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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Yeah, this is sort of a companion thread to vid's "Is it Uru, yet?" But here, I thought we might offer some serious suggestions to Cyan for getting the ball rolling (and, I hope the technogeeks will help me out here because this is all really outta my league).

The last known update from Cyan was the MORE Status Report on November 25th:

RAWA wrote:
Last week, I had a chance to talk with Rand about the status of the open source project.

We began working on a statement to explain the current status.

[spoiler=statement]
Rand Miller wrote:
Patient Fans,

Sorry for the long delay in responding. Our only excuse is that we keep thinking something will change, and we'll have some news to offer. But since it's been so long and you've been so patient, we'll just fill you in on the state of MORE...

First off - our goals and objectives have not changed. The statement we made almost a year ago is still valid. We want to "open source" URU, and keep a centralized server/world. Here are the issues that have gummed up the works:

1) Lack of personnel/resources. As many of you know, Cyan had a rather tumultuous year - primarily from an issue with our testing services. We lost a major client and had to address some rather large accounts receivable issues that resulted from that. Short story is that money was short and our staff was affected in the form of layoffs. As a result we have had no extra cycles to spend on MORE. Which leads to the question - "What did you need to do for MORE?"...

2) URU was the most complex project Cyan ever attempted. Over the course of many years, URU has had many code variations from different employees involved, different objectives to satisfy and different partners to co-develop with. Releasing source code has turned out to be more complicated than we had originally anticipated. We have to go through MOUL with an even finer tooth comb - through source code that in some cases is almost ten years old - and either pull the parts that we cannot release or rewrite them. This is something we planned on doing with spare cycles, and even with the gracious help of former employees. But because of point number one - spare cycles are almost nonexistent.

Our excuse for silence was that we kept anticipating that we might grab a few spare cycles. But that hasn't happened. We're working on a few smaller projects, just keeping our head above water.

You'd be surprised how many options we've thought of over the last year that haven't worked out, but to get things rolling we're trying to get a server up and running as soon as possible. Please rest assured that we're still excited about the possibilities of MORE - creating an environment that allows our worlds to become your worlds, and to grow and live and have a life of their own.

Sorry again for the silence, and thanks for your continued support!

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When they stated:
Rand Miller wrote:
We have to go through MOUL with an even finer tooth comb - <snip> - and either pull the parts that we cannot release or rewrite them.
JWPlatt suggested that they not take the time to rewrite the code, but just rip out those parts (and insert a notation) and let the community geeks have a go at fixing it. So, that would be Suggestion #1. However, it appears that it's still quite time-consuming to do even that, so while we're still waiting...

Suggestion #2: Release the licenses that will cover Open Source Uru. I'm sure they're going to be quite detailed and full of fine print, so coming in advance of the actual code release will allow us time to give them a good read and begin making preparations for when the code is actually released. (credit Nalates for this idea).

Rand Miller wrote:
but to get things rolling we're trying to get a server up and running as soon as possible

I'm not quite sure if they meant a server to open the cavern or host downloads of the code, but...
Suggestion #3: Yes, get a server up and running and host Uru so we can congregate in the cavern again. Even without new content, we can at least be together and maybe even begin telling new stories - stories that begin to lay the groundwork for when player-created ages are added to the cavern in some sort of official/sanctioned manner.

Suggestion #4: A story from RAWA to bring us up to date on the closure and re-opening of the cavern in an IC manner.

Suggestion #5: (from JWPlatt) Release the current binaries (no sources, like UU) as a stop-gap to get shards operational and generate global interest, possibly many months before the open source code is complete enough to compile and execute.

