DragonBox OpenSource Coding Competition - Rules (DRAFT!)


foxblock

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Can we please stop with this nonsense discussion (and split it into another topic maybe, I feel like it has run out of the scope of this compo a long time ago)?


This is going in circles, it seems like we have extremists on either side and you won't convince them just by arguing (also arguing on the internet in general).


I think it has already been established that the competition rules won't be able to please everyone, so ED just has to select one option and roll with it. (and all advantages/disadvantages on either side have been laid out)


In any case, we need some final, fixed rules and a date when the compo is actually starting!


Time is ticking away and while you technically could start already, some of the rules need to be set, in order for the compo to be advertised elsewhere (not all Pandora devs will read this forum) and really get off the ground.
 

Ziz

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However: foxblock is right. There are other topics to discuss, too.


For this points lets wait for ED's decision.
 
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diligentcircle

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Bah... I'm gone for one night, and you guys are already saying silly things.

So I guess you never played games in your life ? Or stopped playing ?


Even RMS says that having closed-sources games may not be right but that it's not important because they are non-critical applications.

I have played nonfree games before, but if you honestly think that all games are nonfree, you are very mistaken. I have a huge list of some of them that I like on my website, but some of the many free games available include Xonotic, OpenArena, AssaultCube, Ryzom, Doom, Freeciv, Glest, Warzone 2100, Freecol, Adanaxis (<-- that's an interesting one: 4D!), Alex the Alligator 4, LBreakout, LTris, Njam, Supertux, GNUjump, Liquid War, Teeworlds, Transdimensional Hellspider, dozens of KDE games, dozens of GNOME games, and I'm barely scratching the surface.


RMS does not say that about games. He says that any software part of a game must be free. I can't point to a written source, but see the first question shown in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zgiiazh-X-U?feature=oembed

Absolutely not. If you redistribute the program, you are obligated to allow those you redistribute to to have the same freedoms you have. It would be unjust to force anyone who makes changes to a program to distribute these changes.
 
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WizardStan

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I am siding with Onpon here: open source doesn't mean just giving away your source code, it means providing your source code to the people you have given your program to so that they have the power to modify that code themselves. If you write a program for a company, so long as you give the source code to that company along with the compiled program "freedom" is maintained. The company in question is then free to do with it what they want. They paid you for the program, it is their copyright, you have no right to use that program so you can't just go off and start a new competing company even if it is licensed under the GPL (assuming it was written entirely from scratch in house, of course).


Even for game companies there are ways to do this, there are licenses other than the GPL that would allow a company to sell a program, provide the code to the purchaser if they want it, and restrict the purchaser from simply compiling the code themselves and reselling it without change. If "copycat" programs start showing up, that's what lawyers are for. Arguments that this is not "true freedom" don't belong here; for the purposes of the discussion such a setup lies close enough to the intention of FSF that it can be applied to the original scenario.
 

diligentcircle

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Even for game companies there are ways to do this, there are licenses other than the GPL that would allow a company to sell a program, provide the code to the purchaser if they want it, and restrict the purchaser from simply compiling the code themselves and reselling it without change.

Note: such a license is not a free software license, since one of the four freedoms (freedom 2) is the freedom to redistribute exact copies, both commercially and noncommercially. I don't know if it's an open source license or not.


If you want to sell games as free software without giving users freedom to resell the exact same game, depending on the game, it's easy: make the levels and art assets separate game data that are nonfree. Of course, it needs to be easy to take this data out of the program (so, they need to be in separate files in clearly marked directories, rather than scattered throughout the program structure, or much better, self-contained in game data files similar to Doom's WAD files), so that people still have the proper freedoms with the source code in practice.
 
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mcobit

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I assumed the code your company does is licensed under the gpl because everything else would be ethically incorrect for you.


Of course you don't have to make it licensed like this but wb stated that he would anyway.


So yes, of course you need the better artists, but the code you did develop and put money in can be used by your competitors at no cost and give them the advantage to not have to put any money in developing the tools. They can even hire your artists because they can pay them better because they don't need to invest into the tools.


But now back on topic. Those discussions end nowhere.
 

WizardStan

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Note: such a license is not a free software license, since one of the four freedoms (freedom 1) is the freedom to redistribute exact copies, both commercially and noncommercially. I don't know if it's an open source license or not.
Dag nabbit! I even implied that it wasn't "true freedom" and stated that arguments to that effect didn't need to go here. I very specifically presented the solution most equitable to the situation that was given which still overlapped with the original intentions of the FSF.
 

diligentcircle

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Dag nabbit! I even implied that it wasn't "true freedom" and stated that arguments to that effect didn't need to go here. I very specifically presented the solution most equitable to the situation that was given which still overlapped with the original intentions of the FSF.

