OpenMW History and Timeline

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Ravenwing
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OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by Ravenwing » 06 Mar 2019, 06:39

So this topic, and more specifically it's related reddit thread got me thinking about OpenMW's history. I say the reddit thread because everyone here on the forum has a fairly good grasp of the general past of the project, not so on the reddit thread.

Basically, I was wondering if we'd be interested in putting together a short history and timeline of OpenMW. I think there is a lot of misrepresentation of how we've come to the state of the project as it currently stands and am hoping this would be another bit of PR material we could have at our disposal. Plus, I think it would be legitimately interesting for many of us who have followed the project for a few years, but not much beyond that. I'd certainly be happy to help put something together and do the compiling, but obviously this would require a lot of participation from the long time members.

I think once people understood how very far we've come, they would gain a much better appreciation of exactly what has been achieved as well as understand why it has in fact taken so long to get here. All thoughts and input are very welcome!

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Greendogo
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by Greendogo » 06 Mar 2019, 09:24

From my 10+ years at this project, I would say covering this in terms of contributors, features and sub-projects would be a good way to tell the story.

I think I can start this off by saying, indeed the project was started back in 2008 by Nicolay Korslund. I and a few others still here were around back then, yelling at him for one thing or another, but he really impressed us with his constant progress. He interestingly chose the D programming language to write the engine in. This was funny, because, well, no one knew D. This was at least one major reason he quit the project, passing it off to Zini who painstakingly rewrote the whole thing in C++, when OpenMW as we know it was born. Korslund eventually vanished off the face of the internet, but not before he quit OpenMW and at some point made an open source game downloader for open source games kind of like a FOSS Steam for FOSS called Tiggit (https://github.com/korslund/Tiggit).

Things I can remember from back then were we gathered from the Bethesda forums onto a Google Group. Eventually those were axed, but we eventually got a new site. I don't remember how quickly Lukasz Gromanowski came around to be our site maintainer and forum administrator, but throughout the several redesigns of the site, he's been a constant guardian of our little group. Remember, anyone, when our forums were all blue? Those were the days that the DaggerXL project was still active (there were many open source Elder Scrolls engine reimplementation projects starting up and dying in those days).

At some point either before or after the C++ translation, Scrawl came on board. He proved to be a Titan of feature completion and bug annihilation. I remember back when we used, what was it... bugzilla... for our bug tracker. I made it a constant habit to check the Issues every day, seeing every new thing that Zini and Scrawl would close day after day. I enjoyed bug hunting and reporting as a sport because I knew that they wouldn't stay on the bug tracker for long.

I remember when I started and aborted the Example Suite several times. Luckily, later on DestinedToDie took that project back up again, though it's been dormant since December.

The Multiplayer portion of the project is completely outside my realm of knowledge. The Shadow project and the NavMesh project were born on these forums, so I think some people should be left around to tell those stories.

If I made any mistakes in the details, sorry about that. I'm sure someone will be along to correct it. Also, I met up with Raevol once at Comic Con International in San Diego, he's a cool dude. 8-)

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lysol
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by lysol » 06 Mar 2019, 14:01

If I had a week with nothing to do, I'd dig through the forum to try to find old stuff I remember that could be interesting. But I don't. :roll:

Thanks for the read Greendogo! The things you mention were all long before my time here. I believe 0.18.0 had just been released when I started hanging around. I remember you started in some dungeon or egg mine or something with collisions off, and when you wrote tcl to enable collisions, there were no animations, so you just floated around like a ghost. You couldn't really do anything except float around. I was hooked instantly.
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Ravenwing
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by Ravenwing » 06 Mar 2019, 16:48

Greendogo wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 09:24
From my 10+ years at this project, I would say covering this in terms of contributors, features and sub-projects would be a good way to tell the story.
Damn, that's a long time! And thank you, I totally agree and really appreciate your bit of the story. If some others can give similar accounts, it will greatly help me put together an outline. Once that's together I can start to formulate what questions I need to ask to fill in the details/gaps.

One question I have already: has the whole history of the project, even from it's D days, been on the same GitHub repo? That will help me solidify dates and such of important milestones along with what I find on the forum archives.
lysol wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 14:01
If I had a week with nothing to do, I'd dig through the forum to try to find old stuff I remember that could be interesting. But I don't.
Haha, well I'm basically in the same boat. Hoping to put as much together as I can, but even if I don't get much beyond a basic timeline and some notes, I think we'll already have the start of something good, even if someone else has to pick it up later.
Greendogo wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 09:24
If I made any mistakes in the details, sorry about that. I'm sure someone will be along to correct it. Also, I met up with Raevol once at Comic Con International in San Diego, he's a cool dude.
Not to worry, that's why I want multiple accounts. We should be able to figure things out between all of us! And aren't you going to UCSB for grad school? I think Raevol's over here on the west coast as well.

claudekennilol
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by claudekennilol » 06 Mar 2019, 16:56

> Things I can remember from back then were we gathered from the Bethesda forums

Back when the Bethesda Forums were actually useful before they purged everything that wasn't recent (and user's post history/stats along with them). Back when ass was [spotted owl] instead of [censored]. I spent so many hours on the mw modding forums (and eventually the OB modding forums).

