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In September 2014 we announced the beginning of a collaboration between Khaganat and Ryzom, which Ryzom Core also joined (even if they’re shy and don’t say it too loud).

I’ll let everyone of them complete this track record; I’m speaking here in the name of Khaganat and myself.

First of all, I’m very pleased with this collaboration. For me, it is really positive and allowed everyone to progress well. Of course, not everything is perfect, because there aren’t enough active people, whether it be on Ryzom, Ryzom Forge, Ryzom Core or Khaganat. So we’re all overwhelmed with work while still having the feeling that we don’t progress. But indeed, we progress!

The original text was in French, and has been translated in English by a French speaker. So if you see things to improve, or if someone wants to translate into German, please send your text to Zatalyz and she’ll edit her post. Otherwise, let’s hope that automatic translation will be enough.

== On Ryzom side ==
The aim was announced on this forum.
Today, adding scenery items or items hold in hand is possible and is quite easy. These were the two first steps on Ryzom side. Peoples proposed items; I don’t know if it has been implemented on Ryzom side. I’d say, just by memory, thanks to Aileya and Remigra (Ryzom), Osquallo (Ryzom-Khaganat) and YannK (Khaganat) who have exhumed forgotten items out of the assets, proposed new textures, created items from scratch. I’ve probably forgotten peoples (my memory isn’t what it used to be anymore), I trust the readers to fix my memory lapses.

The next two steps aren’t possible yet. Still by memory, it was about proposing weapons plans and rites for the tribes, and to create a new area in game. The ARK allows adding rites on Ryzom, but the animation teams already have lots to do. Adding plans is still not mastered; Depyraken (Ryzom) has nonetheless welle progressed on understanding the system and proposed to add fishing and woodcutting, with skills and plans. Personal priorities have stopped him right in the middle of his work and so before this could be added in game, but what he has already done is available on line for anyone willing to continue it; otherwise we’ll have to wait for his return.

== On Khaganat size ==
On Khaganat size, our input was based on three points, even if we have gone a bit over the edges. I take over what was described (https://khaganat.net/blog/fr:blog:post_005):
- Our knowledge of working in the open world: federate sometime muddled, often scattered, goodwill, and make an efficient and coherent whole of it.
We took time to discuss, especially with Tamarea, about the organization questions, about what could be awaited from volunteers, etc. I think that all this should have had some effect, since from the rumors I heard, internal communication is more functional and pacified. Myself, I regret that Winchgate still remains a lot in the logic of a proprietary firm while it is leaning on the free work of volunteers, but it is because I’m a quite fanatical anarchistic software freedom activist. It doesn’t prevent us from working together and having good relationships so everything is fine. :)

- Sharing our year of testing and our knowledge on the game engine.
On this point, we have released as we went along what we could, and we continue to do it. We have also copied part of the documentation useful for the goals of Ryzom Forge in Ryzom Forge wiki. I’ll talk about this topic later, since this documentation turns out to be the first stakes of this collaboration.

- Giving the first impulse for the contribution through the input of Khaganat members, wishing that other would join us later.
Regarding this, I’d say that the result is missed. Ryzom Forge start was good. The participation examples we have given have been followed and taken over by Some Ryzom members (players, team members). There still is today a decent participation. But I had hoped for the Ryzom community to grasp more of the chance offered to them. I understand also why the move hasn’t been more followed: the tools still aren’t easy to reach, especially for the graphics guys; the proposals take long before being studied, not to mention being validated, and that disheartens the most enthusiastic. It’s no one’s special guilt: it’s more about the lack of human resources. There aren’t enough people for the validation and it’s blocking; there aren’t enough competent peoples who master the tools, also, to validate what needs skills (such as adding datasheets, the proposals for changing the gameplay, adding areas, 3D items). Khaganat didn’t aim at providing Ryzom with content, even if some of its members have still provided some; the aim was to show what could be done. We are, on our side, as much blocked by the lack of peoples and the dysfunctional tools.

== Documentation ==
I come back to the documentation. At the time we put the partnership in place, we had in our team a very skilled developer (Madi), and this allowed us to understand and test quite a number of things in Ryzom Core code. It was enough to write tutorials such as “how to add a hold item”; this knowledge, we wanted of course to share it so that all the projects using the game engine could benefit it, and as I said above, it allowed to add content in Ryzom, by making the handling more accessible to novices. But there were also things which we didn’t understand.

It has to be known that between Nevrax troubles and the various Ryzom buyings, lots of documentation and skills have been lost. Some peoples from Ryzom and Ryzom Core master qui well the whole or some specific parts (I’m thinking especially of Kerala, SFB, Kaetemi, Dfighter, Nimetu, Ulukyn and VL), but either they are already spending all their time coding and making the whole keep standing, or personal or professional imperatives take of their time. And often, it’s a mix of both! Anyway, they’re doing a wonderful job and without them nothing would work, but they haven’t time enough to pass their knowledge and write it down.

