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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Modifying Other People's Mods (Read 20704 times)
Curtiss Grymala
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Modifying Other People's Mods
Oct 31st, 2005 at 2:10am
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I just wanted to make this topic, in case anyone cares.  I just want to make it publicly known that I have absolutely no problem with anyone changing any of my mods.  I know that a lot of mod writers disappear over time, and some new mod writers feel somewhat guilty about trying to update those older mods.  I just want it known that, in case I ever disappear from these boards (which I don't plan on doing for quite a while), I am giving full permission to anyone wanting to work with the mods I've written (that also applies even if I don't disappear from these boards, and someone decides that they want to improve any of my mods).

Maybe someone should make a sticky topic where mod writers can reply to let it known whether they approve of people working on their mods?
« Last Edit: Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:31am by Curtiss Grymala »  

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Spikecity
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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #1 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 12:35pm
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Curtiss,

I think we need a sort of rule of politeness which states that as long as a modwriter is an active (visiting and participating) member of the boardmod community it means hands off his/her mods with the alternative of asking permission to change/add to his/her code.
If the modwriter is dead and gone and there is a need to recode or change those mods it is up to the coder to decide.
However, I still would suggest to try and contact the original author just in case.

I already released some of my mods to other coders willing to pick up where I left off, as my time is so limited and my development sources are aimed at Y2 it makes no use to hold on to them.

In any case, courtesy and polite asking will benefit the community as a whole and prevent fights over code, because after all it is Open Source.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Ron
  

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Outumuro
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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #2 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 1:25pm
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Good ideas here by Curtiss and Ron.  Maybe determining a policy that defines what an active mod dev is and an actively supported mod... as opposed to an unactive or missing ("AWOL" so to speak) mod dev and an unsupported mod that has been orphaned in effect.

It does happen that devs changes and their interests and lives change.  Someone may lose interest in YaBB, modding for it, or for Perl.  Or could be something as simple as taking a break from it for a while, yet with the desire to comeback and pickup where they left off.

Defining (or re-defining) some ground rules... might be good for the community at large?
  


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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #3 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 2:19pm
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Outumuro wrote on Oct 31st, 2005 at 1:25pm:
It does happen that devs changes and their interests and lives change.  Someone may lose interest in YaBB, modding for it, or for Perl.  Or could be something as simple as taking a break from it for a while, yet with the desire to comeback and pickup where they left off.

Best example is Dave Boughman handing over FA to me to further develope.
It all boils down to some background communication between devs.

I know that Shoeb Omar is still up to his ears in school and exams, so allthough his many great mods look orphaned he is still frequenting this board and yabbforum from time to time keeping us up to date on his hective live.
In this example it wouldn't hurt to send him a PM to ask if you can continue and pick up on one of his mod in order to keep them in line with YaBB developments in total.

  

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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #4 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 5:48pm
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this topic is as old as the mod community itself Wink well more or less. but ofcourse still valid and uptodate!! so thanks for bringing this to attention.

the following is a "rule" from 20th of december 2001 by michael:
Quote:
PERMISSION NOTE: If you want to convert a mod which isn't yours please try to contact the mod writer in any form (AIM,YIM,ICQ,EMAIL,URL).
Then wait for 1 week and if still no answer try it again.wait another week and do a last try.
After a month with no answer you are allowed from us to release the mod, because it would be possible that the mod writer had stopped those actions.

this was said in connection to make older mods compatible with the current version.

however that said it still does not mean that you are on the save side since all mods are intellectual property and as long as the authors didnt release their mods under a copyright, it depends on the law which applies in every special case what is legally allowed and what is not.

so it makes sence to add a copyright note to your mods i.e. saying that everyone is free to use, alter and re-release your mod as a new version.
  
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Carsten
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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #5 - Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:20am
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Also mentioned in the "Rules" for mod-writing  Smiley

http://www.boardmod.org/docs/HowTo.html#Author
  

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Curtiss Grymala
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Re: Just In Case Anyone Cares
Reply #6 - Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:27am
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Carsten wrote on Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:20am:
Also mentioned in the "Rules" for mod-writing  Smiley

http://www.boardmod.org/docs/HowTo.html#Author


Yeah.  I was somewhat aware of that rule, which is why I wanted to give express permission to anyone that wanted to improve my mods.

I like the idea of putting info in the mod descriptions, letting people know that it's alright to edit the mods.  For instance, there are some improvements I'd like to see made to my mods, but I either don't have the time or the Perl knowledge to achieve those lofty goals, so I wanted it known that anyone with the time and/or skills to get that done could work on my mods.

BTW - Maybe we should change the title of this topic (which I guess I can do by modifying my original post) so that it makes more sense as a sticky.   Wink
  

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astropilot
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #7 - Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:55am
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I am in agreement with a lot that's been said, but just a few thoughts.    

We all have changed someone's mod to fit our own needs at one time or another.  I've done it a bunch.  But, because I respect other people's original concept, I tend not release any of the changes I've made on this board or any other outlet (one exception is the code for sensitive censor in the YaBB 1.3 version and I only did that because of my distane for bad language). 

Anyway, I think that if you are able to modify a mod then you are able to write a different version. This is not stealing an idea as long as you acknowledge that you got it from someone else AND the orignal idea was very unique.  For example, I do not think that Xonder should acknowledge anyone who has ever created a YaBB calendar, but if someone decided to do Carsten's YAMS, in paticular the Map thing, then they should acknowledge him.  THis does, however, create a grey zone of what's original and what's not.

