I don't think I've ever posted here before, but I'd like to weigh in on this topic. I have watched this community develop since work on hMod stopped and work on Bukkit became more active, and this is when I started running my own small servers for friends or to satisfy my need to show other people my great works. On several occasions I have considered getting into the modding community for Bukkit as well, but it has continued to frustrate me as it makes all overtures of being "open source" without following through on some of the key principles of open source; thus, I have been discouraged from participating much as I had considered getting into other modding APIs of popular game products that have suffered from a similar lack of organization. So, organization is the first problem. As far as I know (and I'm not extremely well-versed), Bukkit is both the premiere software package for hosting SMP, and is primarily expanded by community-made addons. Why then is there no member of the bone-fide Bukkit team that acts as a release manager, or why isn't there an arms-length release management team that organizes and coordinates tagging for plugins that developers have registered for Bukkit? Is there one and I just can't find reference to them? Seems like a pretty important thing. Not to mention, having a release manager whose sole responsibility is to tag and release builds would eliminate the chance that duplicate projects would pop up when the developer goes AWOL. "Hey release manager, Joey has been missing for a month and a half and I've committed several bugfixes to X branch, can you please tag and release?" This problem is compounded when the Bukkit developers themselves get in on it. A real-life anecdote here that happened to me just this week was dealing with superperms - I've been running a couple dozen various addons, and been using the Yeti/rjr Permissions mod, which I felt has been more or less "the standard" mod. Therefore, I'm familiar with the whole wildcard node thing. Great, that works for me. Then I get into installing Multiverse 2, which required PermissionsBukkit. Okay, so I narrow my eyes reading about this and how I have to install PB -and- Superpermbridge, and not only that but have to screw around with explicitly giving permissions. The documentation was so obtuse at the time that I wrestled with this for 4 or 5 days before discovering that MV2 could use the "standard" Permissions mod, and thus reverted and had wasted many hours this week building 600-line permissions lists. So, wtf. Why did I spend so much time on that? Because a member of the Bukkit Team had endorsed PermissionsBukkit. So, in this case, reducing the amount of packages is something that has to happen from the top-down. The second problem is developer ego. This happens in the true Open Source community as well, but it is usually moderated by the fact that project owners are obligated to communicate with their users and developers, and denying needed changes because "I didn't think of it first" usually results in the project owner feeling the heat. In this community, there seems to be quite a bit of.. competition between some mod authors, and inevitably this sort of struggling for fame is something that diminishes the community. This has a history of going back all the way to things like VoxelSniper vs iStick. Ultimately, this sort of thing needs to be put down by someone with some sense and preferably with enough authority to make sure that what s/he says, goes. Project owners whose release notes read like a page from How To Act Like A Jackass should be addressed (and I won't name names), this does nothing for the community and only makes the end-users feel bad for not understanding if something works (due to crap documentation). This community sets the tone for itself, and to be quite honest this is the result of a semi-hostile community. The third thing that has made this all but impossible for you guys to correct now is the fact that the community has embraced the idea of donations for mod support. Yes. Does this happen in the real Open Source community? Rarely. But almost every author here has a donations link on their page. Look, I'm not saying that developers don't deserve to be compensated for their time, because they do. But true Open Source innovation comes from people that are more interested in improving something and knowing that they have contributed to something that's very popular, not people that are looking to slap together something to augment a piece of software and then make subtle statements about "Donating will give me more time to work on the plugin". Almost like a veiled threat, really. Of course, this even goes so far as to have people actually starting to turn plugins into a revenue source. Did you know that there is one plugin developer that requires people to donate to him to receive a beta key for the web-based interface required to use his plugin? Paying for a beta key for a plugin that interacts with a beta SMP API for a beta product? Ridiculous. Why doesn't the community stomp on it? Because it's hard to stomp on someone for collecting money for their work when they are doing the same. Plugins SHOULD be developed for the betterment of the community, not for money - and if a mod author can't manage to keep up with demand, that mod author should make himself a project owner instead and solicit contributors instead of sitting on it and doing nothing. Of course, now that so many people have seen what a potential source of revenue making crap clone addons could be, why wouldn't they get in on it? Ultimately I feel like this current development community has made its own mess, and while I'm not partial to kicking people when they are down it's pretty obvious that it is going to continue to become ridiculously overpopulated with addons that duplicate the same functions until someone takes a heavy-handed approach to turning the development community back to Open Source values - whether that requires the community to terminate the current semi-open submission policy and force mod authors to become project owners instead with a centrally operated release structure, or purging authors that act disingenously or otherwise are not representative of the community image the Bukkit team wishes to project. I have seen a lot of really great addons out of this community; my mind is blown when I see them come up with things when the publisher of the game itself is still fumbling around to duplicate the same functionality. I see a lot of developers that are hard workers and enjoy giving people options, that are happy just to contribute and have their contributions appreciated. But quite frankly, this community can do without the grandstanders and donation trolls regardless of how amazing their work is. -S Oh, one more thing. Documentation. Someone mentioned this above. With Minecraft having passed 3 million sales, that is potentially 3 million users circulating in the system, and unless you want to see popular server owners paying thousands of dollars a month to host them, there will be more that crop up. Having to navigate the hundreds of plugins that all seem to do the same thing is daunting in itself as a potential new server administrator, but having most of those plugins poorly documented at the start is absurd. "I'll get to documenting it when I get time." BS. It should be documented first. I'm not even talking about the code being documented, I'm talking about the "how to use this plugin" documentation! I get that this community is more likely to have "cowboy coders" because it is an incubator, but this sort of business in tolerating the vast number of authors that do this, is just stupid. Thanks for reading.