in order to understand the difference between 'ripping' and 'inspiration', first we need to define the two. ripping
, in the case of roleplaying and resource forums, like shine, is simplified by a word everyone understands; theft. ripping is the same as stealing. how we usually define it is the act of stealing coding--for example, taking, word for word, a portion of someone else's code and putting it into your own. this is most prominent in skinning as that, for many, is the hardest part of coding. all of us can understand that skinning is hard for many, but there is no excuse for ripping in any way, shape, or form. you're taking someone else's intellectual property without their permission, oftentimes, with no intent to give credit for this person's hard work. some cases of ripping are more innocent; perhaps you just forgot to add the credit in, or it got lost in translation. either case, no matter how serious, is not tolerated and that's something that pretty much everyone figures out very early on; we have a whole rule about ripping and the fact we won't tolerate it.
'inspiration', on the other hand, is a very grey area and its something that we've started to notice more and more often. inspiration is the process of being influenced by another person's work; and in the case of coding, people often get the desire to create something similar based on another person's work. all of us have done it at some point. we see something incredibly interesting and want to replicate it in our own coding. oftentimes, drawing inspiration is not classified as ripping. every person in the world has been inspired by something that someone else has done; music and artwork are a prime example of things that can inspire a person to do just about anything. all of us, as coders, are bound to be inspired by something that someone else has done; an interesting use of borders, triangles, various hover codes and, for the most part, trying to emulate these things is nothing to be ashamed of. us coders will never grow if we don't draw inspiration from other people. however, where is it that we should draw the line?
looking at someone's code and trying to replicate it to the point where it looks entirely too similar is not ok. its almost as bad as ripping. while you're not taking the code, word for word, you're still taking an idea that someone else had and simply copying it. the easiest way to give and example is in the case of artwork or music. if you were to see a stunning piece of artwork that you wanted to try your hand at, no matter how you do it--no matter the means you use to get the same result--it is still not your original idea. in the art world, that is theft. if i were to draw inspiration from a musical piece, write my own musical score and it started sounding just too alike, that's taking inspiration to a dangerous level. just because, on a technical level, it doesn't appear to be the same musical piece, or artistic piece, taking someone else's idea is not alright. if it happened to you, how would you feel? if you slaved away for hours on a particular piece of code only to see that, days after you posted it, someone else had one almost just like it? ripping is easy to prove when people blatantly steal portions of your coding, but claiming 'inspiration' is not a quick way to skirt around the fact that there is still theft going on.
all of this being said, what are we--the staff of shine--going to do about this issue? drawing inspiration from someone is nothing to be ashamed of, again, we've all done it; as children our inspiration is drawn from the world around us, and we try and emulate the things we see. however, we're going to request that, if you do create a code that is inspired by someone else's, you provide an 'inspired by' credit in your code. how that credit is given depends on the coder that you draw the inspiration from (for many of us, it may just be a small 'inspired by so and so' and a link to our profiles alongside your own credit, or even just a small symbol linked to our accounts here--a heart, a star, etc). no one will think any less of you if you're simply dying to try your hand at something that someone else has already done, but you must give credit where credit is due. keep in mind, as well, that this does not mean that you can go around copying codes all the time as long as you provide credit. if we start seeing too many 'inspired by' codes, further action is going to be taken. as well, we don't want to discourage anyone from doing what they want as far as coding is concerned. coding is as creative a process as the 'fine arts' and we encourage you to express yourself through them. just keep in mind that everyone works hard to make all the codes you see here--and everywhere else--and, while being a source of inspiration is flattering to many of us, there is a point where 'inspiration' falls into the realm of 'ripping'.
so we ask that you all keep this in mind as you continue growing as coders!