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enusbaum
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[Moved] Off-topic posts from Windows 10 thread

Post by enusbaum »

Questman wrote:
> Maybe we can convince the MBBSEMU people to stop competing with the project
> and join us instead, creating a module that can plug-in and execute the DOS
> modules... that way, when we build a 64-bit release we can keep backward
> compatibility of modules in a VDM rather than have to run separate systems
> or programs like the old DMA type concept.

Hey Rick --

I've mentioned in other forums, and I'll also mention here, is that I feel MBBS v10 and MBBSEmu are not competitive but complementary products. They both provide functionality the other doesn't.

MBBS v10 can only run WG3NT modules and not <= WG 2.0 Modules
MBBSEmu can only run <= WG 2.0 Modules ant not WG3NT Modules

A common use case we see, and what I feel is a prime example of the holistic ecosystem the two apps provide, is a WG3NT Sysop looking to offer their users access to play WG2 modules via Rlogin to MBBSEmu.

If a tighter, more seamless integration beyond Rlogin is something the maintainers of this project would like to explore then of course that's something our development group would be willing to help with.
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by enusbaum »

daniel_spain wrote:
> Duckula wrote:
> > C# is definitely something I would like to see supported. There has even
> > been a Proof of Concept done for this that was functional.
>
> it translates Btrieve well too. I have a source from someone who was attempting to
> redo majormud few years ago and it reads all the majormud databases with ease.

The Btrieve Implementation in MBBSEmu is written entirely in C# and is capable of directly reading the Btrieve .DAT files without the need for the Btrieve driver.

All the code is available here: https://github.com/mbbsemu/MBBSEmu/tree/master/MBBSEmu/Btrieve
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by Questman »

Hey Eric! I'm thinking it would be better if the emulator itself was a module... or a series of them, that allows the BBSV6, WG1, and WG2 DOS modules to execute within it - but WITHIN the BBS, so having full access to logged in users, global commands, and that sort of thing. Essentially just adapting to allow the other architecture's compiled modules to work whilst plugged-in to the BBS. Otherwise, someone could just run a WG2 system and rlogin to that, right? The infrastructure construction of that solution would be very similar.

Also when we move post V10 and offer Linux, Mac, Win64 variants, we'll need to emulate the 32bit modules too. Some of them are newer and/or more stable than the 16bit versions, or only ever really existed in the 32bit world.

The other benefit is that the harness to wrap the 16-bit and future 32-bit modules would almost containerize MBBS/WG -- providing all the key functionality as pass through or adaption, including passing the correct registration number to the module so it couldn't be used to bypass copy protections.
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by enusbaum »

Questman wrote:
> Hey Eric! I'm thinking it would be better if the emulator itself was a
> module... or a series of them, that allows the BBSV6, WG1, and WG2 DOS
> modules to execute within it - but WITHIN the BBS, so having full access to
> logged in users, global commands, and that sort of thing. Essentially just
> adapting to allow the other architecture's compiled modules to work whilst
> plugged-in to the BBS. Otherwise, someone could just run a WG2 system and
> rlogin to that, right? The infrastructure construction of that solution
> would be very similar.

My thoughts would be to use a modern, cross-platform approach to IPC between different services within a given system would be local sockets between processes. This would position MBBS v10 and MBBSEmu similar to how nginx<->php-fpm interact. In this scenario, we'd probably want to define a custom IPC which would allow bi-directional communication between the processes built into an MBBSEmu Session, while still allowing MBBEmu to operate independently if desired.

One could run a WG2 instance in a different VM/instance if they'd like -- again, all about giving people options. I disagree that the infrastructure needed to run WG2 vs. MBBSEmu alongside WG3NT is the same, in that MBBSEmu is simply a cross-platform console application. No VM, Packet Drivers, etc. required to get started -- not to mention a fraction of the CPU utilization.

> Also when we move post V10 and offer Linux, Mac, Win64 variants, we'll need
> to emulate the 32bit modules too. Some of them are newer and/or more
> stable than the 16bit versions, or only ever really existed in the 32bit
> world.

MBBSEmu will be enhanced eventually to run 32-bit modules (PE Loader, extended Op Codes, etc.), but at the moment there's no demand for this. The majority of modules available for WG3NT were also made available for WG2 DOS, so we haven't run into a situation yet where there was an "in-demand" module that was exclusive to WG3NT. An example is even with MajorMUD, there is a WG2 DOS version of 1.11p available.

> The other benefit is that the harness to wrap the 16-bit and future 32-bit
> modules would almost containerize MBBS/WG -- providing all the key
> functionality as pass through or adaption, including passing the correct
> registration number to the module so it couldn't be used to bypass copy
> protections.