If I remember right, Lukasz Gromanowski started the project as something he thought he'd do as his senior project for University, right?

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werdanith
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by werdanith » 06 Mar 2019, 20:35

I'll chip in for a few corrections and additions.

Actually the one who rewrote OpenMW from D to C++ in the beginning of 2010 was Nicolay himself, also in part to the fact that he had to write bindings for every library he had to use as well as the fact that the D implementation wouldn't even compile on some systems. Zini's first commit was around June of that year, with the first proper C++ version, 0.7.0 "Bond, just Bond", coming out a couple of weeks later. October of that year marked Nicolay's last commit to the project. The award for the oldest, still active contributor to OpenMW would go to Chris, for code going back to 2008 as far as I can tell. Scrawl arrived in early 2012 with the intention of implementing the coolest features for the graphics engine, and while he sadly didn't fulfill his original goal, he had a hand in fixing nearly everything else.

Nicolay was also in charge of the old website, openmw.com and forum, and with his sudden departure we had to move to our current domain, around August 2011, that Lukasz so graciously hosted and administered. The archives of the old forum were also copied and available here.

Concerning the competing projects one was Crystal Scrolls, the author of which eventually dropped his project to contribute to ours. The other big one was Project Aedra, that aimed for a fast custom DirectX Engine and multiplayer as a top priority.
Impressively for a one man project, it had many features we did not, for a time.
One question I have already: has the whole history of the project, even from it's D days, been on the same GitHub repo? That will help me solidify dates and such of important milestones along with what I find on the forum archives.
The project was originally on sourceforge and using svn before moving to git at the time D was abandoned. I Don't know when the move from sourceforge to github eventually happened, but with /korslund/openmw collecting dust and not accepting commits, /zinnschlag/openmw became the dominant branch until the eventual move to /OpenMW/openmw

NullCascade
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by NullCascade » 06 Mar 2019, 21:04

werdanith wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:35
Nicolay was also in charge of the old website, openmw.com and forum, and with his sudden departure we had to move to our current domain, around August 2011, that Lukasz so graciously hosted and administered. The archives of the old forum were also copied and available here.
Nicolay didn't have anything directly to do with that. I bought the domain and maintained it for a few years while in college. This was necessary after some discussion on the Google Groups/email discussions, as neither GG nor the Beth forums were suitable for us. When I vanished Lukasz took up the mantle and after a while I set up my domain to redirect to his.

A timeline seems great to compile for people. It's been a long decade+, and it would help people appreciate the work that has gone into the project by people over the years.
MWSE 2.x lead.

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psi29a
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by psi29a » 06 Mar 2019, 21:14

I came on board around 2011, but I had followed the project since 2010.

I believe that the original 'host' of the project was sourceforge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/openmw/files/openmw/
^-- hosts the very first releases.

The first of course was SVN then later git.

Very first commit:
https://sourceforge.net/p/openmw/svn/1/ <-- adding trunk and tags on 2008-06-22

From what I make sense of that time period, it was nullcascade and later lgro doing webhosting work and nkorslund who did the initial work in D. Github says the first commit was on Jun 22, 2008 as well, so we have two sources there.

Zini's first commit, according to these sources, was Jun 6, 2010.
https://github.com/openmw/openmw/commit ... 2850c3366c

nkorslund's last 'release' was OpenMW 0.08
https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw/releas ... penmw-0.08

zini's first release was OpenMW 0.09
https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw/releas ... enmw-0.9.0

nkorslund's last commit was on Oct 3, 2010:
https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw/commit ... 2697c58017

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werdanith
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by werdanith » 06 Mar 2019, 21:16

NullCascade wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 21:04
werdanith wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:35
Nicolay was also in charge of the old website, openmw.com and forum, and with his sudden departure we had to move to our current domain, around August 2011, that Lukasz so graciously hosted and administered. The archives of the old forum were also copied and available here.
Nicolay didn't have anything directly to do with that. I bought the domain and maintained it for a few years while in college. This was necessary after some discussion on the Google Groups/email discussions, as neither GG nor the Beth forums were suitable for us. When I vanished Lukasz took up the mantle and after a while I set up my domain to redirect to his.
I see. Actually I wasn't certain about that part, I seemed to remember that the domain belonged to somebody else, but I couldn't remember who, and given that Nico's disappearance aligned with the dates, I put it on him.

sgtwisky
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Re: OpenMW History and Timeline

Post by sgtwisky » 06 Mar 2019, 21:29

Just wanted to pipe in and say, as someone who has only known about the project since 0.38.0, I find the history shared so far pretty interesting. So for what my anecdotal evidence is worth... I think this is a great idea.

Slight aside. Really glad I learned about the project when it was so far along and so bug free :mrgreen:

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