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12-10-13, 05:53 AM   #1
jjforums
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Are all addon "open source"?

Is there any "compiled" file or the addon is the code we have in .lua filess basically?

Thanks.
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12-10-13, 06:28 AM   #2
MoonWitch
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They're open source. The lua is what is used by Blizzard to run the add-on.
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12-10-13, 08:29 AM   #3
Resike
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Open source ~= Visible Code. Not every addon is open source.
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12-10-13, 10:10 AM   #4
MoonWitch
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Originally Posted by Resike View Post
Open source ~= Visible Code. Not every addon is open source.
I should have specified like XConstruct did, my bad. With Open Source, I did mean "source viewable". In fact, I use several add ons reworked in mine, which means -
1. I check their license, contact author if need be
2. Include credits and their license
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12-10-13, 09:06 AM   #5
Xruptor
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Originally Posted by jjforums View Post
Is there any "compiled" file or the addon is the code we have in .lua filess basically?

Thanks.
All Blizzard (WOW) addons are viewable by everyone. The lua code works with images / xml / toc and a few other file formats to work together to form an addon. In essence all the addon code revolves around the LUA and how it interacts with the WOW Client.
  • Please be aware though that Blizzard does have strict policies on WOW Addons. The code must be visible and cannot use obscurification (scramble the code) at all. A few addons in the past were spanked for using this technique. It practically makes the code unreadable and is against the TOS. Sites like WOWInterface and Curse frown upon it as well. (Note this is also called compiling LUA code)
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/obscurification
  • The code cannot request donations or generate revenue at all.

to list a few....

Finally, take note that although an addon may be viewable it may have a licensing agreement attached to it. This may or may not prevent someone from using code or altering code without the authors permission. A lot of the WOW addons don't have licensing attached to it and are freely available to grab code from or modify in any shape or form. There are a few whom have GNU open licenses which allow you to use code and or alter it but also require you to mention the Author when you credit your work.

My advice is just to review the code and check for licensing material.

In practice I always credit any author regardless if they do or don't have a licensing agreement attached to their addon. But that's just me
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Last edited by Xruptor : 12-10-13 at 09:14 AM.
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12-10-13, 09:39 AM   #6
pelf
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Do note that if an addon doesn't have a specific license attached, due to the Berne Convention, that addon's license is "by default" All Rights Reserved.

What that actually means for addons isn't exactly easy to nail down, due to the interaction of Blizzard's guidelines and RR licensing. Here's another thread where some people discuss it:

http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=48570

You can be sure that it means, at least, that you cannot literally copy the addon in its entirety or any of its parts and paste them into yours. That is actually and clearly illegal. Most authors, as several expressed in that thread, are okay with you reading through their code and learning from it -- even copying the spirit of novel techniques they may have used to solve various problems.

Last edited by pelf : 12-10-13 at 09:41 AM. Reason: additional information
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12-10-13, 12:50 PM   #7
Cairenn
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Originally Posted by Xruptor View Post
Finally, take note that although an addon may be viewable it may have a licensing agreement attached to it. This may or may not prevent someone from using code or altering code without the authors permission. A lot of the WOW addons don't have licensing attached to it and are freely available to grab code from or modify in any shape or form. There are a few whom have GNU open licenses which allow you to use code and or alter it but also require you to mention the Author when you credit your work.

My advice is just to review the code and check for licensing material.

In practice I always credit any author regardless if they do or don't have a licensing agreement attached to their addon. But that's just me
The section I highlighted is actually completely bass-ackward, as others have noted. If there is no license attached, it defaults to All Rights Reserved. That means you can not use any of it without specific, explicit permission of the original author.

Also, as others have said, open source does not mean the same thing as source viewable. WoW addons can not be obfuscated or compiled.
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12-10-13, 01:53 PM   #8
ravagernl
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
[...]
Also, as others have said, open source does not mean the same thing as source viewable. WoW addons can not be obfuscated or compiled.
I believe you can only use obfuscation in your AddOns, when you have asked explicit permission from Blizzard (or when you're writing a personal AddOn that you are not going to release, but what is the point of obfuscation then?). I remember Peggle / Bejeweled were obfuscated with luasrcdiet.

On a different topic, I wonder what the Statute of limitations(or do you call it prescription??) are for AddOns, since there's different law enforcements(I assume EU, USA and Asian regions all have different timespans). I hope there's never going to be any occasion that will play a role. Lucky Blizzard brings us content every half year or so, so chances are small
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12-10-13, 02:02 PM   #9
Cairenn
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Originally Posted by ravagernl View Post
I believe you can only use obfuscation in your AddOns, when you have asked explicit permission from Blizzard (or when you're writing a personal AddOn that you are not going to release, but what is the point of obfuscation then?). I remember Peggle / Bejeweled were obfuscated with luasrcdiet.
You are correct. I just didn't bother to mention it because it is so very rare that they allow it and it has to be under some very specific circumstances. For most addons it'll never even be a consideration.
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12-10-13, 02:42 PM   #10
Resike
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
You are correct. I just didn't bother to mention it because it is so very rare that they allow it and it has to be under some very specific circumstances. For most addons it'll never even be a consideration.
Well i would definitely use it, if it wouldn't be against the tos, but only for the performance improvements.
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12-10-13, 05:04 PM   #11
Xruptor
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Originally Posted by ravagernl View Post
I believe you can only use obfuscation in your AddOns, when you have asked explicit permission from Blizzard (or when you're writing a personal AddOn that you are not going to release, but what is the point of obfuscation then?). I remember Peggle / Bejeweled were obfuscated with luasrcdiet.
These are two really rare cases where this was done. They had to get permission from Blizzard for this. Other then that it's really frowned upon and is not supported on WOWInterface and Curse to my knowledge.
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12-10-13, 05:02 PM   #12
Xruptor
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
The section I highlighted is actually completely bass-ackward, as others have noted. If there is no license attached, it defaults to All Rights Reserved. That means you can not use any of it without specific, explicit permission of the original author.
To be fair I did mention that I still give credit to an author and yes I still do contact them before I make any use of their code. This goes for code also that is freely available and does not fall under 'All Rights Reserved' I should have worded it a bit better but I'm sure he got the general gist of it.
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