Dear server owners, developers, hosts, enthusiasts, players, nerds, and everyone else never forgotten - in short: dear community.
The year 2020 has been an interesting year for everyone, including us. Most of us were stuck at home, often with more free time than we would’ve ever imagined. This might be one of the reasons why so much happened this year for PaperMC. We, the teams behind the organisation and the community, would like to use this opportunity to take a look back at everything we’ve achieved this year and take a peek at what the future has to offer.
Some numbers first!
We started the year with a bit over 5.5k members on the Discord server. As of writing this, we more than doubled that number and are now sitting at around 14.6k members. Over a million messages were sent, and over 320 hours of conversations took place in our voice channel. By now, over 1.0k servers follow our announcements channel. The Paper project alone got almost 900 commits this year, with countless more on other projects of ours. We got over 200 new server patches, crossing the 200 contributors mark. According to our statistics, over 85k servers run Paper, and looking only at 1.16.4, we are currently estimating a market share of over 66%.
Minecraft Updates and Paper versions
The first thing that happened this year was the EOL of 1.13.2 and 1.14.4. 1.15 had just released a few weeks prior, and the builds for it were mostly considered stable. And finally, a significant change we all waited for: Bees! They look so cute, and I love them!
Before the support for 1.14.4 was officially ended on January 25, Mojang released 1.15.2 and we were able to release initial builds for that within a single day.
In February, we were able to introduce a new patch to optimise random block ticking. Instead of attempting to randomly tick blocks of any kind, we would now only target blocks that actually can be randomly ticked.
Mojang released Minecraft 1.16: The Nether Update on June 23rd, 2020. As soon as Spigot released their update, we were able to start working on those new versions, and within 5 days, we were able to release the first version of Paper for 1.16.1. During those 5 days, many people in our community came together and chatted in our Discord voice chat, while one of our developers worked on the update and live-streamed it into the channel and on Twitch.tv. We got over 72 hours of non-stop work and chatting done!
Mojang released 1.16.2 and 1.16.3 in September, and our first build for that version was available shortly after. October is Hacktoberfest Month! Although we declined effortless PRs, we still got some extraordinary new pull requests! Big thanks go out to everyone who contributed during Hacktoberfest, especially the new contributors.
During this month, we had one of our few broken builds this year. Since we can’t always catch every issue in testing, this sadly happens sometimes. We try our best to avoid issues like that and we were able to push a fix within a few hours. In November, Mojang released 1.16.4, which we managed to offer only a day after that.
In December, we dropped support for Minecraft 1.15, almost 6 months after 1.16 was released.
Minecraft 1.17 is scheduled to be released sometime in the summer of 2021. As the new Java LTS is releasing in September 2021, we decided to raise the minimum Java version for Paper to Java 11 starting with 1.17.
In March, Glare was added to our moderation team. You might know him from various projects such as EssentialsX, PlaceholderAPI, and more!
We added Me4502 to our moderation team, and you might know them from EngineHub, the creators of WorldEdit & WorldGuard.
Shortly after that, I joined the Paper team as a moderator as well (and look where it got me now, writing stuff like this yay)
The month of August was a big month for our community. After weeks of work, we introduced our community guidelines, often jokingly referred to as “Paper 2.0”. At that point, we already had over 10k people in our discord, and we observed toxic behaviour was widespread. We took note of the concerning behaviour in the community, and as a verified Discord server, we had to change something. The new community guidelines tackled this, and we noticed a decrease in the negative behaviours.
We introduced a new role, the “Development Team,” with Proximyst and MiniDigger. This was done to help manage Pull Requests and general development. Along with this, the new Triage Team was also introduced, with c-h-e-w and chickeneer. You can also now ping “@mods” in the Discord if something requires our attention.
We introduced the “#paper-test-builds” as a way to test certain changes before they are released in Paper. We have also added a way to appeal bans from our community.
We also moved our IRC channels away from the SpigotMC IRC network to EsperNet.
In October, we got a fancy new dark theme for our homepage at https://papermc.io!
After a lot of work, we announced Bibliothek, v2 of our downloads API.
After we announced the move to Java 11 as the minimum required version, we started a new initiative to contact several Minecraft shared hosts to ensure your life as a server owner/administrator will be as painless as possible.
Hangar is an upcoming plugin repository for paper plugins and similar software, based on “Ore” from the Sponge project. This new site will help users find plugins for their servers and help developers share their resources. We hope to release Hangar in early 2021. (Side note: We’d love to get some more people on board — we especially need web designers. If you want to help, check out #hangar-dev!)
Paperweight is a new Gradle plugin for remapping and “reobfuscating” code to Mojang-mappings (with parameter names from Yarn), as well as back to Spigot-mappings. This will let you as a plugin developer or Paper contributor work with Mojang-mapped code but still run Spigot-mapped code on the actual server, so that your plugins that are accessing server internals doesn’t need to be updated.
We are currently working on implementing Adventure into Paper. Adventure is a library for user interfacing, developed by the Kyori team. This will finally expose Minecraft’s Chat Components everywhere in the API.
One thing that has been looming in the shadows for quite a while now is a so-called “hard-fork.” This would mean independence from Spigot in Paper. Right now, we have to wait until Spigot releases an update before we can start working on a new Minecraft release because we are based on Spigot. A hard-fork would stop that, allowing us to potentially release updates before Spigot does and even develop publicly during snapshots. While we are currently not working on that, this may happen in the not so distant future.
We have grown a lot over this past year. Looking at 1.16, we are now the most prominent Minecraft server software, and it seems like we only get bigger.
Thanks to the Core Team for managing all this mess. Thanks to our new Development team for working on our many projects. Thanks to our Moderation team for keeping our Discord a nice place for everyone. Thanks to our Triage team for keeping the issue tracker manageable. Last but not least, thanks to our fantastic Hangar development team for creating one of our most ambitious projects to date.
Thanks to everyone who contributed this year. Most notably, I’d like to mention @Spottedleaf, @BillyGalbreath, @kickash32, @JRoy, @MachineMaker, @stonar96, @Glare - and everyone else that contributed! I sadly can’t mention every one of the 54 people that contributed to Paper this year, not including everyone who contributed to our countless other projects.
This wouldn’t have been possible without you, our great community. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being patient, thank you for helping us become something better.
We wish you a happy new year!
With love, the Paper Team
Aikar, DemonWav, kashike, Z750, zzzCat, MiniDigger, Proximyst, Glare, gsand. Me4502, nossr50, stefvanschie, Chew, chickeneer, KennyTV, Machine_Maker, MD, Aurora