With that, I would say that a new mod version of a mod (new code and everything) needs to have some added functionality for it to be at least be displayed here.  I know that I would not like it if someone wrote versions of my mods without any new functionality (unless we are talking for a new YaBB version and I was inactive).  But as modders, we need to be open to new ways of doing things, especially if its better and faster. 

ap
  

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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #8 - Nov 1st, 2005 at 3:04am
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And, what of the plagiarizers ??

Always acting as so ?? Grand...
  


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Spikecity
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #9 - Nov 2nd, 2005 at 10:46pm
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astropilot wrote on Nov 1st, 2005 at 2:55am:
We all have changed someone's mod to fit our own needs at one time or another.  I've done it a bunch.

I think adapting code for your own purpose is beside this discussion Astro.
We are talking about rewriting/altering code from others for redistribution.
As a lot of my fellow devs and YaBB friends already wrote it is specifically mentioned in the rules, but the grey area is the abandoned mods I think.

If someone writes me a nice email asking permission to alter/upgrade or reuse my mod code for redistribution I will probably agree with that on my terms (which basically means that my name remains in the code as original writer) but after that my only concern is that mods keep evolving.
If I do not have the time to keep up with demand and someone else who I think is capable to advance with my code, I will be the last one to deny usage of my code.

It's the people that use my code (or for that matter anyones intellectual property) and put their name under it that pisses me off sometimes.
  

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astropilot
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #10 - Nov 2nd, 2005 at 11:51pm
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Quote:
We are talking about rewriting/altering code from others for redistribution.

That is what I was speaking of.

People always ask for certain features that just wouldn't advance a mod, but only for them.  In other instances, people could see use for a new feature that many could use, but the modder either doesn't want to do it (happens from time to time) or they are somewhere over the rainbow and can't be found.  What I was speaking was the first issue.

Most will adapt a mod for their own use, but to distrupt that as a mod for a mod might not be the best.  My point is that the person wanting to release a version of a certain mod should actually rewrite the whole mod as they see fit.  No copy and past here, I'm talking actual coding the mod from scratch.  Yes this would give multiple mods, but it would also give an energy to help progress mods and their functionality.

Now, the question, is this wrong and actually plagerizing someone's idea?  In my opinion, no, especially if you give credit where credit is due for unique ideas.

  

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Spikecity
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #11 - Nov 3rd, 2005 at 11:07am
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astropilot wrote on Nov 2nd, 2005 at 11:51pm:
People always ask for certain features that just wouldn't advance a mod, but only for them.

That is still somewhat different then modifying and release them online for the general public.

I'm not a particular fan of having multiple versions of mods that are rewritten from scratch and add the exact same functionality, as there is the grey area of what does written from scratch mean ?
After all we are not competing eachother to write the best mod, but to add new functions and enhance existing ones.
I think the real thing that is good about this place is that people help eachother optimising their code, so no matter where the code starts, it gets optimized by cooperation anyway over time.

It's not uncommon to use the most excellent parts of someone elses code into your own new or existing mod so how far do you want to take the discussion.

I have the good practice of adding remark lines (even in Y2 base code) to emphasis a contribution of someone to my mod code (like I mentioned e.g. Graham for fixing up parts of the SMTP code compliance to RFC's in the Y2 engine).

But for me coding is a way of relaxation anyway and not a way to boost my ego, so actually satisfied "customers" pay my virtual bill without the need to see my name in Neon next to it Wink

I do not have too much of a problem with other coders borrowing parts of my code as there are only so many ways to write a certain function, as long as people do not use my code to show off their skills Smiley
  

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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #12 - Nov 16th, 2005 at 5:41pm
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Just for reference, Ironwing allows everyone to port hhis mods to Y2

Source: http://www.boardmod.org/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=general;action=display;num=1132111940
  

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AK108
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #13 - Nov 17th, 2005 at 12:53am
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If I disappear for 3 months or more, all of my code posted here and at YaBBforum can go to the community to maintain as they want and port as required Wink.
  

For my mods, check out my public notes.

You might be interested in my projects, or my forum, the Flying Kirby Pub.
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Dave Baughman
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Re: Modifying Other People's Mods
Reply #14 - Jan 3rd, 2006 at 11:05pm
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Just for reference on my sake (though most of my mods are old and decrepit now ... there's probably a few pre-Gold releases out there, even), I only ask the same thing I've always asked -> give credit where credit is due.

If you used someone else's code as a jumping-off point to make changes and re-release it, leave a note that they were the previous author. If you use chunks of their code for an entirely different project (like the attaching routine I originally wrote for File Attachments, which someone else wanted to use for an upload avatar mod at the time, which I'm not sure if that particular person ever ended up releasing), then give them credit in the notes somewhere.

And if you're feeling nice, give a little mention in the notes if they helped you with some coding problems, troubleshooting, or even inspiration and ideas while you were doing your own original coding. "Community" is the name of the game, and it never hurts your rep as a modder to say thanks to those that have helped you along the way. If anything, it boosts it.

Which is what has always made this community so great. Keep it up, guys. =)

- Dave Baughman
  

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