Well, no, if the program doesn't allow you to commercially redistribute exact copies (or worse, doesn't allow you to noncommercially distribute exact copies, i.e. share), it does not overlap with the intention of the FSF, which is to eliminate nonfree software. It is nonfree, so the FSF is against it, end of discussion.


That type of license sounds like it would be extremely arbitrary. Is changing a constant a change? Or do you need to completely rewrite a class for the change? What if the source code is entirely different, but the game looks and feels the same because the players don't notice the minor physics differences? It's a slippery slope and the original developer, likely having more money than any of its users, is going to have a lot of ability to be arbitrary.
 
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WizardStan

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Well, no, if the program doesn't allow you to commercially redistribute exact copies (or worse, doesn't allow you to noncommercially distribute exact copies, i.e. share), it does not overlap with the intention of the FSF, which is to eliminate nonfree software. It is nonfree, so the FSF is against it, end of discussion.
Define overlap: Extend over so as to cover partly.


Eliminated nonfree software isn't an intention, it's a goal. The intention is what drives that goal, what they actually intend to accomplish by completing their goal. Why does FSF want to eliminate nonfree software? Because of several points where free software is better than nonfree, specifically that it gives the end user the ability to fix bugs the originally developer may have missed without having to go back to that original developer as well as the ability to learn new techniques that may benefit others. The system I outlined fits closely to the original scenario you and I were both in agreement to being wrong while still having an overlap to these intentions of the FSF.
 

diligentcircle

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Why does FSF want to eliminate nonfree software? Because of several points where free software is better than nonfree, specifically that it gives the end user the ability to fix bugs the originally developer may have missed without having to go back to that original developer as well as the ability to learn new techniques that may benefit others.

That is wrong. The reason for the FSF wanting software freedom is purely ethical. What you described there is the goal of the open source movement.
 

TrashyMG

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Well I understand sticking to your commitments, hell I've signed a pledge to never watch or support the Doom movie and I've stuck to my guns all these years. And this is interesting discussion, but is there a solution to make everyone happy for this competition?
 

WizardStan

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That is wrong. The reason for the FSF wanting software freedom is purely ethical. What you described there is the goal of the open source movement.
So what you are saying is that the FSF has no purpose to wanting free software? The goal is the intention? I'm sorry, that's stupid. They must have a reason for doing what they do. If they don't believe that free software is superior in some ways then they are working on a goal with no purpose.


edit: no, I'm not sorry, that is completely stupid. I always figured that there was actual logic behind the FSFs goal. I didn't believe in their end goal but accepted that they had good intentions behind it, and now you're telling me that none of that is true? They don't actually care about whether something is better or worse, don't care about providing learning material or ensuring stable software, their end goal IS their single sole intention? If that is the case than the FSF is a terrible organization and I have absolutely no respect for them or their goal. I would rather believe you are extremely mistaken.


edit edit: right there, freedom 0 and 1, the freedom to run the software for whatever purpose, and the freedom to learn from and modify the software for your own purposes. It absolutely overlaps with their intentions. There is literally no argument here. You were wrong.
 
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diligentcircle

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So what you are saying is that the FSF has no purpose to wanting free software? The goal is the intention? I'm sorry, that's stupid. They must have a reason for doing what they do. If they don't believe that free software is superior in some ways then they are working on a goal with no purpose.


edit: no, I'm not sorry, that is completely stupid. I always figured that there was actual logic behind the FSFs goal. I didn't believe in their end goal but accepted that they had good intentions behind it, and now you're telling me that none of that is true? They don't actually care about whether something is better or worse, don't care about providing learning material or ensuring stable software, their end goal IS their single sole intention? If that is the case than the FSF is a terrible organization and I have absolutely no respect for them or their goal. I would rather believe you are extremely mistaken.

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html


https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/when_free_software_isnt_practically_better.html


Do you believe me now? These are extremely easy to find; they're two of the 11 articles listed under "Introduction" on the Philosophy page of the GNU Project website.

edit edit: right there, freedom 0 and 1, the freedom to run the software for whatever purpose, and the freedom to learn from and modify the software for your own purposes. It absolutely overlaps with their intentions. There is literally no argument here. You were wrong.

Yeah, two freedoms. And freedom 3 too, so three freedoms, actually. But you're talking about intentions here. The intention of the license you described is clearly to allow easy collaboration for better software (the open source goal), not to give users freedom (the free software goal).
 