I've talked to Duckula about this, but I think long term it's better for Modules to use stand-lone registration routines tied to modern identifiers such as name + email address if any active ISV's are concerned about piracy going forward. T-LORD and Lunatix use a similar model. The dependency on BTURNO is a bit dated, especially that even on installations of WG/WG3NT this can be easily changed.

IMHO I don't think there's a business model in 2021 where people are paying for BBS games -- as there's no successful model for any other platform at this time.
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by Questman »

The problem with that approach is how do you control someone just sharing the activation code strings? Registration # is tied to the license to the system, so the license for the application is for the system it's intended to run on. It makes sense. There certainly are other schemes but ultimately all of these either tie to a particular instance (machine, system, whatever) or limit to a number of individual concurrent installs (and phone home).

While there's not much of a market for modules, it helps tremendously the small amount we ask for the handful of modules that are charged for. It helps pay for acquisition of them (the legal source acquisition) and it helps with any other costs -- hosting costs, software costs, whatever.

The IPC format would work too. The bottom line is what I'm thinking is a way that the modules are modular to the running instance of the system - and users remain interactive as if it was a [insert BBS architecture users] version of the module, despite it being a DOS Borland compiled 16 bit module.... /# works, /p Eric HEY!! works, Worldlink works... /GO works.
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by Duckula »

enusbaum wrote:
> I've talked to Duckula about this, but I think long term it's better for Modules to
> use stand-lone registration routines tied to modern identifiers such as name + email
> address if any active ISV's are concerned about piracy going forward. T-LORD and
> Lunatix use a similar model. The dependency on BTURNO is a bit dated, especially that
> even on installations of WG/WG3NT this can be easily changed.

Eric,

I am confused about your stance on the protection of IP/Copyright for modules.

On many occasions here on these forums you have indicated that your project does not infringe on anyone's IP/Copyright and as you stated above we have discussed protection methods for modules in new releases. However, on the other hand you proudly reveal the "decrypting" of the Farwest Trivia database and also praise people on social media for their efforts in cracking Worldgroup modules at a time when they were being sold and supported by the developer.

If there was to be any integration between the two projects, myself and I imagine ISVs would want to know your position on this as partnerships require trust. Trust is (partially) built on honesty and without knowing your intentions, it will be difficult to move forward.

Can you please clarify your position?
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by enusbaum »

Duckula wrote:
> Eric,
>
> I am confused about your stance on the protection of IP/Copyright for modules.
>
> On many occasions here on these forums you have indicated that your project does not
> infringe on anyone's IP/Copyright and as you stated above we have discussed
> protection methods for modules in new releases. However, on the other hand you
> proudly reveal the "decrypting" of the Farwest Trivia database and also
> praise people on social media for their efforts in cracking Worldgroup modules at a
> time when they were being sold and supported by the developer.
>
> If there was to be any integration between the two projects, myself and I imagine
> ISVs would want to know your position on this as partnerships require trust. Trust
> is (partially) built on honesty and without knowing your intentions, it will be
> difficult to move forward.
>
> Can you please clarify your position?

Hey Duckula --

There's quite a few baseless accusations you're making in this post based on either ignorance of the situation on your part, or a fundamental lack of understanding.

I'll clarify what I can here.

re: Farwest Trivia Database
The actual database in question was the database I created for my own board back in 2003 (PoundL BBS). I manually entered all these questions myself and none were from any retail packs available from Farwest BBS/Metrobbs. While yes, we decrypted the database, it was to recover the questions I had manually entered myself. The accusation you're making here is I'm somehow violating my Microsoft Office license if I manually recover information I entered into an Excel file?

Also, I find it laughably hypocritical that you were A-OK with literally STEALING the data files from MajorMUD for a "Rewrite" (you even posing your endorsement and encouragement to Dan)... until I said something about our above Farwest modification then all of a sudden you delete your post of support and write a little reply slapping Dan on the wrist.

re: Social Media
Not sure what you're referencing here -- the closest I can think of is the PR I mentioned the other day from @tuday with the screen shot of a MBBSEmu menu with 37 modules loaded. If you took the time to reach out to me directly or join the project's discord you would know these are all demo/unregistered modules as they're part of a pre-built package of ready-to-run (and register if people choose) module pack for MBBSEmu. If you're accusing me of endorsing piracy based on a screen shot of a menu, then that's just laughably petty and flatly false.

