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  So for the first time in a few years I tried AWT  (Read 13850 times)
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Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #30 - Posted 2004-02-09 06:34:03 »

Language: According to my british dictionaries and the online translator Babylon, Cas' favourite words aren't "normal language" but vulgar ones or sometimes slang. When participating on several international forums with a bunch of native English speakers these words usually aren't being used. Our recent US-american trainee at work didn't use any a*, s* or f* words in any spoken conversation, let alone written ones.
Well, everyone wishing to use these words here will do so. Still they offend me (and a few more). More I won't say to that topic.

Linux: The debating point hasn't been whether Linux is being usable by Cas' mother or Swpalmer. The debating point has been that it's not OK to "ignore Linux" when it comes to Java and that the Linux users don't have their heads in their .. backside!
In particular this applies to SUN: why should we blame SUN for implementing AWT so that it runs well on all major platforms (which includes Linux) ? After all Java isn't just a game API.

There's an interesting interview with Brian Hook, independent game developer. The article has been posted here recently, too. http://curmudgeongamer.com/article.php?story=20030317123706258&mode=print
Some Linux related snippets:
Quote

All combined platforms other than Windows maybe account for 5% of our sales, if that. Part of that is simply because we have much broader distribution of Candy Cruncher on Windows via RealArcade and GameHouse.
(..)
The Linux and OS X ports are successful for different reasons. The Linux version really got us some mindshare with people who would normally never even think of buying this kind of game.
Supporting Linux is a "right" thing to do technically, and I think the Linux crowd respects that. We even price it a little lower for Linux. Another thing we like is that we've partnered with Linux Game Publishing, and they're doing actual physical copies of our games -- a feature that isn't even available on our Windows versions! This is a nice feeling because we have a DVD case version of Candy Cruncher, which is cool.
(..)
I think that the characterization that Linux users are "cheap" isn't very fair to them, although that's the easy way out for big companies that don't want to support that market. Not all Linux users are card carrying members of the FSF, and not all of them are "free or die!". The "problem" for a commercial developer is that they have to compete against something that is free a lot of the times, so if your product sucks, you're in trouble. Which is fine by me.
(..)
I was talking to another developer recently, and one of the things that came up is "how big is the Linux games market, really?" I think it's much bigger than people realize. The problem is that most Linux ports are done as an afterthought, and with almost no marketing. The running assumption is that anyone that wants to play a Linux game will eventually learn that the game is available on Linux, but that's simply not true.
Using my friends as an example, and many are hardcore Linux freaks, almost none of them knew that big games like Unreal Tournament 2003 and Serious Sam: The First Encounter were available for Linux. They had never heard of TuxGames or LGP. And they rarely even read Slash Dot, they just spend most of their time "doing real stuff" (i.e. using their Linux boxes instead of playing on their Linux boxes).
I think if we (developers) could reach that market we'd find that games would sell much better on Linux than people expect. We have to stop taking awareness for granted.
Offline princec

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« Reply #31 - Posted 2004-02-09 07:14:59 »

AFAIK, Brian Hook's new games company hasn't exactly gone anywhere. In black and white, for me, I could totally have ignored Linux, and I'd have lost <1% of my profits. If it weren't for Elias' tireless devotion to his black arts, I'd have lost out on a takeaway curry. So basically the only reason to support Linux, for us games developers, is if it's totally, completely free to do so as it's barely worth lifting finger to keyboard otherwise. You can always ask the Loki management if you need this one clarifying.

Now to digress the thread once more and go back to feckin' swearin'. Anyone actually offended by swearing needn't read the rest of the post - thereby saving you any grief, for you have been forewarned!

To quote from this fine article:
Quote

"There have been three stages of swearing in modern English. From about 1500, swearwords were simply euphemisms for blasphemy: oddsbodkins - God's body, cor blimey - god blind me; bloody - by our lady. Today's swear words were perfectly acceptable, apart from the c-word.

"From 1700, blasphemy lost its potency, and as England became a world power, there was an effort to clean up the language. So then words for parts of the body and what you do with them, such as defecation, became taboo. You wouldn't find them in Dickens, for example.

"In the past 40 years, young people have become less concerned with the traditional swear words. Now it's racist, sexist, homophobic language - the sort my father's generation wouldn't think twice about using - that are totally forbidden."


A brilliant article from the BBC. No guesses for what my school of thought is on the issue Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #32 - Posted 2004-02-09 07:24:22 »

One interesting point about the language used in the original post is it does seem to have confused the issues people's mind.

The original issue appeared to be whether the Linux games market is worth writing for. Being that the writer is Cas is fairly safe to assume he meant in a finacial sense Wink

However, it seems to have morphed into:

1) Whether linux should be ignored in Java?
2) And whether linux users should get their heads out of their a***s?

It would appear that the linux paying games market is fairly small and hence finacially it isn't worth spending too much time getting a version working there (not that this should be an issue with Java really, but heh).

Of course linux shouldn't be ignored in Java, that simply doesn't make sense. It doesn't however make much sense spending alot of time developing software for an OS that majority of people find hard to use.

As to linux users getting their heads out of their a***s, I think this comment was slightly mis-interpreted. It was targeted at the developers and designers of linux. While there seem to be alot of people adding new things to linux constantly (which is great, don't get me wrong) there doesn't seem to be many people focusing on refining on what they already have and hence bringing linux to the mass market. There of course many linux users/developers who don't want it to reach the mass market, which of course means it won't ever be significant as a games platform.

