Hello everyone, we have some important project news to share regarding our plugin hosting service, Ore.
Today, we are announcing a partnership with PaperMC to re-develop Ore as a Java backed application, Hangar. This announcement post will explain why we have chosen to do this, when things will happen, and what this means for you.
As many of you know, Ore is our plugin hosting repository. It’s a web application with a Scala backend that has been developed by members of the Sponge team, and it has served us well. However, it has always suffered from a critical problem: lack of manpower. The reality is that not very many people know Scala in the community and so people have not been able to contribute, and this has hurt us. Ore has broadly been developed by two people in the past year, and their own commitments outside of Sponge has meant that they have been unable to spend much time on it.
Members of the PaperMC team, whom we have collaborated with in the past, took Ore and set out to develop a Java based fork of it, which they named Hangar. As a Java application and the community being a mostly Java community, Hangar already has many more developers willing to work on the project than we’ve managed to attract for Ore. By pooling the resources from both the Paper and Sponge communities, we believe we can make an even better plugin hosting system for both of our communities.
We want to stress that Hangar is a joint project between Sponge and PaperMC - both of our organizations will be using this system for our plugin hosting solutions.
We must stress that there will be no immediate changes to Ore. Hangar is not yet in a releasable state, we’re expecting to have something ready to go by Spring (northern hemisphere) 2022. Until then, we will continue to maintain Ore.
Once the base Hangar platform is ready to go, we will need to make some changes to the system to apply our own branding, authentication, plugin uploading, etc hooks before we can use it. Once we have made these changes, we will deprecate our current Ore instance and replace it with a Hangar instance.
Importantly, our instance of Hangar will continue to be hosted by the Sponge team in the same way as Ore is now. The Sponge version will only host Sponge plugins and Forge mods (no different than today). Further, we will still brand our instance as “Ore”, it will just be powered by the Hangar platform instead.
We expect that server owners and plugin developers using the Ore website will not experience significant changes to how you retrieve and upload plugins. However, for those of you who use the current Ore API: we cannot guarantee its stability between our current Ore platform to the Hangar based platform, for both v1 and v2 endpoints. It will become clearer closer to Hangar’s completion as to what the Hangar based API will look like.
We will share more information with you in the future as Hangar’s development progresses. You can also visit the Hangar Discord channel to chat about general development of Hangar.
Before we switch to using the Hangar platform, we do intend to push out another feature update for Ore. The Ore team have been working on an update to improve your Ore experience. You can test out this update by visiting https://staging-ore-vue.spongeproject.net/, trying to upload your plugins there, having a play about and seeing what breaks. Please note that this is a testing server and things might not go so well - but we do need people testing. Let the Ore team know if you give it a go and find issues with the system!
Also, Ore now accepts API-8+ plugins! So, for you plugin developers out there who have developed a plugin to run on Minecraft 1.16.5 or above, you can now take advantage of Ore to host your plugins!
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to @Katrix and @felixoi, who have been the driving force behind our current version of Ore over the past few years - their work has directly supported the Sponge project as well as inspire Hangar’s development direction.