Silence, I'll sue you!

Posted on:October 21 2008

Since I started my own company a bit more than one year ago, I had a lot of fun with this. Most of the products I am selling are free to use by people who would not or could not buy them anyway, and I'm trying to be fair to my customers as far as I can, like giving them discounts when they have good reasons and similar.

Some of the products even are completely free to use, like the audio library irrKlang (non-commercial version) or the 3D editor irrEdit (really free, you only need to pay a fee if you want the source code!).

But since my products are getting more popular every month, I am receiveing more and more strange accusations and threats. See for example this yesterday created public thread on the
ambiera forum
where a guy accuses me of... I don't know, I don't even understand exactly what his problem is. Or two other common examples:
  • people threating me to sue me because they cannot find a compiler switch (?) or project setting in their IDE
  • people who bought a license twice by accident, and then insulting me and accusing me to be a scammer instead of simply asking me to refund the money
I don't know what happened to this world, but becoming abusive seems to become quite common now, even if the fault is on your own side. I'm usually still friendly to these people, helping them to correct their own mistake, but I never received any apology or excuse, ever.


heck that guy can't even make up his mind, first he says youre a vampyre, then says you're a zombie?!
The Anaconda
2008-10-21 17:53:00

This man surely is a fanatic or wants the source code of irredit for free. Well niko has to pay bills, and he knew what he was paying for. Silicon Knights sued Epic so what is new here.
2008-10-21 18:16:00

They should be appreciated to you because you developed really *great* products, (i just love Irrlicht) but the world is simply going wrong... ;)
2008-10-21 19:29:00

You shouldn't care about these 'individuals'
Sounds a bit like they are jealous...

Everything you put your hands is great. Just keep up the good work. Everybody can understand stand you have to earn money to pay your bills.

Please don't sue me... it's just a name :)
2008-10-21 19:48:00

thanks. hehe :)
2008-10-21 20:18:00

This pretty much sums up the reason for this:

in short: the internet makes people jerks because they dont have to feel ashamed of their bad behavior cuz they are anonymous.
2008-10-22 00:06:00

While I think many of the irate things people say to/about you are completely rediculous. I have to say that you dont seem to offer any compensation what-so-ever to users of "alternative" operating systems which makes me quite frustrated. I cannot and will not use irrklang simply because its proprietary and there are alternatives out there (such as KDE's Phonon) which work really well and respect my free software rights. On the other hand, you have irrEdit which seems to be an invaluable tool yet is also proprietary and only supports a single platform. For a tool that is supposed to supplement a cross platform 3D renderer, this just baffles me. My 2 cents, thanks.
Alec Hussey
2008-10-22 01:38:00

@Alec Hussy, Niko runs his own company Ambierra, that provides support and tools for irredit, irrklang which are products sold by his company. I cannot understand what is wrong with that. since he wrote the source code, It is his choice what he wants to do with it. Keep it locked, sell, or give for free. Nobody can force him.
also irredit and irrklang are free to use. If you are really looking for source code of a 3D editor, why not study source code of blender which is more then enough.
If your logic applies then epic, id, crytek, microsoft, autodesk all should release there source code.
Already Irrlicht, quake 3, Ogre, horde3D, crystal 3d, blender, source code is gpl or zlib, meaning free or almost free.
It is more of a question of what you want to do in your life and niko has pretty full rights on his created things.
Do you get the text of Harry Potter books for free unless you pirate it.
Why take for granted or force someone. World is going this way only.
Atleast we are happy for the generosity of people who completely provide source code for free. But giving support or developing a toolset takes effort AND, WHILE WE WRITE OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE WE NEED MONEY TO SUSTAIN OUR LIFES AND FAMILY.
2008-10-22 10:33:00

Everybody has full rights on his created things, and full rights to give or sell it as one wants.
Just think you pay almost 650000 for unreal engine and toolset.
2008-10-22 10:36:00

Nice thing to is you have had people step in and help defend you while you weren't on yet to post. Shows that you do have happy and loyal customers!
Jonathan Snyder
2008-10-22 15:43:00

@Alec Hussy: It's usually not like developers wouldn't like to opensource more of their stuff. But I'm already surprised how Niko managed to actually get something as large as 3D lib out for free. In the long run you simply need some sort of business model to survive. And if it helps even to further improve the free stuff, that's even better.

And certainly anyone can write an opensource 3D Editor for Irrlicht if they want to (and enough people actually try that).
2008-10-23 00:15:00

"They should be appreciated to you because you developed really great products, (i just love Irrlicht) but the world is simply going wrong…"

Not my point of view, they are paying for a service (where applicable), so it's a deal. However, that does not mean they have the right to speak like they are the only customers or as if they were the highest priority customers... the attitude is what matters?
2008-10-23 06:52:00

LOL, this is fantastic! Don't you know that, as a talented and ambitious producer, you OWE every stupid consumer on the planet? You owe them your time, your source code (they have "free software RIGHTS", mind you), and pretty much anything else they feel they deserve.

You're very patient and tactful. If someone threatened to sue me for their own stupidity, oh man would I have so much fun with them....
2008-10-24 05:13:00

@kinjalkishor Your really missing the point. I already know everything you just stated. I never demanded that Niko did anything, I never would, thats just rediculous. I also would never expect him to follow any "demands" or for that matter, take mine or anyone elses suggestions and or opinions. That said, of course he has copyright over anything he creates, as does everyone.

I simply said that I did not agree with his decisions to do certain things and that there is a another preferable approach to his customers so to speak. Especially because I really enjoy using and working with Irrlicht and am really disappointed and frustrated by the fact that the other components aren't availible to me.

