Offline-mode support and plugin approving

Discussion in 'BukkitDev Information and Feedback' started by Misaka, Jan 14, 2013.

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    So recently, I got an unpleasant conversation with BukkitDev staff, regarding my project "implying that offline-mode can be safe". I had to comply(because that was the most sane thing to do), by deleting any reference of offline-mode in my project description and making a mode check on onEnable (ass a member of staff suggested). But now, I am having doubts about the last part.

    I want to ask a simple thing: If I set my plugin to support offline mode, but leave a disclaimer somewhere else rather tham my plugin page on bukkitdev(A notification in server log when plugin enables?) that users with offline-servers will get no support from me, would that still qualify my plugin to be approved by staff?
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    Why wouldn't it be approved without the check, and without the message?
    I know offline-mode is 'bad', and you won't get support on the Bukkit forums if you use it, but having a message / check in your plugin shouldn't be necesarry in order to get it approved?
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    To answer your question: Probably not.
    With your plugin being on DBO, it means it is safe to use for any server, not only for offline-mode servers.
    If users have issues with the plugin, while running in offline-mode, they often post in 'Bukkit Help' or report it as a bug. We, the Bukkit team, do not support offline-mode servers because this is very unsafe.
    If you have any further questions, you're welcome to ask them.
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    So it means that I should explicitly disable my plugin on offline-servers or not?
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    Would a message not help saying that offline is not supported help state the safeness of using this tho?

    I think he means don't encourage them to use offline mode.
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    No, you just should totally ignore offline-mode in it's entirety.
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    That's not needed.
    As long as you're not saying something like 'You should totally run offline-mode, you'll have extra functions!' or anything similar, you should mostly be fine.
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    Thanks for the reply. I was kinda confused when a member of staff suggested that I disable my plugin on offline servers in onEnable.
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    Sorry if I confused you.
    I must note however, seeing you're a developer, that the PlayerPreloginEvent doesn't work in offline-mode environments. Only PlayerJoin works in that case. I had issues with this in one of my plugins, thought I'd share.
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    It wasn't you. I don't rember who was it, not that I hold a grudge on somebody or anything.
    And I don't use Prelogin event, but PlayerLoginEvent instead, which works on the offline servers(at least for me). But that would be a little off-topic and maybe a bit against the rules.
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    I got a plugin denied that I use on my server for staff so they have to authenticate themselves, but normal players don't. The DBO staff member said that my plugin encouraged offline mode when I use it on my server which is online = true. I even put on the project page that I don't support offline mode. A staff member said that I'd have to disable the plugin if in offline mode or it will probably not get approved.
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    I was told to let someone like TnT answer further questions.
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    I talked to NuclearW and sorted things out. Thanks though :)
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    Then they better remove that xAuth plugin then as that encourages offline mode.
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    This all sounds ever so slightly pathetic to me.

    xAuth does not explicitly support 'offline' mode (it's called 'online-mode=false'), it can act as an extra line of defence against those with malicious intent wanting to gain access to a server as a staff member who may have worldedit/other disastrous-if-in-the-wrong-hands privileges.
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    Misaka let me tell you something from my perspective who is the maintainer of xAuth and is dealing with this subject every day.

    offline-mode: Is an option in You can enable or disable it like allowing mobs to spawn. And from my point of view i guess this option was implemented in case the login servers are down so that you can play on your server even if the servers are not available.

    Leaving it that way and not thinking about abuse (i will come to that later) you could think "i need a plugin in case the login servers are down" to let my playerbase join the server, restrict access by password allowing multiple accounts per server instead of one and so forth.

    Sounds good but why is this such a problem? Well because the one thing that people can do is thinking about bad things first instead of rethinking their perspective.

    Its easier to say "offline mode means you allow piracy. Any plugin that can be used in offline mode is encouraging people to pirate software instead of buying it" Thats what dark_hunter and stuntguy3000 are obviously thinking because why would they want it to be removed then?

    They could look into the code and see that the only thing all authing plugins do is "fake" a new player by just clearing the inventory and protecting the players data like the location with a password. This is also useful for an online-mode server.

    Why is offline mode so bad for most people?
    Well because everything begins with trying and how could you try the game in the first place? You had to buy it first before playing it. We have seen it many times in the past that this does not work out well. But investing in a demo does cost money and you have to decide if this is an option for you or not.

