TL;DR Is it cool with you all if I release a faithful Ruby port of Inform 6 under the GPLv3?
Ever since I was 7, I have been enthralled with interactive fiction.
Ever since I was 16, I have been programming with Inform.
Over the past three and a half years I have been steadily pouring hours into a personal project after my normal 8-5 software development gig at the company at which I am employed.
My project has been the development of a nearly verbatim Ruby port of the entire Inform 6 parser, verb library, and grammars. My initial application is a Mud based on the JBoss Netty asynchronous networking engine, but making my port generally usable with a stream-lined API for telnet, CLI, and web -based apps alike is the next step on my roadmap.
I have tried to be as faithful to the original as possible, with the idea that any dramatic alteration its profile in the interest of modernization would occur in future forks and not this initial port. There are some portions of Inform 6 which as far as I can tell are simply impossible to convert directly to Ruby, but aside from those areas I feel that most of the code was a remarkably straightforward conversion process. I still have concerns about whether or not this is a good thing in terms of performance and completeness/correctness.
There are a number of advantages and flexibility that comes from the Ruby language that I suppose I needn’t get into right now. In my version are also a few significant weaknesses. My parser is currently significantly slower than Graham’s reference implementation played in an interpreter like Frotz. It also currently lacks a couple of (as far as I can tell) relatively minor features. However, I am confident that with help from some programmers more talented than I, its speed can be dramatically improved and all remaining features completed, while simultaneously nurturing a framework for future extensions and improvements. Hopefully, I would like to one day see a Ruby gem version of Inform 7 as well.
To ends such as these, I plan to release my codebase on Github or Bitbucket within the next few months after some cleanup, and formalization of my roadmap for the project.
The crucial bit that I want to discuss here is that I plan to release my code under Version 3 of the GNU General Public License.
I sent an e-mail to Graham Nelson about this just to see if he had any objections but never heard from him so I suppose I might have to assume that it is fine as far as he is concerned.
It would really mean a lot to me if I could get some buy-in from other developers in this community. However, in my reading on the rest of the Web, I have come to the realization that the GNU GPL is somewhat a bit of a political controversy among a small number of economically liberal-minded software developers and entrepreneurs, and it occurred to me that it might be wise to consult with the community that has been so influential to and supportive of the original software on which mine is entirely based.
I guess my question is this: In an attempt to maximize the participation of this community in the ongoing development of my project, is okay with you folks if I go forward with my plan as is?
I’ll be honest, this is pretty important to me, given the amount of time I have invested in the project so far and I would really appreciate any advice towards these goals that anyone here has to offer. In fact, I would appreciate it even more if anyone who likes would please get in contact with me directly at nels.n.nelson at gmail.com. Thanks for your time and attention, you all mean a lot to me.