This doesn't rule out of course that there arn't people (operating system independant) that shouldn't get their heads out of their bottoms.

I've always liked the insult "coprophagic priapism" which as you'll note is wonderful english. Smiley

Kev

~ Just cause its written on the web, doesn't make it true ~

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Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #33 - Posted 2004-02-09 07:45:11 »

Quote
Well, I hate to fan the flames, but I have to agree with Cas 100% on the Linux issue.  Linux HAS come a long way.. but it is still entirely not practical to actually use on a daily basis by anyone other than a linux expert.


That's not true. Quite a number of non-experts (no matter how you define expert) are using Linux.

Quote
I have a degree in computer engineering, and in general have no problems with computers.  Except for Linux.  I find the failure rate for ALL applications in the linux space extremely high.


I doubt you had the time to test them all.

Quote
This is both a fault of the applications themselves - in that it seems the bulk of linux apps have an unusually large number of bugs,


Studies show that OpenSource-projects tend to have less bugs. Of course this is highly depending on the project itself.

Quote
and in the fact that configuring a linux system to do what you want is next to impossible most of the time.


That's exactly what I feel about Windows. :-) Configuring a Linux system to fit your needs is really a strength of Linux, especially for experts (full scripting support and tons of usuful tools).

Quote
Typical instructions for configuring something on linux even involves downloading source code, configuring it for your specific linux box, because they are all different, compiling it, and then swearing a lot because: 1) you ran ./configure and it bailed out with an error,  2) it complained about missing packages of which there are many missing dependencies such that the problem is magnified to an extreme, 3) it just doesn't compile, 4) it just doesn't run.


You rarely have to use make and configure. I have more than thousand packages installed, but no program, which required make and configure (this is because Debian offers so many packages). At least it should be possible on every distribution to run a base system without having to compile your own stuff. (Gentoo like distros excluded of course. ;-) )

Quote
Having attempted to run a linux box on several occasions up till just a couple months ago I can say that the above has been my experience EVERY time with EVERY distribution I've tried.


I can feel your pain, although I think this is not the usual experience of new Linux users, especially if they are computer experts. I can imagine that it's frustrating to try several times without success. The only thing I can advice you (in case you'll give Linux another chance some day) is to use newsgroup/mailinglists for getting help and telling the community what your problems are. This works well in most cases.

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #34 - Posted 2004-02-09 07:56:16 »

Quote
As to linux users getting their heads out of their a***s, I think this comment was slightly mis-interpreted. It was targeted at the developers and designers of linux. While there seem to be alot of people adding new things to linux constantly (which is great, don't get me wrong) there doesn't seem to be many people focusing on refining on what they already have and hence bringing linux to the mass market. There of course many linux users/developers who don't want it to reach the mass market, which of course means it won't ever be significant as a games platform.


Of course Linux developers are spending time to refine their products. (How can you be so sure of the opposite?) They often get quite a lot of feedback from the community, which gives them the chance to do so. Most Linux developers want their products to reach the mass market and in my opinion it's already there, because it has millions of desktop users.

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Offline ryanm

Senior Devvie


Projects: 1
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Used to be bleb


« Reply #35 - Posted 2004-02-09 08:13:02 »

Quote

You rarely have to use make and configure. I have more than thousand packages installed, but no program, which required make and configure (this is because Debian offers so many packages). At least it should be possible on every distribution to run a base system without having to compile your own stuff.


This is very distribution specific though.  Example - trying to install a TeX system on Mandrake involved downloading source, reading extensive install docs, and watching the compiler churn away for about 45 minutes before failing in a cryptic manner.  On the other hand, installing TeX on Mepis (which is Debian based), involved "apt-get install tetex-bin", and It Just Worked.

It's unfortunate that the distibution with the easiest package management (Debian) has the most god-awful installation process, while the easier installations (Mandrake et al) have the user messing around with make and configure.

I use Linux almost exclusively, and i like it a lot, but it just isn't ready for use by non-computer-experts.

And now the real reason for the post:
For all your coarse language needs: The Profanisaurus. An indispensable guide to sweary words and phrases.  Available in an updated hardback book form, it is a tome that no smallest room should be without. Oh, and you probably shouldn't follow the link if you're easily offended.
Offline princec

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« Reply #36 - Posted 2004-02-09 08:26:11 »

One of the biggest problems, as I see it, is that the user interface to Linux is basically appalling. It's not even a patch on Windows 3.11 in terms of consistency and usability.

How do you install an application on Linux? Where do the icons go when you've installed the application? Can you get Linux to auto-update with drivers and such? Why do windows not pop to the front when I click on them? Why is it that when I go to try and use someone else's Linux machine it behaves so radically differently that it's like another operating system?

The motor car industry settled on a standard formula for operating cars. Steering wheel, 2 or 3 pedals, optional gearshift, all in a fairly limited number of configurations. The motorcycle industry has done the same. These are true mass market appliances. The reason by they all work the same way is because people get used to things working the same way and they really appreciate it when they do (BMW get a hell of a lot of flack about their strange indicator buttons on their bikes in the bike press, because they're different to everyone else's indicator buttons).

Windows has done wonders for standardizing the way user interfaces should work. It's a triumph in usability. When you click on a control, it behaves like you expect it to. The windows move like you want them to. Ctrl-X always does a Cut operation. And so on.

What I would like to see is the Linux community abandoning X and Gnome completely and moving towards a proper client desktop that behaves in a single, consistent fashion, and this needs to go in the very core of the kernel. The reason Windows took the world by storm was precisely because Gates et al had the wisdom to make the GUI a part of the core operating system and under his control. And of course, the Mac people even have it the other way round - a truly wonderful user experience sitting atop a nightmare operating system.

