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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:13 am 
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I've decided to stop any and all attempts at integrating my Plasma-related development work with Cyan or the general community. This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, and I know that many of you will be disappointed by this. Hopefully this post will shed some light on what led to this decision.

I could, honestly, handle the portions of the community that dislike me and what I do. I'm happy to let them live in their bubble, and I'll live in mine. But I see the feuding that goes on here as a symptom.

Cyan has shown time and again that they are unwilling, or unable, to foster a community culture that will help open-source thrive. I believe their hands-off approach to integrating the pre-existing developer groups with the rest of the community has greatly contributed to the current situation on these forums. Their secrecy in the overall plans for open-source has allowed paranoia to flourish, and put people who should be allies on the defensive against each other.

Cyan has also shown a lack of initiative in dealing with issues as they are brought forward. For the past 5 months the company has given no guidance and addressed none of the licensing and contribution concerns that have been raised. It is my opinion that if Cyan had been more communicative about their intentions earlier, many of this problems could have been solved before they became problems.

To cite a specific recent issue: Chogon recently brought up something that I had thought was in the past, or at least being worked past. To find out it was still a major sticking point 6 months later, in a public forum post, is absolutely unacceptable. It shows not just a lack of respect for Adam and myself, but also a willingness to create a situation that would lead to even more infighting in the community.

In the same post, Chogon stated that the official plan for getting open-source contributions to Cyan is through OpenURU, a group with no regular CWE developers. I can only envision two possible outcomes from this. The first is that code never gets reviewed and pushed to Cyan. The second is that the code is pushed without being fully reviewed by people who know the codebase. Neither situation is ideal, and I think it shows a lack of foresight on Cyan's part that this is the path they chose.

I know that my team and I have more than proven our technical ability. What we haven't proven is a willingness to sit down, shut up, and let Cyan do things their way. And if that's what's needed to be able to work with Cyan, I don't see the point of open-source. Uru needs new ideas, new visions, and new minds. The hostility that Cyan and their community show towards those new minds is going to be its downfall.

I'm not killing Uru, neither is Adam or Kaelis. Nalates and Crisger are innocent, too. Cyan is killing Uru, through poor community management and policies that reward doing things their way over fresh ideas, knowledge, and skill.

If the open-source Uru landscape changes, or if I have an opportunity to work with Cyan in a way that gives more freedom to speak my mind and bring my ideas to the table, I will jump at the chance. But I've invested too much emotional energy into the current Uru, with nothing coming back. I just can't give any more. It is time for this journey to come to an end.

I will watch this thread, and do my best to respond to issues as people raise them, but don't expect more than a post or two on any given subject - I don't want this thread to become about one issue when it's supposed to be about many. I will also continue to work on Plasma-related things for my own enjoyment. The engine is still quite an interesting toy, and it has lots of unexplored potential. Whether that work will ever make it in to anything Myst-related is still up in the air. I might even show up in the Fun House now and then - I could never leave Uru completely. My heart will always long for D'ni.

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Last edited by PaladinOfKaos on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:29 am 
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These are certainly very valid concerns and points. While I do not provide code, nor do I plan too (I've never been very good at programming), I can still sympathize with these concerns. Right now we have a community that is divided by the ideals of each organization and individual involved with little to no unifying force. It's no wonder these past few weeks have been extra tense around here.

In this specific case, when there is seemingly no proper output for the work that is being done, then it makes sense to take a step back and say "enough is enough right now." You cannot be expected to continuously work and develop when the effort cannot be applied anywhere in the end. There are far more productive things that can be done with this time that was spent working towards a dead end.

Perhaps some day people will get the wake up call they need and things can push forward and unify, but until then we'll just have to try our best not to cut each others' throats. It's a shame that we've come to this, but there's not much we can do now at this very moment.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:49 am 
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You do what you think is best, like it or not. If it manages to help tone down the current tense climate of these forums then all the better. It is good that you would step down, no matter how much you may not want to, and not be bothered by such issues instead of letting them continue to foster an unhealthy atmosphere here. Take the time to be at ease and remove yourself from the issue in order to eliminate it, as unfortunate as it is that the Myst community would lose one of its vanguards. Though, I agree, if nothing is being done and if there is nothing to be done then what more is there to do other than continue on with the stress? No one needs that.

I am assured by your willingness to step back up when and if a time comes that open source be available in its fullest extent.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:30 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:54 am 
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Charura wrote:
I think you are totally out of control...Everything you say, you need to sit on and think about it again tomorrow...Not everyone is jumping on you, kicking you, hitting you...
WE want to...because you are quitting?....You are our backbone...without you and yours we are gone...keep that in mind PoK! I have spoken my necessary thing../me rants wildly!!! And We Truly LUV U Guys!!!


