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Fizban1216
Apprentice


Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:39 am   

CMUD Development Dead
 
I'm guessing it's nearing the point where it's perhaps safe to assume there will not be any future releases of cMUD?

It's nearly been a year and a half since 3.34 was released, and it's still bug-riddled. I can't use a fresh installation for more than 2-3 days before I run into data corruption.
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charneus
Wizard


Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 1876
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:54 am   
 
I once heard that an email was sent out claiming that Zugg was pretty much done with CMUD, that it's stable enough and whatnot. It could stem from a decline in sales, I guess, but it's disheartening when there are so many other things that could be added.

That's the downside to being the only person with the code and having a job that takes away all his time. Then again, he let someone in on the code before and they ran away with it, so who can you really trust?

I don't like it any more than you do... but I'm curious about you continually having data corruption. I wonder why. I haven't had data corruption in a long time. Then again, half my scripts are written in Lua, and the other half are getting there. I have fewer and fewer zscript variables, and instead save everything to a table that loads upon setting loads. Maybe that's why I don't suffer from data corruption. :\
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MattLofton
GURU


Joined: 23 Dec 2000
Posts: 4834
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:30 am   
 
Quote:

Maybe that's why I don't suffer from data corruption.


Choice of language isn't why you don't suffer from data corruption. I'm pure Zscript, and I've got just as much corruption as you do. Fiz is probably using events or even making extensive use of the thread functionality, so his ultra-frequent corruption is likely a result of threading conflicts.

Also, while CMud is in fact at a point that Zugg could just walk away from it, he hasn't yet done so. Trust him to at least keep his Gurus better informed than the rest of the user base, if for no other reason than to prepare them for fielding questions.
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Daern
Sorcerer


Joined: 15 Apr 2011
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:31 pm   
 
I'd like to see an official post from Zugg about this. It's been almost a year since Zugg posted his Mid-year letter last year, after having disappeared for several months. He said Zugg Software isn't going out of business, CMUD is just going back to a hobby instead of a full time job. He said things were getting back to normal. Then he promptly disappeared again. He has posted a total of five times since then. There have obviously been no CMUD updates since then. Forum usage is at an all-time low. It certainly looks like CMUD is dying. So Zugg, if you're truly not walking away from CMUD like Matt says (not that I don't believe him - I WANT to believe him), could you at least let your die-hard users know? Even if it's just another post like the Mid-year letter explaining what's happening in your life, saying you just don't have time to work on CMUD right now but you're not abandoning it, we'll understand. But if you don't say something soon, CMUD is going to die, plain and simple. I hate to say it, but I expect we've all been thinking it lately, as the months go by without hearing anything from you. I know I have.
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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 346
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:41 am   
 
Zugg has the flu, but he'll see this thread in a day or so.
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shalimar
GURU


Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 3799
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:31 pm   
 
I hope you are pouring gallons of chicken soup down him.
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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 346
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:59 am   
 
Chicken soup and popsicles galore, but strep requires drugs. Got those and today is his first almost healthy day in over a week. He'll be by soon.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:35 pm   
 
Hey all, sorry for the delay in answering this. Nasty strep virus!

Is CMUD dead? No. It's a great program and continues to work just fine for thousands of people. Is CMUD "development" dead? Probably. The truth is that I can't continue to pour my life into something that is no longer bring in enough money. It's purely economic at this point. I've said for years that I would work on whatever people wanted to pay for. I have a life and a family and can't just do something as time-consuming as CMUD for free. For over 6 years I continued to work on CMUD at a financial loss. I used up all of our retirement and savings. When the "great recession" hit in 2008 we almost lost our house. I worked a ton on CMUD for several years with ever decreasing sales and my focused attention on CMUD still didn't cause any improvement in sales. So it's pretty simple: if more people bought CMUD, then I would work on it more.

I said many years ago that open-source software would eventually kill-off small companies like Zuggsoft. There just isn't much I can do as a single developer compared to a whole world of open-source. Every feature that I innovated in CMUD and zMUD was taken by the open-source community. I cannot compete with that. The desktop software industry has changed a lot in the 17 years since I started zMUD and software no longer has the value that it once did. In addition, the MUD community continues to shrink, as does the advertising budgets of the top MUDs. That's a tough combination that no longer makes business sense unfortunately.