Edit: Added Suggestion #5 and credits to #1 & #2 - 01/05/10

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Last edited by Tai'lahr on Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:43 pm 
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IMO your perfect post deserves a better title. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:54 pm 
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I suggested they pull the code they can't release and let the open source community handle writing the new code. It seemed to resonate with a solid consensus. We've been looking for a way to help Cyan all these years. This is their big chance finally to let us really become part of the "Restoration." Open source projects do not typically start fully implemented. So while Cyan might feel an obligation because of expectations to release a finished product, it really is unnecessary because it is not the expectation of an open source community. And it could even be a waste of time for Cyan to do any development in future retrospect before the open source community is given the chance to come up with some extremely flexible and creative or modular solutions for Uru to all the technologies available today.

Nalates has been the persistent voice of releasing the licenses. I entirely support that idea. It means Cyan Legal needs to get some work done. Except for some consultation about technical issues, no other Cyan tech resources (people and "cycles") need be diverted from other projects. With the licenses, we'll know how to begin the ramp up to operations and the content pipeline.

Another suggestion I had was to release the current binaries (no sources, like UU) as a stop-gap to get shards operational and generate global interest, possibly many months before the open source code is complete enough to compile and execute.

By the way, RAWA's latest update revealed no new news, admitting perhaps it was a mistake to send Rand an email with questions just before the Thanksgiving holiday. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:59 pm 
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veralun wrote:
IMO your perfect post deserves a better title. :wink:
Heh, I figured why not go with a proven model. ;) But, if you have a better suggestion, please share.
And, thanks for the compliment, but it's really just a compilation of others' ideas:

JWPlatt wrote:
I suggested they pull the code they can't release and let the open source community handle writing the new code.
Sorry JW, I knew it was you and should have given you credit.

JWPlatt wrote:
Nalates has been the persistent voice of releasing the licenses.
Thank you for providing credit to her; I was unaware of that. Just knew that I'd seen it "somewhere." ;)

JWPlatt wrote:
Another suggestion I had was to release the current binaries (no sources, like UU) as a stop-gap to get shards operational and generate global interest, possibly many months before the open source code is complete enough to compile and execute.
Okee, will add to the OP.

JWPlatt wrote:
By the way, RAWA's latest update revealed no new news, admitting perhaps it was a mistake to send Rand an email with questions just before the Thanksgiving holiday. ;)
Nit. Okay, so it wasn't the "latest update" but it was the last substantial one. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Tai'lahr wrote:
Heh, I figured why not go with a proven model. ;)


The title might be a proven model for 100 and more pages, but it also does make it very easy for Cyan to react.
Their answer could be: No it is not, not yet, perhaps, when it is time, etc.
You get what you ask he. :wink:

With these excellent suggestions a serious topictitle must be not that difficult to find I think.

Edit: Thanks for changing topic title.


Last edited by veralun on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Excellent suggestions. Let's hope Cyan gets moving on this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:35 pm 
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It would be nice to see movement on any of these ideas.

MQO is late so I am assuming work is frantic and running on over time. I still don't expect to hear much on MOOU until sometime after MQO is out and working.

I don't know if I originated the idea of; If nothing else, give us the licenses. I REALLY like that idea and wave that flag all the time.

I am seeing an increase in interest in the open source grids (the open source worlds similar to Second Life). The costs in SL are such that many Uru-SL fans are considering the OS grids as an alternative. There is a SL parallel to the RL real estate decline.Folks are looking for cheap virtual land. With the addition of 3DMax, Maya and Blender created meshes to these grids/worlds it will be easier to make higher quality ages for the cheap land.

The road is forking again and I think any movement, or even no movement, on Cyan's part will help fans decide which way to go. For now we build ages either for Plasma/MOUL or THERE/SL. That is very different styles of building ages. With the RealXtend modules added to an OS grid it is now possible to use both styles of building. It is still Alpha stage, but it is a high priority for the SL/OS grids because of Blue Mars. So, we will likely see the new style meshes implemented early this year. While it will still be work to move an age to the OS grids its going to be much easier. The question of how existing fan ages can be used comes up in a new way.

