I figured I should probably make a formal announcement about the state of ZDaemon support in Doomseeker. Recently Kilgore has made a statement
that he is rather unhappy about the fact that Doomseeker, being a product of the Skulltag team, is able to query the ZDaemon master. It is rather obvious that the fact that the website master list was shut down was a result of Doomseeker taking advantage of the protocol that was published in the IDE_Net library.
Originally I never really entertained the idea of having Doomseeker query ZDaemon servers. Not so much because ZDaemon is Skulltag's primary competitor, but rather because I know that the ZDaemon staff are very picky about what programs can interact with theirs. I would often brush off suggestions for ZDaemon support by telling the users that if they wanted ZDaemon support in Doomseeker that they would need to have the ZDaemon staff send me the protocol. Of course I knew this would never happen (though mainly since I knew no one would actually try to talk Kilgore into doing so).
So then why did I give in? I blame this thread
. As it turns out there are quite a few people who use IDE over Doomseeker on the basis that IDE has support for ZDaemon. Seeing as from the perspective of a Doomseeker developer, the only competitor for my product is IDE this is indeed a major concern. As such I went ahead and used the IDE_Net library as a reference for implementing ZDaemon support, and ZDaemon support debuted in Doomseeker 0.6 Beta. As I said in the introduction, this method of reaching the master was shut down shortly there after.
In order to remain competitive with IDE, this left me with no choice but to reverse engineer the master protocol. Turns out it was fairly easy as the key that I originally thought was for encryption was just there to mislead people. Based on that, I went on the assumption that the ZDaemon team probably didn't invest too much effort into their compression method, and tried to decompress it using zlib. Success.
Kilgore is obviously not to happy about this development. But for what reason? From his statement it appears that he believes that Skulltag is using Doomseeker's ZDaemon support as a way of advertising (as of today I removed the link to ZDaemon from the Doomseeker home page and will update the screen shot once my main computer is running again). From my point of view, Doomseeker is a more or less neutral 3rd party like IDE is (even more neutral if I do say so myself since you can run Doomseeker with only the ZDaemon plugin if you like). In fact Doomseeker uses a seperate website
from Skulltag for this reason. It even gives them a well developed server browser for Mac OS X and Linux. But in any case Kilgore seems set on preventing Doomseeker from querying ZDaemon servers. His loss. At this point I will reverse engineer the protocol as long as I can, and he claims he'll break it every week if he has to. My users will download a new DLL, his users (the ones that complain about Skulltag having a new release every few months) will download new versions of ZDaemon and IDE. It really doesn't bother me. If he introduces effective measure to stop me then so be it, but in the mean time I would rather keep whatever users I have based on ZDaemon support.
On a slightly unrelated note, my dad (Green Hornet), who seems to be a fairly popular ZDaemon player, seems up to the idea of protesting by switching to Skulltag.