On our side, in Khaganat, we aren’t devs. We’d like to, but too few among us know C++ and other strange languages. We already don’t speak English that well… We’re starting from nothing and we’re listening on the way. So from the very beginning of the project, our objective has been to mark out for the next ones, by documenting everything, even the most trivial things. I was already saying it at that time, and it’s still true: “Our goal is to document each step to make it easier to reproduce in the future.”
Reproducibility is one of the core values of our project. We’re creating the world of Khanat as a “proof of concept”, but Khanat isn’t really important by itself. What we wish, it is that everyone can create what his imagination invents. We have this dream to see projects of various universes using this wonderful engine. For us, Ryzom is one of these universes, just like Khanat. Each time we’re documenting something, it’s not only for Khanat, but for everyone.

We have asked a lot of questions on #ryzom, disturbing the abovementioned people, but what they said was then written, formatted, to create documentation. With the partnership, we were able to get even more information, first by having means to bother, eh interrogate, Ulukyn more often, but also by having more information on examples which had not been released (because they contained things which would spoil Ryzom’s mystery), but which allowed to better understand some of the engine mechanisms and how to create more. It has among other things given birth to a long list of .sitem and primitives definitions (https://khaganat.net/wikhan/fr:ds:start ); there are other things in drafts on the computer of one of our archeo-codologist, but after this part he became a bit crazy and is dribbling a lot.

At the beginning of the partnership, we hoped to duplicate the documentation, to increase the people participation. Unfortunately, it means also a huge work. So, one year ago, I had asked for the opinion of the people on this topic (http://app.ryzom.com/app_forum/index.php?page=topic/view/22967/ and yes, I am also Laofa, but it is time for me to stop making a series of aliases). I won’t repeat what is already explained in this thread since it hasn’t changed much. On Ryzom side, Zorroargh, Zendae, Glorf and Vaiatua have done a huge work on the wikis. Lyne, who’s juggling between Ryzom and Khanat, has also translated lots of things. Myself I’ve done what I could before I gave up.

In an ideal world, I’d like for the documentation to be available in at least all 3 languages: German, French and English, the first two because it where I’ve found the biggest contributors in the open world and on Ryzom, the last one because it remains a useful linking language. I think that we would also have a great deal of things to gain from integrating the Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Korean communities; here also I’ve met fascinating people and projects and there is probably an under-used pool of contributors. According to my experience, people contribute more and more easily if they can do it in their mother tongue, because it removes one of the obstacles. Documenting remains quite boring; if in addition you have to translate in a language which is not yours, it is quickly demoralizing. Anyway, I’m speaking of an ideal world: in practice, our poor translators are not motivated at all by technical documentation, and there aren’t enough of them. As long as there is documentation… I happen to use Yandex to translate for German, which I barely understand, about software I really like; if I can do it, I think that other can do it also. I prefer an existing documentation, even if written in Cyrillic alphabet, to no documentation at all.

In an ideal world, documentation would also been copied on Ryzom Core and Ryzom Forge. It would improve resilience. If one of the servers were down, there would still be 2 other left for the documentation. In fact, moving documentation between systems with different operatings and syntaxes is not that easy. It’s not really complex, but it takes time. I notice that the topic abovementioned has not enthralled crowds: 8 comments. I remember that at that time, I had a bit the feeling of working for nothing and it hasn’t helped me much to see the number of people even remotely interested in the question. Fundamentally, documentation does exist, and that is (one more) all that matters. It can be moved by anyone thinking it might be useful: there’s no restriction for this.

The problem comes up in terms of human resources, as much for the translations as for the moves. On Khaganat, there is no more than ten of us, no one is there full time and everyone has already more than enough to spend his time. It’s the same on Ryzom, from what I know: the volunteers are weighed down with work and don’t really have time to do more. Since we don’t have the means, we have to cope with what we have, even if it’s not perfect. You can come back on an imperfect work, refine and polish it, even years later; on the other hand, when this work has not been done, you can only do it. In the free world, it is sometimes referred to as “do-it-cracy”, “the ones who says is the one who does (and who decides how he does it)”. All these notions mean that it’s useless to complain and that if something doesn’t appeal to you, then it’s time to act and do. As I did with the web site of Khaganat: I didn’t want to work on it, but I knew that a proper web site, with good communication and collaboration tools, was essential for the project, so I get on it and it’s working, even if with a lot of patches.

