Daniel_LICD
 member, 41 posts
Sun 29 Aug 2010
at 03:06
Open source
Hi All,

Did a quick search and didn't see any previous discussion about RPOL's source code.

Has the idea of making RPOL open source been brought up before?
I would be happy to contribute patches / github pull requests / <version control artefact of choice> if it were.

- Daniel
bigbadron
 moderator, 11689 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 29 Aug 2010
at 06:47
Re: Open source
I believe the last time this was brought up, jase said that the code was way too messy for him to consider letting anybody else see it.
cruinne
 moderator, 5397 posts
 Jack, you have
 debauched my sloth!
Sun 29 Aug 2010
at 15:36
Re: Open source
Yep.  From RPoL's Technical Information FAQ:

    Can I have the source code?
    Nope.  There are several reasons: it's a complete mess, the back-end is extremely hardware intensive, and I'm not quite ready to let go of my baby yet.

MisterBlaze
 member, 99 posts
Sun 29 Aug 2010
at 23:56
Re: Open source
Is that why we never see him? 'Cause he's madly cackling 'It lives! It lives!' in a dark server room somewhere, while trying to stamp out fires and ward off electric shocks?
Urieal
 member, 23 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 02:24
Re: Open source
I'd be extremely interested in devoting time to working on an open source RPoL version.

Perhaps Jase would consider an open source soup to nuts project, starting from scratch? He could offer up any necessary code to convert existing data sources to the new format and save face from "messy code", not to mention his input would be utterly invaluable.
Daniel_LICD
 member, 42 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 10:45
Re: Open source
The problem is, the value of RPOL lies not in the code but in the community. The site doesn't have any complex technical requirements (that I'm aware of).

I could build something that does everything RPOL does - but I wouldn't have the player base, the mods, the established rules, etc.

On the other hand, if jase were happy to open source the code, I could apply what I know about database optimization to help reduce the hardware load, help refactor messy code, etc.

Finally, it can stay his baby - as the primary developer / maintainer / patch gatekeeper, he's still the guy responsible for everything - but the community has a few talented programmers.

Together we'd be able to get rpol running faster (make jases electricity bill a little cheaper), make it handicapped-accessible (table based layouts are not great for screen-readers used by the blind), improve security (you guys store passwords in plaintext and send them via email last I heard of it), and get through lots more feature requests.
Shannara
 moderator, 2566 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 12:42
Re: Open source
If there is a FAQ answer that already states 'no', there is a good possibility that continuing to push is not going to change things.

One thing I am sure of is that jase is aware of the benefits / problems / etc. in making RPoL open source.  Should he become ready to consider 'giving up his baby', I'm sure he will let us all know.

You can also offer to help jase with the coding (via rmail or email) - he has requested and accepted such help in the past - without RPoL being open source.
Urieal
 member, 24 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 12:52
Re: Open source
Daniel_LICD:
The problem is, the value of RPOL lies not in the code but in the community. The site doesn't have any complex technical requirements (that I'm aware of).

I could build something that does everything RPOL does - but I wouldn't have the player base, the mods, the established rules, etc.

Agreed. On the same vein, an open source redesign wouldn't reduce the community at all. That's the benefit of doing an official "RPoL Open Source Project" instead of a 'competitor' open source project.

Daniel_LICD:
On the other hand, if jase were happy to open source the code, I could apply what I know about database optimization to help reduce the hardware load, help refactor messy code, etc.

Finally, it can stay his baby - as the primary developer / maintainer / patch gatekeeper, he's still the guy responsible for everything - but the community has a few talented programmers.

Together we'd be able to get rpol running faster (make jases electricity bill a little cheaper), make it handicapped-accessible (table based layouts are not great for screen-readers used by the blind), improve security (you guys store passwords in plaintext and send them via email last I heard of it), and get through lots more feature requests.

This is really the impetus behind any sort of community effort. I understand the concept of 'my baby', I think all programmers do. We all have pet projects. There comes a time, however, when a project's scope goes beyond what a single person, or even a small team, can reasonably manage. They end up putting other things in life on hold to manage/improve/support their pet OR they neglect the pet project in favor of others. This isn't an issue...unless you have an established community around your pet project (ie...like RPoL).

This message was last edited by the user at 12:52, Mon 30 Aug 2010.

Urieal
 member, 25 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 13:05
Re: Open source
Shannara:
If there is a FAQ answer that already states 'no', there is a good possibility that continuing to push is not going to change things.

