Hi, Dave, great to see you again.. I think when I first came to these forums you were already gone. So really it's good, good to see you here there are so many things to clear out about the core and other things.
I didn't read hawkwind post, will do it after having posted so you can have two seperate point of view. I'm not the greatest contributor but heh I followed closely the forums (maybe to closely).
Hey guys... it has been a while I know since I last stopped by. I continue to be amazed by the interest and loyalty to Xith3D from the java gaming community. Some projects have cleared up for me and I am looking forward to pulling down the latest code and trying it out. I may have written the original version and the first year of enhancements, but the real work has been done by all of you. Without your work this would have been one more API littering the cutting room floor. I hope no one bears any resentment to my retirement from the project, life took a turn and I had to change my focus for a long while.
Thanks. Could you be a bit clearer about your present situation : are you willing to possibly spend some time on Xith ?
And let me correct you : the "real work" couldn't have been done without your original code. Thanks, thanks and thanks again.
So tell me, how have things been around here?
Any idea on an estimate on how many people are using the libraries?
I'd say about 30 but it's just an imprecise estimate cause I'm sure many more use it silently (no sign of life on the boards).
Did many companies ever adopt it for their commercial usages?
I know JProof (where YVG is/was working) once used it but I don't know if it still does so. I know a guy use it for a small commercial game of plane models simulation. Croft seems to be paid to work on Xith3D (it's not clear really for me who is its employer).
What are the current weaknesses of Xith3D in comparison with other java 3D libraries?
3-4 people said it was "messy", something we're fighting against. But on this point some explanations from you would be very very nice.
Someones feels some features are lacking but the problem is rather that many features are not used yet present. But often code is half-done and not really useable. See terrain code (it's yours isn't it ?) it's really really cool the demo is impressive but heh let's say I'm the 3-message-noob-coming-from-nowhere and I want to texture it.. How do I do ? Probably there are texture generators classes (I remember having seen something like that) but it's not documented. If you give me some notes I'll happily add that to the guide which is currently written by Qudus and me.
Some recent (3-4 months IIRC) benchmarks showed that Xith3D was really slower than jME and even than Java3D ! They just ported your Quake 3 Level loader for benchmarking. Do you have any idea of what can be improved/optimized ?
Did anyone ever add shader support, volumentric fog, bezier patches? Was there ever a decision to add physics, springs, etc?
Assembly shader support was added by Abdul Bezrati long ago for its demos. High-level shader support was added by Florent Hoffman (Goliat) recently (just look at the recent threads).
No news about volumetric fog.
Bezier patches and splines were discussed by Croft. Maybe he's gonna implement it someday (cause Collada include them).
Has the evolution been toward low level optimization / card feature support, or higher level architectural additions?
I haven't seen any low level optimization, probably cause the core is hard to understand.
Some important features were added : JSR-231 support (Lilian Chamontin), COLLADA loader (David Wallace Croft), a HUD system (Marvin Froehlich aka Qudus and myself), a new picking method (Arne Müller) and some others that I can't remember just here.
Also Qudus and myself have made some attempt of higher level architectural additions. When the "Xith in a Nutshell" guide comes out (not it's not published by O'Reilly editions, sorry) you'll see how easy it has become to set up simple environments.
Also, mostly Qudus and also myself have made lots and lots of clean-ups (great thanks to IBM and the Eclipse team).
Anyway.. just curious... and it is great to see familar names around here!
One more time great to see you too.