Bukkit - an autobiography

Discussion in 'Staff Goodbyes' started by feildmaster, Sep 6, 2014.

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    Disclaimer: It took me many hours to write this message, the least you can do is take a few moments to read this.
    Any tl;dr's will be dealt with accordingly.

    Hi there, you might not know me but I am feildmaster.

    Who am I you ask? I was the lead developer for Bukkit for the past 2 years. I've been a part of Bukkit for a good 3 years, and loved the community and wanted to give more to it. I was approached by EvilSeph to develop on Bukkit when the previous developers were hired by Mojang. I was thrilled by the opportunity as it meant I could directly improve Bukkit and give back to the community. As I continued development, I realized that this job was very under appreciated. But I didn't mind, I loved the project and I loved the general community. I also loved the people that were involved with this amazing project. These people grew to be my friends, I even had the pleasure to meet one of them in person (though I would love to have met everyone, perhaps we still can).

    Now with all things that take up your time comes stress. Stress from Updating, be it from the community or the actual work involved, handling pull requests, adding new content that would be approved by others. I was willing to cope with all of it, because Bukkit was worth it. Luckily, I was immune to a lot of the community stress thanks to the amazing Public Relations abilities from EvilSeph. Thanks to him I didn't have to worry about the work I was doing, because I had him to explain to the community for me. On top of this, I didn't have to deal with the bad side of the community much since we had great admins and moderators that took care of everything. I couldn't have felt more protected than I was when I was working on Bukkit. I had people watching my back and supporting me, both staff and community members alike.

    With that said, let me stop bragging about EvilSeph (I mean, he's evil after all, right?). Let's talk about the Bukkit Community and how I view it. The Bukkit Community is great. It is filled with a lot of talented, honest, supportive and outspoken people. There were many times where I felt stressed, only to have all of my stress whisked away by a single member's message. The Bukkit Community is also as thankless as it is thankful. There have been many times, especially during an update, where various people were very vocal about how they viewed the project. I can understand this, you are unsure about yourself and your future; where would you be if Bukkit didn't update right this second? That's perfectly reasonable, but I always wanted to tell them: "Shut up, pay me." I was working on Bukkit for free out of the kindness of my heart. I didn't expect any payment, but I also didn't think anything more than a "Thanks for the update" would have been said either. The fact that I got thankful comments, made me happy enough to ignore the thankless ones. The Bukkit Project is so much more than CraftBukkit, getting updates out and providing API. It's about giving the community a place where they feel welcomed and can program to their hearts' content with the use of our product. The Bukkit API gave people the ability to change the behavior of Minecraft, but it would have meant nothing without the contributions from the plugin developers in the community.

    Let's talk plugins. Plugins make Bukkit what it is - without the staggering amount of plugin contributions from the community, I believe Bukkit wouldn't be where it stands today. Three years ago I decided to join this community and released a plugin myself. Since then I've made a large amount of plugins and supported many other plugins and tools/resources. I was even a part of the BukkitDev staff. If you don't know what that is, it's the people that work on checking over plugins on dev.bukkit.org. How did this work? Well, your plugins went into a queue and the staff members accepted or declined them where appropriate. Needless to say, this is another thankless job that Bukkit provides for the community. I don't know how many plugins I personally have denied because of malicious content, let alone the other staff that came and went as time went by. This service was kept together by very few dedicated leaders that participated in it: Gravity(H31ix), mbaxter, TnT and you can never forget EvilSeph. Over time many people came and went in the BukkitDev staff, and for the most part I was there to see it. Eventually it grew to a point where we had team leaders (also very talented people) overlooking the staff below them, as well as showing new staff the ropes, and working on the approval process on top of that. The process of looking over a single plugin isn't very daunting, not at all - but then you need to add the thousands of submissions that come each week, sometimes in a single day and the varying sizes of each file for each project. Those numbers are starting to look very daunting indeed, but what could be done about it? You could add more people, but more people doesn't always equal more work getting done, and finding willing, dedicated people just adds to the challenge. This is something that's been stressed over by many people over the years, so I don't really need to get more into detail about this.

