I think
that would relieve alot of the problems they have with slow and low
feature software devolpment. This would take alot off the shoulders of
HamFon and Roland. But it looks like Ill have to work on this wish
because of some of the security protocals involved ;-\.....

zzed

Jun 13, 2000, 5:10pm
[View Quote] Yes indeed, i think this really is the way forward for AW, see thread

news://news.activeworlds.com/391874BE.E97AB2A7%40kabsi.at

and

agent1

Jun 14, 2000, 1:05am
This would really only create a bunch of conflicts as the browser help files may not apply. People would not know who to ask for
help with their browsers. There is also, as you mentioned, the security issue. People could learn what the protocal was and the
security would be pointless.
Plus, the Renderware SDK costs (I think) around $1000 US per year per platform per programmer.

-Agent1


[View Quote]

zzed

Jun 14, 2000, 4:32am
[View Quote] Easily overcome.

>There is also, as you mentioned, the security issue. People could learn what the protocal was and the
> security would be pointless.

Open source would ensure a far more secure implementation of the aw protocolthan
a closed one.

> Plus, the Renderware SDK costs (I think) around $1000 US per year per platform per programmer.

I have proposed several ways around this: see
news://news.activeworlds.com/391954D1.DE3908DA%40kabsi.at

>
> -Agent1
>
[View Quote] Thanks for reposting this, for some reason i can't see the original and
the url you give to the posting is broken :(

agent1

Jun 14, 2000, 10:36am
Gibberish :)

[View Quote] How?

> Open source would ensure a far more secure implementation of the aw protocolthan
> a closed one.

No. There would be no point in having a security protocal (for the browser and server[s] to encrypt communitcations) if everyone
could decode it.

>
> I have proposed several ways around this: see
> news://news.activeworlds.com/391954D1.DE3908DA%40kabsi.at

I doubt AWCOM would want to be bogged down compiling personal versions of AW. I don't think Criterion would go for it as anyone
programming a version of AW to be compiled by AWCOM would be considered one of "their" "programmers" and would charge for another
copy of the SDK.

-Agent1

john viper

Jun 14, 2000, 12:16pm
Look at Linux. Look how successful IT is. Works better than ANYTHING Microsludge has ever made
(the only reason they cant beat Micro is cuz people are scared to go over). It is made by anyone
who wants to add to its source code.
_________________________
John Viper
http://www.jtsoft.net <-- Coming Soon!
[View Quote]

agent1

Jun 14, 2000, 2:04pm
But Linux doesn't require buying an SDK from a company for EVERY programmer.

-Agent1

[View Quote]

zzed

Jun 14, 2000, 4:39pm
agent1 continued to whinge:

[View Quote] All right as you insist. Almost too many ways to bother typing, here are just
few that come to mind:

o Built in help files that can be context driven (as they should be anyway)
triggered by a user request

o Web based pages again triggered by request

o newsgroup support

with an active development group rapidly responding to user input, the help
support should be considerably improved as it is with Linux v Windows help.

>
> No. There would be no point in having a security protocal (for the browser and server[s] to encrypt communitcations) if everyone
> could decode it.

This is a common misconception. Public key encryption is an excellent example
where not only open code but also open keys offer the best security available.

>
>
> I doubt AWCOM would want to be bogged down compiling personal versions of AW. I don't think Criterion would go for it as anyone
> programming a version of AW to be compiled by AWCOM would be considered one of "their" "programmers" and would charge for another
> copy of the SDK.

As I indicated earlier, I agree this may be a problem; however AWCOM have not
yet commented on the subject. Netscape appear to have successfully managed this
type of problem.

zzed

Jun 14, 2000, 4:46pm
[View Quote] Mute point Agent1 - neither will an open linux browser.

>
[View Quote] It may be worth distinguishing between the highly successful Linux kernel and
the upcoming but yet to be proven Linux desktops. Most users associate the
visible desktop with Windows and Linux does not yet have a substantially better
alternative.

methus

Jun 14, 2000, 5:44pm
Well, I think open source is the best thing that AW would ever see if it were implemented and I agree
100% with what zzed has been saying all along.

[View Quote] [View Quote]

agent1

Jun 15, 2000, 10:23am
[View Quote] Actually, how do you think Renderware even works on Linux if it doesn't use the Renderware SDK? Also, if they're going to bother
making an open source system work, why would they only do so for the Linux OS?