Things will move. The only question is whether Cyan will give us some direction and which fans take which roads.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
I am seeing an increase in interest in the open source grids (the open source worlds similar to Second Life). The costs in SL are such that many Uru-SL fans are considering the OS grids as an alternative. There is a SL parallel to the RL real estate decline. Folks are looking for cheap virtual land. With the addition of 3DMax, Maya and Blender created meshes to these grids/worlds it will be easier to make higher quality ages for the cheap land.

Thank you for bringing this up; it gives me an opportunity to express my "fantasy" for bringing the community in SL and their money back to Cyan:
Warning: the following contains graphic descriptions which will surely offend many Cyan fans:
I would like to see Cyan set up one of these open sims and host a sandbox for us with their textures. *hears gasps* Yes, I said a sandbox, just like SL. *more gasps* But, I say, why not? Many of their textures and sounds are already being used - but without compensation. They should be making the money from this, not Linden Labs.

Cyan's original intention for Uru was to have the players contribute to the story by adding their own stories. In the beginning, that was only possible through words and the ability to personalize wardrobe, Relto, etc. That evolved into player-created ages. Well, not everyone has the time or talent to become proficient at Blender, so why not have something that allows everyone an opportunity to participate in creating? (And, unlike SL, Cyan would keep it PG, so the whole community can participate.)

To me, a sandbox is like brainstorming. It may look like just a bunch of scibbles to some, but it can also produce seeds that grow into something substantial.

Nalates wrote:
The road is forking again and I think any movement, or even no movement, on Cyan's part will help fans decide which way to go. For now we build ages either for Plasma/MOUL or THERE/SL. That is very different styles of building ages. With the RealXtend modules added to an OS grid it is now possible to use both styles of building. It is still Alpha stage, but it is a high priority for the SL/OS grids because of Blue Mars. So, we will likely see the new style meshes implemented early this year. While it will still be work to move an age to the OS grids its going to be much easier. The question of how existing fan ages can be used comes up in a new way.

That's very interesting and IMO provides even more reason for Cyan to begin experimenting with these open sims.

Nalates wrote:
Things will move. The only question is whether Cyan will give us some direction and which fans take which roads.

We're carrying the D'ni mythos into cyberspace, with or without Cyan, and we're spending money to do it. I, for one, would rather give my money to Cyan than to the ahrotahntees!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:56 pm 
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re: Open Source Uru

On the french forum of this site, ooshi & RicK have come up with what I beleive is a
very interresting observation:
The fact that in the MagiQuest teaser video we can see the same kind of avatars as in Uru.

Would not that create a conflict with Open Source Uru vs the MQ commercial game :?:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Artic_Wagon wrote:
Would not that create a conflict with Open Source Uru vs the MQ commercial game :?:

No.

JWPlatt wrote:
About MQO and Open Uru:

Let's put the speculation to rest. I can officially say that the open source question is not tied to the MagiQuest Online development agreement with Cyan Worlds. Creative Kingdoms/MagiQuest Online is not putting any conditions on Open Uru. Cyan's open source plans are their own.

http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic. ... 744#307744

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:34 pm 
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This seems like a good place for a point that I originally planned to bring up at the hoped for town-hall meeting of the near future:

Suggestion #6: Lift the documentation embargo.

As far as I am informed (and I may be informed insufficiently, so please correct me), Cyan has in the past asked the fan developers to refrain from publishing the technical knowledge they have gained from reverse-engineering Uru. I am not familiar with the whole story, since I didn't get into Uru hacking until much later, and have not done much research about it, but an e-mail from Moke posted on COBBS by ngilb120 on 2006-01-26 seems to play a central role. To my knowledge, this restriction has never been formally lifted and I have the impression that most still feel somewhat bound by it (which says a lot about the dedication and cooperative spirit of the hacker community). For an open-source project, such a restriction makes no sense anymore, and while there are some bits of technical information around today in the GoW and Alcugs wikis and in the source code of fan projects such as libPlasma, I think an official statement from Cyan that they are OK with it would help us collect and spread the knowledge that already exists about past versions of Plasma and thus give us a head start on documenting the version that will be open-sourced.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:01 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Artic_Wagon wrote:
Would not that create a conflict with Open Source Uru vs the MQ commercial game :?:

No.

