Simple Machines Community Forum

Customizing SMF => SMF Coding Discussion => Topic started by: HEB XI 1 on November 12, 2007, 09:04:45 PM

Title: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: HEB XI 1 on November 12, 2007, 09:04:45 PM
For example, while the author of this particular mod is actually online while I type this and has been active in various other threads (leading me to hope that maybe they are just really really busy), none of this person's mods have been updated for 9 months.

On top of that, the mod I'm particularly interested in has had it's thread neglected for that same period of time ... there are currently over 30 pages of posts without a single response from the mod author, but with 3 and 4 posts each page form other "Support Specialists".

I have been contacted by someone who created a replacement for this particular mod, fixing many of the bugs and rewriting the back end to be more logical.  However, his mod was not approved because it is too similar to the original, unsupported and ignored, mod.

Given the choice between an officially approved but buggy and unsupported mod and an unofficial but bug-free and supported one, I have to say I would choose the support.  I believe in helping people out, so I thought I would ask and see if there's anything that can be done to "dethrone" the current official mod and let the supported one be put in it's place?
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on November 14, 2007, 12:09:55 AM
HEB XI 1, I hope you don't mind that I mention the mod name. I wasn't going to reply to this post, but it hasn't been responded to in over 24 hours.

The mod being discussed here is the Custom Profile Field Mod. I had originally installed winrules mod and noticed how buggy it was. This led to a complete rewrite using three relational database tables to store the data. It was at this point I figured I would share this mod to others who may be in the same situation.

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=991

I was told my mod was too similar to the existing mod, because the gui layout was the same, and I would need to ask for permission. Not a problem but I didn't get a response back for weeks.

Quote
First off I'd like to sincerely apologize for not replying to your PM sooner. I didn't reply to it when I first noticed it and then it got buried with all the other messages I get.

That is fine with me - although I would appreciate some credit. I also have a few suggestions to make with the mod but I will do that through the customization team.

I have no problem giving you credit. However you never responded to the PM I wrote you back. What suggestions do you have for the mod and why can't they be made through me? I spent hours rewriting the entire mod from scratch. The backend code and database layout is completely different.

I just went and read through the mod thread. For 9 months it has been said there will be a new version and bugs aren't going to be fixed in the current version. If you do not want to continue development or do not have time can't we get the issue of giving credit to you on my mod resolved? That way users of your mod can upgrade and have a bug free version. I even went as far as writing a conversion script to migrate all the existing data over. It just seems like you apologize over and over for not having time however you don't need to do anything but give me permission so it can be approved.

« Reply #727 on: December 13, 2006, 03:59:24 PM » (http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=79004.msg855580#msg855580)
Quote
mark7144 - Yes, I know that there are many bugs. The problem is really the backend of it - it uses a system that is designed for individual static options. I'm currently rewriting it using a much better system.

« Reply #791 on: January 10, 2007, 06:08:47 PM » (http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=79004.msg901825#msg901825)
Quote
wilsy - The next version will be a complete rewrite, although you will be able to upgrade your current fields and member data to the new version. So yes and no. And no there is not a timescale for release currently.

« Reply #819 on: January 20, 2007, 11:09:35 PM » (http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=79004.msg918910#msg918910)
Quote
Please understand that I have not lost intrest in this project. I am currently developing a new version of the mod (4.0) which is a complete rewrite. I am also planning on starting a support site for my mods (though this might not happen so no guarantees). I know the current verison of this mod is quite buggy. That is why I am rewriting the entire mod and how it stores its data. I won't be making any more bug patches or adding new features (with the exception of security patches if issues arise) to the 3.x line.

« Reply #919 on: February 13, 2007, 05:15:48 PM » (http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=79004.msg958824#msg958824)
Quote
My sincere apologies for neglecting this topic. Luckily I should have more time now :). As I said in my previous reply, I am currently working on a new version. I will include many new features (such as permissions for viewing/editing fields, displaying (and searching for) fields on the memberlist, possibly (though please don't give me a headache for saying this if it doesn't end up happening) being able to rearrange, disable, and edit default fields, and will use a much stabler backend (hence fixing bugs that have to go with flaws in the current backend). I also won't be patching and bugs in this version (with the possible exception of a security hole or other major bug). If I missed anyone here please just let me know and I will reply (with the exception of feature requests and bug reports, the former I have read and will consider, the later see my note above about patching bugs in the current version).

