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Thread: commercial orientation of ClanLib

  1. #1

    Default commercial orientation of ClanLib

    The thread that precipitated the license discussion was closed. I thought I'd clarify the "problem" from my perspective.
    Quote Originally Posted by rombust
    I am not sure what the problem is here. [...]

    Developing a free SDK doesn't make money. Development is only for personal satisfaction.
    If there is no business model to support the ongoing ClanLib SDK development, for me that is a bad sign. I have 2 case uses: my own games, and simulations I may try to sell to third party clients, so that they can do their own ongoing development. At this point I don't think I'd worry about my own indie development. I haven't seen any dealbreakers, and that's why you keep getting build bugfixes from me. But for recommending an engine to a third party, this is worrying. I can't rightly sell a solution that has a hobbyist / personal satisfaction development culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by spahir
    You keep making references to ogre. I think it is important that you realize that we could not care less about what they do.
    That could also be a warning sign. Ogre, for instance, has people who can be hired to do consulting work for the Ogre engine. That's part of the Torus Knot Software business model and the Ogre ecology generally. If this conversation greatly annoys your core developers and precipitates honesty about what ClanLib and RTSoft's focus will be in the future, that's fine by me. It's better to know now than to get any deeper into the evaluation.

    AFAIAC ClanLib competes as a solution with Ogre, Unity, and others. If you don't see it that way, if you really don't care what anyone else is doing or what the recent commercial practices are, well that's worth knowing.

  2. #2
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    An important clarification: "RTSoft" is separate from ClanLib. Our forums are kindly hosted on RTSoft by Seth.

    He develops http://www.rtsoft.com/wiki/doku.php?id=proton

    There is no business model to support the ongoing ClanLib SDK development. Anyone is welcome to start one. I'm not interested myself.

    I have a feeling that actually ClanLib is not for you. Unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time and effort developing it.

    The conversation doesn't annoy me. The thread was closed because all the arguements have been stated. It is healthy for developers to have differing opinions.
    Last edited by rombust; 04-09-2013 at 04:14 PM. Reason: I just can't spell

  3. #3
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    When I grew up as a boy, seeing my first game on the ZX Spectrum, I immediately started dreaming: "When I grow up I want to debate the importance of my game library business model, the differences between Ogre's open source model with consulting, or the Unity proprietary tactic where you claim a certain percentage of the game profits. Should it be 20% or only 10? Can I leverage the Open Source movement for extra publicity if I pick the Ogre model, or should I count on the popularity of C# and .Net to get the most exposure and thus more leads? What is my elevator pitch?".

    Oh wait, I wanted to write games. Not become a salesman.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the clarification about the relation between ClanLib and RTSoft. It wasn't obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by rombust View Post
    I have a feeling that actually ClanLib is not for you. Unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time and effort developing it.
    I'm getting close to making a decision between Ogre and ClanLib. Soon I'll know what the APIs say that each can do. I've done the Makefile bugfixing to see what they actually do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus Norddahl View Post
    When I grew up as a boy, [...] What is my elevator pitch?".

    Oh wait, I wanted to write games. Not become a salesman.
    I don't see the relevance of your childhood perspective, unless you see software development primarily as a way of nurturing your inner child. I think many of us thought we were going to get the moon, when we were children. Then when we got out of college, this annoying thing called "the real world" or maybe more properly the working world intervened.

    It's fine if you personally only wear 1 hat, that of some kind of "pure game programmer." However, many indie game developers are trying to figure out how to support themselves while retaining as much creative control as they can. They put the biz hat on, for survival, to get their stuff shipped, and to ensure that market-wise they are not completely wasting their time. This includes who they ally with to realize their business ambitions, such as which major open source components they should or shouldn't graft themselves onto. I wanna sell games, and make money, and be the next Minecraft level of success if I can manage that. Yes I will make an elevator pitch to someone, sometime, because without some kind of at least guerrilla marketing one's game will never get exposure. This is true in every fine art / highbrow pursuit out there. If you don't know how to sell, then you're not likely to get money.

    I can plow lots of effort into open source projects that are "worth it" to make my ambitions happen. I can find developers that I have shared values with, that are trying to do things similar to what I want, but in their own way. Or, I can forget about open source and say, "If ya want it done right, ya gotta do it yourself." My jury's out on which road I will take. I have some open source horror stories in my past and nowadays, I'm very careful about which developers I do a lot of work with. Without shared values, the politics gets ugly.

    It's also instructive that the Minecraft guy reached financial critical mass totally by himself, as far as the actual development goes. But he surely got his work "sold" by many people.