-Agent1

faber

Jun 15, 2000, 2:46pm
I wonder why for Open-Source projects always only the successful ones are given as an example. The
most known bad example is Mozilla. Until yet, that group can not deliver. If they ever do, they will
deliver late, incomplete (licensing), <IMHO>and from what the beta shows, pretty ignorant regarding
at least one of the main systems they need to run on (i.e. Windows.) </IMHO>

Anyway, Open Source works only either if the project is small enough (that was the case for the open
source "prototype", fetchmail, but its not the case with AW) or if many decent programmers are
interested in developing it (which was the case initially for Mozilla, but not anymore, and which is
for sure not the case for AW).

I think the linux success is driven by one single goal: overtake windows. That goal is shared by all
linux participants. Windows is the enemy. If there is no such goal, then there is no group focussing
on it, everyone will have his/her own set of targets and priorities. I suspect if Windows fell
behind, Linux would suffer from that. Add this one to the reasons why Mozilla failed (when it
startet IE was not advanced enough to provide a feature and quality level goal for every
participant, now it would, but the inertia is gone).

An AW Open-Source would not even have this kind of focusing from the start. I like reality, others
like shoot-em up.. etc etc

It might be tempting to try and find a way which incorporates "best of both worlds", i.e. a
Management that sets goals and causes focussing, and thousands of programmers that do not ask for
pay. But didn't Netscape try exaclty that ? (and yes, Netscape was critized for doing so)

Faber




[View Quote]

eep

Jun 15, 2000, 8:39pm
AW open source COULD work, but AWCI can barely manage itself and AW's development spec (which isn't much, if anything, but a list of things that'd be cool to have implemented--i.e. The List™). Until Rick and JP get off this wanna-be "e-commerce" trip and start focusing AW's development more on entertainment and gaming, AW will continue to flounder about like it has been for all of its life.

[View Quote] > I wonder why for Open-Source projects always only the successful ones are given as an example. The
> most known bad example is Mozilla. Until yet, that group can not deliver. If they ever do, they will
> deliver late, incomplete (licensing), <IMHO>and from what the beta shows, pretty ignorant regarding
> at least one of the main systems they need to run on (i.e. Windows.) </IMHO>
>
> Anyway, Open Source works only either if the project is small enough (that was the case for the open
> source "prototype", fetchmail, but its not the case with AW) or if many decent programmers are
> interested in developing it (which was the case initially for Mozilla, but not anymore, and which is
> for sure not the case for AW).
>
> I think the linux success is driven by one single goal: overtake windows. That goal is shared by all
> linux participants. Windows is the enemy. If there is no such goal, then there is no group focussing
> on it, everyone will have his/her own set of targets and priorities. I suspect if Windows fell
> behind, Linux would suffer from that. Add this one to the reasons why Mozilla failed (when it
> startet IE was not advanced enough to provide a feature and quality level goal for every
> participant, now it would, but the inertia is gone).
>
> An AW Open-Source would not even have this kind of focusing from the start. I like reality, others
> like shoot-em up.. etc etc
>
> It might be tempting to try and find a way which incorporates "best of both worlds", i.e. a
> Management that sets goals and causes focussing, and thousands of programmers that do not ask for
> pay. But didn't Netscape try exaclty that ? (and yes, Netscape was critized for doing so)
>
[View Quote]

zzed

Jun 19, 2000, 6:44pm
[View Quote] No secret is made about the open source projects that have failed; it's all
there out in the open. More to the point the lessons are learned. How
much do you hear about all those canned projects that Microsoft abandon each
year after spending millions of dollars on them, not to mention the ones that
should have been canned but are sold to users. A lot of people still don't
realise the scale of the free software movement, SourceForge for example hosts
over 5,000 projects with more than 30,000 developers and it is growing fast.

Mozilla is a special case. Not only is it an enormous project but it started
life as a propriety system that was suddenly opened up to the open source
community. There were lots of initial problems surrounding the licensing and
exactly how the project would be run. Having made that brave decision it was
quickly realised that Netscape's code was a disaster and a completely new design
was made. A rewrite has been in progress for over a year and the first
checkpoints are being released. We'll see how it stands up. Other browser
projects are also in progress that further complicate the picture. BTW very few
open source projects ever give a release date, it's released when ready; unlike
the all too often disasters arising from the deadline release dates of
proprietary software.

> Anyway, Open Source works only either if the project is small enough (that was the case for the open
> source "prototype", fetchmail, but its not the case with AW) or if many decent programmers are
> interested in developing it (which was the case initially for Mozilla, but not anymore, and which is
> for sure not the case for AW).