This doesn't even make sense. If no one offers up suggestions like this, if people don't share their thoughts and ideas, then Jase wouldn't have awareness of individuals who are willing and able to support his efforts. If enough people with talent come forward to offer their talents for free and in the spirit of friendship and support, then we can produce a service that fills the needs of the community and reduces the responsibilities places on each contributor. There's no harm done in talking.

Shannara:
One thing I am sure of is that jase is aware of the benefits / problems / etc. in making RPoL open source.  Should he become ready to consider 'giving up his baby', I'm sure he will let us all know.

You can also offer to help jase with the coding (via rmail or email) - he has requested and accepted such help in the past - without RPoL being open source.

Open Source may or may not be an answer for Jase, that's his decision to make. The real value of sharing the burden of management, development and resource allocation can be accomplished without actually changing code to be open source, though it usually will require a financial investment on the part of the owner of the IP.

All that being said, I still understand Jase's hesitancy in going Open Source. I really do, and I don't blame him. It's a big step and can cause a host of issues.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:05, Mon 30 Aug 2010.

bigbadron
 moderator, 11690 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 13:45
Re: Open source
quote:
This doesn't even make sense. If no one offers up suggestions like this, if people don't share their thoughts and ideas, then Jase wouldn't have awareness of individuals who are willing and able to support his efforts.
Unless, of course he actually asks if anybody is prepared/able to help.  Which is what he's done previously.

quote:
though it usually will require a financial investment on the part of the owner of the IP.
In the past, jase paid for everything himself.  At the moment, the site's costs are covered by volunteer donations.  In future, the plan is to allow people to subscribe to the site, if they so choose.
cruinne
 moderator, 5398 posts
 Jack, you have
 debauched my sloth!
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 13:51
Re: Open source
I just wanted to mention that I find it ironic.  A couple years ago, jase suggested we include Creative Commons licensing in RPoL and there was a hailstorm of (often pretty nasty) Oh no you didn'ts, threats to leave the site, and a whole lot of over my dead bodyism going around.

It's likely that those suggseting open source for RPoL weren't really involved in that, or weren't active here at the time, but still: the memory is pretty amusing since most GMs would be unwilling to give up their project to "free to use with attribution" but jase's source code is likely looked at with a fairly different eye.

Anyway, I'd not be in favor of current RPoL going OpenSource at this point.

Reasons I don't think RPoL needs a host more coders:
  1. The site runs fine as it is.
  2. While updates might not be fast, the site is perfectly well functional and does everything needed to run an online game.
  3. There are no stop bugs, and none that lose GMs' and players' information.


Personally, I think opensource for RPoL is a bad idea:  I do not want the "tyranny of the masses" imposing the patches and features they want on my beloved site.  RPoL could never again add another feature and I'd be perfectly OK with that.  I like that what goes into the site is very tightly controlled.

OpenSource works for some things.  I use GIMP, Inkscape, and OpenOffice very happily, myself.  I don't think it's suited to this site, though there is nothing stopping those interested in forming their own open source pbp board and making it perfect in their eyes.  As mentioned: RPoL's code is not the valuable thing -- it's the userbase.  Being opensource, or not, doesn't much change that.  I'd not want RPoL to go open source just to satisfy those who want to do an open source pbp board that they have a sufficient userbase to use their work.

As Shannara mentioned, however, jase has in the past asked for coding and database assistance and has received very, very little by way of response.  If you contact him by rMail you can likely get more details on any help he needs at this time.

This message was last edited by a moderator at 13:57, Mon 30 Aug 2010.

bigbadron
 moderator, 11691 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 14:03
Re: Open source
quote:
If you contact him by rMail you can likely get more details on any help he needs at this time.

Which also has the advantage that he gets the help he actually needs/wants.
Urieal
 member, 26 posts
Mon 30 Aug 2010
at 14:07
Re: Open source
bigbadron:
Which also has the advantage that he gets the help he actually needs/wants.

Wilco!
Edit: Done!

This message was last edited by the user at 14:14, Mon 30 Aug 2010.

chromatophoria
 member, 655 posts
 Tentacles for all!
Sat 20 Jan 2018
at 07:04
Re: Open source
What if the front end went open source so people could make a mobile ready & responsive front end?
bigbadron
 moderator, 15495 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 20 Jan 2018
at 07:10
Re: Open source
In reply to chromatophoria (msg # 14):

Like the one jase is already working on?  http://responsive.rpol.net/
chromatophoria
 member, 656 posts
 Tentacles for all!
Sat 20 Jan 2018
at 07:24
Re: Open source
Thank you.

Right.

Life changed.