== The current Khaganat team ==
If you’re not spending your time as a bot on the #khanat channel, it’s not easy to know “who” we are. I invite Ryzom Core, Ryzom, and Ryzom Forge to also introduce their current active members: I find it important to highlight the small ants that we are. It makes also to understand that there’s a lot of work for not many people…

- Shepeng and Dremor are mostly working on the sysadmin side, namely managing or web servers. More precisely, Shepeng, who’s spending also a lot of time on Ryzom (it’s someone who you’ve probably already met in game) is working as a sysadmin. I’ve always remorse to have someone working for free on something which is also way of making a living, and it’s also someone who’s an excellent storyteller and I would prefer for his time to be spent on working on our universe. But Shepeng is an extraordinary teacher and thanks to him, I’m training gradually on this sysadmin part, I’m even coming to like it. Dremor, as for him, doesn’t come from Ryzom, but has been attracted by the free culture activist aspect of our project. He started on working on the packaging of our client for the various Linux platforms, since for now Ryzom only installs through deposits on Ubuntu. Faced with various small technical problems and seeing how much trouble we had with the code, he proposed to us to implement a way to improve the devs participation. I won’t lose you with the technical details but, to summarize, from this time on, he’s managing our Gitlab, a software forge. It has no direct impact on Ryzom: I just hope that by providing a way to work on git (which is very popular by the free devs), we’ll have more devs one day, and so we’ll be able to pass the information about the general system to Ryzom Core.

- Lyne, who’s known in game under another name, is above all else a wonderful storyteller. So she’s writing texts for us, just as she’s doing RP on Ryzom; she’s one of these people who make worlds live. Almost every Monday, she’s translating the Ryzom Forge meeting in English and in French; she’s also working for various translations for Ryzom (in game, on the wiki…). So, when we want her to translate documentation on Khaganat, she says she has no time… It sounds logical to me :D (Translator’s note: let’s say that this translation will make up for some of my undone Khaganat work… :-p)

- Siela1915 is another player active on Ryzom, who’s coming to help by us. His specialty is the compilation of the client on all the platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac. On Ryzom, Kervala is already doing this with a great efficiency. For me, Siela1915 is like a padawan following the track of Master Kervala. He’s skilful and competent, passionate with C++, even if he’s still lacking some experience in some fields (but he’s learning quickly); I’ve got no doubt that in a few years, he’ll be one of the most active contributors of the Ryzom Core galaxy, daring to propose more commits :).

- Deed has been playing Ryzom since 2005 and he’s another one of our dev, even if he doesn’t dare to give himself this title. One year ago, I believe that Deed had done nothing more complex in computers than installing Ryzom on Windows. Starting from nothing or close, he persisted during his leisure time in penetrating Ryzom’s mysteries, by trial and error, without even speaking English. I admit it now: when he started asking questions on Ryzom Core, I thought he would be thrown away so much newb he was. But he progressed with the information he grabbed and he’s finally the one who found how to restart a working server. It has no impact on Ryzom itself, since the Ryzom Forge member can test on Yubo and the official server cannot be duplicated, but it’s really useful when you want to add features. Currently, Deed is exploring the server functionalities, using the documentation he’s exhuming and writing some of it himself. He’s participating in leveldesign on Ryzom Forge. He’s a serial tester. He’s also documenting when he finds viable way to do things; but in French, since he’s still not speaking English :)

- Osquallo, a.k.a the Scoui, is something like our mascot. He hasn’t time to really contribute, but he’s coming regularly to support us, and it feels good. He also has a good knowledge of the 3D part, and that allows sometimes to understand some obscure detail. Finally, he’s one of the oldest Ryzom players and has collected over the years a huge knowledge about the game and what happened around it: thanks to him, we found back some lost documentation.

- Link Mauve, who has arrived short ago, is from the Jabber/XMPP world. He’s actually an expert for this field. He thinks that the game engine would benefit of using this protocol for the chats; after some long talks and tests, we agreed with his analysis. So XMPP will replace the current chat system for Khaganat, on the day he’ll have time to take care of this; we’ll send the change to Ryzom Core, and they’ll see if they are interested in it or not, and if Ryzom is also interested in this feature, maybe it will be added in game. Anyways, this work will be available for whoever wants to use it.

- Balor, who has been with us from the start, has little time to spend on Ryzom and Khaganat, because he has an amazing amount of work (I’m not even sure he sleeps): he’s making us nice drawings on occasion and he’s one of the more generous donators.

- YannK is one of the big contributors in various fields. He’s working on Khaganat only for 8:00pm to 11:00pm: when I seen the amount of things he manages to do in such a short time, I dream of being able to pay him so that he works the whole day for us. He analyses what Osquallo and Deed find, what Kervala, Ulukyn and other Ryzom Core members say, and what he manages to read in the code (he’s not a dev, but he’s learning Python since he started with Khaganat). He’s behind most of the technical documentation which can be found on Khaganat. To relax, he also learnt Blender and created 3D items. He proposed some of them to Ryzom; I don’t know if you have them in game or not. He also extracted from the assets several almost finished items (with the datasheets and everything) and mentioned them to the animation team.