BeOS was perhaps the very best thing that could have happened to the world but alas it was destroyed by anticompetitive practises. Linux had no chance against BeOS on virtually every respect except for the one thing that keeps it alive - it's "free". But as often is the case in the world, you get what you pay for.

We're now very far from the original thread topic which wasn't about Linux at all Smiley It was about how AWT's image blitting performance is still utterly dire, on all platforms, and that if you're serious about doing any kind of x-plat high performance rendering, you need to use GL: so why isn't GL more easily integrated into Java? Or indeed, already integrated into the core libraries? I see several hundred absolutely useless CORBA classes in j2se1.5. Can't we have them thrown out and replaced with LWJGL? Can't I distribute a VM that chucks out the bits I don't need etc. whine whinge moan blah.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #37 - Posted 2004-02-09 08:26:51 »

Quote
Well, I hate to fan the flames, but I have to agree with Cas 100% on the Linux issue.  Linux HAS come a long way.. but it is still entirely not practical to actually use on a daily basis by anyone other than a linux expert.


Although I roughly agree, that isn't really fair.

As a long time user (and, in the past for my sins, a systems admin)  of both OS's, IMHO they are approximately equal. I wrote a long post showing how everything one does well it makes up for by doing something associated attrociously that the OTHER does well, but I decided it was a bit too dull and OT Wink.

Quote

I find the failure rate for ALL applications in the linux space extremely high.


This is certainly true; my favourite summary is "With open source software, most of the time you get exactly what you pay for; sometimes you are unlucky and get even less". (NB: I've seen several different organizations that have found installing / using linux apps was a net loss to productivity - they lost more time and money (!) than they saved).

Quote

3) it just doesn't compile, 4) it just doesn't run.


It used to be that most open source programmers don't know how to program; they were generally incompetent (this seems to be improving, slightly) and should do the world a favour and - like all the gimps who make "my personal webpage" which just has links and text that cause it to appear on Google and obscure the genuine sites you want - get out of the way and take the signal-to-noise ratio back to a decent level...

Nothing personal, they're free to program/learn/etc whatever they want, but they DO obscure (and hence damage) more worthwhile open source projects with competent people - if they could just be more quiet about it the world would be a better place Sad.

Quote

Note that the installers for linux are getting very good.  RH9 and


RH installers have historically (in the last 5 years) been the cause of a large percentage of the problems with linux; c.f. below, but note also that RH's FTP install wouldn't work until you looked at the source (!) up until RH8 (bugs in the parsing of hostnames!), and even now RH's RPM can (and does!) break any application you ever install Sad. Whether this is because the apps were packaged with a broken version, or the user installed them with a broken version, I have no idea...

Quote

If you want to install anything else - good luck. My success rate is about 50%.


You can install 95% of things OK. The other 5% require *simultaneously* two different versions of the same library, or have circular compile dependencies that can't be fulfilled without bootstrapping, or other crazy crazy ****. But then you might find you've disabled your ability to upgrade your apps:

Sadly, the linux kernel (which, on the whole, works very well) is abominably badly packaged - everyone from Linus downwards has a share in the blame that the linux kernel is great, but many people can't use it. E.g. You usually need to upgrade your kernel on your local machine, and upgrades are desirable / needed every 6 months or so - but ANY crap app you've EVER installed on your machine can prevent the kernel from compiling. !!!

OK, so MS forces you to upgrade, and charges you through the nose, whereas linux doesn't *force* you to, but you don't get new features without doing so. But how many versions of windows refuse to install depending on what software you ever downloaded over the net and installed?

Basically, neither windows nor linux is any better than the other - they're both bad in different ways. Sadly, linux loses out mainly in that the user has to do a lot of extra work (e.g. sifting through the crud on the net to find apps that actually *work*, or having to learn to read source code because of bone-idle programmers who feel "the source code *IS* the documentation, and the manual, and the install guide").

OTOH, linux has a good chance of becoming very important to games studios for a really silly reason Smiley. Vendors/integrators (Dell, HP, Gateway, Viglen, etc etc etc) have such small margins on hardware that saving $50 on NOT including windows with each PC sold is a major major profit boost to them. These guys are the main distribution channel for PC's used for games (IIRC...), and they are just waiting for an opportunity to jump. (NB for most that means "when linux runs MS Office apps as well as MS Office", which isn't true yet, but OpenOffice 1.2 might achieve it (still too many show-stopping bugs and file-format incompatibilities - I say this having used OO for years!)). They tried support contracts as a way of increasing profit margins, but there are signs this is being reduced again (e.g. moves in the UK to reduce profiteering via evilly bad value support contracts, and widespread attempts by vendors to break the consumer protection laws).

Back on topic, as a java developer I know that it costs me nothing to run on linux so long as I use standard libs, and until that decision alone starts costing me sales every linux purchase is a freebie. Fortunately, I don't need to deliver an OpenGL-based game in the next few months, so "standard libs only" isn't a problem; I fully appreciate that for many java devs linux is NOT free to support right now (but then, as Cas has proved, just using OGL alone costs you a lot in support anyway, regardless of OS?).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #38 - Posted 2004-02-09 08:36:05 »

Quote

Studies show that OpenSource-projects tend to have less bugs. Of course this is highly depending on the project itself.


