Four years. That's how long it's been since Microsoft acquired Minecraft developer Mojang. A lot has happened in those four years — Minecraft on Switch, malware in Minecraft, open-sourcing some of the code... wait, what was that last one?
Yesterday, Microsoft and Mojang released two parts of Minecraft's Java code in library form, so that "anyone can pick them up and use them in their own game", according to Lead Engineer Nathan Adams.
Thanks to being MIT-licensed, anyone is free to "contribute and ... help improve our game engine" and, by the same token, use the code freely in other projects, commercial or otherwise.
For now, there's just the two libraries: "Brigadier", a "command parser and dispatcher"; and "DataFixerUpper", designed for "incremental building, merging and optimisation of data transformations ... [to convert] the game data for Minecraft: Java Edition between different versions of the game".
While the news doesn't mean much for players, it will be a boon for interested programmers and developers, keen it see the guts of Minecraft.
Previously, the only way to see this code was via "decompilation" — turning machine code (well, bytecode) back into human-readable Java. Which is OK, but nowhere near as insightful or useful as the original code.
The plan is to open source more components in the future, though no time frame is specified. For now, if you want to check out Brigadier or DataFixerUpper, both can be found on Mojang's GitHub page.
Programmers: Play with Minecraft's Inner Workings! [Minecraft, via Reddit]