Your accusation of my being dishonest is probably the most offensive part of your post. Our project is Open Source, our Discord is public, our Bugs are community reported, and literally not a WORD from me or our websites endorse any form of piracy or using MBBSEmu to bypass registrations. I believe you even KNOW some WG3NT Sysops who have paid for WG2 modules so they can run them within MBBSEmu, so let's just go ahead and stop the pearl clutching around piracy.

At the end of the day, our project doesn't need MBBS v10 -- I was offering help for you. WG3NT Sysops are already using MBBSEmu to add support for the hundreds of modules that will never be able to run in WG3NT or MBBS v10. I've made my point that I don't think we're competing -- because there's nothing to compete over: Both platforms are free! So what is the competition over? Users? Attention?

Seriously Guys -- at the end of the day, I'm stating clearly here that what we're doing with MBBSEmu we feel is good for the community. It was born from the fact that the core platform is dated and hasn't been updated in over two decades. While some have a mentality akin to "forget the DOS modules, only run what we port to WG3NT", I firmly believe that the community deserves an option to play those games they fondly remember, that will only ever run on DOS WG2, easily on any platform they chose.

And that's the truth. I honestly don't care if you trust me or not.
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Re: Worldgroup on Windows 10 64bit

Post by Duckula »

enusbaum wrote:

> re: Farwest Trivia Database
> The actual database in question was the database I created for my own board back in
> 2003 (PoundL BBS). I manually entered all these questions myself and none were from
> any retail packs available from Farwest BBS/Metrobbs. While yes, we decrypted the
> database, it was to recover the questions I had manually entered myself.

If that is the case, then I accept that my interpretation of your post was misguided and I apologise.

>
> Also, I find it laughably hypocritical that you were A-OK with literally STEALING the
> data files from MajorMUD for a "Rewrite" (you even posing your endorsement
> and encouragement to Dan)... until I said something about our above Farwest
> modification then all of a sudden you delete your post of support and write a little
> reply slapping Dan on the wrist.
>

I have, and will continue to actively encourage developers to continue writing modules for MBBS and as I stated in my response to Dan, he needed to be mindful of not infringing on anyone's IP.

Not sure how it is now a Farwest trivia modification? What is meant by this? Above you indicated you recovered your own questions, not modified anything.

> re: Social Media
> Not sure what you're referencing here -- the closest I can think of is the PR I
> mentioned the other day from @tuday with the screen shot of a MBBSEmu menu with 37
> modules loaded. If you took the time to reach out to me directly or join the
> project's discord you would know these are all demo/unregistered modules as they're
> part of a pre-built package of ready-to-run (and register if people choose) module
> pack for MBBSEmu. If you're accusing me of endorsing piracy based on a screen shot of
> a menu, then that's just laughably petty and flatly false.

No, not at all. I am referencing your post on social media (less than 24hrs ago) whereby you endorsed the cracking of MajorMUD back in 2000. Are you suggesting this didn't happen?

> Your accusation of my being dishonest is probably the most offensive part of your
> post. Our project is Open Source, our Discord is public, our Bugs are community
> reported, and literally not a WORD from me or our websites endorse any form of piracy
> or using MBBSEmu to bypass registrations. I believe you even KNOW some WG3NT Sysops
> who have paid for WG2 modules so they can run them within MBBSEmu, so let's just go
> ahead and stop the pearl clutching around piracy.

I have not accused you of being dishonest and if you re-read my post you will see it was to seek clarification on your position due to what I perceive as conflicting information.

> At the end of the day, our project doesn't need MBBS v10 -- I was offering help for
> you. WG3NT Sysops are already using MBBSEmu to add support for the hundreds of
> modules that will never be able to run in WG3NT or MBBS v10. I've made my point that
> I don't think we're competing -- because there's nothing to compete over: Both
> platforms are free! So what is the competition over? Users? Attention?

You are correct, there is nothing to compete over.

> Seriously Guys -- at the end of the day, I'm stating clearly here that what we're
> doing with MBBSEmu we feel is good for the community. It was born from the fact that
> the core platform is dated and hasn't been updated in over two decades. While some
> have a mentality akin to "forget the DOS modules, only run what we port to
> WG3NT", I firmly believe that the community deserves an option to play those
> games they fondly remember, that will only ever run on DOS WG2, easily on any
> platform they chose.

I also agree that people, who own the software they wish to use should be able to do so - the DOS modules are a huge part of the MBBS/WG legacy and something that is import to the community. I don't own the DOS add-on modules and have no real "skin in the game" so to speak from a financial perspective. I do have a belief that those that created the software (MBBS/WG related or not) are entitled to retain their IP. Your endorsement of cracking MMUD goes against that, which is why I raised it.
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