This was the last post I found by winrules in the thread.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: mandukar on November 15, 2007, 06:17:48 AM
I happen to agree with rsw686 If you don't have time to improve a buggy mod then It would seem logical to pass the development onto someone else.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: capabmx on November 15, 2007, 07:58:28 AM
rsw686 you are awesome, and I'm gonna convert to it tonight :), congrats, and thanks for remaking it, the other version was too buggy as said before :).
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on November 15, 2007, 09:54:38 AM
The mod page won't let you download the mod unless it is approved. If you would like a copy please PM me your email and I will send it to you. I would put up a link, but I would rather keep the downloads to those interested in it. This way they can give me feedback on the conversion process and mod. I don't think there is any bugs as I did extensively test the mod and conversion script, but I could have missed one.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Rumbaar on November 15, 2007, 05:45:39 PM
Nice, installed the profile field mod, used it once but then went for a more direct entry in the profile page.  Would be interested to check out your improved version of the idea rsw686
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Bigguy on November 15, 2007, 06:00:22 PM
Without permission directly from the author nothing can really be done. He does say though that he is going to develop another ersion of it though and people do get busy.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on November 15, 2007, 06:08:26 PM
Without permission directly from the author nothing can really be done. He does say though that he is going to develop another ersion of it though and people do get busy.

The issue I have is the code is 100% mine. The only thing similar is the layout, which is hard to change since it uses the ModSettings.php wrappers. It is just frustrating that because the idea is the same and he is too busy to fix his or give me permission nobody can have the benefits of using a version that works.

If I write my own gui scrapping the ModSettings.php wrappers will this mod be approved?
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Bigguy on November 15, 2007, 06:10:46 PM
I hear your frustration and am sorry you are having problems with it. Have you tried PM'ing him recently.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on November 15, 2007, 10:17:57 PM
Heres a sneak peak at what is coming up. I just need to finish testing it out. It allows you to restrict viewing and/or editing to member groups not based on post count.

(https://www.simplemachines.org/community/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwgnrs.dynalias.com%2Fmyweb%2Fprofile_perm.gif&hash=018195bf1eb0d4df14e7af600f8e59d8)
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: mandukar on November 16, 2007, 06:48:22 AM
Quote
Given the choice between an officially approved but buggy and unsupported mod and an unofficial but bug-free and supported one, I have to say I would choose the support.  I believe in helping people out, so I thought I would ask and see if there's anything that can be done to "dethrone" the current official mod and let the supported one be put in it's place?

reading this paragraph over and over again I have found myself to be confused as to why someone would complain that there work is being continued by someone else that is willing to take the responsability of it's development if the original Aurthur doesn't have time anymore to even help its users. Other then not giving credit this makes no sense at all.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Dannii on November 16, 2007, 08:39:30 AM
This is why people should release their code under an open licence ;)
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: mandukar on November 16, 2007, 09:01:14 AM
I thought it was already like that which was why people were able to use these mods.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Dannii on November 16, 2007, 09:07:52 AM
People can use them, but that doesn't mean we have any rights to do stuff to the code, unless the specifically say so. If you say so from the beginning it's just easier.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: mandukar on November 16, 2007, 09:52:13 AM
but this forum software is open source, which means we can do whatever we like to whatever is added
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on November 16, 2007, 09:57:06 AM
People can use them, but that doesn't mean we have any rights to do stuff to the code, unless the specifically say so.

This is my whole point. I wish one of the SMF mod approvers could look at both mods and compare. The code is completely different. The idea is only the same.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Dragooon on November 16, 2007, 10:05:10 AM
but this forum software is open source, which means we can do whatever we like to whatever is added
That doesn't means you will re-distribute it.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: mandukar on November 16, 2007, 11:14:35 AM
yes it does, it means whatever you download you can re-write the hole thing to whatever suites you. if this isn't true then this software isn't really open source.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: 青山 素子 on November 16, 2007, 11:25:45 AM
yes it does, it means whatever you download you can re-write the hole thing to whatever suites you. if this isn't true then this software isn't really open source.

Depends on how you define open source, and if the OSI has brainwashed you.

SMF is Open Source in the traditional sense (source code is available) but not in the OSI propaganda sense. You can do as you like, but you just can't redistribute.

Yes, you can re-write the whole thing. If you plan to distribute the rewrite then you should be fine as long as you don't re-use any code from the original (although you should talk to a lawyer if you are thinking of taking on a serious effort for a big project). Of course, there are certain elements that you can only do one way, and those shouldn't get you into trouble either.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: AmaZulu on December 24, 2007, 09:28:30 AM
If I could just chime in with my 0.02c...

I have installed the mod from the original author - it didn't create a CustomProfile.english-utf8.php file so I could see nothing in the admin area until I made one myself. Not a train smash, but I am having other issues with it just not working or appearing where it is supposed to appear.

I definitely am not going to read though 81 pages of comments on that mod for similar problems if there is an alternative that actually does work but is being prevented from being published here because of some absurd "similarity" non-issue.

rsr686 you have a PM! ;)
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Rumbaar on December 24, 2007, 04:34:45 PM
Well AmaZulu your issue is more of a personal forum configuration issue than a fault of that particular mod.  95% of mods are only written to support 'plain' English, that is across all mods.

As I say to all people that have installed from Fantastico (I've assumed here) set your server language to English, and you'll solve 98% of language missing issues.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: AmaZulu on December 25, 2007, 01:32:12 AM
Problem with using plain English is that non-English characters like ø and é and ü î get warbled into unintelligible jetsam and my European members get agitated when their names can't be spelt properly on my forum.

