For those that aren’t keeping up with the bukkit problems/drama here’s one of the most moving posts I’ve read so far from one of the development team.
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in this whole Mojang/Bukkit problem, I think it is somewhat safe to say we’re going to experience the end of the Bukkit project within the next month. It seems highly unlikely that any new developers will even want to step forward after this shambles.
I’m not sure what this means for our community really. We rely on Bukkit of course to keep the server stable and easy to manage with plugins. Without it, the job becomes a lot more difficult.
Anyways, take a gander at Ed’s post:
Hi. I’m Ed. You most likely do not know me. So please bear with me as I give you a brief background on my experiences around here. I ran a very small (~50 total, ~10 active), personal CraftBukkit server for friends. I started making simple administrative plugins and slowly learned more about Bukkit. I started to monitor the Bukkit scene more and noticed they had quite a backlog of tickets. I wanted to help and I really enjoyed programming in Java, so I started trying to tackle solutions for various tickets that I felt I could assist with. It wasn’t anything major, but I did eventually get to know the core development team more in the process. I got frustrated one day that entity teleportation through portals wasn’t working yet but it was in vanilla Minecraft. I set about to fix that. They recognized my efforts and eventually pulled me into their private chat rooms and labelled me as part of the Bleeding team. I got more involved and started helping with Pull Request management. I helped a bit in creating and reviewing the contributing documentation that exists today as I felt I had a great resource of recent, personal experience in learning how to effectively contribute code to the team.
Then, my personal life turned upside down and I got sidetracked. However, I ended up remaining close personal friends with a lot of the Bukkit team. Over time, I got to witness a lot of the administrative decision making that the general public does not get to see. I think I have some unique insight to how the Bukkit environment actually works and I’d really like to share some more of my thoughts in the light of recent events.
EvilSeph and the entire Bukkit team (core dev, PRH, admins, etc.) are all dedicated individuals. They pour their personal time into making this tool available for everyone. When EvilSeph was a Mojang employee, he did not work on Bukkit during his work hours. He instead waited until his personal time was available in order to continue to support Bukkit. When Mojang hired the Bukkit team as employees, I expected a unification of the two projects on some level. But based on the knowledge of EvilSeph not working on Bukkit during his paid work hours, I started to understand that Mojang was not actually supporting Bukkit entirely. Sure they let it exist. But ignoring a project is not the same as supporting it. Since my involvement I never once saw Mojang support Bukkit efforts. Dinnerbone had left all the Bukkit related IRC channels. And although Grum remained in the Bukkit IRC channels, he rarely interacted at all.
At one point, Mojang had even been supplying deobfuscation mappings to Bukkit. Somewhere along the way even that stopped. It’s clear to me that Mojang had no interest in supporting Bukkit. They did not care how much effort went into Bukkit or even what happened to Bukkit. The simple action of supplying the mappings would have helped Bukkit tremendously. Grum recently tweeted that he and Dinnerbone never needed mappings to do Bukkit originally. That is correct. And the Bukkit team doesn’t NEED them either. Bukkit did multiple updates without mappings. But they sure would have simplified things greatly and reduced the effort the Bukkit team had to put in to updates. They could have also worked with Bukkit to try and organize code in updates that made it easier to add API as appropriate. Any number of actions that would have been fairly trivial on Mojang’s part to simplify the effort for Bukkit never occurred. A clear and obvious rift existed between Bukkit and Mojang even to an outsider such as myself.
Updates got harder. Developers got tired. Replacement developers are not easy to find. People are sure willing to claim they will help, but when it comes down to reality, the personal time required along with the level of skill required is simply a magical combination that doesn’t readily exist. I could expand on this concept alone in a dedicated post, but suffice it to say, it is simply not easy to add more developers on demand. After multiple close calls of barely getting an update out and running the team into the ground time and time again, EvilSeph finally hit an impasse. After years of effort and an increasingly difficult update process each time, he saw the writing on the wall that the latest 1.8 update was going to break a team of people that were unpaid. He simply couldn’t ask these people to do that to themselves. He pulled the plug.
Now suddenly Mojang admits to owning Bukkit outright? They suddenly claim they recognize how important Bukkit is and how it absolutely needs to be updated? Suddenly now that all their free workers are being threatened, THAT is when they care? Of course it is. When you work for a huge company making millions on a product off the backs of unpaid people everything is great. Until those people finally stand up for themselves. I find it appalling that Mojang is attempting to paint themselves as the saviors of Bukkit. Maybe I’m too close to the trees to see the forest. But one thing I’m starting to really see clearly is that Mojang is completely disorganized and unmanaged. Their business model is non-existent and purely thrives off the fact they have an immensely popular game that people seem to be willing to spend their time to help Mojang make more money. You can spin this as a free time activity and it’s all in good fun. But when I am close enough to the dedicated workers that made Bukkit actually happen and see them breaking themselves to put each update out, I can easily see why EvilSeph honestly thought he was out of options. Mojang shunned EvilSeph. Mojang shunned Bukkit. EvilSeph made the best choice he could for the people working so hard for a company that cared nothing about them; he tried to free them. Jens tweeted that he thought EvilSeph must be bored to stir up all this drama. Bored. If Jens honestly thinks that all a team lead does is sit around all day trying to dream up ways to cause drama, then my perspective of how things are so shoddily run at Mojang is only reinforced. Why didn’t Mojang contact EvilSeph directly after the post? Why not try to work things out with him? They are escalating any drama themselves in their own “boredom”.
It’s not about the money. It’s about the people. EvilSeph honestly cares about them. He’s reviewed and hired most of them directly himself. He’s personally invested in Bukkit more than anyone. But how do you show people you care about their work? You support them. Why did Mojang never try to get more of the hard workers hired? Why didn’t they investigate the Bukkit structure, find out who the key players are, and encourage them to get hired? Why didn’t they try to find some way they could help with anything? Why only when faced with it going away do they suddenly now care? It’s threatening their bottom line. It’s threatening Mojang’s money. That’s why they care now. Let that sink in some. EvilSeph may have the moniker, but I’m beginning to wonder who is truly evil here. EvilSeph has been instrumental in getting Bukkit to where it is today. To not recognize his efforts and hold it against him for making a decision he felt he had to make for the people working for Bukkit seems a great disservice to him. I hope Mojang finds the opportunity to review what they say publicly and try to respect the efforts the entire Bukkit team has accomplished to date.
I respect EvilSeph very much. I have disagreed with a lot of decisions he has made over the years. But I recognize and respect that he made those decisions after much research and discussion. None of them were made autonomously, nor were they made lightly. Just because I disagree with a decision does not mean I disrespect him professionally. He had a hard position as the lead of Bukkit to attempt to satisfy a variety of groups and a lot of people. He tried to do his best for the most each time, even if that meant some people might not like him. Being in the decision maker seat is not an easy position. Everyone likes to pretend they’d do it better and hindsight is always easier to say what would have been better. His name has always stood out to me as the great irony of his personality. I am proud to say EvilSeph is a close friend of mine.
I hope Mojang sincerely appreciates what ALL these people at Bukkit do to further their company and their community. I hope Mojang honestly takes this as a wakeup call to seek out for themselves how they can directly support such a pivotal tool as Bukkit. I hope Mojang takes Bukkit’s history into account in their future efforts as well. Mojang at a minimum owes a “Thank you” to Bukkit and in particular to EvilSeph. Why does that seem so hard for them to do?