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Old 06-30-2003, 04:19 PM
farshizzo farshizzo is offline
WorldViz Team Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,849
Sharing Files on SourceForge

What is our general idea?

WorldViz would like to generally enhance scientific research by fostering the sharing of virtual environments, experiments, utilities, and plug-ins. After having learned how helpful this has proved to be for others, we believe it would be a great service to all.

We have decided to begin this effort using one of the open-source community's most respected online repositories, SourceForge. The advantages of it are 1) it leaves no doubt what the open-source licensing policy is (we have adopted LGPL for our project site; see for the full text of this and other open-source licenses), 2) it forms a 3rd party between WorldViz and you so that academic and commercial interests remain separated, 3) you will have full control of your releases, and in the spirit of true open-source, neither you nor WorldViz can remove a software release once submitted--it can only be followed by a superceding release.

The LGPL license, in a nut shell, requires that anyone using your code must give you credit and that changes to your code must be made available to the public. However, this license does not prevent anyone from using it in a project that is otherwise closed-source or intended for commercial purposes. The spirit of LGPL is that anyone can use it for anything, provided credit is given and that any changes be fully disclosed so that others can stand to benefit. Otherwise, it gives the user considerable freedom of use.

What are the details of our idea?

This document gives a simple example of what the Vizard SourceForge page would look like if you become a part of it. Your lab group would show up on the front page along with all the other participating groups. You can choose to call your group anything you like. Within your group (known as a "package" in SourceForge lingo), you can have as many contributions (known as "releases" in SourceForge lingo) as you like along with the history of released versions. Each release can contain as many files (or zipped folders) as you like.

We recommend that you organize your contribution into the following categories in order to maintain an organization that is consistent across all participating groups:

expt - This type of release is for actual experiments that can be used to collect data. This can either be a fully working experiment or the skeleton serving as an example to others who are interested in this line of research.

demo - This is a more generic category for virtual worlds that might illustrate a particular point in a less formal way than an "expt" release, or simply might be a demo that is just plain fun to try.

util - This would be the catchall for projects that are not virtual worlds themselves, but are supporting programs related to either an "expt" or '"demo" project. An example might be a utility for generating random textures.

plugin - This category would be for Vizard sensor and render plug-ins. This would typically be C/C++ source code instead of Python.

Below are two sample pages. The first, "Top Level Page" is what users will see at the Vizard SourceForge home ( The second is a sample of what the main download page might look like. Currently the project home page points to our WorldViz homepage. We will soon replace this with a page dedicated to this community and plan to list each contributor in some detail. With your permission, we would like to include your lab logo and place add one or more links to your lab or your academic home page.

Further down on the top level page, each lab ("package") is listed. Next to it is listed the most recently uploaded "release". This might be either an expt, demo, util, or plugin content. To see all release for a particular lab, one needs only to click on the "download" link to the right of the package. Clicking on the Notes icon takes the browsing person to a page with release notes that you can maintain.

On the second page we’ve attached, the download page, everything is sorted by package (remember, this simply signifies the individual labs). Under each package are the releases. Under each release are the files (zips, etc.). We are suggesting labeling releases as either expt, demo, util, or plugin, for the reasons described above. You can see on this sample page that a user can decide to select an individual file under a particular release. One thing that is perhaps confusing is that all releases are sorted by release date and are not organized by type (e.g., expt, demo, util, or plugin). . This is yet another reason to adopt consistency across labs, so users will know what to possibly look for within each lab or package. Finally, we would encourage you to name your releases with simple version numbers so that there is an obvious and logical progression to your updates.

How do I administer it?

WorldViz will do all this initial administrative work to set up your lab package. All you need to do is give us the title as you wish it to appear (please keep it as abbreviated as possible). After that, you will be entirely in control of uploading releases to your package. To enable you to do that, you or someone you wish to make responsible at your lab will need to join SourceForge (it's totally free) and create a user login account. Then, simply email us the user account name and we will extend "developer" privileges to that account for the Vizard SourceForge community project. Once that is set up, we will provide you and that contact person with specific instructions on how to use the SourceForges File Retrieval System.

If you’d like to see what the real project pages looks like right now, you’re welcome to check it out at:

Just keep in mind that this is all brand new and we hope folks like you will sign up and help us achieve critical mass.


The WorldViz Team
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:18 AM
billjarrold billjarrold is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 39
Our lab is considering going open course with our experimental platform for studying social attention in autism and ADHD. We may be comfortable with LGPL. However, does anyone know if it would be possible to add the requirement that anyone using our code would be required / asked to mention a publication of ours in the reference section of any publication they write using our platform ?

Maybe this is just a little request we can make somewhere on thsourceforge page for our project-to-be? Maybe the is a way to add legal teeth into the download terms?

Thanks ,

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