Anyway, like I said that's not a biggie to sort out. The main purpose of my post was to add a voice for the publication of the revised mod. No one wants to wade through 81 pages of issues to try and sort things out when there is a better mod available.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Rumbaar on December 25, 2007, 03:35:03 AM
True, I understand you concern in that area.  But to link it to non utf8 (faux or legit) support, which is the case for nearly ALL (or a very large percentage) mods, isn't the way to do it :)
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: karlbenson on December 25, 2007, 09:20:33 AM
95% of mods are only written to support 'plain' English, that is across all mods.

I try to provide support for both standard and utf8 for all translated language strings within my mods.

I personally don't see the harm in having two similar types of mods.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: AmaZulu on December 25, 2007, 02:46:34 PM
True, I understand you concern in that area.  But to link it to non utf8 (faux or legit) support, which is the case for nearly ALL (or a very large percentage) mods, isn't the way to do it :)


I agree & only just realised that it was kind of irrelevant to include it in my reason for posting.

(It would be nice though if all the fantastic mods you guys did for us took UTF8 into account though. ;) )
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Rumbaar on December 25, 2007, 04:25:09 PM
I try to provide support for both standard and utf8 for all translated language strings within my mods.

I personally don't see the harm in having two similar types of mods.
Yes you do Karlbenson, your mods are fantastically written.

That reminds me, what I wanted to bring up in regards to this discussion.
Take a look at View Topic Permission (http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?action=search;basic_search=View+Topic+permission) to see how it was possible to have very similar mods created a long time after the first still allowed into the mod site.   Just seems strange with the current issue, that is all.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: karlbenson on December 25, 2007, 04:26:38 PM
Just search for Shoutbox and theres 4.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Rumbaar on December 25, 2007, 04:33:41 PM
Yeah, thats true.  Which can be nightmare when people request support on their 'shoutbox' mod... :)
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: capabmx on February 26, 2008, 12:05:00 PM
Also, as a little point of advice. I notice a decent amount of people have problems with mods that have not been updated for 1.1.4. Usually you can get away with editing a small line to make it compatible. Simply download the package, and extract it to it's package name. Then open the folder and look for install.xml, or a file similar. I recommend downloading notepad 2, google search. Then open it and look for this line of code:
Code: [Select]
<install for="1.1 RC3, 1.1 - 1.1.3"> . It will be similar most likely. Some times you can get away with just changing the 1.1.3 to 1.1.4. Also remember to do this for the uninstall line. It is no big feat or anything, I just figure instead of having a bunch of people asking mod developers to update them, they can do it themselved sometimes, so the developers can continue working on anything else until they have the time to update. Haha if this is of no help I can see why, because it is pretty much elementary compared to a lot of other things. But hey, for a second I feel like I'm being a help lol. And also I agree there are a lot of very similar mods, in fact some mods are exactly the same.

There are two select language upon registration mods, the shoutbox mods are all over the place, haha. Multiple flash bbc mods, and the blogs, it gets sort of confusing.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: 青山 素子 on February 26, 2008, 12:47:09 PM
You can also add "version_emulate=XXXX" in the URL for the package manager. Replace XXXX with the latest version the mod reports being compatible with. If there are no errors, it should install fine.

This avoids having to unpack mods and edit them.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: capabmx on February 26, 2008, 08:20:35 PM
Hey, I like doing it the hard way  :P, just kidding. I wish I would've known that this whole time haha thanks!
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Bulakbol on March 03, 2008, 01:21:34 AM
Would it be better to move all unsupported mods to the archive section and let anyone to grab and update to work for the current version of SMF and re-distribute it?
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Dannii on March 03, 2008, 01:49:14 AM
Quote
Would it be better to move all unsupported mods to the archive section and let anyone to grab and update to work for the current version of SMF and re-distribute it?
It may be better, but it wouldn't be legal.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on March 03, 2008, 09:22:10 AM
Would it be better to move all unsupported mods to the archive section and let anyone to grab and update to work for the current version of SMF and re-distribute it?

What would be neat is for 2.0 to create a mod CVS. At first mods are just submitted and reviewed. Anybody can submit patches for these mods. After you submit x patches you are allowed commit access. This would encourage development on the mods and expand the feature set. I know I have come across many mods with slight issues.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: Dannii on March 03, 2008, 09:30:38 AM
Something like a forge is in planned for the distant future. It would indeed be a good idea, although we'd need to limit the licences of mods on the mod site to do that.
Title: Re: When is a mod considered abandoned?
Post by: rsw686 on March 03, 2008, 09:35:16 AM
Something like a forge is in planned for the distant future. It would indeed be a good idea, although we'd need to limit the licences of mods on the mod site to do that.

Yeah the licensing could be an issue. However I really don't see the problem as the mods only work with SMF. People would just have to accept whatever licensing was chosen if they wanted to essentially donate their work for others to benefit from. Its already done like this at countless other open source projects. In the end the quality of the mods would improve even if there weren't as many to start.