On the other hand, Zugg Software itself is not going out-of-business. We actually still spend many hours every week answering emails about license codes, etc, to support our customers. I still pay for this website. I still ended up working about 12 hours a couple months ago to keep this server working when we had a spammer attack us. So even with zero development, Zuggsoft still requires time and we are still putting in that time.

Somebody said above that CMUD wasn't stable, but that is not the fact for the majority of users. Yes there are some minor bugs, but there are work-arounds for most everything. I was running out of useful stuff to add to CMUD. I'm actually tired of software that just continues to add stuff and update itself and would rather just use software that worked. For most people, CMUD just works and some people are happy that it's not being updated every month like it used to.

The only unknown factor that might "break" CMUD is Windows 8, and I'm so annoyed with the direction that Microsoft has gone that I don't even care about Windows 8. In fact, having been using a Mac more at work, I almost wish I had converted CMUD to work on a Mac since Mac users tend to be more likely to purchase software.

So the bottom line is that you probably won't see any updates for CMUD. I'm certainly NEVER going to charge for any future CMUD update at this point. So even if I eventually do some bug fixes for fun the updates will be free no matter how many years it has been. But CMUD still works, and lots of people still enjoy using it, and that's not going to change. I use a lot of software that hasn't been updated in a long time, and I'm sure many MUD players will continue to use CMUD. After all, there are still people using zMUD and it hasn't changed in many years.

On the positive side, I'm still extremely happy with my web development job at Phase2 Technology. I'm doing interesting and important work with a great group of people and loving every minute (and actually getting paid for it).

Cheers to everyone who supported zMUD, CMUD and Zuggsoft over the years. It was a fun 17 years. When people talk about the latest immersive 3D MMO games we can tell them what it was like back in the good-ole text-only days.
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shalimar
GURU


Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 3799
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:31 am   
 
Aww... i was so looking forward to mapper updates... c'est la vie.

Glad you are feeling better at least.
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meddlesome
Wanderer


Joined: 24 Aug 2012
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:21 pm   
 
Zugg, I thank you. And for those that talk about instability, it is all about how you handle the conservation of resources on the PC. People who don't understand the value of not having a variable would soon find themselves over taxing the system and causing CMUD to suffer a performance loss. It is even possible to do this by not using classes and just dumping everything into the root and having the root so big and watching so many {triggers|events|macros} that performance is losing ground.

It is really up to us as a consumer to make CMUD to help each other, and through the years I have found that the volunteers here to be outstanding in character and have had a good sense of ethics. Real life catches up sometimes real fast, and for some, they don't even have an understanding of that yet. I will miss the updates, and was so looking forward to seeing you take a text based game and turn it into a tiles based game for those that prefer the GUI.

Though I agree with the open source issues, I must say, I never found to many of them. Yes, one particular one, but then Real life has seemed to hit them cause they can barely keep the website in the same spot anymore. You really had them beat, "Hands down." ZuggSoft has produced far better products. CMUD has them licked with the Automapper, a variety of language programming choices, DDE/COM supporting, SQL integration, and an over all better base scripting code with zScript.

Don't ever feel like you didn't accomplish anything with CMUD. I agree with the community when it came to the chat. zChat is what I use today, though I was hoping that a COM solution would come along to work better with CMUD to keep the open source version from stepping up. When it comes to having a battle with a group. If you don't have proper communications going on that can't be interfered with by the Mud, you are not going to win to many battles.

To your defense and to win your debate on open source, it is the consumer that loses in the end. We know that because of your interactions with the open source community, you will never release the source code of CMUD to them. When you do close the doors on CMUD, only we, the consumer, {can|will} keep CMUD alive.
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Fizban1216
Apprentice


Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:19 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
Somebody said above that CMUD wasn't stable, but that is not the fact for the majority of users.


I find that hard to believe.

In addition to myself I have a handful of friends that used to try out the trial every time they reformatted their PC or bought a new PC because they'd used zMUD for years and wanted to upgrade to cMUD but just couldn't justify changing from zMUD to cMUD since they wouldn't last more than 3-4 days of using cMUD before running into corruption issues.

