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From The Blog: The Corona 2D game engine is going open source in 2019
Started by CoronaBot Jan 02 2019 09:57 AM

12 replies to this topic
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#1

CoronaBot

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After more than nine years of developing and evolving the Corona game engine, Corona Labs is releasing its technology to open source. It’s a move we’ve been planning for a few years now, with the goal of making the engine development process more transparent, and to empower the community to directly impact future growth and potential. As part of a series of steps on a longer evolution journey, entrusting Corona to the community is the surest way to quickly respond to market shifts and changes, ensuring Corona stays relevant and valuable to all mobile app developers.

“The transition of Corona to the open source model of development has been our long-term vision since Corona Labs was acquired by Appodeal in 2017. We believe that this move will bring transparency to the development process, and will allow users to contribute features or bug fixes to make the project better for everyone,” said Vlad Sherban, product manager for Corona Labs.

The open source model will bring more visibility and flexibility to the development process by allowing visibility into exactly what the engine team is working on and where the project is going, and by contributing valuable new features that will help spearhead Corona to the next level. Additional benefits for businesses include the potential to acquire a commercial license for source code and customize the engine for specific commercial projects.

“Corona Labs will continue to have a dedicated team and infrastructure to support our flourishing plugin ecosystem and infrastructure, as well as to keep up to date with the ever-changing requirements and updates coming from applications stores. Powered by the new open source model and supported by the development of new features and bug fixes will make Corona more community driven — but not without our help and guidance. Ultimately, going open source will provide confidence in the future of the engine and an opportunity to grow community involvement in engine development,” said Vlad Sherban, product manager for Corona Labs.

Details

Most parts of Corona’s code will be open sourced except for some plugins, the Corona Marketplace, www.coronalabs.com, and the build infrastructure. This is not a final or exhaustive list as the team may open source even more as we move forward. More about Corona open source can be found on the FAQ page.

Licenses

Corona will be dual-licensed under both commercial and open source licenses. The open source license is the GNU GPLv3 license, and commercial license will be available upon agreement with Corona Labs.

    1. You can download the Corona source code under the GPLv3 license and build your games and apps, however, those games have to be distributed under the GPLv3 license, i.e you have to make your source available. Games and apps based on the open source distribution of Corona have to be distributed using the same license (GPLv3).
    2. You can download the Corona source code, negotiate a commercial license agreement with Corona Labs, and build a version of Corona that has a custom feature. You can then distribute your games and apps without opening your own source.

About Corona

Corona is a free, cross-platform framework ideal for creating 2D games and apps for mobile devices, desktop systems, TV platforms and the web. It is driven by the easy-to-learn Lua language, over 1,000 built-in APIs and plugins, and Corona Native extensions (C/C++/Obj-C/Java). The Corona engine has been updated with HTML5 and Linux (alpha-version) building during 2018 and celebrated our 9th anniversary from the date of the first release.

You can find the full source code on GitHub.

Contacts:
devrel@coronlabs.com


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#2

cbriggsnz

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Hi,

 

Apologies - Ignore my rant below.  I missed the part in the FAQ where it said "If you just want to build games using Corona nothing would change for you. You can still download public release or daily builds and build commercial software with it for free without any royalties or limits.".  Crisis averted :)

 

***

How much is the commercial license likely to be? Would it apply to all subsequent updates to the Corona source code or just the version you negotiate commercial rights too?

 

While I applaud going open source I am not sure about this particular license (although I am open to being educated). Why not use a permissive software license such as MIT?

 

Maybe I am old fashioned (and slightly arrogant), but if I spend a year or more working on a piece of code then I would be reluctant to make my code source code available.

 

If the cost is too high then from my point of view it would be the end of indie developers trying to make a go of it with Corona. Although it would be good to use in the classroom.   Almost seems like a shift back to the paid model under a different name..

***

 

Craig


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#3

akao

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For what it's worth, we think this is a good move. For smaller developers, they can still do what they do today. For developers who have more specialized needs and bigger resources, it's a way to get them supported as well. We certainly hope for the best for Corona's latest move.