WizardStan

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Do you believe me now?
No, I believe me when I said you didn't know what you were talking about.

But you're talking about intentions here.
Yes I am. I don't get where you think you're going with this. What I described had things directly in common with some of the intentions of the FSF: there is overlap. That is the extent of what I was talking about, no more and no less, exactly this, some overlap, period. That's why I emphasized that the discussion would be better off elsewhere because I didn't want to get further into the specifics in a thread where it had no bearing, and I still don't. You have done absolutely nothing to prove what I said as false and have simply dragged this through a muddy debate and demonstrated that you don't understand what words mean.


I proposed that there exists a license that would perfectly fit the original scenario of hiring someone to code for you and even releasing that program that would have heavy overlap with the FSFs intentions (3 of 4 freedoms!) while still preventing anyone else from directly competing against you with your own code. You haven't said anything that counters this.
 

Rockthesmurf

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I like the current draft rules, a simple coding competition, get as many good entries as possible, if source code can be supplied that is awesome, if not, all entries are welcomed. Any entry can win a prize. No one is excluded. Hopefully the competition will generate a bunch of interest games/ideas, and hopefully this will in turn generate more awareness and sales for the Pandora.


In terms of generating more interest in the Pandora, I personally believe that the vast majority of potential customers the competition could potentially reach will have absolutely no care in the world about licenses/open source. Sure there will be a few people (like there are a few people on this thread), but I would guess that they would be in the heavy minority. I've seen plenty of people on here saying they showed their Pandora to colleagues/friends who said "Wow, does it have N64 emulators?" "Wow can it play PSX games" "Wow does it have any original titles" but I don't recall seeing any threads where colleagues/friends have said "Now, tell me, before I consider looking any further at this device, what is the source code license used in this particular game?"


Right now the Pandora project needs more customers, so to me giving them what they want (software to use, not software that they can ask licensing questions about) is the best policy. At this moment in time ED seems to agree (with the rules updated as they currently are) but of course ultimately his final decision will be the deciding vote!
 

pmprog

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How about a rule of you only have to provide source code for purposes of porting. We've seen a number of commercial games where members of the community got the code purely for a Pandora port.


This way it retains the "open handhelds" theme, and doesn't discriminate
 

WizardStan

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Well, I'm sorry you don't believe what the FSF says about the FSF's position.
I do believe them about what they say about their position. What I don't believe is that you understood what was said.
 

diligentcircle

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A pure open source enthusiast, one that is not at all influenced by the ideals of free software, will say, “I am surprised you were able to make the program work so well without using our development model, but you did. How can I get a copy?” This attitude will reward schemes that take away our freedom, leading to its loss.


The free software activist will say, “Your program is very attractive, but I value my freedom more. So I reject your program. Instead I will support a project to develop a free replacement.” If we value our freedom, we can act to maintain and defend it.

Although the Open Source Initiative suggests “the promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility,” this promise is not always realized. Although we do not often advertise the fact, any user of an early-stage free software project can explain that free software is not always as convenient, in purely practical terms, as its proprietary competitors. Free software is sometimes low quality. It is sometimes unreliable. It is sometimes inflexible. If people take the arguments in favor of open source seriously, they must explain why open source has not lived up to its “promise” and conclude that proprietary tools would be a better choice. There is no reason we should have to do either.

A second, perhaps even more damning, fact is that the collaborative, distributed, peer-review development process at the heart of the definition of open source bears little resemblance to the practice of software development in the vast majority of projects under free (or “open source”) licenses.


Several academic studies of free software hosting sites SourceForge and Savannah have shown what many free software developers who have put a codebase online already know first-hand. The vast majority of free software projects are not particularly collaborative. The median number of contributors to a free software project on SourceForge? One. A lone developer. SourceForge projects at the ninety-fifth percentile by participant size have only five contributors. More than half of these free software projects—and even most projects that have made several successful releases and been downloaded frequently, are the work of a single developer with little outside help.


By emphasizing the power of collaborative development and “distributed peer review,” open source approaches seem to have very little to say about why one should use, or contribute to, the vast majority of free software projects. Because the purported benefits of collaboration cannot be realized when there is no collaboration, the vast majority of free development projects are at no technical advantage with respect to a proprietary competitor.


For free software advocates, these same projects are each seen as important successes. Because every piece of free software respects its users' freedom, advocates of software freedom argue that each piece of free software begins with an inherent ethical advantage over proprietary competitors—even a more featureful one.

Where in that, or anywhere on anything by the Free Software Foundation, do you see any suggestion that their goal is better software?
 
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