I did purchase cMUD, yet still more often than not opt to use zMUD because even on Windows 7 x64, something zMUD was never intended to be used on, I have far far fewer issues with zMUD than I do with cMUD.
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charneus
Wizard


Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 1876
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:45 am   
 
The thing that's disheartening about all this is that so many things are left unfinished. It's easy to see why OSS wins out when they have people constantly working on bug fixes and occasionally adding things.

The biggest disappointment is that it took you 2 years to come out and tell us that development is dead. Those consumers who have stood by you faithfully, asking for new features and providing bugs. Sure, you can say CMUD is stable, but let's be honest here: it's stable when you don't have scripts running. It's stable when you have basic stuff running. Even I'm starting to run into more and more errors, and frustrated because I can't do the things I want to do that I can easily do in another MUD client. Yet I chose to stay faithful.

When you got your new job and made the move, we were all under the impression that you'd still update, but income to CMUD would only be secondary. No one ever expected you to make millions off CMUD. We just expected you to provide timely updates, more or less.

I'm sad, really. Disappointed.

Wish you the best, Zugg, but it's no consolation.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:30 pm   
 
Charneus: the thing is, if I could predict the future, I'd be a billionaire. There is no way to know what will really happen in the future. Two years ago I was still fulltime on CMUD and had no clue what was coming with the economy. A year ago I had just moved and thought I'd eventually have more free time to keep working on CMUD. Today I find that I have very little free time and what little free time I have I want to spend with my family and not slaving away over a piece of software that few people pay for anymore.

It took so long for me to post here because even now I'm not sure what will happen in the future. Maybe I'll still do some bug fixes. Who knows?

As far as stability, "Great power comes with great responsibility". Maybe I should have made CMUD a lot less powerful...then it would be more stable. As soon as you start allowing threading and dynamic classing and events, it's really easy to write scripts that get you in trouble. All I can say is that I still get an email for every single crash dump that people report and even accounting for the lower usage the numbers show that the newer versions of CMUD are far more stable than the older versions. Especially for people who started fresh in CMUD and never tried to port older zMUD scripts. Obviously a forum like this attracts those people having problems. You never hear from the masses that are working just fine. And the people with problems tend to be the really advanced people who are pushing CMUD to places it was probably never intended.

Be careful what you ask for. A complete stable product is typically a much less powerful product (I hear telnet is *really* stable!). Just like the most secure computer is a computer with absolutely no connection to anything else. It's not something that most people want and was never the direction CMUD or zMUD was focused on.

I never expected to make millions from CMUD. All I asked is that I make enough to pay the bills. That stopped 6 years ago and yet I still continued. I think I've poured enough of my life into this at this point. Sure, people will be frustrated no matter what I do in the future. But life moves on.
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punchwalk
Newbie


Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:41 pm   
 
Zugg: I consider myself an intermediate-to-advanced user and I've been pleased with the stability of CMUD and would agree that it improved considerably release after release. Are there a couple of issues I'd like to see fixed? Sure. But I'm not bitter. As someone who develops software for a living, I definitely agree that with the premise that the more robust and feature-rich a product is, the less possible it is to achieve near-flawless levels of stability.
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punchwalk
Newbie


Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:43 pm   
 
Oh, and as someone else who has recently made the switch to using a Mac, I wish CMUD was written for Mac too. You live, you learn. :)
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charneus
Wizard


Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 1876
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:44 am   
 
Zugg: I completely understand that, and don't take my comments to mean that I'm not pleased in every aspect of CMUD. No one knows what your life is like except for you. No one knows what you can and cannot contribute to CMUD but you. No one knows what's going on but you.

The thing that irritated me the most was that last year, you sent out at least one email to Lasher (and maybe other MUD admins) stating that CMUD was "done", and that it was stable enough. To me, that sounds like you knew a year ago that you didn't intend to do much more with CMUD. Maybe I should have brought it to light a year ago, but even then, you weren't posting much, so there was no telling if you'd even read it to begin with.

