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  Next 4K contest should be Applet only?  (Read 13023 times)
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Offline appel

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« Posted 2009-03-24 15:42:21 »

I'm sure there are some in here that would like to see all the games hosted on Java4K.com and that they can be played instantly as an embedded Applet, just like ordinary Flash games. What do you think?

I'm personally for this, but it's a question if the programmers are ready for this.

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-03-24 16:05:16 »

These days applets have a better user experience than webstart.

If the Java4K competition has the primary goal of 'speading the word', then applets are a must.

If it's not the primary goal, let the devs pick their favorite tech.

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Offline kappa
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« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-03-24 16:20:34 »

Applets with Plugin2 are awesome, no reason to use java web start over them. Especially now with flash on the scene.

do i smell an all out 4k war in 2010? (flash v java)
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Offline DzzD
« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-03-24 16:56:27 »

hehe inded my opinion on this is aeasy to know APPLLLETTTS ( if so I will try all of yours excelent games this time Smiley )

Offline SquashMonster

Senior Devvie


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« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-03-24 17:37:13 »

Although working with applets sounds like a pain and I'd rather use webstart, I think using applets will be good for the competition.  It's less buttons to click for the user, one less dialog to confuse the uninformed, and a much more unified way of presenting the games.

So I'll just stomach my personal distaste for applets and vote for them anyway.
Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-03-24 17:44:11 »

I voted that it shouldn't be a requirement, but applets are good. I'm potentially reconsidering my vote, that an applet requirement might be a good thing. 4k games have no applet start-up time whatsoever, so it's great for user experience. I'm sort of tired of having my downloads folder stuffed with so many jnlp files.

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Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-03-24 18:05:51 »

Given that you can take an applet and wrap it in a suitable .jnlp file and turn it into a webstart app with no actual code changes, I think it's entirely reasonable to require submissions in applet form, and for people to provide a webstart version along side that if they want to.

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Offline SimonH
« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-03-24 18:23:15 »

I voted that it shouldn't be a requirement, but applets are good. I'm potentially reconsidering my vote, that an applet requirement might be a good thing. 4k games have no applet start-up time whatsoever, so it's great for user experience. I'm sort of tired of having my downloads folder stuffed with so many jnlp files.
+1

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #8 - Posted 2009-03-24 18:47:08 »

+1

(and your Windows Programs/Software listing with dozens of un-uninstallable JNLP entries)

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Offline CyanPrime
« Reply #9 - Posted 2009-03-24 19:04:23 »

-1. Hate applets.
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Offline h3ckboy

JGO Coder


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« Reply #10 - Posted 2009-03-24 19:06:27 »

+1

(and your Windows Programs/Software listing with dozens of un-uninstallable JNLP entries)

that does annoy me.

however I think that it should be the developers choice.

if they know all of these things then they might be swayed towards applets.

correct me if I am wrong, but weebstart cannot be blocked by school Grin.

also since I dont have java enabled on chrome, for applets I have ot switch over. for webstartI jsut download the jnlp, annoying but usually worth it.
Offline kevglass

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2009-03-24 19:54:16 »

I don't see any worth in the additional rule. Why make it any harder to develop for no gain? Click link to go to webstart - click link to go to page with applet on.

The competition is about fun games in small sizes, not about distribution methods. Are we going to go on to stop allowing a 4k jar version?

Nonsense I say, nonsense!

Kev

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:15:00 »

I think it's a very good idea to make the competition more accessible. =)

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Offline kevglass

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:31:52 »

Quote
If the Java4K competition has the primary goal of 'speading the word',

Is that what the 4K contest is for now? Wish someone had said.

Quote
I think it's a very good idea to make the competition more accessible.

Does using applets do that too now? I realised it that applets are now the second comming of god but more accessible too - awesome.

Kev

Offline Ranger
« Reply #14 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:39:00 »

Yay for Applets only!  The whole comp contained on one site!  No pop-up windows!  No uninstalling of Java executables!  Just click and play!  Woohoo!!!  Smiley
Offline Riven
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« Reply #15 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:48:23 »

Is that what the 4K contest is for now? Wish someone had said.

Kev

Hm, that's a bit unfair eh, Kev?  Kiss


I said:
If ..., then applets.
If ..., then let the dev pick.


I'm not picking any side on it.

One might argue that the more rules there are, the more creative we get... that's the whole point of 4K, but I think I'm stretching it a bit too far here Smiley

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Offline kappa
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« Reply #16 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:53:04 »

Given that you can take an applet and wrap it in a suitable .jnlp file and turn it into a webstart app with no actual code changes, I think it's entirely reasonable to require submissions in applet form, and for people to provide a webstart version along side that if they want to.

i think the above is a pretty good point, submit as applet and if you really want webstart then provide a jnlp too.
Offline kevglass

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2009-03-24 20:55:23 »

Quote
Hm, that's a bit unfair eh, Kev?