I believe that's generally due to one of two things:

  • They only included decent OS-projects, which account for about 5% or less of available apps
  • ...or because most OS projects never get past version 0.2 (i.e. they never achieve a full release, so of course they have fewer bugs) and / or most OS projects are so rubbish they are missing half the essential features. Fewer features = less source = fewer bugs != better code.


Quote

You rarely have to use make and configure.


...until you tell the authors it doesn't work, whereupon you are often told "what happened when you compiled it? ... you didn't compile it? Well, *I'm* not going to fix your bug (or even talk to you) until you compile it yourself; if you can't be bothered to learn how to compile and link C, I see no reason to tell you how to use my app / workaround bugs".

PS I've had this same response from some of the biggest, best-known OS projects, not just the fly-by-nights. For this class of people the "head up backside" comment is depressingly accurate.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #39 - Posted 2004-02-09 08:45:56 »

Quote

We're now very far from the original thread topic which wasn't about Linux at all Smiley It was about how AWT's image blitting performance is still utterly dire, on all platforms, and that if you're serious about doing any kind of x-plat high performance rendering, you need to use GL: so why isn't GL more easily integrated into Java? Or indeed, already integrated into the core libraries?


Cas, I think you're just being impatient here. Fullscreen isn't even a genuine + official part of java (e.g. isn't even implemented in all of sun's VM's yet!). Ditto, J2D/AWT/etc doesn't support/provide transparency etc yet - we're just seeing early access.

AFAICS, you should be saying "why is Sun so incredibly slow to add new features / correct old mistakes in java?" (since this seems to be fundamentally what you're getting at). There are many topics to debate on *that* issue... Smiley. I got equally frustrated at things like IO being dragged so slowly into the 21st century; waiting until 1.4.x to get regular expressions (!!!); etc.

Quote

I see several hundred absolutely useless CORBA classes in j2se1.5. Can't we have them thrown out and replaced with LWJGL? Can't I distribute a VM that chucks out the bits I don't need etc. whine whinge moan blah.


Yeah, keep saying it, keep up the pressure Wink. I'd be a bit more careful with such comments, since they can sound - out of context - whiney and pathetic (and not a little stupid), but I agree that on the whole your real point here would probably be a major improvement to java. Fingers crossed...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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Offline selendic

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #40 - Posted 2004-02-09 10:19:32 »

On Desktop Linux.
Prince, you are looking at the wrong Linux. RedHat is not a desktop linux, and won't be anytime soon. There are guys out there that are trying to make a living of Desktop Linux market, and are slowly and painfuly fixing all of your issues (basically install, app instalation, usability).

Like Lindows. It targets OEM's. It is not free (50 $ for windows like functionality, but OEM's probably much less).  It has interesting instaled base . It has Click'n'run instalation of added programs (probably apt-get with GUI). It has Applications warehouse, starving for quality app's, esspecially good games. I think Java is on it by default (my Suse has it, so I can just webstart your app).  It doesn't have Gnome interface, it uses more polished windows like KDE.



Offline princec

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« Reply #41 - Posted 2004-02-09 10:44:40 »

Er, great, so all those "Gnome compatible" apps won't run on it? Brilliant move.

<fx: sound of cd being thrown in bin>

So far the only genuinely easily installed and run applications I've yet found on Linux have been... Webstartable! I wonder that they don't just ditch GNOME and KDE and rewrite the whole desktop in Java and encourage everyone to port their apps sometimes...

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #42 - Posted 2004-02-09 11:02:41 »

What about Knoppix? (sp?) Does that have a Java VM installed that can be used to test apps quickly and easily?

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Offline swpalmer

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Exp: 12 years


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« Reply #43 - Posted 2004-02-09 11:04:59 »

Quote
[¹] Actually today for a newbie it's easier to install and run a fully working Linux on a naked PC (I can judge this for SUSE/Novell), compared to installing Windows plus installing a ton of drivers.


This has not been my experience, only a month or two ago I tried a vanilla install of SuSe 9:
- took forever to get the installer to run properly - seems the distributions on several mirrors were incomplete.  
- Installed it and selected every relevant developer thing I coudl find.  The result was SuSe 9 with no Java support.
- Manually installed Java.  Had to manually add it to the path, manually get JNLP files recognised by browsers, etc. a pain.
- Ran the installed IM client - it failed to receive messages over 450 chars, and crashed regularly.  Why does SuSe choose to install this client by default if it does not work?  The crashes often locked the desktop (KDE) so I couldn't do much else.
- Attempted to install a video player (video-lan).  ran into the massive tree of dependant packages problem.. next to impossible to find the packages..  
- Ditched SuSe 9 and installed RH9 because there was a RH9 RPM for video lan.
- Tried to install the video lan RPM... ran into the tree of missing dependant packages problem - again.  Took several hours to track down the packages and get them installed.
- Finally video lan runs...  total time invested was 3 days to install one application on Linux.

At home I still have Suse 9:
- Installed nVidia drivers so I could run OpenGL with 3D hardware.
Upgraded kernel.
- Video driver no longer runs!  I'm told to recompile the kernel!  Lack of a stable driver model is a big problem.  
-Must revert back to an older kernel until nVidia builds a new driver package

Previously tried RH8:
- Samba did not work
- Consulted Linux 'experts' on IRC channels
- Was told 'Use the source, Luke'
- Got latest Samba
- It wouldn't compile following the included instructions
- Found a package that would install (wow - managed to avoid the massive tree of dependant packages issue!)
- got more help, gave samba config files to experts , they couldn't find a problem, Samba still completely broken.

