The issues of boycotting nasty authors and how to treat clones are quite independent, IMO. An author of an original engine could engage in a vendetta against some of us, and put insulting rants on his website.
Someone that produced a derivative, and never made a secret of it, could be a nice guy.
If I would run any engines of either of such authors, depends purely on if these engines serve my purpose. If a derivative could do something the original can't, and that something is just what I need, I would run that engine no matter how nasty that author is. That he is nasty is bad enough, but it must not interfere with my own goals. I would not go to extra length to make him benifit from my work, though. So I can understand the view of testers when they see their testing purely as a service to help the engine authors.
If an open-source derivative is far stronger than the original, it might be of interest to know how strong exactly it is. Not just in the interest of the author of the derivative, but in the interest of the author of the original work as well, as he could learn from the derivative which were the weak points of his program that need to be beefed up. And to others, to learn which techniques are successful and which not.
We should also realise that releasing something under GPL is actually an _invitation_ to others to create derivatives. GPL projects are by nature group efforts of a very diffuse group. If A writes a engine, and releases it under the GPL, and B takes the code and expands on it in a significant way, really making it better. Now suppose A wants to enter his original version in a tournament, and B does want to enter his improved version. Does B need explicit permission from A to enter it? I don't think he does: that permission was already implied by the GPL, and the GPL is such that it cannot be revoked. Would the TD want both engines to run? Likely not, as one is just an old version of the other. Should he prefer the (weaker) original over the improved "clone"? I see no reason for that, as in general we would not prefer weaker, older versions of an engine over newer, stronger ones. (It would be a different matter if both were developed in different directions, and equally strong.) If, based on the merits of the engine, we would prefer the "clone", it would be logical to accept the clone, as an entry authored by the team A+B, and refuse the original by A. Even if A would prefer it differentl. Because A gave up his rights to shut out B from the team effort at the very moment he released his program under the GPL.
If you want to keep any say of who is in "your team", you should simply not release under the GPL. It is easy enough to release under license conditions that forbid making derivatives, or allows it, but forbid entering such derivatives in tournaments. They did choose not to do that, in an irrevokable way.
Last edited by hgm
on Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.