I'm a pretty unfair person, so that's probably par for the course. In this case however I was just re-asking the question. Given the logic was "if the primary goal is spreading the word" then "pick applets", the consensus seems to be applets are where we should go - then that reaffirms the suggestion that the primary goal is to spread the word. Hence, re-asking.

One might also argue that the rules in 4k are there to keep us focused on getting something finished and being productive. I'm not sure how enforcing applets does that.

Kev


Offline Riven
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« Reply #18 - Posted 2009-03-24 21:14:53 »

I honestly think that post 6u10 things have gotten so much better on the applet front, that that should be the preferable method to show the innocent bystander. Especially 4K where we don't need native libs, and there is not really a need to specify a JRE version.

For anything serious I'd pick Webstart for deployment (if I could either pick applets or webstart) for numerous reasons, like not losing your user when he clicks [prev] or presses F5 after the applet lost focus, and for the simple reason that while the Java Plugin might be finally stable now, the browsers themselves are littered with bugs, which affect applets.

If the goal is to promote J4K among non-Java folks, applets might be the best option, because it feels just like Flash: embedded in a webpage, no JavaWebstart GUI with a progressbar.

I'm in no position to state whether the goal of J4K is to promote Java games, and I can imagine that 'the next guy' can point out some very compelling reasons to pick Webstart, in which case it would have been a mistake to restrict deployment to applets.

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Offline pjt33
« Reply #19 - Posted 2009-03-24 22:35:44 »

One big advantage of Webstart is that it has versioning built in. Certainly in the past I've had issues with the browser caching the .jar files with my applets, which made them frustrating to develop.

Webstart also seems to be more flexible in the handling of applets. My 4k submission this year is an applet, but while it works in Webstart I didn't get it to work embedded in an HTML page. I think I probably could have done, but at a cost in bytes.
Offline Xyle
« Reply #20 - Posted 2009-03-24 23:16:55 »

As someone stated, I think some people feel more comfortable launching an applet in their browser rather than actually downloading something then uninstalling it.

Personally, I prefer applets.

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Offline cylab

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Medals: 55



« Reply #21 - Posted 2009-03-24 23:28:32 »

I honestly think that post 6u10 things have gotten so much better on the applet front, that that should be the preferable method to show the innocent bystander. Especially 4K where we don't need native libs, and there is not really a need to specify a JRE version.

Actually after 6u10 I have to manually disable the next generation plugin in the java control panel to see applets at all...

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #22 - Posted 2009-03-24 23:53:03 »

Don't forget to file that bug report Lips Sealed

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Offline CyanPrime
« Reply #23 - Posted 2009-03-25 00:09:29 »

Posting this here too:
Quote
Applets are usually slow, horrible, inappropriate in a browser, can't be printed, make everything else feel slow... I just hate when I go somewhere and an applet starts loading. Applets are a big failure and are fortunately dying slowly.

Web Start is nice for applications that are made to be desktop applications and solves the deployment issue (centralized deployment). Applications are downloaded to be executed in a JVM outside the browser. They can be linked to the desktop, started offline... Last but not least, you choose to use a Web Start application or not.

Applets : 0 - Web Start : 1

EDIT: I made the first sentence a little bit less generic. There are successful implementation of applets, no doubts about it. I just have a negative global perception because I've seen more wrong applets or usages than good ones.


http://stackoverflow.com/questions/645464/which-do-you-prefer-java-web-start-or-java-applets
Offline Paladin

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #24 - Posted 2009-03-25 00:21:57 »

Whilst I think that there's some drawbacks to JNLP as others have mentioned, adding the requirement to be applet does seem to increase the size of the application for no good reason.

Isn't this competition about the games that can be written in 4k and not how we should show them to the user?

To make an application via JNLP, all you need to do is override the paint(), processKeyEvent() and call setVisible(true) in your application somewhere. Sure, you can override or call a lot more system functions, but for the most basic game this is all you need to do. (Ok, so you probably want to call getGraphics() and drawXXXX also)

I've never written a game as an applet, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you also need to:
- override init()
- use the interface java.lang.Runnable
- override run()
- call JApplet.enableEvents(AWTEvent.KEY_EVENT_MASK)

plus probably some other stuff that I'm not aware of, like cleaning up the applet?

These appear to be an unnecessary overhead on the game and for those of us who have fought tooth and nail to squeeze every byte into our 4k, may mean the difference between a good game and a great game.

And isn't this competition all about making great games, like many of the entries are this year, in 4k, and not making good games as applets in 4k? Smiley

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #25 - Posted 2009-03-25 00:27:32 »

I'm a pretty unfair person, so that's probably par for the course. In this case however I was just re-asking the question. Given the logic was "if the primary goal is spreading the word" then "pick applets", the consensus seems to be applets are where we should go - then that reaffirms the suggestion that the primary goal is to spread the word. Hence, re-asking.