Samba mostly works on RH9 and SuSe9. Except that it asks me to provide credentials for EVERY SINGLE FILE in a folder I open via Samba.  This seems to depend on what I connect to - windows or Mac OS X.  Behaviour is inconsistent.  It became more efficient to run an FTP server to transfer files between the machines on my LAN.. Linux + Samba was to flaky.

Installed Eclipse IDE.  Tried to get the Eclipse icon into the start menu.. can't figure it out, get nothing but permission errrors, can't see how to run the needed tools as root.  Giving up...

OpenSource projects have less bugs - hardly.  Open Source projects have NO quality control.  Typical attitude seems to be "You have the source so YOU can fix any bugs that affect you".. which leads to me hoping that someone involved with development will take pity on me and try to fix a bug that doesn't seem to be bothering them.

Even the Java core gaming projects have this problem.  Most JOGL/Xith3D + Webstart apps are broken on Mac.  Last I checked JInput doesn't work well enough on Mac for keyboard input (qualifier keys are never reported)... etc.   It's been that way for months, I doubt anyone is working on the problem.  With open source as soon as the developers have it working good enough for themselves bug fixing seems to stop dead.  You have to do everything yourself.

Any way back to being slightly on topic... given my personal experience with Linux, I would not consider it usable.. it is still beta quality, if that.  Sure it shows promise, but it has been showing promise for years.  I also agree with Cas on BeOS - I even have one of the original BeBox machines that were made in the early days - a geek dream machine at the time.  It is too bad the BeOS couldn't break into the market because it was/is so far ahead of Linux.  Anyway Cas has real numbers to back his claims - the Linux market for Java gaming doesn't seem to be there. For certain the serious gamers aren't running Linux because they couldn't be serious gamers and do that... puiblishers don't support linux well enough to make that happen. (Try to order a Linux game from Electronics Boutique.).  Q3 is the prominent exception.  But as Cas also said, Java lets you get a Linux version for almost free, so we can enable that platform to be a gaming platform.. and hope that it eventually matures to a state that general consumers can use.  Maybe then a Linux gaming market will form.

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #44 - Posted 2004-02-09 11:26:24 »

Quote


This has not been my experience, only a month or two ago I tried a vanilla install of SuSe 9:


(Snipped recent examples of how rubbish linux installers are)

Quote

- Attempted to install a video player (video-lan).  ran into the


Not sure what you need from your video player, but here is one of the classic problems of OS software: because "almost everyone" uses XMMS, Xine, or Mplayer (and yes - most of those projects duplicate each other's code, wasting time that COULD have been spent making just ONE player that actually worked!), other players get much less in the way of resources/support/volunteers.

If you tell someone you are trying to get anything but one of those three working, they're likely to refuse to help and tell you to use a mainstream one instead, often until you patiently explain why the mainstream ones have none of the features you need :(.

Quote

-Must revert back to an older kernel until nVidia builds a new driver package


This is nVidia specific - they are IMHO in the top 3 worst providers of drivers for linux (nb: their driver has knowingly broken/disabled hibernate support on all laptops for many years without them bothering to fix the problem; this is crazy). They provide drivers which they know are lethal, which IMHO is worse than not providing any at all.

Quote

- Samba did not work


Been there, wept, gave up. Also, I found a 100% reproducible bug in Samba to do with certain chars in a filename - but no-one cared. They weren't willing to make logging bugs easy, and insisted I jump through stupid hoops (like "compile from source before bothering us" or "you must register on email lists and tolerate days of spam before we'll deign to talk to you" :(). Gave up before I finished logging the bug :(.

Quote

Installed Eclipse IDE.


As noted elsewhere, the eclipse installer for the stable version won't even run on my linux desktop - the SWT crashes (I'm fed up of crud like this that is totally unnecessary (SWT). If they just used Swing, I'd probably be able to use their IDE!).

Quote

Any way back to being slightly on topic... given my personal experience with Linux, I would not consider it usable..


Depends very much on the software you need and the hardware you use. Nvidia / Samba / etc on linux is like sticking your head in a meat-grinder. There are other combinations that work really well; ATI's linux support, for instance, is excellent by comparison to nV's.

If they could get rid of all the lazy/incompetent/useless programmers, open source software would kick ass...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #45 - Posted 2004-02-09 12:15:35 »

Quote
What about Knoppix? (sp?) Does that have a Java VM installed that can be used to test apps quickly and easily?

Yes, the LiveCD of Knoppix Linux (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/) includes a Java VM - a recent Blackdown one (JRE with server VM). I don't know anything about Blackdown's compatibility however.
Also, since Knoppix runs from CD (and uses a virtual home on Ramdisk) quite a few apps don't like this. Maybe it's better when you tell Knopix to install the home on a memory stick or on file on a partition.

However to watch Divx, Xvid, Mpeg1 and Mpeg2 movies (with Dolby sound and with subtitles) the LiveCD's Xine is absolutely cool: you insert the CD into a naked PC and within 3 minutes you can watch your videos. It takes me hours or sometimes days to achieve the same result with Windows. ;-)
Offline selendic

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #46 - Posted 2004-02-09 12:20:38 »

Quote
Er, great, so all those "Gnome compatible" apps won't run on it? Brilliant move.

<fx: sound of cd being thrown in bin>

So far the only genuinely easily installed and run applications I've yet found on Linux have been... Webstartable! I wonder that they don't just ditch GNOME and KDE and rewrite the whole desktop in Java and encourage everyone to port their apps sometimes...