    Let's move on to development. As is the case with most people that contributed to Bukkit, I started out writing simple PRs (Pull Requests) and reminding myself of the little Java nuances that you tend to forget when you stop working with a language for a long time. Eventually I got more involved on IRC and my hard work paid off; I was approached by EvilSeph to join "Bukkit Bleeding," a system designed by him to make group contributions easier. It was an on and off success. Contributions came in but the contributors quickly disappeared after their works were added. Ultimately it failed to achieve the "spirit" of Bleeding. Still, it wasn't all bad; many new ideas were pulled into the project. Contributors had an easier time working in the project and were able to work closely with the core development team at the time. The Bleeding environment made it easier to collaborate with everyone as well as provided a peer review system, since the repo was set up so everyone had full access to push code as needed instead of having to go through a PR system. As a result to our work in Bleeding, Wolvereness and I were approached by EvilSeph to join the Bukkit Team as Developers. This was a really good opportunity, one that would look great on a resume especially since it was considered volunteer work. We both took the offer and started contributing directly into Bukkit.

    As a new developer for Bukkit, I was able to be a part of the Bukkit update process. I must say, that first update was extremely frustrating. In the beginning, I was doing it, for the most part, by my self. That's the only way we could update; the first few parts of the update process revolved around one person doing the dirty work. This used to be Dinnerbone. Yikes, I felt bad for him. Eventually I got the first part out of the way, Wolvereness stepped in to help and we got the update finished. About a month later EvilSeph got Amaranth to join the team. YAY more help, and he was such a big help. He has a vast amount of knowledge, performance being one of them. He was also very good at grunt work, and believe me when I say "Updating Bukkit is a bukkit full of grunt work." The addition of Amaranth was really good for the team.

    A few months later the Bukkit Team had a discussion and voted on who should be the lead developer. Eventually I was chosen as the new lead developer. I was honored. I didn't have the knowledge Amaranth possessed, and I didn't have the logic Wolvereness possessed, yet they chose me to take charge. I apparently underestimated myself, because I wasn't expecting to get the position, but, as the level headed guy, I couldn't refuse.

    Amaranth starts slipping away from the project, "losing interest" (his own words) as time and the project went on. He was still present in discussions, but wasn't actively working on Bukkit. That's fine, I was feeling the stress too and was completely supportive of him. Whatever he needed to do to recharge himself. We continued trudging along. We updated Bukkit (I even used my own paid vacations from my real job, and dedicated them to updating Bukkit!), we took on PRs and bug reports and bleeding branches. Along the way, we gained more talented people to participate in Bleeding. They brought in great contributions, but, in the end, only a few people stayed dedicated to the cause.

    Another system was put into place to help development and delegate tasks to others: the "pull request handler" (PRH) system. This system, like many others in Bukkit, was designed and implemented by EvilSeph. How did this work? Well, we had a team of dedicated little helpers that went around helping contributors (through pull requests) clean up and make their code better suited to the project. The idea was: Handler goes to a PR, talks with the creator of the PR and helps them out and eventually get their code pulled in to the project (if the code was acceptable). Simple, right? Less work for the Bukkit Team, so we could focus on fixing bugs, making API that others were unwilling or unable to make and updating the project. This system was heavily supported by me and I tried my best at managing the parts that I had to (namely, saying "Yea/Nay" to PRs). Unfortunately due to the nature of Minecraft updates we were unable to proceed with a large portion of PRs since the project had to be put under code freeze frequently for updates. This team had a few people in it as well, but I'd like to give a special thanks to the turt2live. He's been doing his best trying to get things done for the good of the community.

