Mod packaging and repositories

Feedback on past, current, and future development.
ezze
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by ezze » 20 Jan 2014, 11:34

I agree strongly, there is little-to-nothing more annoying that restrictive licenses over mods that suddenly stop getting maintained. It is also quite annoying to have to re-invent the wheel because mod-authors think to be gods, their work a sacred piece of art and the internet a museum.

SquireNed
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by SquireNed » 21 Jan 2014, 03:48

On the other hand, while one would be hard-pressed to defend a negligently open licensed thing being used without permission as inadmissible, stranger things have happened in the field of copyright law, so I'd be a little hesitant to do this.

After all, we do have life+70 years to 95 years flat on intellectual property rights in most countries.

maqifrnswa
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by maqifrnswa » 21 Jan 2014, 04:33

I think the idea is if effort is going to go towards getting directory layouts/file formates under control, you might as well try getting licensing under control. Licensing is so important, and many mod devs just don't know it exists or understand how it can help their mods.

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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 21 Jan 2014, 08:58

The offer the uploader the choice in license, make it very clear (in bold, big font) that by default, it is an open license (whatever one is best for the community). This would not strip them of their rights, they are still in control but others can re-use it for their purposes and/or offer to help improve the existing mod.

They may still opt for other, stricter license, but you start losing benefits like being able to host them in open repositories or have others improve upon them.

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Okulo
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by Okulo » 21 Jan 2014, 11:49

BrotherBrick wrote:Then offer the uploader the choice in license
Good luck enforcing that in anything but OpenMW-controlled repositories. License-less mods would still pop up in the wild. If the license would be embedded as metadata into mod itself, however... You know, make it a mandatory field, like the title of the mod.

...which is what Wheybags said, actually.

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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 21 Jan 2014, 12:39

We're not worried about the wild, just what can be checked and verified. Otherwise, would be the point?

This isn't mutually exclusive from what wheybags suggested, I think that is a good idea.

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Okulo
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by Okulo » 21 Jan 2014, 14:49

BrotherBrick wrote:We're not worried about the wild.
Why not? If you can't force it, people will run off, deviate from your rules and likely make something that is more popular but without the rules you're laying down. This is like, Cult 101. Just look at Apple.

In practice it would mean you'd still get tons of mods without license on popular websites (such as Nexus) and you'd still have the same issue.

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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 21 Jan 2014, 15:09

Not our problem. :)

If you want in the distro, you have to play by the rules.

Following the defaults will get your mod in. If you actively want to go against the defaults, that is cool too, but it won't be in the distro. It really is that simple.

I firmly believe that whatever you create, is yours, to do with as you want. I have no problem with encouraging openness, but it is always your right do what you want.

skullgrid
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by skullgrid » 21 Jan 2014, 15:14

Okulo wrote:
BrotherBrick wrote:We're not worried about the wild.
Why not? If you can't force it, people will run off, deviate from your rules and likely make something that is more popular but without the rules you're laying down. This is like, Cult 101. Just look at Apple.

In practice it would mean you'd still get tons of mods without license on popular websites (such as Nexus) and you'd still have the same issue.
Forcing freedom down people's throats is not a good idea. Even Stallman himself believes that people should be convinced rather than obliged.

In any case this is what I have in mind:

A tool to manage mods locally. It should unpack and index files, create backups in case of conflicting files and log all changes so they can be reverted. This tool would have scripting capabilities to allow mods with restrictive licenses (that don't allow re-packaging) and weird file hierarchies.

Another tool to fetch packaged mods. This should work like package managers on Linux already do.

And lastly, a GUI frontend for both of these applications.

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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 21 Jan 2014, 15:19

skullgrid wrote:Forcing freedom down people's throats is not a good idea. Even Stallman himself believes that people should be convinced rather than obliged.
That was said with tongue in cheek... just saying that the default should be a open license, in plain sight. Allow them to change if they want to, but encourage openness and reward it by having it hosted, for example, by debian.

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