  5. #5
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    (off-topic)
    Marketing is important when developing software.

    There are numerious instances of simple games that are extremely popular, despite being very simple and lots of prior art.

    For example: Angry birds, Minecraft, and that "candy crush" that everyone seems to play on facebook

    The reason they are popular? ... Well if I know the secret, I would be rich!

    Even facebook itself. Someone I know created a website very similar to the early facebook, a few years before facebook was born. His site closed down 2 years ago, due to lack of funding. Why? Because everyone knows what facebook is ... even if they do not have a PC.

    Twitter is the same.

    There is a lot of critisism with Windows8, and the new design. I now think that Microsoft is extremely clever. Destops as we know it, will die out. The majority of home users want simplicity and an OS that is fast, clean and easy. Once we can project an image into space without a monitor, a lot will change. Microsoft are preparing themselves for the future.
    Last edited by rombust; 04-09-2013 at 07:37 PM. Reason: grammar

  6. #6

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    I stumbled upon an article about why big companies invest in open source software development. It's not out of altruism or hacker culture. They're trying to drive the cost of "complementary products" to zero, so that they can make lotsa money on their main products. The article link was embedded in a discussion about taking the NeoAxis game engine open source.

    Quote Originally Posted by rombust View Post
    The reason they are popular? ... Well if I know the secret, I would be rich!
    Actually you might turn away from it, depending on your ideology. I've analyzed Minecraft. I think I understand various things about why it succeeded. That's saying a lot, because I hated Minecraft Alpha. I got a chance to play it for free, one weekend when Notch's servers went down and he offered up his latest build as compensation. I thought it was a real boring piece of crap, and broke many rules of what you're supposed to do when releasing "good" software to customers. But, clearly it got an audience, and I had to learn how that audience's tastes differed from my own. I've been interested in succeeding "like Minecraft," but I sure can't bring myself to make a Minecraft! Ugh, boring game, best left to 10 year olds. The neighbor kid is addicted....

    Even facebook itself. Someone I know created a website very similar to the early facebook, a few years before facebook was born. His site closed down 2 years ago, due to lack of funding. Why? Because everyone knows what facebook is ... even if they do not have a PC.
    In business you have to execute. All kinds of companies competed during the dot.com boom, and the 3d graphics market. There were winners and losers.

    I now think that Microsoft is extremely clever.
    I don't think MS has done anything clever since the early 2000s. There's been a serious brain drain from that organization, as they became more corporate, bureaucratic, and stodgy. Most good programmers around Seattle find something else to do. However MS could still execute an ok business strategy, maybe.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
    I don't see the relevance of your childhood perspective, unless you see software development primarily as a way of nurturing your inner child. I think many of us thought we were going to get the moon, when we were children. Then when we got out of college, this annoying thing called "the real world" or maybe more properly the working world intervened.

    It's fine if you personally only wear 1 hat, that of some kind of "pure game programmer." However, many indie game developers are trying to figure out how to support themselves while retaining as much creative control as they can.
    OK, I might not have used the most clear way of communicating it, so let me try a different way:

    My personal goals with ClanLib are to create my own games and have fun doing it. Not your game. Or help you with selling OpenGL 3+ solutions to potential customers. If it happens to help you or other game developers, good. If not, then it is really not my problem.

    I don't care which license is most ideal with your goals, if it lives up to some kind of standard that you are looking for, or if it uses your preferred build system. I also don't care if you choose to roll your own 3D engine, use ClanLib (which isn't a 3D engine), Ogre or some third option. Until you've done some considerable amount of contributions to ClanLib (read: years of work) you are just someone wasting my time complaining on the forum. Sorry to say it in such harsh words, but it really seems to me that you still believe that I give a damn about whether this project runs like you imagine open source projects should run. Or if its useful to you.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus Norddahl View Post
    Until you've done some considerable amount of contributions to ClanLib (read: years of work)
    Nobody commercially minded would. Such people assess things in terms of value proposition, and how that will work out as a matter of reasonable exchange over time. I don't know anybody in business who wants to bleed for this kind of project.

    you are just someone wasting my time complaining on the forum.
    Who happens to have tested, reported, and even fixed some of your project's bugs on Linux. Which some people would consider mildly generous, since I could be paid on an hourly basis at some company for that kind of Quality Assurance work. But of course, I believe in open source and it served my purposes at the time to do it. Anyways if you only see that feedback as "complaining" then you aren't worth working with in an open source sense. You'll never gain numbers of developers or amount to significant development with an attitude like that. What does "significant" mean? Look at what you're doing, then look at what Ogre is doing... what have you got that they don't?