    During this time, we managed to get a few more members for the core development team: mbaxter and evilmidget38. Working with them has been a pleasure. It was my first time directly working with either of them. Prior to their addition to the team, we had only talked to each other a bit. When they first joined, I had the pleasure of working on a few updates with them. I appreciated the help, but I had gotten used to a certain way of progressing in the update that I lashed out at them when they made mistakes. Although I may have been a bit harsh on them at the beginning, I hope they have come to understand why I was like that. Looking back on it however, I would have dealt with certain issues differently. I still feel like they'd find me a bit harsh though. I may be a little crude at times and perhaps the stress was getting to me more than I thought it was.

    Let's go to about a year ago and talk a bit more about me. I go through some life changing events around that time. I moved out of my parents house, and learned, for the first time, what a big deal money is in the world (note to self: have my children pay rent and partake in money management to prep them for the real world). I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend, though she moved down from another state so she didn't have a job. I now had to make sure that I could get food on both of our plates. Boy, it just doesn't seem like I could dedicate time to Bukkit anymore. I was already feeling guilty for being sick all the time (due to my working conditions) from work and Bukkit. I started contributing more behind the scenes, focusing on helping the PR handling, but I still couldn't find time to just sit down and work with the team openly on the project.

    Fast forward to the present. Bukkit is full of individuals that are burned out, though Amaranth started openly contributing again, both in the staff and in the community. A majority of the development team lost their motivation to work on Bukkit and really didn't want to have to deal with the complex updates that were going to start coming out from here on out. For a while, a portion of us wanted to create a new improved version of Bukkit, Bukkit 2.0 if you will, to fix the flaws that were so obviously gridlocked into the original Bukkit. That was never pursued what with the impending Minecraft API being "on it's way". The truth of the matter is, the entire project was suffering, due to a lack of time, lack of energy to deal with the project, and lack of genuinely well invested people that we could feel confident enough to have continue running Bukkit and more importantly, looking after the community. After all, who would volunteer to work a full time job for free? Especially as people have started to want something for what they've done.

    So after looking back, and sharing all this with you, I have come to the conclusion that I must now say Good Bye to the community and project I love so much. I wish to end this with a thank you to everyone that has been there for me. I apologize in advance if I forgot to mention you.

    - Bukkit Developers -
    Amaranth: For being the knowledgeable individual and hard working individual you are
    Wolvereness: For providing amazing API for everyone's use
    evilmidget38: For updating Bukkit <3
    mbaxter: For updating Bukkit <3
    EvilSeph: For version changes

    - Admins and Moderators -
    For managing the community and keeping the forums safe
    TnT, EvilSeph, mbaxter, Gravity, Jade, JaguarJo, Iroh, c0mp
    lukegb: For your crazy server management skills
    @ Curse: For hosting the forums

    - Bleeding Members -
    For your contributions to Bukkit
    evilmidget38, Sagacious_Zed, EdGruberman, Rigby90, turt2live, t00thpick1, mbaxter, Celtic Minstrel, Mike Primm, Wolvereness, Amaranth and other past members

    - Bukkit Dev Staff -
    For keeping server owners safe
    Gravity, mbaxter, TnT, EvilSeph, evilmidget38, t00thpick1, drtshock, chaseoes, NodinChan, CeramicTitan, slipcor, Lolmewn, Bionicrm, lukegb, krinsdeath, as well as past members and everyone else I can't remember.
    @ Curse: For providing the system and hosting the files

    - PR Handlers -
    For helping Pull Request contributors
    evilmidget38, mbaxter, t00thpick1, EdGruberman, turt2live, Wolvereness

    - PR Contributors -
    Thank you for making pull requests, everyone! :D

    - Production Babies -
    Trotyl (TnT) // nickname is my own

    - Almost Production Babies -
    feildbaxter (JaguarJo) // nickname is my own
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    Thank you for everything you have done. You are an amazing individual.
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    Why is everyone leaving :(.

    EDIT: By leaving, I meant being active but resigning...
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    You obviously didn't read anyone's posts
    millenium200, Joro, fromgate and 3 others like this.
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    I always read the first/last paragraphs ;).
    macboinc and millenium200 like this.
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    feildmaster likes this.
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    This sentence remembers me that I have never left a simple "thank you for your work" after each update.:(
    Shame to me! :oops:

    Maybe I was too eagerly waiting to get the servers running as fast as possible and forgot(during testing the new versions) this simple thing..

