February 4, 2010


As I mentioned previously, I do intend to continue working on Project Darkstar part-time at least while I search for new employment opportunities. Not only will it allow me and whoever else is interested push along the original goals of the project, but it will also give me a perfect place to keep my skills sharp while I'm out of work. Selfless and selfish reasons, molded into one. However, it does not seem appropriate to continue working using what are now Oracle's resources and contributing code to Oracle's official repository. Not only are there questions about outside contributions, but there are also no guarantees about how long Oracle's official repository will remain active. So I am going with an equally reasonable and open-source-y alternative.

I have established what I hope will become an official community fork of Project Darkstar. This fork will go by the name RedDwarf and is hosted as a sourceforge project. I cannot take credit for the new name, as it was dreamt up by the original instigator of Project Darkstar at Sun Labs (Jeff Kesselman), but I do hope that it will become an even more well known name than Project Darkstar ever was in the games industry. So without further adieu, here are the new community guidelines:
  • The sourceforge project is used to host what were once three separate projects on java.net. The reddwarf-server, reddwarf-shared, and reddwarf-java-client all live in the same subversion repository, but under completely separate sub-trees, each with their own trunk, branches, and tags.
  • The development process should remain largely unchanged from Project Darkstar. All commits to any trunk repository must undergo a thorough review by at least one other committer, and commit privileges are earned. Review requests should be sent to the mailing list: reddwarf-develop on sourceforge.
  • All design, support, and informational documents should go in the Trac instance hosted at sourceforge.
  • All issues and bugs should be filed as a ticket in Trac.
  • Forum discussions should continue as usual on the sourceforge hosted forums.
  • Releases will be done periodically as appropriate. All releases will be published to the central Maven repository rather than the java.net Maven repositories. (This is my first task and may take some time). They will also be published as files for download on the sourceforge site.
Progress will be much slower than before, but I think it's very important to maintain the structure and code quality standards that we had established as a fully funded project. Will anything come of this effort? I'm not sure. But I think it's the best chance for coordinated progress to continue with Project Darkstar.


  1. Owen,

    I've recently become aware of this whole buyout travesty, and have educated myself regarding your team's efforts. I found your linkedin page, which had a link to here.

    The project offers such incredible potential for new possibilities in future gaming efforts. Do you think that Oracle failed to fully understand the significance of the project?

    It's also a travesty to see that the entire darkstar team is now unemployed. Having a sound background in business, I would love to run a few ideas by you regarding the direction that you may want to take your professional efforts going forth.

    Please do contact me via e-mail, dave at airpong dot net, ideally including some form instant messaging contact information. I'd really like to run a few exciting ideas by you.

  2. Owen,

    Sorry that Oracle has missed a golden opportunity, but I have followed PDS for some time and for some reason I believe that now you are free of PDS or should I say Oracle. Red Dwarf can become just as you say, "even more well known".

    I hope you don't mine if I make a request and suggestion.

    These are great days for the opportunist in backend code as the access to front end applications continues to get cheaper and stronger. And the need for new developers expands. But the biggest problem is the new developer has access to many solutions but is always hitting major roadblocks in both learning and using the solutions. If Red Dwarf is going to become a GIANT it will need the most important aspect of the end users need...


    Yep that's it, simple and clear instruction. I am developing under Unity as they got it right with easy import of assets from 3D apps and now all that is needed is a solid easy to use backend solution.

    Now I am sure you are thinking ok sure, can it make money. I think it can.

    If you divide the Open source code the PDS core and continue its development as the core apart from Red Dwarf and you make the Red Dwarf solution a tier design based on something like 0 to 20 clients free so developers can have a good starting point to grow from and 20 to 100, 100 to 500, 500 to 1000 you get the idea. And make the cost reasonable to keep pace with the growth of the your customers.

    And you add additional functionality as plugins to purchase under the same system so as to be able to expand and use other components like Glassfish or mysql and other possibility's.

    And most importantly have good and easy to understand tutorials on how to setup and use Red Dwarf you will have a true success.

    Michael Trottier

  3. Hello,

    I've been working on project using red dwarf for about 3 weeks, and I have some issues to define the limit of the max number of tasks that the server can handle. The red dwarf forum is actually down since 2 days and I'm stuck. Do you have any clue?