- And last, there’s me, Zatalyz. My main role in the team is to motivate everyone and ensure there’s a good spirit, along with communicating (a bit) with the rest of the world. I’ve learnt server and web site administration out of necessity, since no one else was available. I’m convinced that good tools facilitate good work, and that’s why Khaganat is hosting several services which I consider of good quality: etherpad, gitlab, docuwiki, for the most important ones. Maintaining all this takes me time; I’m documenting what I’m doing as much as possible, whether it be management, community management, or the sysadmin part, so that other people can duplicate what we’re doing. I’m quite proud of my choices, because despite the lack of people, all of this is progressing little by little and smoothly.

Here are our 10 more or less current active; there are other people who come sometimes, and leave, sometimes quickly and sometimes stay for a few months. Some are leaving a mark behind them: a story, an idea, information, such as TychoBrahe who came not long ago and explained us the best practice for security (by the way, now, I’ve got to write down what he told us). Other ones are there as audience, they’re often motivating through the interest they take in our work.

I know from a reliable source that YannK and myself would be delighted to spend more time on this work, I think that Shepeng and Deed would also. I believe that the other ones are happy that Khaganat remains a hobby, even if they’re not again some kind of gratuity. For the four of us, the amount of time spent on Khaganat depends a lot on what we are earning elsewhere.

So I take advantage of this opportunity to mention that you can help us in making this dream real, by giving to Khaganat on Liberapay: https://liberapay.com/Khaganat/.

All the registered members of the team share the gifts received in the name of the team. If some of us were able to earn enough to pay the bills, our time spent on Khaganat would be augmented. Bonus: you can support us at the size of your earnings, even by paying 1 cent per week (there is a minimum of 15€ on Liberapay thought, but it means then 1,500 weeks at 1 cent a week ^^).

Myself, I do what I can to earn money, which means that necessarily I’m working less and less for Khaganat. If I were to be realistic, I’d stop working for Khaganat, but I’m this kind of people who need dream to live and cannot content myself with just eating and sleeping. I’m earning a lot less than 800€ per month, partly because of a quite incapacitating illness which doesn’t allow me to work on whichever job. I would really love being able to spend all my time on Khaganat one day :)

There you have the overview, don’t hesitate if you have questions, I love answering questions!

Edited 2 times | Last edited by Zatalyz (2 years ago)

#2 [fr] 

Petit up pour l'ajout de la traduction en anglais. Merci Lyne \o/

#3 [fr] 

Merci beaucoup pour ce compte rendu, ça permet aussi d'éclaircir certains points que j'ignorais :)

Côté Ryzom Core, il n'y a aucune autre coordination que ce qui se passe sur : https://bitbucket.org/ryzom/ryzomcore/issues?status=new&statu s=open

Tout simplement car il n'y a pas réellement de membres permanents, chacun fait ce qu'il veut quand il veut (et a le temps surtout).

C'est un peu différent des autres projets open-source qui sont créés par une ou plusieurs personnes (et qui y contribuent plus que les autres vu qu'il s'agit de leur bébé).

Il n'y a plus aucun ex-employé de Nevrax qui contribue à Ryzom (le dernier à l'avoir fait étant vl) :(

Last edited by Xiombarg (2 years ago)

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Kervala - Ryzom volunteer developer - Working on different clients

#4 [fr] 

Bravo à toutes les bonnes volontés, et très bonne idée de ce bilan bien documenté !

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#5 [fr] 

Je dois te dire que ton mail fait chaud au cœur.

Il explique très bien ce qui est le cœur même du monde Ryzom, ce qui le différencie des autres mmo bien plus populaires que le nôtre.
Le centre de cet univers c'est la communauté de joueurs, de bénévoles, qui font vivre depuis plus de 12 ans notre ryzom.

Ton message nous éclaire bien, sur une partie de la face cachée du bénévolat et sur la partie Khaganat en particulier.

J'en profite pour te dire merci, à toi et au Khaganatien et Khaganatienne, c'est grâce à votre participation que nous avons cette collaboration.

Pour moi, j'ai honte d'avoir le virus de l'univers de Ryzom et de faire si peut.

Je plussois sur ta remarque a propose de Winchgate, beaucoup a étaient fait pour se rapprocher du monde du libre, il reste encore quelques pas pour transformer l'essai.

Mon texte fait pale figure par rapport au tien, je ne suis pas un écriveur :-), mais je voulais répondre à ton message essentiellement pour te dire : MERCI

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#6 [fr] 

Yes, thank you so much for your hard work guys, and your labor of love. :D
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