One might also argue that the rules in 4k are there to keep us focused on getting something finished and being productive. I'm not sure how enforcing applets does that.

Kev


I agree with your sentiment about too many unnecessary rules or restraints could make it less fun to develop.

It seems to be something like a 50/50 split between those who definitely want Applets, and those who still want to include Webstart. We definitely don't want to alienate some portion of the developers, that will only do harm to us.

I suggest for next year:
1. Webstart still allowed
2. Applets encouraged (on forums, on java4k.com)
3. Applets can be embedded on the game page and played directly
3b. Webstarts can also be uploaded directly in the game submission page.

In fact no change, other than adding better capabilities to the Java4k site to handle, host and view games.



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Offline Morre

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« Reply #26 - Posted 2009-03-25 02:29:33 »

I was skeptical about applets at first (because of how poorly they worked a couple of versions ago), but I've changed my mind.

Whilst I think that there's some drawbacks to JNLP as others have mentioned, adding the requirement to be applet does seem to increase the size of the application for no good reason.

My experience is exactly the opposite of this. Every time I've converted a game from my 4k template (which is available in one of the threads, uses a JFrame, and gives a reasonably small size) to an applet, the program has gotten considerably smaller. Which means that I ended up converting most of my games to applets this year.

Also, somebody discussed caching problems with applets. While it is true that you can sort of avoid them with webstart versioning, this takes a bit of work. And if you don't use the versioning, I believe webstart has equally bad caching problems. "Works on second try", yay!

I am more or less in favour of making applets a requirement, mostly because of their accessibility (I know several people who haven't been able to start my webstart links without guidance ("oh, you have to run it through javaws.exe in your java/bin folder", but when presented with an applet they've had no problems running it). Also, it would be great if the games could be run inside the browser window on the Java4K site. With that said, I see no reason why the developers shouldn't also be allowed to submit a JNLP link. It is even reasonable to make JNLP generation for every applet automatic.

I do not believe it's a good idea to have applets hosted right by the game if the rules do not require an applet version. This could lead to an unfair amount of people trying only the more accessible applet games. I'm fine with the applets being hosted on the site, but they should each be on a separate page that you reach by clicking the game's "Play now" link. If an applet version was required, on the other hand, the game could be on the very same page as the instructions and whatnot. Smiley

If we're requiring an applet version, perhaps it would be a good idea to provide a template or guide for minimal applets?

Offline Ranger
« Reply #27 - Posted 2009-03-25 02:54:54 »

To make an application via JNLP, all you need to do is override the paint(), processKeyEvent() and call setVisible(true) in your application somewhere. Sure, you can override or call a lot more system functions, but for the most basic game this is all you need to do. (Ok, so you probably want to call getGraphics() and drawXXXX also)

I've never written a game as an applet, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you also need to:
- override init()
- use the interface java.lang.Runnable
- override run()
- call JApplet.enableEvents(AWTEvent.KEY_EVENT_MASK)

1. You should still call enableEvents(AWTEvent.KEY_EVENT_MASK) when using a JFrame if you override the processKeyEvent() method.  There is a bug/feature in the Sun JVM that calls it automatically, however, other JVMs probably won't have the same bug/feature.
2. The init method replaces the constructor method.
3. You don't need to call setVisible(true) when using an Applet.  However, you do need a call to isActive() in your game loop.
4. Yes, you do need the Runnable stuff, which is the main downside.

When I converted my game from a JFrame to an JApplet, it did grow in size, but it really wasn't that much (I don't remember the amount, maybe 10 bytes?).
Offline Paladin

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #28 - Posted 2009-03-25 03:28:20 »

My experience is exactly the opposite of this. Every time I've converted a game from my 4k template (which is available in one of the threads, uses a JFrame, and gives a reasonably small size) to an applet, the program has gotten considerably smaller. Which means that I ended up converting most of my games to applets this year.

Very interesting to hear these sizing opinions from people who have actually used applets, and I will definitely revise my opinions in deference to their greater experience. I am curious why the size would drop though -- did you ever have a look into this?

I must admit I thought there would be more of an overhead using applets than what both Morre and Ranger are saying. However, even a few bytes can make all the difference when it comes to the crunch! (I felt really bad about commenting out my "setResizable(false);" line in my application, but I couldn't get the last few bytes I needed any other way!  Shocked)

If we're requiring an applet version, perhaps it would be a good idea to provide a template or guide for minimal applets?

I agree. It would be great to see an applet template, preferably with some comments about why methods like isActive() need to be called and when.
Offline trembovetski

Senior Devvie




If only I knew what I'm talking about!


« Reply #29 - Posted 2009-03-25 03:35:58 »

applets ... can't be printed,

I'm sorry, this is untrue.

Dmitri
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