Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

User avatar
sorcerykid
Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 15:36
Location: Illinois, USA
GitHub: sorcerykid
In-game: Nemo

Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by sorcerykid » Tue Mar 12, 2019 02:44

Image

I realize this might be an unpopular opinion, but I don't understand the rationale for breaking compatibility between mismatched clients and servers following the release of Minetest 5.0. This is perhaps less of a concern for desktop users, since they can install and run multiple versions side by side. But mobile users don't have that luxury. Once they "upgrade" their client to 5.0.0, they lose all ability to join the 200+ servers still running Minetest 0.4.x.

In the computer industry, it is fairly common to provide backwards compatibility for legacy software several months if not years after end-of-life. This is true even across changing architectures. For example Windows 10 allows for seamless emulation of Win32 apps on 64-bit CPUs. When Apple switched their Mac-line over to Intel, they also bundled an emulator for PowerPC-based applications. Heck even the Apple IIGS, included a native 8-bit emulation mode for 6502 applications.

This is similarly true in the domain of Internet connectivity. The introduction of IPv6 didn't necessitate immediate abandonment of IPV4. Instead, modern OS's support both the new and old technologies. Similarly the introduction of HTML5 didn't necessitate immediate abandoment of HTML4. Instead modern browsers support both the new and old specifications.

I wish there had been a more carefully-structured transition to 5.x, rather than the abrupt "Everybody must upgrade now" marketing tactic, which does nothing but alienate a good chunk of the Minetest userbase. Many newcomers from the app store are likely wondering why 80% of the server list is grayed out, which is unfortunate since there are a ton of high quality 0.4 servers like Red Cat Creative, IhrFussel's Server, Survival X, Must Test, Undercore, and more.

The result is a chicken-and-egg causality dilemma. Server operators don't want to upgrade till a critical mass of players upgrade, but players don't want to upgrade till a critical mass of server operators upgrade. In the meantime, until we surpass the 50% adoption mark, the community becomes more and more fractured as 0.4.x fights against 5.0. For this reason, I hope the core devs will consider a network compatibility layer for the next release.

Thanks for your understanding.
 

Skulls
Member
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 17:41
In-game: Skulls
 

sofar
Developer
 
Posts: 1998
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 07:31
GitHub: sofar
IRC: sofar
In-game: sofar

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by sofar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 03:33

Endlessly expanding protocols and the code to support them all is extremely costly and prone to breakage. At some point everything will stop working because there isn't enough manpower to support it. Cutting off technical debt like that isn't pleasant but needed for projects like minetest to keep the code small, allow for rewrites, rearchitecturing and cleanups of unused or bad code.

I understand the sentiment, but experience shows that even the most customer focused and professional teams choose to regularly drop compatibility and cut off support for old versions this way.

The situation with ipv4/6 isn't really comparable since there are just machines that won't ever be able to upgrade to it. That isn't really the case for minetest, and for the folks who can't upgrade might want to consider replacing their insecure OS/devices. It's a game and not a life critical part even of infrastructure after all.

I realize this may sound unpopular with server owners. I think most will be fine upgrading and working with their players through communication and developers helping to fix mod issues that may arise. A huge amount of API issues have long been fixed in mods even before 0.4.17. Just talk to your players and plan your upgrade.
 

User avatar
paramat
Developer
 
Posts: 3348
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 00:05
Location: UK
GitHub: paramat
IRC: paramat

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by paramat » Sun Mar 17, 2019 03:55

No.
LOL there's no chance of compatibility being added, the whole idea is breaking compatibility. If you realised how short of dev time we you wouldn't suggest this, even if we had time we wouldn't work on this.
Any compatibility would itself cause a mess and slow down the upgrading process, it would cause more harm than good.

The rationale is clear, and the transition to 5.0.0 has been carefully thought through and implemented, over 1 year and 8 months. it is not a 'marketing tactic'.
We can (and probably already have) explained everything in the forum news section, and word gets around other ways too, so most players know what's happening. Servers will keep their players informed.
I am currently asking that the app store page is updated with more information, as Nerzhul didn't highlight the improvements or mention the incompatibility.

