(just so you know ahead of time, this is wayfarer@portals|tmi|overdrive, so this post will obviously be a bit biased towards MudOS. I'll do my best to be objective here though, and give you the whole scoop on this name business. Also be warned that this post is somewhat long.)

sigh. I kept telling myself that I was going to avoid this silliness. I detest net flamewars with a passion. However, things have gotten out of hand here. Many things that have been said are simply false. People are attacking not only what we've worked on (MudOS), but also attacked us (Jacques, Truilkan and myself) on a personal level. Is there really a need for all of this? Can't we keep this rational? sheesh.

The project originally began because a few of us at TMI got together to talk about the driver. We sat down to do exactly what people have been suggesting, to try to pool everyone's personal mods and ideas for the driver together and do them, since lars hadn't been responding to diffs that were mailed and rumor had it that he was going to stop taking diffs altogether. (this is not a criticism of lars. He's very busy now, and I think he maintained the driver much longer than many others would have in his situation) As you all know, this actually happened shortly after we started (we began development around the 3.0.52-3 time frame). We saw the need to continue enhancement and bug fixing on the driver. However, we also wanted to not be encumbered by strict compatibility with the lars driver. Thus we have never claimed that we were compatible with lars' driver.

When the project originally started, Whiplash and I were really the only ones maintaining the code. We were calling our version of the driver A (for American version). This worked fine at first, but as he and I made more and more changes, we were developing internal versions much more quickly than Lars was, so we began piggybacking on top of the A. So our version numbers began to look like this: 3.0.53.A2.2. Again. this worked fine at first, but then when lars finally released 3.1 and the last two followups after it, it became very inconvenient to use this version numbering scheme. Around this time, Truilkan started helping out as well, and things became even more confusing with three people at three different points in the country trying to do coherent version control.

Another thing that began happening around this time was that our incompatibilities were becoming noticeable to people using our driver. People who were using it on their sites and people at TMI were always complaining that certain things didn't quite work in the same was as their 2.45 driver or even in some cases, as their 3.0 driver. People seemed to assume that it would behave the same way, and didn't understand why compat mode didn't work.

The final thing that came down to us deciding to change the name was a discussion that Buddha and I had one day. We basically wanted to release a mudlib / driver combination that was easy to build almost anything on top of. Not just your standard fantasy mud, or even any of the other many genres of MUDs out there. We were bouncing ideas around of what people could do with muds, and the problems almost always came back to the fact that rewriting a mudlib from scratch is always a major time constraint considering that nobody is getting paid to do this, and most groups of people working on MUD projects aren't close to each other. (MUD's are a horrible medium for trying to design something or even to communicate simple ideas) At any rate, a lot more was bounced around here, but the end result was talking about this driver / mudlib combo we called 'mudos'. We weren't even talking about it with respect to the driver we were working on necessarily. It was just an idea. (and don't bother flaming that this isn't original, etc., etc. I know. I never claimed that it was, or that the idea was even particularly good. It was just an idea that we wanted to do something about at that point.)

So a few versions pass, and we finally got fed up with having to answer the incompatibility question, and with having a broken version numbering scheme. So we decided that we wanted to start our version numbers over. We were originally just going to call it LPCA, but instead Buddha (or myself, I forget) suggested that we call it the MudOS enhanced LPmud driver. This was suggested jokingly, and we thought it was pretty funny at first, but eventually decided that it actually sounded pretty cool, and that if we ever decided to do the generic driver / mudlib project, that this would fit in nicely. We knew that we were going to be making a sizable number of additions and cleanups to the driver before we really thought we would be 'done', so we started at 0.8 rather than 1.0 on the version numbering. After a few versions down the line, we stripped the name in the version string down to MudOS driver rather than MudOS enhanced LPmud driver, because we felt the name was too unwieldy (it still remains as MudOS enhanced LPmud driver in our docs). Recently, we took out the word 'driver' for the same reason.