Like I said, I'll still be hacking on Plasma. Just at this point, my concern is not "how can I make Plasma better for Cyan" or "How can I improve the GoW's position in the community" or "How can I get my changes to the widest audience". It's "What can I do with plasma that will entertain me?". It might sound selfish, but at this point I need some me time, and even if I didn't, I don't think I can do much good by continuing to put myself out there, at least not right now.

I'll always be hopeful that whatever I do will be useful to others, and will find its way out into the wide world. If the stars align correctly, you might even get to see what I come up with. I love seeing the smiling (virtual) faces of people enjoying my work.

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Last edited by PaladinOfKaos on Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:55 am 
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Paladin and his associates are of immense benefit to the Myst community, but he is dissatisfied like many others and his contribution is less than what it should be. It is unfortunate, but his efforts do not go unacknowledged or unappreciated.

If we lose people like Paladin URU loses. His devotion to URU is apparent. His willingness to lend his contributions at such a time as URU can benefit from it is very satisfactory to me, though I would in no ways hold that to him as a promise.

It doesn't sound to me like Paladin is giving up. He is making a very sensible decision. In fact it just seems to me like part of the ongoing process. It will work well for him and others.

But there must come a day when he can feel comfortable with resuming his work. There must come a day when people like him can contribute their talents to URU.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:15 am 
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This is unacceptable.

You know, we're supposed to be a community.
We're supposed to work with each other.

Here we are trying to build something and we're quibbling over how the bricks get from the brick-maker to the wall that's in need of repair. Seriously, that's what this is. We've got people making bricks, we've got people who have identified the holes in the wall, and we've got people to put the bricks in place. And no one can agree how the bricks get from point A to point B.

This has got to stop. There are a lot of people waiting for the walls to be fixed since we can't add on the extension until the building's up to code.

And my long drawn-out analogies have to stop too.


Ya'll know I've worked with a lot of people in this community on a wide variety of projects. And I must say, Branan's departure from development is a huge loss for this community. He's a master brick designer if there ever was one. It has been a true delight and honor to work with him.

But, you know what? This is our penance.
As a community, this is our punishment.
And we are all to blame.

I am guilty. You are guilty.
There is not a soul in this community who can answer honestly 'yes' to the question "Did I do everything I could have done?"


If Branan's post doesn't make you angry...
If Branan's departure doesn't move you to action...

Then remember this day. For it is the beginning of the end.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:28 am 
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I see no loss. I don't even see a departure, per se. I see relief. Paladin isn't giving up. That's not how I see it. If nothing is moving forward then what more is there to do than continue to be displeased by it and foster displeasure?

However, by the very nature of his stated intentions, they offer an ultimatum of sorts. That if the top contributers discontinue their efforts and are never provided incentive to resume, then URU stalls and it dies.

That offers a clear message.

But, moving forward as we have will only continue the discontent people have been experiencing. That doesn't help at all. It is a force of destruction. I would rather URU die quietly than for all those who have loved it and poured their blood sweat and tears into it to depart on angry terms.

Paladin is choosing to discontinue that dangerous routine and sets a good example by doing so.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:21 am 
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OHB wrote:
This is unacceptable.

You know, we're supposed to be a community.
We're supposed to work with each other.

Here we are trying to build something and we're quibbling over how the bricks get from the brick-maker to the wall that's in need of repair. Seriously, that's what this is. We've got people making bricks, we've got people who have identified the holes in the wall, and we've got people to put the bricks in place. And no one can agree how the bricks get from point A to point B.

This has got to stop. There are a lot of people waiting for the walls to be fixed since we can't add on the extension until the building's up to code.

And my long drawn-out analogies have to stop too.


Ya'll know I've worked with a lot of people in this community on a wide variety of projects. And I must say, Branan's departure from development is a huge loss for this community. He's a master brick designer if there ever was one. It has been a true delight and honor to work with him.

But, you know what? This is our penance.
As a community, this is our punishment.
And we are all to blame.

I am guilty. You are guilty.
There is not a soul in this community who can answer honestly 'yes' to the question "Did I do everything I could have done?"


If Branan's post doesn't make you angry...
If Branan's departure doesn't move you to action...

Then remember this day. For it is the beginning of the end.


You forgot the "Tonight we dine in fiery abyss" part of that speech, but i totally agree with you... if this community were falling apart, it's our own darn fault (though, it's clearly not falling apart. we still have people posting that they think the community is falling apart... which clearly means its not)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:53 am 
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I totally understand you Branan.