Regarding pushing CMUD to its limits, I know that some of my scripts may attempt to push the limits every once in a while. But I've converted 90% of my scripts to Lua code, and they seem to run smoother. The problem comes down to threading, though, and I've learned that with some of my scripts, I need to start a new thread to run the code in them. It doesn't surprise me that others may push it beyond those borders, thinking outside the box. I datamine. I use CMUD to grab data from websites that I need. I use CMUD to grab definitions, sports scores, interesting facts, quotes, using web APIs. I email using LuaSocket from with CMUD. I do a lot of outside-the-client work from within CMUD. Heck, I even still have the weather script I posted a while back. The point is, if the tools are there, people are going to invent new ways to use them. These people may wind up breaking something, and as a result, they have to get a new, better tool to use. I think that's what has frustrated people the most, and why some people have issues with stability.

Back on topic, though.

I know, in the past, you once entrusted the CMUD code to someone, and they ran off with it. Since then, you've been the only person with the code, and that's understandable. With that said, I know you will probably not be handing the code over to anyone anytime soon. No one expects you to. But do you foresee a future where someone else might have access to the code to maybe fix the bugs or add features? I'm not asking for it myself; I don't know anything about Delphi, and don't have the tools for it anyway. Just a curious thought.

In any case, I'd really like to see the following taken care of, though I know many others have their own requests.

1. Add full xterm support for ansi codes.
2. Add an ansitohtml function to convert ansi codes to html format. You already seem to have the code in place, I think, with logging, so hopefully this wouldn't be too much to add.
3. Incorporate Lua 5.2, since I don't think we can do it user-side.
4. Incorporate LuaInterface, since I'd like to be able to create more than one status window, and it needs to be registered with the initial solution build.

I don't know how much of your time that'll take up, but it seems to be quite simple, since two of them are just recompiling the builds. Just a thought, anyway.

I do appreciate the work you've put forth on CMUD. I guess the disappointment stems from knowing so much more could be done. :\
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MattLofton
GURU


Joined: 23 Dec 2000
Posts: 4834
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:00 am   
 
Quote:

1. Add full xterm support for ansi codes.


Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANSI_escape_code

%e[...S, T, n, s, u, l (lower case L), and h either are not supported or my limited testing failed to produce any visible results.

Of the SGR (%e[...m) options, options 2, 6, 8, 10-19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 39, 49-109 appear to be unsupported or otherwise are defaulting to other options with identical results, but that matters little since almost nobody else supports them either.

Everything else displays properly as far as interpretation goes. There are situations (which I'm unclear if they are part of the spec or just something coders are doing on top of it to keep things looking nice) where things need to be improved, but those can be worked around nicely enough that we can compare ansi support to mxp support.
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oldguy2
Wizard


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:09 am   
 
I'm not sure why people are having so much trouble with stability. I have no problems at all and haven't for ages. The fact is, if you are trying to do something the software doesn't allow you to do or was not intended to do, then it isn't the fault of the software. If your script code is crap, that isn't the fault of the software either. There are little things that annoy me but I easily find workarounds for them. I don't complain about it even though it annoys me, because I understand at this point it isn't going to change. So I change my code to handle it.

I also completely agree with Zugg on the open source issue and it is something I myself have voiced concern over before, actually in a conversation between us a long time ago.

I don't think MUDs will die completely, and someone else will develop another client. Perhaps it may be one of you in the future!

Also am I the only one annoyed about the direction toward everything being tiny and handheld? I rather like having a 23" screen and not some tiny cell phone or laptop. I also could give a care less about Facebook. Maybe I am just getting too old I don't know.
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Progonoi
Magician


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:56 am   
 
Though I haven't actively MUDed nor scripted for over 3 years, I tend to agree with Oldboy2 et al in that we really should give the credit where its due. Part of me going deep into MUDing was ZMud and soon afterwards, CMud with all its scripting power. I had already stopped by the time latest version (and version change itself) came about, but I'm sure that if I'm going to once rekindle my interest, I'm more than happy to pay half the price for the latest version if it comes to that (say, when v.2... seems to unstable, etc.).