Now, you might argue that changing the name was premature at that point. We had changed a significant amount of code, but the incompatibility list was still relatively small, and it was essentially an LPmud with a few new toys on it and a few more bug fixes. I still stick by that original decision however. As you can see, (if you believe that I'm not simply lying outright) none of the decisions to change what we referred to the driver as were to enhance our own personal glory or to try to downplay lars' part in the driver (almost all of it). We changed the name in the version string because (a) we're not compatible with standard 3.0 mudlibs. (b) we wanted a convenient version numbering scheme (c) we wanted to differentiate ourselves from being "yet another custom hacked lpmud driver". I'm sure that these are some of the same reasons that genesis' driver name was changed to 'cd'. They were able to restart their version numbering, they aren't confused with standard lp drivers, and they are definitely not thought of as just another hacked driver by most people. One further enhancement to (c) is what Johan pointed out: it's better marketing. It sounds cooler. We wanted people to use it (at least partly because tmi's mudlib depends on its features). However, we were never attempting to gain personal fame, or trying to degrade lars. We didn't start calling our driver MudOS for any other reason than what I have described above.

Let me respond to a few specific comments now that I've given you the whole story.

First of all I noticed that there are two groups of people attacking us: people with their own custom drivers, and people who want one stable driver to use.

To the Lars faithful who want one driver: he's a busy guy. He has said that he doesn't plan to release a further version of his driver that has anything other than bug fixes. He doesn't plan to add any functionality. That's one reason why there are so many different drivers. So how about the rest of us all getting together and forming a committee and putting together one driver? Well, that's what MudOS came from. Originally, people at TMI got together and asked everyone who was modifying their driver to get together and discuss bringing all of those changes together. I believe that an invitation to this meeting was even posted to rec.games.mud. (sulam? buddha?) About 10 people showed up and we all talked for a while. For a month or two, we had a bulletin board where all of us posted ideas / suggestions / etc. However, nobody really had the time to get together and work on the code. Whiplash took the initial responsibility together and merged in lots of changes from various people. But then the people slowly began to filter away, and in all of that, Whiplash and I were really the only ones that were modifying the code directly. Then truilkan came along, then jacques a while later. Along the way, many others have been contributing pieces of code to us, and helping us to test the driver. It's worked out surprisingly well (except for having multiple people working on the source across the country (and world)... that's always been a pain to do remotely). But to get *everyone* together to agree? That would be next to impossible, and the result would probably be crap. That's why a number of people left the project early on. They didn't agree with the majority, and weren't interested in being a part of it. You can't make everyone happy.

To the people with other drivers: we have never claimed "our mud is better than yours". We're not trying to make this a point at all. We're just trying to make a good lpmud driver. Yes, it's an lpmud driver. We never said that it isn't. The reasons for calling it MudOS are described above. You keep saying that we're being disrespectful, and stealing credit from lars. This is simply not the case. We credit lars throughout the distribution. He is responsible for what we have. Many of you have also stated that you believe that all we have is a couple of hacks on top of the standard lpmud driver. That we have no substantial differences. Well, once again, we've never said that we're not an lpmud driver. But we *do* have *substantial* differences. Our communications are done completely differently. The backend was completely rewritten to be more efficient, and to deal with socket efuns. Function handling was completely rewritten. Much of the internal storage was completely rewritten. In fact, just about every part of the driver has been significantly changed in one way or another. That's not even talking about the feature additions that have been made. From a code perspective, we are more different from the lpmud driver from which we derived, than we are similar to it. Before you make accusations like this, you should have at least looked at our driver to verify your claims. They are simply false. Maybe you have modified your driver to that extent as well. That's great. Once again, we've never said "ours is better than yours". The point is that we're trying to make useful modifications to the driver, and to make that driver publicly available for everyone to use. Because of that, our situations are different. Being involved with TMI, we're interested in supporting these people, fixing bugs that affect them, adding features that they request. You might call your driver an lpmud driver. I would also call MudOS one. However, it has a different name, so that there is no confusion that there are significant differences and incompatibilities between the two. If you were distributing yours, and you cared about helping people who might want to use it, you would have to at the very least add some tag to your name to differentiate your driver from lars'.

To the people of genesis: Thank you for keeping this discussion rational to some extent. I think that you understand where we're coming from here.

All flames to /dev/null. As I've said, I'm not interested in a flame war. I simply wanted to clear up some of the misconceptions that have been thrown around here. I'd be more than happy to have a rational discussion with people who aren't solely interested in trying to flame us in to the ground for no good reason.