Chogon has clearly stated that Cyan doesn't trust you or the GoW, so why waste your time on effort that isn't appreciated? Spend your time on things that are fun to do, not things that wear you out ;) Leave the work to Cyan and see how far that gets them..


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:14 pm 
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It's a sad outcome but it was definitely coming. The fighting, lack of support (especially from the one thing that can unify us, Cyan), and inherent attacks on those who are trying to help just snowball until we reach this point. When the people who are the final strands that can hold Uru up have lost faith and have chosen to step back, you know we've reached a point of no return. Most likely, down the road, we will not be able to partake in cavern activities the way we are now. Whether something changes and everything is better, or it has collapsed and we have divided into shards, I do not know. All I do know though, is that something needs to change, and it needs to happen soon, before it's truly become too late.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:46 pm 
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We cannot risk losing the purveyors of URU's continued development for good, especially on bad terms. Dissatisfaction breads discontent. If there is nobody left to lend their talents towards URU's future development then there is no future for URU.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Uru continues to exist with or without hackers. There's plenty of people still logging in day after day, some of which have never even been to these forums. There is certainly a larger community of "informed" players but there's also hundreds of much smaller communities that continue to exist in the game entirely separate of the goings-on here.

I for one find it extremely arrogant to insinuate that the departure of one individual will lead to the downfall of Uru as a whole. RAWA said when MOULa began that nothing was going to be happening for an indeterminate amount of time and that if you're frustrated or dissatisfied then by all means find something better to spend your time on.

The community is only really relevant when there's some kind of content, be it story or gameplay, to unify and polarize them. In that regard Uru died a long time ago. People have been grasping at straws for years trying to rekindle some of that old spirit of discovery this place had in 2003 and again in 2007. It's gone.. and no matter what we as fans do it isn't coming back until something significant happens. That doesn't mean everything's over and done with, it means it's in limbo.

So good luck in whatever you find next to occupy your time with. We'll still be here when you get back, and either things will be moving toward a brighter tomorrow, or we'll be exactly as we are.. frozen in time. Neither a good place, nor a bad one.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:24 pm 
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It's sad that things had to come to this. I'm glad that OS isn't dead, and glad the Paladin is staying, but my concerns (Like everyone elses) is why Cyan can't unify things. If they aren't doing anything right now except sit around and wait for work to come to them (Which is kinda what Rand had said) then why don't they just fix the current licensing issues for OS? Or better yet, why don't they let the project devs (like Paladin and OHB) draft the licenses and have Cyan approve them for the OS package? If things need to get done then why don't people in the community just do them?

OHB's right though; we're all at fault and we're all just digging our own graves. We shouldn't let poor oversight get us down. CWE and URU still need translations, bullet physics needs to be ported, new ages to be created, and lore to be written (my forte). On OpenURU, can you blame Cyan for wanting all code to go there? I can't. When little things like the client bug happen they see it a a business threat. While I find it as simple development hacking (Who doesn't?), and myself still trust the dev skills of the GoW, if I put myself in Cyan's shoes then I would have probably made the same decision to distrust the GoW. In a way it's no different that the way Apple feels about jailbreaking (which I humbly enjoy).

So, to end my ridiculously long reply, I say that the community needs to get some backbone. The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Or do they? We all need to unite; everyone can be doing something, even little things. I also humbly ask Cyan to consider making OS licensing issues a top priority. It is like a fissure that continues to grow, a gulf that only widens, and flood waters that continue to rise. OPEN THE DRAIN PEOPLE! I take what happened to Paladin and Adam with a grain of salt; it was time the community knew why there has been such strife and confusion. But now it's in the past, and the only way to move forward is for Cyan to help us, help them.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:44 pm 
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URU still exists, yes, but it will never again exist as anything better than it is now which is to say its lowest low, if our developers disappear.

one person setting aside his efforts in no way signals URU's "downfall" but a mass exodus of our top coders and organizers will.

whether Cyan cannot or will not commit to open source, further steps must be taken ASAP before more people get disheartened and walk away.

It is good that Paladin would choose to focus his efforts elsewhere, at least for the time being, just as RAWA has suggested. Open Source can only be put off for so long, however, before there's no one left to carry it.

Whatever Cyan's reasons, legitimate or otherwise, for not addressing open source issues, progress must be made soon. I fear for Cyan's future and the future of their work. Cyan and the fans are in an unfortunate and undeserved circumstance. Cyan has done so much for interactive entertainment and they have poured so much into their work, to see it disappear would be a disaster. Cyan has placed URU's future in the hands of the fans who are more than willing to do what Cyan is currently incapable of. To see URU stagnate as it has and never even remotely approach what it once was is a serious disservice to Cyan and all that they have done.


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