The 'chicken and egg' issues is being solved by the servers that wisely realise that the only way for MT to go forward is to act first and update to 5.0.0 without worry. The more that servers worry and hesitate, the slower and more painful the transition will be for everyone, including players. If most servers upgrade to 5.0.0 now, then there isn't much of a problem because players will then be able to access most servers.

There is now a much-improved Android 5.0.0 app for players to move to. Android users will just have to decide between 0.4 and 5.0 depending on their favourite servers.

Overall it's a very good thing. Servers suffer greatly due to players using annoying, cheating hacked forked apps, or apps with 'pay for privilege'. Now those players can move to the improved official app, which is not hacked, is free and advertisement-free, both players and servers benefit from this.

The most popular platform for players on MT was Multicraft, but apparently that will not be upgrading to 5.0.0. I expect some other apps won't be either. There will hopefully be a large movement of players to the official app, this has been the plan for a long time, and helps to kill off some of the worst apps.
 

TillCoyote
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 08:05
Location: Kasachische Republik
 

User avatar
TenPlus1
Member
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 13:38
GitHub: tenplus1

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by TenPlus1 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 06:56

I wonder if there is a way to only show servers that use 5.0 and above on the list to save confusion ?
 

User avatar
Festus1965
Member
 
Posts: 788
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:58
Location: Thailand - Chiang Mai (+5-6h to MEZ)
In-game: Thomas Explorer

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by Festus1965 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 07:00

TenPlus1 wrote:I wonder if there is a way to only show servers that use 5.0 and above on the list to save confusion ?


So when I open win-5.0.0 client I see first only all 5.0.0 servers, and then behind the 0.4.x,
when I open 0.4.x-client I see first only the 0.4.x servers, then after the 5.0.0
so far quiet good, and even other server protocols are set grey.

It is only the server list still mixing all of them together.

but that is not anymore part of the start post ...
but I like this not compatible as I see now how the getting less 0.4.x servers are flooded with clones, name123
I own minetest.one and offer a Minetestserver called Thailand Minetest.one (5.1.0-dev) on server.minetest.one.
 

User avatar
Wuzzy
Member
 
Posts: 3399
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 15:01
GitHub: Wuzzy2
IRC: Wuzzy
In-game: Wuzzy

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by Wuzzy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 17:52

Sorcerykid, are you using this as an excuse to not upgrade JT2? :P
My creations. I gladly accept bitcoins: 17fsUywHxeMHKG41UFfu34F1rAxZcrVoqH
 

sofar
Developer
 
Posts: 1998
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 07:31
GitHub: sofar
IRC: sofar
In-game: sofar

Re: Minetest 5.0.0 should have been backward compatible

by sofar » Mon Mar 18, 2019 19:37

TillCoyote wrote:It's very hard to support old clients.


Debatable, but, there is a non-zero cost for sure.
 

User avatar
LMD
Member
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 08:16
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow : Bonn, Germany
GitHub: appgurueu
In-game: LMD + PRO_LMD + Limo

Don't give up !

by LMD » Thu Mar 21, 2019 19:42

There still remains a solution possible :
Update all builds
Create a launcher. It should allow you to choose between MT versions. This would also be a huge step towards retro fans.
Make a bundled APK - both Minetest 5.0.0 and 4.0x put together.

Or, another way, just make something like Minetest Retro and release it on play store as another app.
Magic-CTF(soon)MTPCFractal-SuiteModel Creator Schematic CreatorColorfulXmas BallsWebsite • Never judge me by my age
 

User avatar
MineYoshi
Member
 
Posts: 5369
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 13:20

Re: Don't give up !

by MineYoshi » Sat Mar 23, 2019 02:21

LMD wrote:There still remains a solution possible :
Update all builds
Create a launcher. It should allow you to choose between MT versions. This would also be a huge step towards retro fans.
Make a bundled APK - both Minetest 5.0.0 and 4.0x put together.

Or, another way, just make something like Minetest Retro and release it on play store as another app.

"Minetest Retro" should be the 0.3.x versions. Minetest 0.4.x should be "Minetest Legacy" instead.
nire patata zurea da, kide :-)
 


Return to General Discussion



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: PolySaken and 5 guests