Ryzom's Windfall by Winch Gate / CC BY-SA
Today brings an exciting announcement… Winch Gate Properties Ltd. is releasing Ryzom, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with its code under the GNU AGPLv3 and its artistic assets under CC BY-SA.
Games are almost unique in how tightly the medium requires the interweaving of software and culture. Amongst the many genres of video games that exist today, the MMORPG is probably the most complex and requires the most depth both on the side of the code and content. Since Ryzom is a mature, well developed project, the scale of this release and its significance for both free culture and free software are both truly incredible. In the words of Winch Gate’s own press release:
By freeing Ryzom code, Winch Gate is transforming the MMORPG marketplace and is setting a precedent for how gaming software should evolve–in freedom. The source code released totals over two (2) million lines of source code and over 20,000 high quality textures and thousands of 3D objects.
Some components aren’t released yet to the public (notably the music and sounds, although this is apparently in progress) and the world data for the main server isn’t being released to keep the player community from fracturing. Notably also, the current tools for creating game data require proprietary software, but the Free Software Foundation notes that there are efforts under way to make these actions editable incorporating free software tools such as Blender. However the components that are already available: the server code, the client code, and the many models, animations, textures and etc, already bring many great community opportunities. The freeing of these resources opens them for study, modification, and incorporation into other works and games of compatible licenses. And of course the existence of all these components also means that one can run a fully free-as-in-freedom virtual universe of one’s own. If you ever dreamed of the carving of virtual worlds, here’s your great chance.1 Comment »
(This was originally published on CC Labs.)
This past summer, Hugo Dworak worked with us (thanks to Google Summer of Code) on a new validator. This work was greatly overdue, and we are very pleased that Google could fund Hugo to work on it. Our previous validator had not been updated to reflect our new metadata standards, so we disabled it some time ago to avoid creating further confusion. The textbook on CC metadata is the “Creative Commons Rights Expression Language”, or ccREL, which specifies the use of RDFa on the web. (If this sounds like keyword soup, rest assured that the License Engine generates HTML that you can copy and paste; that HTML is fully compliant with ccREL.) We hoped Hugo’s work on a new validator would let us offer a validator to the Creative Commons community so that publishers can test their web pages to make sure they encode the information they intended.
Hugo’s work was a success; he announced in August 2008 a test version of the validator. He built on top of the work of others: the new validator uses the Pylons web framework, html5lib for HTML parsing and tokenizing, and RDFlib for working with RDF. He shared his source code under the recent free software license built for network services, AGPLv3.
So I am happy to announce that the test period is complete, and we are now running the new code at http://validator.creativecommons.org/. Our thanks go out to Hugo, and we look forward to the new validator gaining some use as well as hearing your feedback. If you want to contribute to the validator’s development or check it out for any reason, take a look at the documentation on the CC wiki.No Comments »