    And just because it was so easy to hack because of the language used and the flag "offline-mode: does not check if the user is registered, online-mode: depends on having an account plus that the login servers are available" and because of the client server architecture, running an offline mode server is for most ppl the same as pirating the game.

    Well its not. Think of it. If this option would not be there you could simply not join your public server when the login server is not available. Setting it to false is the only option to join the server. So mostly you will run the server in offline-mode because you dont want to rely on mojangs login servers.

    Plus most of the server admins are not sys-admins they dont want get messages like "i cant join the server .. blabla"

    But everything has a downside as you can see ...

    dark_hunter / stuntguy3000 you dont know me and i find it kinda unfair to assume that i encourage piracy! You should really think first before writing such bullshit. Please stop posting such things about me.

    In fact i have planned ways to identify a paid minecraft user for a long time so that you can limit a non paid user to only certain features. Like setting adventure mode so that you can visit the server but not doing anything or just temporary visiting the server for a specific time.

    I do know that some plugins can be used to maintain a server full of possibly non-paid minecraft accounts but at least i can try to support buying the game by implementing such features or give tools to identify someone as "non-paid" so that the server owner can take action.

    Cause one thing is certain. You can't stop piracy but you can give cookies for those who actually baught the game.

    (Sidenote: think again what is the target group? Do you really think all minecraft users are 20+ / 30+ ? Most likely they are below 16 so there is another problem: generations.)

    By removing all plugins that may be used for maintaining only non-paid minecraft accounts there will be other ways available in public to do what they want to do.

    You would only place a "STOP"-sign infront of the user that actually does prevent nothing.

    So should you disable your plugin when running in offline mode?
    No. Cause they would decompile /recompile the plugin without that option if they want to. The only thing you do would be investing time into something that can be removed by someone who just opened a book about java.

    Why is your plugin most likely not approved if you wirte down that your plugin is for offline-mode only?
    Well, it is the media. Bukkit can't afford having the publicity saying "You know that plugin? Its saying you can run it only in offline-mode (Meaning piracy for almost anyone). Bukkit does support hacked clients?"

    Thats what bukkit can't have. So they don't explicitly allow it in fact they have to deny any plugin that will be used in offline-mode only because they build a connection between those media words.
    afistofirony likes this.
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    Please allow me to personally apologise for any trouble caused by the actions of my staff. Upon investigating this issue, it appears that some of our BukkitDev Approval staff misunderstood the stopgap non-support for online-mode=false blanket policy we put in place until we could flesh out and define a proper policy to address this. This stopgap policy is meant to only apply to projects created after it was put into effect and it is only meant to stop projects purely and obviously created to support or bolster online-mode=false, nothing else and nothing less.

    It seems one or more of the staff have decided to mistakenly take the stopgap policy and add a condition that plugins have to disable themselves if online-mode=false, which appears to have caught on amongst the staff without any approval from the people within the project who actually make the policies the rest of the staff enforces.

    Personally, I am against telling plugin developers what to include in their plugins in order for their projects and files to be approved, so it is unlikely we will be introducing a policy that does this. However, as there may be an unforeseen need for this in the future, I cannot promise this will always be the case. Nonetheless, we currently do not have any policy in place which dictates how plugins are coded - with the exception of malicious code - including anything related to online-mode=false.

    I hope this clears things up. We'll post a reply to this thread when a proper policy regarding online-mode=false is introduced but until then the stopgap policy will continue to be enforced (without the forceful disabling of plugins if online-mode=false that was unofficially and mistakenly introduced).
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    We're not going to be turning this thread into a stream of rude accusations and provocative statements towards one another; such comments have been removed. This issue is being worked on by the staff, and we will have a fully fleshed-out policy very shortly. Until then, please read EvilSeph's post and accept our apologies for any misunderstandings.
    dark_hunter likes this.
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    Yes, sorry about that, it may have came out that way but I ensure you that's not what I was aiming for.
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    I appreciate the clarification and honesty :)
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    Well, just to reassure: despite all that trouble with approval of my plugin, I, personally, don't have anything against any of bukkit staff, as I clearly understand the reason behind their actions. And, in the light of EvilSeph's post, I give you a kudos. You guys, are the most kind people I've met in mc community(yet).
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