Cas Smiley


Er, no, you don't need to start Gnome DE to run Gnome apps. Lindows can run them all as far as I can tell (Evolution, GIMP etc.). I don't think those guys are stupid, at all. Michael Robertson put fair amount of his mp3.com money in it, and they are doing some really nice and important things to make their product usable for ma and pa (some of which piss of hardcore Linux users, but that's another story). I can understand your frustration with Linux, but I was merely suggesting that you could try selling your (excelent) Java game(s)  through their chanels.

Btw. there is a lot's of "underground" work in making new generation Linux desktop (freedesktop.org, new X server with composition engine, HIG studies, HAL layer, more integration of Gnome/KDE/OOfice, Novell, Sun, IBM, China) and, although results won't probably be great in a short period,  I think lot's of people will be surprised when all starts coming together, like they were when it took off at all in server space. One of Lindows like distributions will get it right eventually (and how long did it take for MS to get it kinda right?), and it will take more and more market share. It is not like it hasn't been done before, usable GUI on top of Unix (see OSX).
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 434
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #47 - Posted 2004-02-09 13:18:57 »

If you take another look at Lindows you get a frighteningly familiar feeling that we had with BeOS a few years ago. In other words, M$ are doing their very best to make sure that Lindows never sees the big time. Personally I believe the trademark infringement ("Lindows" so similar to "Windows" it confuses users? Hello???) suits are entirely frivolous but that's not stopping the courts finding in M$' favour so I'm not holding my breath.

The real future right now is definitely with MacOS X, and it's especially great for us Java developers because it's got a great JVM on it all ready-to-run, and everything Just Works on the Mac. If I wanted to get my mum a new pooter right now, I'd get her a Mac, not a PC with Linux on it, because I'd rather pay more money now than waste gallons of petrol and the remains of my hair driving over to get her bloody machine working.

Cas Smiley

Offline selendic

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #48 - Posted 2004-02-09 14:36:20 »

Quote
If you take another look at Lindows you get a frighteningly familiar feeling that we had with BeOS a few years ago. In other words, M$ are doing their very best to make sure that Lindows never sees the big time. Personally I believe the trademark infringement ("Lindows" so similar to "Windows" it confuses users? Hello???) suits are entirely frivolous but that's not stopping the courts finding in M$' favour so I'm not holding my breath.


Well, that kind of paranoid and unfair buissines practice is what keeps me alert and away from MS. Any alternative should be helped (and whatever people might think, Linux IS a serious threath to MS, in the long run). I sure hate to see things like "Microsoft, Disney partner on digital media"
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5155333.html, because DRM with Bill as a gatekeeper scares the hell out of me. And I do expect a lot more Palladium tricks with Longhorn.

However, I do agree that for now OSX is much better alternative than Linux. Although, my mom likes her new Suse a lot. And I was pretty lucky with all my instalations so far, they just worked Smiley
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #49 - Posted 2004-02-09 14:51:43 »

Quote
One of the biggest problems, as I see it, is that the user interface to Linux is basically appalling. It's not even a patch on Windows 3.11 in terms of consistency and usability.


Not true. Look at KDE, Gnome or whatever and compare it seriously with Windows 3.11. (Sorry, if your statement was ironically.)

Quote
How do you install an application on Linux? Where do the icons go when you've installed the application? Can you get Linux to auto-update with drivers and such? Why do windows not pop to the front when I click on them?


Install: Linux uses packages, install by click or simple command
icons: automatically in the menu bar
auto-update: automatically

Before you try to judge about the future of Linux you should actually try to use it. (It's obvious that you didn't use it, otherwise you wouldn't ask these sort of questions.) Don't take it personal, but sometimes it's good to be quiet, if you don't anything about the topic you want to talk about.

(Doesn't make much sense to comment the rest, so I'll skip it.)

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #50 - Posted 2004-02-09 15:12:32 »

Quote
It used to be that most open source programmers don't know how to program; they were generally incompetent (this seems to be improving, slightly)


I've seen serious studies proving the opposite: Opensource developers are averagely more educated and talented. Sorry that I can't give you links to these studies.

Quote
You can install 95% of things OK. The other 5% require *simultaneously* two different versions of the same library, or have circular compile dependencies that can't be fulfilled without bootstrapping, or other crazy crazy ****. But then you might find you've disabled your ability to upgrade your apps:


Valid for Debian: If you install a package every package it depends on is automatically installed and the package system is always in a consistent state. Upgrades are very very simple. I can't say the same about Windows. The success rate of a package install is very near to 100 percent. I get updates of some packages at least each week without problems.

Quote
Sadly, the linux kernel (which, on the whole, works very well) is abominably badly packaged - everyone from Linus downwards has a share in the blame that the linux kernel is great, but many people can't use it. E.g. You usually need to upgrade your kernel on your local machine, and upgrades are desirable / needed every 6 months or so - but ANY crap app you've EVER installed on your machine can prevent the kernel from compiling. !!!


Why can any app prevent the kernel from compiling? I'd really like to hear your explantion. And why the hell do you need to upgrade your kernel every six months?

Quote
Basically, neither windows nor linux is any better than the other - they're both bad in different ways. Sadly, linux loses out mainly in that the user has to do a lot of extra work (e.g. sifting through the crud on the net to find apps that actually *work*, or having to learn to read source code because of bone-idle programmers who feel "the source code *IS* the documentation, and the manual, and the install guide").


Join the opensource community and you'll see immediately that this is not generally true.

Quote
(NB for most that means "when linux runs MS Office apps as well as MS Office", which isn't true yet, but OpenOffice 1.2 might achieve it (still too many show-stopping bugs and file-format incompatibilities - I say this having used OO for years!)).


