RPTroll wrote:Mote claims to be open source on their G+ page. I hope that is the case so we can fold some of their changes back into MapTool.
I wouldn't hold your breath. MOTE doesn't have a good reason to release their source code in the near future. I know there's that whole 'open and closed version' some people are talking about, but:
A) That's going to be really difficult for them to monetize - why is anyone going to buy pro when the free version suffices? There is only one reason this project works in the 'real world', and that is so called vendor buy-in. You get a large company interested in the support plan version of your software, and you get priority with bug fixes and the like. The equivalent of vendor lock in here is that:
i) You get a file or feature that is non open source, that cannot be used with any open source version of the software, crippling said software
ii) Or you get some large GM's or GM hosting companies to use the proprietary software, forcing others to use it (if they want to play in said GM's game)
This is such a complicated business model that I can almost guarantee MOTE will fail miserably if it tries this. Maptools may benefit, though that's doubtful for other reasons.
And yeah, let me interject the guy who's gonna say "we'll buy it to support it!" - yeah that's great, but real open source already depends on donations, and that doesn't go far enough to support many devs. Finance is broken for O.S., it sucks, but we don't have a good biz model. I think the best thing would be for GPLv4 to require that all projects of over a certain size cost 5$ to download - that way you either learn how to build your own software (and therefore it gets easier to dev software) or you fund the people who can. Most of the nincompoops today (who aren't pirating software) won't build squat, and I won't complain if it makes people smarter.
B) 'Open Source' doesn't mean what it used to. Its used as a marketing term these days as much as a project philosophy. There is such a thing as the clueless user who doesn't know better than to see that it is 'open source', but this can mean someone zipped a file up and stuck it on the web. With no build tools. For the last version of the software. Missing several, incredibly expensive, proprietary dependencies. MOTE may pick some license that is incompatible with MapTool, or they may never 'get around' to actually open sourcing their product.
And then there's the whole mess MapTool is already in - several false starts, lots of unofficial forks of the 1.3 project, a '1.4' that's actually a 2.0...here's a couple hard things to chew on:
1) Maptool is 'frozen' - how are you going to 'merge in' any of the stuff from MOTE? Assuming that the projects are similar enough. I would do this on a 1.4 branch. Oh wait, we can't, because we decided to call our 2.0 branch that.
2) The 2.0 (1.4) branch is (supposedly) drastically different code. At least that's the plan, to re-write the base drastically. Guess what MOTE did? Drastically re-write their fork of the 1.3 branch. So, now we have what are potentially two dramatically different code bases. You'll probably end up with something like OpenOffice and LibreOffice - MOTE will benefit more from MapTool than MapTool will benefit from MOTE. Assuming MOTE has more dev resources. Which, as they'll be paying staff, and the devs here seem to vanish, and their devs know MapTool like the back of the hand and our devs don't even know what MOTE looks like yet, let alone have a good understanding of its innards, sounds correct.
3) Lets say we rename 1.4 to 2.0 like I want MapTool to do, and unfreeze dev on 1.3 and put all new dev features into a 1.4 branch (I'll call it 1.4b from here on out to avoid confusion) instead, and that this code base is similar enough to MOTE that we can easily fold in these sorts of changes, what do we do about the 2.0 branch? Now we'll have a 1.4b branch that will be less and less defunct than the '2.0' branch. Fold it into both the 1.4b and 2.0 branch? So, twice as much work?
I don't see a good way out, not from the perspective that MOTE will be any help, at least in the near run, to MapTool.