I completely agree with screen sizes, Oldboy2. I *love* my - rather new - 23" LCD. However, I just returned from a trip abroad and though I had my laptop with me, I found myself utilizing available WI-FI connection always through my smart phone. It was just so... handy (pun intended!). So I think it depends heavily on the situation. I rarely touch my phone (or laptop) for anything internet-related (or whatever else) when I'm home. Then again, many people I know have completely moved on from Desktop PCs and are using laptops at home exclusively. I, myself, never could (I suppose there's the thing of doing quite a bit of video processing work, but still...).


Anyways, my .02
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Amorelia
Beginner


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:26 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
I said many years ago that open-source software would eventually kill-off small companies like Zuggsoft. There just isn't much I can do as a single developer compared to a whole world of open-source. Every feature that I innovated in CMUD and zMUD was taken by the open-source community. I cannot compete with that. The desktop software industry has changed a lot in the 17 years since I started zMUD and software no longer has the value that it once did. In addition, the MUD community continues to shrink, as does the advertising budgets of the top MUDs. That's a tough combination that no longer makes business sense unfortunately.


Hi, I just joined the community. I was doing a web-search for a MUD mapping client, and CMud seems it could fit the bill nicely. Sorry to hear it's losing development, that might sway me in another direction as I evaluate the options.

On the commercial vs open-source debate, the key commercial criteria is "ease of use". Many of us are willing to pay for something if it's easy to use, looks good, and basically works as intended. Of course, the average MUD player is probably more "techy" than the average Windows user, but that doesn't mean we're all willing (or have the time) to dig into an open-source install with its plethora of build and configuration settings just to get started.

IMO the whole gaming industry is doing a 360. MMOs are moving to a F2P model with a fee for added content that gives an "edge". The commercial trick is to find that "edge" and exploit it. The days are gone when most are willing to fork out $60 for a game which turns out to be mediocre or have a short half-life ... but some games might be making even more from their players in the long run.
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brandiharmin
Newbie


Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:57 am   
 
Thanks for this one. appreciate this so much.
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k_starling
Beginner


Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:06 am   
 
There's no shame in quitting a project that isn't making ends meet, you do what you have to do in order to make it. I don't think anyone here will argue with that.

However, if you are going to more or less abandon Cmud (as well as its users), you should do so responsibly. The responsible thing to do at this point, particularly if you aren't making money off of it, is to release Cmud's code and make the program open source. Maybe someone would pick it up. It would be better than just letting it die, at any rate.
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oldguy2
Wizard


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:35 pm   
 
I'm not sure where you get that releasing the source code is the responsible thing to do just because he isn't actively developing it right now. I paid for the software and got what I paid for. He doesn't owe me anything and hasn't abandoned me.
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k_starling
Beginner


Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:42 pm   
 
Regular bug fixes are (or should be) part of what we paid for as well, and we haven't gotten any in more than a year. That is a problem. It's unfortunate that Cmud isn't turning a profit, but that doesn't release the author from the responsibility of fixing outstanding issues, even if there won't be any new development. If it isn't feasible to even fix outstanding bugs, then for all intents and purposes the project should be considered abandoned, and the code should be released as open source for interested parties to pick up.

Release the code under a CC-BY-SA license or similar, IMO.
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oldguy2
Wizard


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:01 am   
 
Well I read your post from last year about your bugs where you stated the following:

Quote:
I would like be able to de-maximize the client window and have the client not hang when I re-maximize it. I would like to have the contents of the package editor not disappear randomly. I would like to have crashes not corrupt my settings. I would like to have font settings actually stay set to what I want, rather than defaulting back to Courier for NO REASON the next time I start the client. These are annoying, sloppy bugs and they should be FIXED!


However, I have to say I have never had any of those problems, and I am not sure why you were having them. I'm not doubting you, but do you think perhaps it is your code causing issues or something else? Are these the bugs you are talking about? I set my font to Consolas 12 when I make a new session all the time and then save it for that session and it never defaults back and never has. I've never seen Cmud hang when I maximize it either. I've also never had any settings just vanish and never had any settings corrupt or even had any crash once it came out of beta into the 3.0 versions that I can recall. What version are you using?
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