FastPokeMap drama continues: public API not an option anymore

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The drama behind the FastPokeMap is raging on: the author announced he will not be opening up the public API, something a number of tracking apps were counting on. The twist comes as a reaction to a recent leak of FastPokeMap’s source code.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The drama is based on the turmoil inside the Pokemon GO Dev community, and by the looks of it, it’s not ending soon. One redditor described the situation in an open letter, which we are relaying here in full.

The letter is quite long, so here’s a TLDR version before you dive down in the nitty gritty:

  • FastPokeMap dev is angry because on of the community dev helpers leaked the source code
  • The leak could lead to a complete stop for FastPokeMap, as Niantic can now easily deploy a fix
  • The dev community is in an uproar as FPM decided to close their source code and not release the API publicly as a response to the leak

There, now you’re in the loop. Go on and read the entire letter if you wish, you can also follow the discussion on reddit, it’s quite feisty.

The hate FPM has been getting sickens me, we should take some time to understand the situation from his perspective.

Dear pokemongodev,

The hate FastPokeMaps (especially Waryas, main dev) has been getting sickens me. He has done a lot of good for the API and the community. From his perspective the community let him down. People who say he is doing this for the money are hugely disrespectful.

I am DutchDefender, (maybe) known for my API updates. I have been following the API for a lot of hours, and talked to all of the devs at some point. I think I’ve got a feeling for the way the devs think, and I hope I can convince you to lower your pitchforks. But first for those of you who don’t know: what is going on?

Niantic broke the API and the subreddit tried to collectively fix the API again. This took slightly longer than expected, the FPM devs were doing most of the work. When they finally broke it they decided not to share the API solution because “they want to release a full legal version”. To complicate matters they were working on the API with a secret easily patchable tool, made by Waryas. This is what got leaked. Niantic is probably working on an easy fix as we speak. Waryas in a reaction to the leak, has said that he will no longer be sharing his work with the community, the public API has been postponed/put off.

The community reacted with outrage, people don’t like that FPM has left they community. People feel let down by Waryas. Some even feel like he stole from the community. From his perspective the community let him down.

During the first API-break there was this large group of developers that cracked the API in 3 days and 5 hours. Everyone was working around the clock, it was great. When the API broke again Waryas told me “I am so hyped”. He wanted to go at it again.

What follows is a complete letdown, for 3 days he is the only one doing anything at all. Then some other devs join but until Elfin joins he is 90% on his own. I could see and feel his growing frustration with the situation. Imagine having a group assignment and being the only one to show up. Now this is even worse, because Waryas is doing this on his own time, he has a fulltime job remind you.

Then Elfin joins, but 2 don’t make a team, they make a pair. Elfin joins FPM and 90% of the work is still coming from FPM. We ought to be grateful if he is willing to share it with us, and he was. He shared the tool he used to debug, his shortcut, the flaw in the security. That gets leaked, and they fear it will soon be patched. My point is: FPM owes the community NOTHING, if anything we’re in debt.

Some people think Waryas is after the money. I will not deny that keeping the solution to himself might increase his revenue. But it shows a complete disrespect of the kind of person Waryas is.

I have been talking semi-regularly with Waryas since the first API break. About the countless people thanking him for his help with unknown 6 (he played a big role back then too). Then he proudly told about the growth of FPM. About consulting a lawyer and a financial advisor. He told about the people that were happily using FPM, and how that made him happy. I think this is his motivation, to make thousands of people happy.

But the above is just words, let’s look at his actions. His financial advisor told him to make a mobile application, and charge 1-2 euros to remove ads. Waryas said no. He has also been told to use more aggressive ads, he said no because he cared too much about the user experience. When the API broke he REMOVED the donation button when FPM was down, he didn’t want donations for a broken site.

His words, nor his actions support the idea that he “is in it for the money”. Now you can still believe he is a lying and manipulative psychopath, but I am not willing to subscribe to that conspiracy theory, anyone who does sickens me.

I have skipped over one thing he did: he said he would release the API and then postponed it. Now he is not even sure whether he’ll release it at all. And I will admit, his communication is terrible. English is not his first language, and it shows. He doesn’t have/take the time to write a proper press statement, he just unloads his thoughts, and it shows. He has no community manager or anyone to rewrite his updates, and it shows.

But this is not a reason for us to hate him. It should be a reason to invest some time to UNDERSTAND his situation, and refrain from judgement until then. Lower your pitchfork and instead say “thank you”.

Thank you /u/whitelist_ip for helping the community, I am sorry you felt leaving us was more productive.


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