From email@example.com Fri Feb 18 11:35:14 2000 Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 01:58:33 -0800 From: Joseph Carter
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: Kevin Pulo , Conan Ford Subject: QuakeLives "partnership"
Those who know me well know that I hate to ostracize anyone and that I generally believe all differences can be worked out over time. No matter who they are, a person can always learn from their mistakes. Nobody is so bad that they deserve to be rejected from the community at large right?
This perhaps uncharacteristically optimistic view of people now seems completely wrong now that I have gotten to know a little more about one individual, Slade.
For those who don't know who he is, Slade is the leader of the QuakeLives project. How you could not know who he is without having been under a rock the past week or two is beyond me, but that's beside the point.
My first contact with Slade was on 13 January 2000 when Zephaniah Hull asked me to speak with him on irc. He seemed a bit more interested in convincing Zeph and I to drop QuakeForge and join up with QuakeLives than talking about partnerships, but I chalked that up to sense of humor (I might have made similar comments half-seriously in his position..) We seemed to come to a nice agreement, all apparent humor aside.
I begin writing this message 16 January, only three short days later. No longer do I believe any partnership with QuakeLives is possible. I intend to discuss why, but first I think it's important to mention what agreements we seemed to reach.
First, we would help him port our multiplatform support to his tree. Second, we agreed that closed source proxies were not an effective long term solution and that we would work with him to develop a better solution possibly involving encryption and cheat fixes in the protocol (QuakeForge has already begun working on protocol fixes for cheats as you may know.) We also agreed that as long as his proxy was done in a manner which did not violate the GPL, we would support its use as a temporary measure until better and more secure solutions became available. We agreed this would require changes to the QuakeWorld protocol and that we would work together on the design so both projects would support the new protocol. In return for all of this, we'd use a couple of the tweaks available in his tree (which he could not stop us from using under the terms of the GPL anyway, but I think it was at least good of us to offer something in exchange..)
I no longer believe QuakeForge would be successful in achieving the objectives we had when we approached QuakeLives. I also no longer believe a partnership with QuakeLives can have any positive effect toward our project goals of portability, compatibility, and adherence to community standards.
I also am forced to call into question Slade's own motives and sincerity. Consider the following points:
Further, the GNU GPL version 2 demands in section 3, clause (b) that if full and complete source is not included that a written offer valid for at least three years accompany the binaries. No such offer was included. I now officially add my request for the full and complete source to QuakeLives QuakeWorld 2.51.
Slade suggested that since he was already working on such a project that I simply send all interested contributors to his team and we could just use the official QuakeLives dataset. He was not interested in spinning the dataset project off into a seperate entity for the benefit of all.
While QuakeForge (and anyone else for that matter) could simply incorporate code from QuakeLives to use his new formats, our project goals generally call for a dataset all of us can use. If it is not directly compatible with the original Id Software source release then every project who is at all interested should be able to be part of the decision to change formats.
If you do, be prepared to take his answers with a Siberian salt mine. They're likely going to be mostly FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) against all competition, probably with little or no backing.
Slade's favorite piece of FUD is that none of the other projects have solved the cheating problem. It's true that we have not yet implemented our solutions completely, but we do have them. It's also worth noting his own cheating solution was Copyright infringement and worked for mere hours before somebody published an exploit. He'd tell you that his release was just a beta and its security could not be relied upon as a result.
In general, I don't believe Slade is sincere. It seems fairly clear at least to me that he has been directly and indirectly dishonest with QuakeForge and a lot of other people as a result. His claims have little backing. Those claims which do have backing are cases of the pot calling the kettle black, so to speak. He's demonstrated a lack of respect or regard for the GNU GPL, for Id Software, for his "partners", and for the free software and quake communities he claims to serve.
He believes that by rushing out with a release first he owns Quake and the right to control it. He wants to dictate the future and the standards all projects should be judged by. He does not care if his efforts fracture the game or the community that cares about it because he believes that anyone not doing things his way will very soon not matter anyway. Who needs consensus or agreement when you control the standards, right? Sounds to me like Slade needs a hard lesson in humility.
Further, and with no undue disrespect intended to the rest of the QuakeLives team, it seems that he's more interested in collecting PR people to make his project seem great than actual coders and designers to help make his project great. I'd say there are a few really talented people in Slade's team and I hope his attitude and the reprocussions of his actions do not bring them down with him.
I also have a hard time believing the community will long stand for the likes of Slade once a few more alternatives make themselves known. There are a number of really interesting projects out there. It's not just a case of QuakeForge vs. QuakeLives as some might want you to believe. In the coming weeks we'll all hear about them I'm sure.
As I wrote this message, some words written by John Carmack recently in email began to echo in my mind. I shall close with his words since I find I could do no better:
-- Joseph Carter
Debian Linux developer http://tank.debian.net GnuPG key pub 1024D/DCF9DAB3 sub 2048g/3F9C2A43 http://www.debian.org 20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC 44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3