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#4

nick_sherman

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Well, no game developer is going to make their source code available, so that side of it seems pointless. If they can't use the fruits of their labours the community isn't going to bother to contribute to the source just so Corona can sell it.

I take it those who want to continue to use Corona as they do today (i.e. no interest in the source code) can do so?

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#5

Michael Flad

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Hi,

 

How much is the commercial license likely to be? Would it apply to all subsequent updates to the Corona source code or just the version you negotiate commercial rights too?

 

While I applaud going open source I am not sure about this particular license (although I am open to being educated). Why not use a permissive software license such as MIT?

 

Maybe I am old fashioned (and slightly arrogant), but if I spend a year or more working on a piece of code then I would be reluctant to make my code source code available.

 

If the cost is too high then from my point of view it would be the end of indie developers trying to make a go of it with Corona. Although it would be good to use in the classroom.   Almost seems like a shift back to the paid model under a different name..

 

Craig

 

 

 

Check the FAQ at https://coronalabs.com/faq-opensource/

 

You can simply keep using Corona the way you're used to - no need to open source your game (or buy a commercial source license) if you don't use and modify the opensourced version of Corona (and if you don't modify Corona, there's little reason to use that one).



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#6

agramonte

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@cbriggsnz The free one is not going away.



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#7

cbriggsnz

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Sorry,  I missed that part in the FAQ.  

 

Thanks for the clarification.

 

Craig



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#8

richard11

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I'm a bit confused by the dual license thing. GPLv3 is a copyleft, not a copyright. I'm a huge advocate of copylefting, though as per my previous response I'm still not sure about Corona going this route myself... That's not the point of this comment though, I'll try to remain neutral here!

My confusion is that copylefting is supposed to prevent any one organisation from claiming ownership of the product and selling it on as their own. If the source will be distributed under GPLv3 then as far as I understand it, you wouldn't then also be able to distribute it under a commercial license...? That's exactly why you can't take a GPL licensed product, modify it, and redistribute it yourself under anything other than the GPL. Any modifications have to be released GPL because you don't own those modifications, they're just your contribution as part of the copyleft community.

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#9

Rob Miracle

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@richard11, what you wrote makes sense. That's exactly the point. We don't want someone coming along, taking the open source version, creating a product named "SunHalo" and releasing it as their own commercial product and making money from it. If they want to do that, they have to negotiate a commercial license to do so. If you want to make "SunHalo" and do it from open source, then it has to be released with GPLv3. This is sort of like when Firefox was forked from Netscape, if I remember by browser history correctly. This is why Linux distros are free and RedHat makes its money from services.

 

@everyone, I'm going to move this to the Open Source forum. Let's continue the discussion there and use new threads where appropriate.


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#10

agramonte

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@richard11. To answer your question directly I think it would be closer to what Qt.io does. I think they have the exact same scheme. Qt open source is (L) GPL v3 while their commercial version is $459 a month/user. When I left my old development environment I thought of moving to VPlay but I just couldn't afford the cost of the Qt commercial license.



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#11

richard11

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That's what I'm confused about though... If Corona is being released under GPL which basically requires that it's kept as GPL by anybody who uses the code, how can it also be released under another license without this being the same as somebody else taking the same code and releasing it under another license themselves?

I understand commercial licensing of open source products in terms of support licenses. E.g. Magento has a free, open source community edition and also a yearly commercial support license. WordPress also has a free open source edition and a commercial hosted edition where the fee covers hosting and support. I don't however understand the concept of commercially licensing an open source product... Is that not providing the same code for different purposes, despite the open source license already protecting that code from being distributed with any usage restrictions or under any other license?

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#12

agramonte

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Plenty have a commercial and an open source.

 

Look at Qt almost the exact same setup:

 

https://www.qt.io/download



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#13

richard11

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As far as I understand it though, with WordPress etc the product itself is released under the GPL. As such, anybody can do anything they like with it - GPL is a copyleft, not a copyright. The commercial fee is literally for support and hosting - not for the product, because the product is copylefted and can't be copyrighted. A copyleft literally protects a product from being copyrighted.


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