If you are talking about MS file formats, then the reason for the incompatibilites is that the formats are proprietary. Btw. there will never be a 1.2 version of Openoffice.

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 434
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #51 - Posted 2004-02-09 15:13:12 »

Quote
Install: Linux uses packages, install by click or simple command
icons: automatically in the menu bar
auto-update: automatically

Before you try to judge about the future of Linux you should actually try to use it. (It's obvious that you didn't use it, otherwise you wouldn't ask these sort of questions.)


This is not the case. I obviously did try to use it - I've spent several days wrestling with it. I had one goal: install, from scratch, a Linux system that ran Alien Flux perfectly, and that also had OpenOffice 1.1 and Mozilla 1.6 on it. That, to my mind, is all that the majority of users need for a fully productive system.

It took me a whole evening of intense searching on Google to get Nvidia's drivers to install. I had to do some pretty ingenious things to strange files that, frankly, the only reason I know anything about because I did Solaris support once upon a time (Solaris is just as bad as Linux). Chances of normal computer user throwing machine out of window == 100%. I came close to 99% but I persevered, on a mission.

I "installed" OpenOffice 1.1 by opening a terminal prompt and invoking arcane commands that, again, no normal user should ever, ever have to come into contact with. Click on OpenOffice in "start menu". OpenOffice 1.0 launches. No sign of 1.1 No idea how to create icons.

I "installed" Mozilla 1.6 using more arcane wizardry. Click on Mozilla in "start menu". Up pops 1.1 still. Where are the icons for 1.6? No idea. It didn't ask me where to put the icons anyway. Eventually found out how to run it - and the fonts aren't antialiased any more. The thumb button on my mouse doesn't do "back" either which is intensely annoying - a bit like discovering that right clicks don't open context menus any more.

As for Java Webstart - I "installed" JRE1.4.2_03 as per instructions. I had to do some more freakishly bizarre stuff to get java on the path. No icon for JWS anywhere. Tried to create my own on the Gnome desktop but somehow couldn't get it to work quite right. Settled for the commandline again (why do they bother with a GUI if you always have to use the command line to do anything?)

Tried browsing to my XP box with Samba. File browser simply crashes.

Ran Alien Flux - bloody hell, a miracle! It actually runs. Sound effects are totally screwed up but the graphics are just fine apart from not having display adapter scaling so they come out in a tiny box in the middle of the LCD screen. No idea how to turn on display adapter scaling in linux. Right click on the desktop doesn't give me convenient list of desktop settings that might change it. Searching everywhere in the menus doesn't help.

All the while I find that the mouse pointer in Gnome is a bit crazy, flinging itself at random moments into the corner and occasionally dragging icons out of the "start menu"! In the blink of an eye it managed to make my "start menu" unusable.

XP disk goes in, format, install. Have actually got an original purchase XP but have lost code. Find hack on internet. WPA hack to follow because I can't be bothered with dealing with the poor soul-dead student in Scotland who has to answer WPA queries on the phone all day. Install new Nvidia drivers (double click, reboot). Install Java (surf to web page, couple of clicks, done). Install OpenOffice 1.1, double click, done. Mozilla likewise. Everything is painless. Everything is easy. Everything Just Works, in every way possible.

Like when I press the start button on my bike in the morning, it fires up first time, every time.

Do you think if Linux contributors designed a car that was free, anyone would drive to work in it?

"Sorry, can't come in today, I have to rebuild the engine again."

Cas Smiley

Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #52 - Posted 2004-02-09 15:19:56 »

Quote
This is very distribution specific though.  Example - trying to install a TeX system on Mandrake involved downloading source, reading extensive install docs, and watching the compiler churn away for about 45 minutes before failing in a cryptic manner.  On the other hand, installing TeX on Mepis (which is Debian based), involved "apt-get install tetex-bin", and It Just Worked.

It's unfortunate that the distibution with the easiest package management (Debian) has the most god-awful installation process, while the easier installations (Mandrake et al) have the user messing around with make and configure.


These comments alone show that you know Linux, which I'm very pleased about after reading a number of things, which are simply not true in this thread. Yes, the Debian installer isn't very user friendly and yes other distributions didn't manage to use a package system, which is as good as the one Debian has.

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #53 - Posted 2004-02-09 15:34:58 »

Of course, once in a while Linux manages something totally off the wall and different, like this: http://www.gc-linux.org/pic/website.jpg

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Jens

Senior Devvie




Java for games!


« Reply #54 - Posted 2004-02-09 15:52:21 »

Quote

This is not the case. I obviously did try to use it - I've spent several days wrestling with it.


Ok. I'm sorry.

Quote
It took me a whole evening of intense searching on Google to get Nvidia's drivers to install.


The NVidia driver has to be downloaded and executed. As long as you have Redhat/Mandrake/Suse running a standard kernel, it will work immediately. Otherwise you have to download the headers or sources for your kernel and than execute the installer. I agree that installing the NVidia driver is one of the more complicated things to do. The reason that you have to download the driver and it is not installed automatically is that it is not Opensource.

Quote
I "installed" OpenOffice 1.1 by opening a terminal prompt and invoking arcane commands that, again, no normal user should ever, ever have to come into contact with. Click on OpenOffice in "start menu". OpenOffice 1.0 launches. No sign of 1.1 No idea how to create icons.


Why not installing an Openoffice package of your distribution and everything works automatically?

