Dead Souls Versions

Written by Cratylus @ Dead Souls, November 2006
Updated May 2009

Dead Souls has a ridiculous number of versions. It's likely a symptom of disorganization
and carelessness, and it certainly wasn't out of a desire to confuse folks. This page
is intended to explain what each version's deal is.

If you're deciding, and aren't interested in which license does what, Dead Souls 2.10.x
is your best bet.

Dead Souls 1.1pre
Original release
public domain
Dead Souls 1.1
Easy-to-install version of the original
public domain
Dead Souls I
Updated 1.1, using FluffOS as a driver and including a Windows executable
public domain
Dead Souls 2.0r26
Old stable version of 2.x (not recommended)
Dead Souls 2.10.x
Radically updated and debugged version
Dead Souls II
Derived from 2 but without some material
public domain
Dead Souls 2.XaX
"bleeding edge" Alpha versions: under current development

Dead Souls 1.1pre

This is the original. In 1997 or 1998 (there are conflicting
histories), Descartes decided to release his development lib to the public
domain. It was a fine basis for any mud, but it was released without a
driver, and for various reasons including FUD and difficulty setting it
up, people just didn't use it much.

This distribution is largely a historical artifact at this point.
It can certainly serve as a basis for someone else's new lib distribution
project, or it can serve as a vital reference for those interested in the
minutiae of the development of the DS family. However it is not helpful
for "newbie" mud admins/owners. The learning curve required to
get this fine, but limited, lib is very steep.

You can download it here:

Dead Souls 1.1

In terms of lib code, this is almost identical to
Dead Souls 1.1pre. The main difference is that it includes the driver,
and has been fixed up to boot and work reasonably well upon installation.
It's also configured to connect to the yatmim intermud router.

This version of Dead Souls (but not the driver) is also public
domain. Like Dead Souls 1.1pre it is mostly useful as a curiosity,
museum piece, or research specimen.

You can download it here:

Dead Souls I

Pretty much the same as 1.1 but using FluffOS as a driver
to allow for greater compatibility with modern OS'es and PC's, and
it includes the Windows executable.

Available here:

Dead Souls 2.0r26

The difference between Dead Souls 1.1 and 2.0r26 is dramatic.
Numerous samples exist, including a sample town. There is a "code-free"
online creation system
. Many, many bugs are fixed, and useful new systems
implemented, such as a menu based administration tool.

2.0r26 also contains the documentation that Descartes had pulled
from 1.1pre. With his permission, I added his old Nightmare docs, which
are something like 99.99% applicable to Dead Souls. In addition to those
docs, 2.0r26 contains DS-specific documentation.

Finally, 2.0r26 contains not only driver source for UNIX
installs, it also contains a pre-compiled driver executable for Windows,
so that in a single distribution, you have everything you need to run
Dead Souls on either UNIX or Microsoft Windows.

2.0r26 is not public domain software. Unlike the 1.x versions,
2.0r26 is distributed under the GPL. This is actually not very meaningful
for software that is designed to run from interpreted plaintext files.
It was a futile attempt to comply with the licensing of other software
that it used to be bundled with. It's no longer bundled with GPL
stuff, so again, there's not much point in it being GPL.

The fact that 2.0r26 is still distributed under GPL is largely
due to 1) laziness on my part 2) the requirement of SourceForge to
have only OSS software hosted on their site 3) I think that's it.
Laziness and convenience.

You can download it here:

Dead Souls 2.10.x

2.10.x represents a "finished, stable product".
While in theory you could easily run a successful mud with 2.0r26, if
you run into a bug or a problem, the answer in almost every case is
"upgrade to 2.10.x", so I generally encourage people to avoid 2.0r26
and download 2.10.x instead. It also has major new improvements
both in features and security.

The licensing for 2.10.x is not GPL and not PD. It's a sort of
muddled proprietary license which basically says "you can use this as
a mud, modify it, whatever, have fun, but I retain copyright". It's vague
because I simply am sick of thinking about licensing. It's not GPL
because I'm even sicker of people telling me what I can or can't do
with my GPL'ed software.

My "I can't be bothered to think about licensing" attitude
tends to freak out some people for whom licensing is Really Really
Important. So you may see flames back and forth between me and such
people on various mud discussion forums. I think that's pretty
normal. If you hear anyone referring to Dead Souls and licensing
issues, it's almost certainly a reference to the controversy and
friction caused by my adversarial relationship with folks I affectionately
refer to as the License Taliban.

You can download it here:

Dead Souls II

This is a version of Dead Souls derived from 2.x, but which
has had documentation removed. It also has had various files that I did
not write removed. The result is a lib which is about 98 to 99% code-identical
to 2.x, but is actually public domain.

The reasons for releasing years' worth of work into the public
domain are explained in the Dead Souls II FAQ.

You can download it here:

Dead Souls 2.XaX

"Alpha versions" are rough, pre-release packages that are like the official
release, except they are more cutting edge. That makes them both fun to try
out (which is why I make them available) but also not really stable to use
for your production mud, because often with new features come new bugs.

One of the big reasons I'm not doing frequent public releases, with
patches, is that a great many of the things I'm doing represent compatibility
breakers with stable releases. If I did frequent "official" releases and upgrades,
people would be running into compat problems continually.

Instead, I'm holding off until I'm more confident that the big compat busters
are taken care of, so that subsequent releases and upgrades are less painful.
The idea is to have big compat pain just the once.

So, that's the idea of making sneak-peek alphas available, but not officially
supported releases.

Having said that, the alpha releases are as runtime stable and more
feature-rich than any released lpmud lib you'll find out there, so when I say
they are "unstable", it is relative to what I expect DS official releases
to be, and also in part refers to the fact that alphas are subject to frequent
updates and changes.

For information on the big differences between recent alphas and the stable
release, read this:

Alphas (if available) can be found here:

The end.

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