    The only "upside" from this situation(my point of view): no more updates means no more confusions with abadonned plugins, etc. .

    Finally I want to make it clear that I want to thank all the people who were spending their time for the community!
    This are very sad times..
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    Just to screw with Mojang can all you guys say that Mojang cant use your code either?

    I would lol.
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    I actually read your post because I know how long it takes me to write stuff :D. Thanks for all the information and your work. Gl and might you find some time to spend on the next "passion project". ggwp
    feildmaster likes this.
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    For you it might have taken a long time to write this but for me it only took a short time to scroll over it.
    DoggyCode™ and lenis0012 like this.
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    This truly breaks my heart. (Bit Awkward, I know.) But all the time we've all either put into bukkit or used bukkit. I've had a great experience with bukkit and will always remember it. Good bye, @FieldMaster
    feildmaster likes this.
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    I would like to second this. Being the project/development leader on a project as big and immense as Bukkit must be really hard to do even for a day, never mind two years. Thank you for the time and energy you and the other Bukkit staff members have put into the project over the past few years. :)

    Also, for the many times I have downloaded a Bukkit update as soon as I heard about its release and never thought to say thank you (I have done that a few times, if I can recall correctly, but not many.)... thank you :p
    feildmaster likes this.
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    Thank you feildmaster for your contributions, it was really appreciated.
    feildmaster likes this.
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    Please get Wolvereness off your list. He betrayed the community.
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    Thanks for everything, you helped form the best Minecraft server software ever!

    He contributed a huge amount to Bukkit... When you contribute code to an open-source project, you retain copyright of your work to the extent of the project's license. While the project may have transferred to Mojang, Wolvereness still retains rights to the project.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2016
    feildmaster likes this.
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    Wow, just wow. The rights to be a douche bag.
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    go away.
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    Excuse me? Do you think Wolfe did the right thing? :/
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    Yes ^_^
    If I didn't wouldn't I be agreeing with you?
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    Thanks for the love guys (the notices broke for me so I didn't know anyone replied :D)
    ferrybig, Milkywayz and hawkfalcon like this.
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    Don't argue with the staff, I learned that the hard way.

    Anyways, I hope we get our people back after the drama :)
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    well... im new here, but i always use craftbukkit and i enjoy it
    thank you for ur hardwork. im really missed the craftbukkit
    Sorry for my bad english :v
    feildmaster likes this.
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    No; the rights to his own work. I'm fairly certain you would want to retain the rights to something you spent hours of every day on.
    Cowboys1919 likes this.
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    pretty laid back guy, and holy crap maintaining 25 plugins, thats god levels of patience.

    They do not own the code.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2016
    justcool393 and feildmaster like this.
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    You're right, forgot about the whole Wolvereness thing. But still, I agree with Wolvereness's decisions. I would do the exact same thing.
    justcool393 and feildmaster like this.
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    tl; skimmed over.
    I'm very sad that all of the motivation has decayed. It is like a part of my soul no longer being motivated to live on.

    Minecraft is a huge part of the world;
    Bukkit is a huge part of Minecraft;
    The devs are everything to Bukkit;

    And so, by this thought process, a large chunk of the world has died today. Think of the gravity of that.
    justcool393, feildmaster and roke58 like this.
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    Thank you for Everything you've done for bukkit.. I'm extremely sad right now that bukkit is pretty much dead... I've been apart of Minecraft Both as a player and a Server Host/Owner for over 3 years.. This really is the End of probably many servers. But thank you for a great 3 years of making my life meaningful :)

    P.S. if it makes you feel anybetter.. I bet Mojang will Regret this... Who wants to play Vanila more than Bukkit mods? I can't think of anyone...
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    Less than 1% of the world play Minecraft legally... :eek:
    If Bukkit really does end up dying, there's always going to be alternatives.
    Blkscorpion2 likes this.
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    So tell me. What would he do with them?
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