Cool VL Viewer forum

View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently 2022-01-26 23:35:40

Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Plagiarists and code pillagers 
Author Message

Joined: 2009-03-17 18:42:51
Posts: 4809
Reply with quote
While reading Nalate's excellent BLOG a couple of weeks ago, I was extremely surprised when seeing the screenshot of Kirsten's S19 viewer and recognizing immediately the very unique UI of the Cool VL Viewer...

I then visited Kirtsen's BLOG to see what was said about it and saw no mention whatsoever about the lineage of the code.

I downloaded the sources (that are hard to find: the only way to get them is to use the SVN repository: "svn checkout"). and compared with the Cool VL Viewer's... They were obviously the same, with the exception of some post-processing shaders (probably coming from Singularity's or Phoenix') and the stereo view code (probably the only code Kirsten actually contributed to S19...)... and of course, the removal of each and every mention of the Cool VL Viewer in the UI and down to my own comments in the sources of my own code contributions !!!
The XML file for the "About" floater was also amputated from *all* the contributors names (and of course mine) and replaced with "S19. S series project viewer codename 'blackbird' brought to life by KL.". Interestingly, Kirsten forgot to change the "Cool VL Viewer" strings in the foreign translations for the login errors screens (indra/newview/skins/default/html/fr/loading-error/index.html for example)...

To give you an idea of how close S19 is from the Cool VL Viewer, here is a raw diff of the source changes between S19 and the Cool VL Viewer v1.26.9.2; this diff was obtained after filtering the two source trees through 'indent' to avoid catching the differences in simple code formatting and spacing, removal of the license headers that have been changed in many places (again, illegally), and removal of non-source files (XML UI files and textures for example). The diff is only 600Kb big, that is about two releases worth of code changes between Cool VL Viewer releases (i.e. two weeks of coding, during part of my free time, or 12-15 hours worth of coding only !). If you actually browse this diff, you can see that most of the differences are just micro-optimizations that Kirsten didn't backport and changes in the materials shaders (that come from LL's viewer-development-materials).
To summarize, let's say that S19 is a clone of the Cool VL Viewer with a couple of patches (post-processing shaders and stereo view for 3D glasses) added !

I was flabbergasted !!! How can someone be bold (and stupid) enough to STEAL code like that, VIOLATING the source code License (GPL allows you to reuse the sources, but NOT to remove the copyright from them, and especially the names of the authors and contributors !).

I'm perfectly fine with people forking the Cool VL Viewer (it is GPL for a good reason), but NOT to see them make it believe like if the 6+ years *I* have been working on improving it, modifying it and expanding it was *THEIR* work !!!

In fact, many TPVs reused my code (Hippo, Ascent/Singularity, Imprudence, Emerald/Phoenix/Firestorm, Dolphin v1 (which was a fork of the Cool VL Viewer), etc...), but with the exception of Boy Lane's builds (she was the former Windows package builder for the Cool SL Viewer, till she took on herself to rename the viewer from "Cool SL Viewer" to "Cool Viewer" and started bragging on forums how "her" viewer (actually "mine" compiled by her under Windows) was so much better than every other TPV in the world), I never had people right out stealing my work (and the work of all other contributors to the Cool VL Viewer) like that !!!

I of course tried to contact Kirsten for explanations, but if you visit his BLOG, you will find no email or any way to contact him: I did let a comment on the BLOG entry for S19, but it was never published. I also IMed him in SL (and I know, thanks to a script, that he did connect after I sent him those IMs, so he certainly got them), and again, never got any reply during the past two weeks.

Two warnings too: S19 is based off an early release of the experimental branch of the Cool VL Viewer, and the latter got issues with textures editing on prims (see the big, red warning on the Cool VL Viewer download page), so using S19 to edit valuable assets is like playing Russian roulette. Also, you probably noticed that I didn't say that I ran S19 and there is a DAMNED good reason for this: its installer got a Win.Adware.Agent-2573 trojan linked to it (see the attached screen shot): DON'T even try to install it !!!
S19virus.png [ 31.5 KiB | Viewed 3751 times ]

I don't know what little game Mr Kirsten is playing, but I don't like it !

2013-06-01 16:22:34
Profile WWW

Joined: 2012-02-09 21:01:50
Posts: 284
Reply with quote
I am not sure if this is really a post by Kirsten... didn't she announce to no more work on the client? If she came back to work, wouldn't she release some statement like that, not just "this is S19!"? Looks weird, somehow.

2013-06-01 16:59:59

Joined: 2009-03-17 18:42:51
Posts: 4809
Reply with quote
This is his(1) blog, no doubt on that, and the code repository does contain all the other S* releases (that were not Cool VL Viewer clones).

(1) the person behind the "KistrenLee Cinquetti" avatar is a male.

2013-06-01 17:04:17
Profile WWW

Joined: 2011-11-07 18:33:56
Posts: 8
Reply with quote
I am not going to get hugely worked up about the trojan detected in the installer. Some pretty big commercial names have had that sort of problem, sometimes a false positive and sometimes a consequence of an infection. It needs dealing with. There need to be checks with other AV software. False positive or not, thanks for the warning.