JWPlatt wrote:
About MQO and Open Uru:

Let's put the speculation to rest. I can officially say that the open source question is not tied to the MagiQuest Online development agreement with Cyan Worlds. Creative Kingdoms/MagiQuest Online is not putting any conditions on Open Uru. Cyan's open source plans are their own.

http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic. ... 744#307744

Your feedback was very much appreviated JWPlatt.

Thanks a lot. Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:00 pm 
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I agree with pretty much all the suggestions and hope Cyan implements them. With the exception of #4. We don't really need an IC explanation to get things going. That can, if nothing else, be retconned. Besides that, I see three core priorities.

1: Distribute the necessary files for fans to open servers of their own.

2: Release the code in "ripped-out" form. Ideally also release some assets for core areas (Nexus, books, avatars, etc.).

3: Release the licenses. Ideally made simple to understand.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Christian Walther wrote:
This seems like a good place for a point that I originally planned to bring up at the hoped for town-hall meeting of the near future:

Suggestion #6: Lift the documentation embargo.

As far as I am informed (and I may be informed insufficiently, so please correct me), Cyan has in the past asked the fan developers to refrain from publishing the technical knowledge they have gained from reverse-engineering Uru. I am not familiar with the whole story, since I didn't get into Uru hacking until much later, and have not done much research about it, but an e-mail from Moke posted on COBBS by ngilb120 on 2006-01-26 seems to play a central role. To my knowledge, this restriction has never been formally lifted and I have the impression that most still feel somewhat bound by it (which says a lot about the dedication and cooperative spirit of the hacker community). For an open-source project, such a restriction makes no sense anymore, and while there are some bits of technical information around today in the GoW and Alcugs wikis and in the source code of fan projects such as libPlasma, I think an official statement from Cyan that they are OK with it would help us collect and spread the knowledge that already exists about past versions of Plasma and thus give us a head start on documenting the version that will be open-sourced.


Yes, we are still technically prohibited from making any engine documentation publicly available, although the code in libPlasma and PyPRP is pretty close to what we've got for docs (we're programmers: the code is the documentation :P)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:57 am 
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I had not thought of Cyan putting up an open simulator server, as Tai’lahr suggests. I like the idea but I have my doubts Cyan would be interested, but we never know. I think Cyan would resist because all of the OpenSim stuff is Alpha level software. Anything that is placed in those servers has a high probability of becoming public domain and spread across the net. That is a major point of contention in the SL/OS grid worlds and the primary hold up on grid-to-grid travel and ecommerce.

There is a cost to setting up OSGrid sims, either in hosting services or labor to setup one’s own server. The later takes some work. Cyan would likely pay someone to do that.

If Cyan were to open an SL region with LL the cost is $300/mo and one has to wonder how much revenue sales of textures would generate. Plus the costs of getting all the stuff there and setting up shops, etc, and etc. its considerable work. Additionally textures are far too easily ripped off in SL. They may as well give them away as freebies. So, I’m not hopeful.

The ability to mix building styles and the new meshes is up in the air. I expect them to be available in SL the first half of this year. They are already available in alpha servers and viewers on OS. But, OS and SL meshes may not be compatible, which could kink things. So, while I believe a mix in building styles is coming soon, it is going to be alpha and beta level. Cyan has never seemed open to much of anything short of perfection… well salt that… but you get my meaning. Toward the end of this year we may see Myst-Uru sims with mixed building environments. I think it has great potential for both the Blender and SL-type-tools builders working together.

I do expect fans to open up sims. Ardna has some on their service now. OSGrid has OS Devokan. In-Worldz has one, I forget the name. So, it is happening. I expect those worlds to be original works. With the arrival of meshes I’m sure we will see someone use Cyan meshes on the grid and have great drama over its use. Until we see the licenses we don’t know what we can do.

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