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Steven Mading

Are there any rules about taking over a mod from a non-communicative admin?

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The original creator and admin of the kOS mod has utterly stopped communicating with the user community for over a month and after a while when asked if there was anything causing the absence, he only gave one rather cryptic response that he's dealing with some personal issues right now, but he didn't answer the question about what his plans for the future of the mod might be and whether he wants to take a break and come back to it later or give it over to someone else to admin it.

The mod's code is released under GPL so legally anyone could take it and fork a new version of the mod.

Normally, though, I'd rather give the original writer more chance to deal with personal issues and take more time before trying to hijack a project like this. Just waiting 1 month is a bit short and impatient. But what has forced the issue is the fact that the release of KSP 0.23 requires changes to the mod's code. At the moment any new users trying to pick up the mod can't. Unless they have a version of KSP 0.22 around they're out of luck.

The inability to ask the author if he'd like to come back to it later, combined with the fact that the 0.23 update broke the mod, means people in the user community are starting to provide their own splintered forked compilations of the plugin DLL, not on Spaceport, but on their own personal shared cloud drives. There are a number of personal forks of the project on Github and a number of pull requests for getting some bug fixes back into the main release of the code, but with the original project admin gone, they're going unanswered and nobody else has the authority on github to bring the pull requests into the master branch.

So it's looking like the time may have come for the user community to fork a new "official" branch of the code, put it under someone else's control, and release a sort of "community-made" release of the project.

Legally, given the open source license that was used, this should all be just fine.

But I'm also concerned about politeness to the original author, and proper respect. Hijacking a project feels a bit rude.

Have there been other mods that have had the user community take this step, and if so, what is the mechanical process involved?

In order to get releases onto Spaceport, does the forked mod need a new name because the existing Spaceport page for it is owned by the original author?

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I'll reply since at one point I had a new tread for MechJeb while r4m0n was away.

1 month is bit short if he said he was busy IRL, but as you said .23 is out and the project needs some focus. His profile says he hasn't been on the forum since the 3rd of November, so it's nearly 2 month.

You have to be sure you'll stay on the project quite some time and be prepared to spend a lot of time on the mod. I don't play much since I started working on MJ. Some user may help you but you need someone to manage the patch submission, bugs and choose where the project is going. If you feel up to it then make a thread, make your intent clear and be prepared to step down if the author want his project back.

And about the licence. Be wary of the licence on included part (if any) since most licence only cover the code.

For spaceport you can contact the forum mods once you fork is established, they can do things there.

Frankly if you don't try to make it look like you are the sole creator of the code I don't see why the original author would fell bad. But YMMV

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