2013-06-02 21:19:58

Joined: 2009-03-17 18:42:51
Posts: 4809
Reply with quote
WolfBaginski wrote:
I am not going to get hugely worked up about the trojan detected in the installer. Some pretty big commercial names have had that sort of problem, sometimes a false positive and sometimes a consequence of an infection. It needs dealing with. There need to be checks with other AV software. False positive or not, thanks for the warning.
ClamWin doesn't spew false positives, because it works exclusively via a virus signatures database and not via "heuristic" analysis (Karpersky's, for example) of the code which is indeed very prone to false positives; the weakness of signatures-based anti-virus programs is that they can't detect a new virus that has not yet been added to the database, but on the other hand, they always give reliable reports for known viruses.
Now, if you want to take the risk to run a software that is reported as infected by such an anti-virus as a signatures based one, it is your problem...

2013-06-02 22:55:40
Profile WWW

Joined: 2009-03-17 18:42:51
Posts: 4809
Reply with quote
Apparently, Kirstenlee finally reacted (after 15 days without replying my questions, ignoring them), but instead of apologizing, he persists !
Here is what you can read on his blog, and my reply (and questions) about it:

To re-iterate what was previously stated S19 is what I currently use to run Secondlife its a personal viewer I just happen to share it. To this end I am obliged to share the source code which I dutifully do and yes it includes large sections of code from henri, and code derived from emerald/pheonix, or dale glass,marine kelly,lord greggregg etc etc etc or even the lab.And shock horror ME TOO.
No, Mr Kirsten, it *is* the Cool VL Viewer code, with the exception of the 600Kb large diff that you can see (and easily reproduce yourself) here. Yes, you changed the skin (which is not part of this diff), but what makes the heart of a program, its code, is just 99.99% of Cool VL Viewer's (99.99% = 100% - diff size without context lines, i.e. 225Kb of changed lines in the diff (lines prefixed with "+" in the diff) divided by 27Mb of sources code, excluding all XML and textures or binary files), with the remaining 0.01% from you (or others: the post-processing shaders and code is indeed probably Phoenix'). So, the FACT is (because there is no other possibility, given the amount of changes between the Cool VL Viewer and any other TPVs), that you are using the Cool VL Viewer code (which is fine by me, but see below what is NOT fine).

Oh... and could you pretty please point us with any diff or patch that represents your actual code contribution ?.. Because you know, my and other TPVs' contributions to the Cool VL Viewer are all dutifully listed in each release note and (for pre-v1.26 versions), on the patches & credits page, and the incremental diffs are available for each new release after v1.26.0.0, here (but you perfectly know this since you largely used (and obviously, abused) this patches repository)...

Each header or source code file contains the copyright as is.
Headers have been changed (else I won't have had to strip them off before doing the diffing between the two source code trees). You can't take the code from a GPL viewer such as the Cool VL Viewer and replace the License by the LGPL one without first asking permission from the authors; the other way around is possible, that's even why the LGPL was written in the first place: to allow libraries code with looser license (LGPL) to be included into a code tree that got a stricter license (GPL).

And my actual point was not even about License headers, but about the removal of the mention of the Cool VL Viewer (replaced with S19 mentions) from the very comments of my very own contributions and, above all, the removal of the FULL page of credits in the About floater of "your" viewer.
You are NOT permitted to remove the names of the original authors of the viewer code (starting with Lindens' names...) to replace them with this simple "S series project viewer codename 'blackbird' brought to life by KL." phrase, like if you were the sole author !!!

Now here's the rub I can basically add , modify, subtract, merge , delete, re-enable or do whatever I please as long as those original code copyrights are intact.
And it is NOT intact, obviously: you removed the copyright from the only user-visible part of the viewer: the authors & credits UI !!!

This also means I can alter the UI remove Tabs or add tabs, change textures alter DOF, change shaders, add 3D,alter default behaviors, remove post processing or add it, mess about with cmake, alter anything I please as long as it does not break the LL TOS.
I never said otherwise, as long as you don't remove existing credits for code you did not write yourself...

And here is the best bit of all, I can do this without consultation or committee meetings or anyones approval, this also works both ways people can take whatever they please and alter change or otherwise faf about with whatever they please and they often do.
Wrong, when you reuse the code source of a GPL viewer and change the headers for some of its source files for a LGPL one (i.e. stricter license changed into a looser one).

The fact remains that as long as I share a binary I am obliged to also share the corresponding source which I do, If this is not to your liking, sorry I don't run the viewer for anyone else except for my own selfish needs.
If you share your builds of a viewer, you are required to give proper credit for the original authors and contributors, even if you changed 90% of the code in it (which is obviously not the case here).

You are requested to reinstate the proper and full "Authors & Credits" page, and since it is so obvious that "your" viewer is just a fork of the Cool VL Viewer, I'd appreciate if you would clearly point it out somewhere, in the credits or at least on your BLOG or download page.

Warm Regards, KL

Just to add a pretty image or two a few examples of what I mean.
Oh ? You like images ? Here are just a few more, then:
AuthorsAndCredits.png [ 280.04 KiB | Viewed 3325 times ]

As you can see (I loaded S19's About floater into the Cool VL viewer to show it side by side with the original and avoid running the virus-infected S19 myself), the only author for S19 would be Mr Kirsten himself !!!

And here is one of the examples of a file ripped off the Cool VL Viewer (the appearance manager implements the Current Outfit Folder (COF) code and the Cool VL Viewer is very well known for its unique way of doing it, using an outfit.xml file to save and restore the avatar outfit, instead of the COF), file in which the ONLY changes are in the comments (my comments in my very own code !), and to replace the mention of the Cool VL Viewer with Kirsten S19 !... You will find more such occurrences by browsing the raw diff.
llappearancemgr.cpp.diff.png [34.27 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

2013-06-03 09:40:02
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 6 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software.