Joined: 03 Jan 2009
The biggest issue with forking is incompatibility. If lots of people start creating ages that require various special experimental features of a custom version of the server or client, and those special features are either not pushed to a trunk version of the software (or, worse yet, can't be reconciled into the same trunk for some reason), then the end user may have to install multiple versions of the client in order to play, or the age creator may put in many hours of work centered around the experimental feature only to realize in the end that they'll have to set it up on some non-mainstream shard because the most popular shards are running incompatible server software.
I'm not saying don't fork, though - I'm saying either fork and keep it private, or fork with the full intention of re-merging your improvements in the near future.
Quote:I'd say that multiple versions of the client are a no-no from the outset - servers yes, client no.
then the end user may have to install multiple versions of the client in order to play,
Finally people who see the problem of multiple clients.
Yes, the client should be designed so it could connect to a variety of servers with a variety of content. Like a web browser to some extent. I don't have to get a new browser to look at CNN after looking at the DRC site.
"Yes, the client should be designed so it could connect to a variety of servers with a variety of content. Like a web browser to some extent".
Look, if someone does massive changes to the client to introduce "cool new feature X" in their fork of Myst Online, that may very well (depending on if the feature requires server responses or not, which they often will) require a NEW feature on the SERVER-SIDE as well, to handle that client request, which leads to multiple server&client-versions.
So, as I said from the get-go, if you allow multiple forks to all bear the name "Myst Online", with each then having to create their own modified server software to add support for their custom features, you'll immediately fracture the userbase among X different incompatible versions of Myst Online, instead of keeping all users meeting in one compatible, continuously improving "Myst Online" umbrella where ages can be added and everyone has ONE advanced client to play with, without scaring people away with a need to research what client&server-software they want to run, with each client claiming to be the best.
Multiple client&server-combinations bearing the Myst Online brand:
- Alienating a large portion of the userbase who do not have the energy and tech savvyness to choose a client, alienating the people who just want to get into "Myst Online" with ONE easy client, check
- Creating client and server incompatiblities and project fracturing due to specific server features for different clients, check
- Fracturing the userbase by dividing them into branch camps, check
- Allowing fork projects to bear the Myst brand may hurt your trademark, which Cyan lawyers have to look into
My proposed solution has all along been to bar forks from calling themselves "Myst Online". Solving all problems above AND creating the inclination to contribute fork code improvements to the official "Myst Online" since there's no fighting to be "the best version of Myst Online". This would still allow anyone to use the Myst Online codebase for their own virtual community games, under Open Source license, and everyone wins.
Last edited by Jones on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:56 pm; edited 3 times in total