    Sorry to say it in such harsh words, but it really seems to me that you still believe that I give a damn about whether this project runs like you imagine open source projects should run. Or if its useful to you.
    Since you appear to be a core developer, and I haven't counted many of such around here, I will take this as evidence that ClanLib is hostile to general commercial development. Some developers may work with you, but it's hard to imagine that scaling. It's one thing to say companies can use ClanLib; it's quite another to create the environment in which companies would use it. It's good to know this now. I will stop wasting my time trying to understand, fix, or improve your code.

    I don't really understand why you bother with open source if you don't have commercial use and support as a goal, and are not ideologically driven the way the Free Software Foundation is. Without one of those imperatives, why bother? I suppose I have run into the "I wrote this; here; now LEAVE ME ALONE" type of programmer before. That was Irrlicht, back in the day. They evolved, or maybe grew up. At the outset, I figured they were sort of a glory hound or control freak project. They explicitly wouldn't take contributions, they told people to get lost.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
    I don't really understand why you bother with open source if you don't have commercial use and support as a goal, and are not ideologically driven the way the Free Software Foundation is. Without one of those imperatives, why bother?
    Fundamentally, I am the same as Judas. And I personally know many people over the years that are also the same.

    Why do people go bird watching?
    Why do people collect train numbers?
    Why do people plant flowers in the garden?
    Why do people count cloud types?
    Why do people ....

    All with no gain for themselves or anyone else.

    It is personal satisfaction.

    It is human nature. Keeping the mind occupied.

    A hobby

    The RSPB claim to have around 1 million members in the UK (A bird watching club)
    Last edited by rombust; 04-10-2013 at 12:40 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rombust View Post
    A hobby
    Ok I'm glad to have found that out. It's unfortunate that it happened by sparring with Magnus, but I do value speed. For me this is not hobby, this is career. So, communities such as Ogre, the various paid engines like NeoAxis and Unity, or working on my own proprietary code, are a better fit to my personal ambitions. Despite the negativity that has ensued, I am happy to have helped your project in the small manner I did. I believe in open source, even if we have different ideas about what's to be done with it. The next Linuxer who happens along will have an easier go of it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombust View Post
    The RSPB claim to have around 1 million members in the UK (A bird watching club)
    What is the value proposition for me? Why should I join the RSPB? What does RSPB have that Mississippi Audubon doesn't?

    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery
    I suppose I have run into the "I wrote this; here; now LEAVE ME ALONE" type of programmer before. That was Irrlicht, back in the day.
    I kind of like this Irrlicht guy. He sounds like a guy that doesn't waste his time on useless crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery
    They explicitly wouldn't take contributions, they told people to get lost.
    Have you ever wondered why you are indirectly told to get lost almost no matter where you go?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    I kind of like this Irrlicht guy. He sounds like a guy that doesn't waste his time on useless crap.
    His development attitude didn't scale and it's not the tone in the Irrlicht community nowadays. If you like his style, sorry, you'll have to turn back the clock. The rest of the open source world moved on and got real things done.

    Have you ever wondered why you are indirectly told to get lost almost no matter where you go?
    I never spoke to the Irrlicht community back in the day. With their clear warnings that they were going to be nakedly hostile to anyone who dared to offer a contribution, why would I?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
    The rest of the open source world moved on and got real things done.
    Ah the imaginary group of open source developers having a common goal and interest. I'm sure there are lots of real open source developers getting plenty of real things done. I don't think you are one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
    I never spoke to the Irrlicht community back in the day. With their clear warnings that they were going to be nakedly hostile to anyone who dared to offer a contribution, why would I?
    Based on your postings on this forum alone, and by googling your nick, there's still an awful lot of people you ended up fighting with. And you seem to be quite eager to trash talk people you apparently never even did work with? It makes one wonder..

    In any case, good luck with your game project. I'm sorry to have let you down by not being someone eager to please you and work for you for free. But then someone so obsessed with value proposition you should be able to understand why I don't think there's any money in you for me. You wouldn't even invest in Windows 7 as a professional developer, or the DX11 card you need to do the bleeding edge features your game project apparently so dearly requires. But then I'm sure there's some kind of professional logic in that which hostile hobby developers like me is unable to understand.

    I am locking this thread because this is getting increasingly pointless. I think we have established by now that you think I'm an idiot, and I think you're a well known forum troll that hasn't ever contributed anything of high value to any open source project. I thank you for your Linux makefile patches. They saved me about 1 hour of work. I would have appreciated them more if I could have gotten them without all your other bullshit.

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