In addition, you attacked me about how your supposed to make money on open source software. Apparently you can make money on open source software because everybody in the open source community is doing it. Firefox, GNOME and KDE projects, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, SugarCRM, the list goes on. While Open Source is not the get rich quick scheme commonly used by the proprietary software community, you can make money. The general idea is that the software is free while you pay for the services on top of, or in addition to the software. There have also been a variety of other approaches to this issue as well.
Alec Hussey
2008-10-24 21:52:00

@Alec Hussey, nothing personal. Also many open source projects you name are backed by big corporations. Um Red Hat, Novell yeah, Ubuntu, he he. While small developers, irrlicht, ogre, 7 zip, lack such funds. That is major reason for difference. Though other buisness models works for some, they dont work for others. More so as niko money income is so dependent on the products and support. He needed some way for making money and he choose this way. Nobody can question that.
Also I agree you have right to offer your suggestion. Sorry if I offended you. You are right on suggesting something. Other person has right on his choice.
Though I will very much suggest you to study blender source code, which is done by me and many other people(XNormal also).
I was offered this suggestion by XNormal creator, who also choose not to disclose its source code but he provide me a solutionthat I think is working well. Why not start looking for alternatives if something is not as to your liking, because actually it niko's right on source code. In this situation only sensible thing is to be happy with what we got, which is already very much IMHO. Also many people do write opensource editor for irrlicht, u can try them.
We should really consider other persons condition before accusing and demanding. The hapless guy who said Niko was a vampire and zonbie should really get a realty check first.
2008-10-25 17:56:00

Aslo Quake 3 radiant editor is a good game editor, can be easily fused with Irrlicht. And has all the features. It is with source code of quake 3. One should really have source code of other opens source related projects with them also. It is very helpful. I have chosen some and study all of their source code. Irrlicht is not perfect and othe rlibs hav some other features. If u want something prebuilt to ur liking then u may have to pay for it.
2008-10-25 18:14:00

@kinjalkishor Yes I suppose your correct. By the way, I wasn't offended so much as I fealt that I was misinterpreted, but its no problem. You mention there being alternative Irrlicht scene editors/creators but I have yet to see one and I've been looking around for quite a while. My biggest frustration is not being able to use it because its a Win32 application and its god awful slow in a VM (no acceleration) and doesnt run well in WINE, in addition to the proprietary software issue. I have used GtkRadiant before but found it quite unwieldy and could never wrap my head around it. If you have any other suggestions, that would be great. And I have to say, I applaud niko for at the very least making an XML-based format rather than a custom binary based one. So in theory it's probably fairly trivial to make one in say Qt/Irrlicht given the time and resources (which I don't have unless I gather volunteers to do so). Also, you mention finding other libs. I have tried several other 3D rendering APIs and Irrlicht has been the only open source one so far that I was comfortable working with and which had a layout/scheme that made sense to me. I have looked at ogre, open scene graph, and crystal space for example but was unhappy with those for a number of different reasons.
Alec Hussey
2008-10-27 02:37:00

@Alec Hussey,
2008-10-27 09:36:00

@Alec Hussey, Oh sorry, I thought u were working with windows. On Linux there is definetly the problem of having the source code. Call it strength or weakness of Linux, but it is that way. Get one or Write one.
Easy source code - Well first decide what GUI u want to use, I am myself unclear on MFC, Swing, wxWidgets, Python. And that is on wnidows only. I personally think MFC goes wll with Windows. If u consider Linux, then really there is problem. Java goes well with Linux but then Irrlicht is C++, use GTK, but that is another problem in itself.
Well sensible solution used by all is, use MFC or C#, make tools windows only, and engine cross platform.
If u are looking for grahics lib then Ogre, Irrlicht are best. Irrlicht is more easy, Ogre is more complex due to being so much object oriented. If this are best and cannot serve purpose, then write ur own. No more known solution exists. Otherwise wait for others, meanwhile pick another hobby.
I mean what u like and can do easily. I am myself no good programmer, but an easy and good writer, which is ofcourse difficult for others, and I love aboth things. But some things are easier.
For statrting and completing always pick something complete.
I will suggest Quake3 with Radiant and Irrlicht. If u understand only this it is enough. I am myself working in this direction. Get a Quake3 clone on good new rendering engine with toolset, which has object-oriented extensible code, First on windows only. Using my own source code.
Then extend it as u wish. Also I want to run Quake 3 AI using Squirrell, the way todays games are designed.
This seem easy, achievable goal to me, and I have all I need. Of Course others goals may be very difficult.
I like quake 3 and play it very much.
If u want only graphics engine, OGRE has all features, sooner or later u will understand the code, Irrlicht is very good for beginner still very powerful and extensible, and also complete with many extra subsystems. OGRE relies too much on many external projects, whose fate is not certain. Her Irrlicht scores and all fetures of OGRE and many more can be esily added to Irrlicht.
For Editor Atleast Radiant is a working solution with Quake3 source code and blender has all the features of a 3D modelling program. Reality factory is also complete withh genesis engine but buggy and it is not a complete game and feature less.
I vouch for Quake 3 + Radiant + Irrlicht Source code and windows only. It is difficult to develop on Linux.
And to tell you Quake 3 has Background File Streaming, 3D Stereo Rendering, SIMD Vector Optimization, is cross platform, still compiles completely. Well great features for such an old game.
hope this helps.
2008-11-02 16:00:00

And also I think Quake 3 AI is superior then Unreal Tournament 2004 also or atleast on same level. But I se Quake 3 bots perform well on new levels due to dynamic AI whereas Unreal bots are scripted and bad level design screws them.
2008-11-02 16:03:00

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