- When we first set out to add our personal touch to what hMod offered the community 3 and a half years ago, none of us foresaw the success the Bukkit project would end up having. From a rocky start that wasn't of our own making (hMod suddenly disappeared without warning while we were just starting up the project, leaving us ill-prepared to fill the void left over), we stepped up to the challenge and managed to put together a usable, respectable alternative to other server mods. We even went so far as to improve on the Minecraft server itself. I can proudly and confidently say that Bukkit was and is a success: not only were we able to provide a platform for hundreds of thousands of Developers to build upon and make use of, we were also frequently providing our Server Admins with peace of mind knowing that the latest exploits and security holes were addressed in a timely and responsible manner.
- From the get go we were plagued with issues and obstacles we needed to overcome, one of which we were sadly unable to tackle despite our best efforts: the legal barrier of licensing and permission. When starting the Bukkit project and even getting involved with hMod before that, we all knew that our work - no matter how well-intentioned - fell into a dangerous legal grey area. As such, my first priority at the start was to do things right: contact Mojang to try and get permission to continue on with the project and discuss our licensing. Unfortunately, while we did get into contact with Mojang and managed to have a chat with Notch and Jeb themselves (who have said that they don't like our methods but understand that there isn't any alternative and are thus fine with what we were and are doing), we never did get an official meeting with their business side to get legally sound permission to continue as we were and were unable to sort out our licensing issues. To this day we find our project in limbo with a half-applied license some could argue is invalid and little power on our end to do anything about the situation.
- With that realisation came a nagging unease at the back of our minds that at any point in time Mojang could decide they didn't like what we were doing and shut us down - something we were all expecting for the first year or so of the project's life but, to our surprise, never occurred. Naturally, Mojang's conscious decision to not take action on our project gave us the confidence to continue on (something which I'm sure Server Admins out there can relate to given the recent, sudden and unexpected EULA enforcement) and we even later got further confirmation from Notch himself that we were and are allowed to keep proceeding as we always had.
- Fast forward to more recent times and Mojang have made the abrupt and sudden decision to start enforcing their EULA in an effort to quell the outlook of Minecraft being pay to win. While I can completely understand where they are coming from and support their mission to shut down pay to win servers, it's difficult to be supportive of their abrupt turn-around with enforcing rules they consciously decided not to enforce since the start of Minecraft. On top of this, there are also clauses - which it would be irresponsible of us not to be aware of - within the now suddenly enforced EULA that directly affect the Bukkit project.
- Most notably: "The one major rule is that you must not distribute anything we've made". While the EULA does go on to try and clarify what is meant by "anything we've made", I feel that it only serves to confuse the situation even more so. At the end of the day, it seems that Mojang can determine what is a "mod, plugin or hack" of their game on the fly and their recent abrupt turn-around on enforcing the EULA has us understandably worried. Couple this with the fact that it isn't legally viable or acceptable to enforce the EULA piecemeal and our future is clear.
- At this point in time, I think it's safe to say that it's no longer worth it for us to put up a fight when it comes to keeping Bukkit and modding alive. With large and significant changes coming in Minecraft 1.8 that we'll be hard pressed to provide support for and the lack of support from Mojang with updates since acquiring our original core team (Mojang used to provide us with mappings to speed up the update process), there is little motivation for us to continue limping on across various aspects of the project. From a project management standpoint, it's become increasingly difficult to find willing and able individuals to help out the project on a purely voluntary basis due to people losing interest in Minecraft or people looking for something more. Simply put, this was ultimately the final nail in the coffin.
- Nonetheless, no one can deny that we've had a fantastic run as a project. This is due in no small part to the support we received and continue to receive from both the Minecraft community and the many companies and organisations that have graciously chosen to support us with a ridiculous amount of resources, infrastructure and backing - far more than we could have ever asked for. No amount of words can adequately express the gratitude we have for all our sponsors who have supported us through our journey and ensured Bukkit had the infrastructure required to be the vast success it is today. To list all of what these sponsors have done for us would be a post equal in length to this one, so we will unfortunately need to keep it brief. We want to give huge shout-outs and thanks to: eXophase.com for getting us off our feet and hosting us at the start; Multiplay and Curse for swooping in and providing us with (emergency) hosting we continue to use to this day including dl.bukkit.org and our BukkitDev service; as well as AllGamer for providing us test servers whenever we needed a server to certify update and promoted builds or attempt to reproduce a bug report.
- Last, but definitely not least, we'd like to thank the many staff, both past and present, that have volunteered countless hours over the years. I am at a loss for words to express just how much these people have meant to the project and to myself. The core team who have constantly worked hard to update to every new Minecraft version, while adding in new API and improving the server itself. The BukkitDev staff who spend countless hours checking over the fantastic plugins our community creates. Our moderation staff keeping our forums orderly and safe for all people seeking out a great community to be a part of. Additionally, the many unsung people who have helped in various ways despite having no official title, simply because there was work to do. Finally, my administrators, who have tirelessly helped me keep the project functioning as a whole. I would especially like to thank @TnT and @mbaxter for sticking through it with me to the end, always ready to discuss an issue and provide me with advice.
- It's been a fantastic 3 and a half years of providing what we believe to be the absolute best modding platform for the wonderful Minecraft community to use. We really enjoyed seeing the amazing feats our many Developers and Server Admins achieved with the product we provided and continue to be amazed every day at the ingenuity our community shows. Thanks for everyone's continued support! It has and will continue to mean the world to us. Together we were able to provide a Minecraft server used by hundreds of thousands of servers out there (with our last Recommended Build having over 2.6 million downloads!), which is certainly something to be proud of and a great note to end on.
- This is the end, it's time to say goodbye. It's been an amazing run and we achieved much more than anyone thought was possible, even ultimately culminating in Mojang hiring our original core team. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the Bukkit project has run its course, leaving me to make one final - incredibly difficult - decision to shut down the project I’ve poured 3 and a half years of my life into which means so much to me. We're no longer able to confidently distribute our modified versions of the Minecraft server and it is no longer smart for us to continue with our update process. Sadly, this means we will NOT be updating Bukkit nor CraftBukkit for Minecraft 1.8 and, since Minecraft 1.7.10 introduced the EULA enforcement, we will be placing the project under a code freeze for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, due to obvious legal reasons we will not be helping anyone else complete any updates nor sharing our methods despite any desire to the contrary. Although the project itself will essentially be no more, we'll continue to support our community, the forums, IRC and BukkitDev as long as we are able and as long as our partners support us with the resources and infrastructure to do so.
- As for us? Well, who knows? Maybe we'll find another game, program or project to be passionate about and we'll be back with a vengeance? Only time will tell, but I hope that we'll see you around the next passion-project of ours when it happens :)
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