An open source AW browser should fit comfortably in the small project scale. Of
course if the RWX support libraries need rewriting that will enlarge it. In fact
that may be a far better solution in order to have full access to that part of
the system which at the moment is hidden and one that AWCOM has to pay for from
Criterion.

> I think the linux success is driven by one single goal: overtake windows. That goal is shared by all
> linux participants. Windows is the enemy. If there is no such goal, then there is no group focussing
> on it, everyone will have his/her own set of targets and priorities. I suspect if Windows fell
> behind, Linux would suffer from that. Add this one to the reasons why Mozilla failed (when it
> startet IE was not advanced enough to provide a feature and quality level goal for every
> participant, now it would, but the inertia is gone).

Competition with windows is surely a factor, but there are many others which
outweigh it IMHO, such as personal fun, learning, fame etc. It is far too early
to talk about Mozilla's failure.

> An AW Open-Source would not even have this kind of focusing from the start. I like reality, others
> like shoot-em up.. etc etc

It would be done by people really interested in VR and the AW environment.
Luckily the AW staff are very involved with their work but they have such
limited resources. An open source approach would add a lot of muscle and skills.

> It might be tempting to try and find a way which incorporates "best of both worlds", i.e. a
> Management that sets goals and causes focussing, and thousands of programmers that do not ask for
> pay. But didn't Netscape try exaclty that ? (and yes, Netscape was critized for doing so)

Yes I agree, involving AWCOM would be important for the success of the project.
Finding the right process is very important too.

faber

Jun 20, 2000, 1:31pm
[View Quote] Well, sure, comercial project fails too. All i wanted is to deny the claim "open source is the magic
bullet that solves all our problems": And how many SourceForge projects are already dead due to lack
of interest or focus ?

>
> Mozilla is a special case. Not only is it an enormous project but it started
> life as a propriety system that was suddenly opened up to the open source
> community. There were lots of initial problems surrounding the licensing and
> exactly how the project would be run. Having made that brave decision it was
> quickly realised that Netscape's code was a disaster and a completely new design
> was made. A rewrite has been in progress for over a year and the first
> checkpoints are being released. We'll see how it stands up. Other browser
> projects are also in progress that further complicate the picture. BTW very few
> open source projects ever give a release date, it's released when ready; unlike
> the all too often disasters arising from the deadline release dates of
> proprietary software.

AW would start as a propriety system that would be suddenly opened up to the open source community
as well. There will be lots of initial problems surrounding the licensing and exactly how the
project will be run. It will be realized quickly that AW's code is a disaster and a completely new
design will be attempted. A rewrite will be in progress for years, checkpoints being released... etc
..etc I think you get the point. AW is not the "model" for a good open source project. (I heard
Roland complain about a c++ template nightmare in the lifeforms code of aw browser)

>
open
which is
>
> An open source AW browser should fit comfortably in the small project scale. Of
> course if the RWX support libraries need rewriting that will enlarge it. In fact
> that may be a far better solution in order to have full access to that part of
> the system which at the moment is hidden and one that AWCOM has to pay for from
> Criterion.

So you agree that the AW browser does not fit into the small project scale ?

all
focussing
>
> Competition with windows is surely a factor, but there are many others which
> outweigh it IMHO, such as personal fun, learning, fame etc. It is far too early
> to talk about Mozilla's failure.

Yes, the fact that so many people participate is of course about fun, learning and fame. But the
fact that all those people focus on the same thing is due to Windows competition.

And i think Mozilla will only have a chance if District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling is
implemented. (Which probably is a good reason why the Judge ruled this way :)

>
others
>
> It would be done by people really interested in VR and the AW environment.
> Luckily the AW staff are very involved with their work but they have such
> limited resources. An open source approach would add a lot of muscle and skills.

Yes, and no focus beyond "3d" and possibly "Community".

>
for
>
> Yes I agree, involving AWCOM would be important for the success of the project.
> Finding the right process is very important too.

Faber

birdmike

Jun 22, 2000, 2:03am
This is just my view of this whole thing:

Why would the AWCI people want to release the source code that they own and
create the possibility of another party improving the software BUT marketing
it on their own and over throwing AWCI?

Although open source code might very well improve Active Worlds, I think
that there is ABSOLUTELY no chance of AWCI creating competition for
themselves.

Of course you all will disagree, but I just think that this is kind of a
common sense issue.

--
-Mike Nelson-
AW Cit BirdMike (292200)
Owner of AW Worlds A-Build & A-Centre

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