Quote
I "installed" Mozilla 1.6 using more arcane wizardry. Click on Mozilla in "start menu". Up pops 1.1 still. Where are the icons for 1.6? No idea. It didn't ask me where to put the icons anyway.


Again, why didn't you use a package? The whole sense of packaging is to make it very easy for the user.

Quote
As for Java Webstart - I "installed" JRE1.4.2_03 as per instructions. I had to do some more freakishly bizarre stuff to get java on the path. No icon for JWS anywhere. Tried to create my own on the Gnome desktop but somehow couldn't get it to work quite right. Settled for the commandline again (why do they bother with a GUI if you always have to use the command line to do anything?)


There are packages for Java, too. If there's an icon on the desktop or not depends on the package, although it's really not difficult to add it. For a developer it's easy in Linux to install several JREs (free and non-free ones) and switch between them. Windows works less transparently. Java is not really widely spread on Linux, because it's not free. This doesn't matter a lot for the Windows world, but is a real problem on Linux.

Quote
Tried browsing to my XP box with Samba. File browser simply crashes.


If this is true, it's a bug in the samba package. I used Suse, Redhat and Debian so far. Looking at Redhat I was astonished how broken a distribution can get, although it was still usable for the non-developer, just not for me.

As a conclusion I don't want to imply that installing Linux is always simple. There can be problems of course (the failure rate also depends on the distribution), but this is valid for Windows installations, too. Honestly my last Windows installation was a real pain. One reason that some people find Windows easier to install and use is that they used Windows for years and have problems to learn something about an other operating system. Learning how to get help is maybe more difficult than it sounds. In most cases asking people for help the right way (which is not easy for beginners), solves your problems.

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #55 - Posted 2004-02-09 16:03:04 »

Quote

I've seen serious studies proving the opposite: Opensource developers are averagely more educated and talented. Sorry that I can't give you links to these studies.


I've looked at the source code for many things I use. It's bad. I've looked at the architectures; they tend to be really bad.

There are many ways of "proving" education and skill (e.g. a B.Sc. and an MCSE) that can be done with little of either. I'll always entertain the possibility that I've just been (un)lucky in picking source and projects that were bad, if there are studies that have been more rigorous and wide-ranging than I have, I'll happily re-evaluate...

Quote

Valid for Debian: If you install a package every package it depends on is automatically installed and the package system is always in a


I wasn't talking about any particular distro, and most use RPM (which I did refer to specifically).

Yes, I wish every distro had all the best bits of Debian and none of the bad. Reality is that they don't. Sad

Quote


Why can any app prevent the kernel from compiling? I'd really like to hear your explantion. And why the hell do you need to upgrade your kernel every six months?


I've had this directly from the kernel howto maintainers and indirectly confirmed by people who hack on the kernel (but they could be completely wrong). I'm afraid I am not a kernel hacker, and I don't really care why this is the case, just that it (currently) is.

I have to upgrade my kernel because so much software needs newer kernels, or because versions have serious bugs I need fixed Sad. Perhaps this is unusual for the last 5 years in particular? Perhaps I've just been unfortunate in hardware choices?

Quote

If you are talking about MS file formats, then the reason for the incompatibilites is that the formats are proprietary.


Yeah yeah whatever! So what? Who cares? If you're trying to be compatible with someone else's software, it's not their problem, it's yours. Historically (look at the last 20 years of the IT industry) they'll probably try to prevent you from achieving it as much as possible.

The point is that it makes it damned hard to do certain work on linux (e.g. working on large MS Word documents, where you're almost bound to encounter one or more of the things that don't work in OO.org).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline rreyelts

Junior Devvie




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #56 - Posted 2004-02-09 16:18:00 »

1) I don't like the attitude towards open source. Open source does not suck - just like commercial products do not suck. Some are good, some are bad. My own open-source project has been used to back commercial messaging products, develop software for the BBC, advance bio-medical research, and perform particle physics research - among many other things. The posts on my forum indicate that its users are quite happy. For those of us who donate our free time to build something that improves the world for all of us, you guys sound like a bunch of ungrateful, whiny children.

If you're not happy with the free support you get from an O/S project, pay somebody for support. You will always be able to find somebody who will give you better support for less money than with the equivalent commercial product - (said from somebody who's quite familiar with both sides of the coin). I've personally been asked to provide paid support a few times now.

2) Linux may or may not suck. It depends upon the distribution you use and surprise! what you use it for. I agree with Cas in that the Linux gaming market is not, by itself, worth his time. Building a cross-platform application which should generally also run on Linux should be worth his time. Perhaps he should sell his product to Linux users for less w/o support - it either works or it doesn't. Cas should also try to post AF on Slashdot. Let them know you are the author, and explain how AF is cool because you're pushing the envelope of Java gaming to deliver on Linux. I guarantee you'll get a few hits on your site. Call your Linux discount a "Slashdot special", and you'll probably make a few sales.

3) @OrangyTang - GDI+ => You're just confirming my point.

4) I see Cas is coming around. Don't complain that AWT sucks for gaming - no one will hear you. Rather, everybody needs to complain that there's not a Sun-endorsed javax.multimedia.* extension API that contains the latest versions of JOGL, JOAL, JInput, whatever.

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline rreyelts

Junior Devvie




There is nothing Nu under the sun


« Reply #57 - Posted 2004-02-09 16:29:55 »

Quote
"With open source software, most of the time you get exactly what you pay for; sometimes you are unlucky and get even less".

I guess then that, by extension, this means that LWJGL, Xith3D, JOAL, JOGL, and others all suck. I'm sorry to hear that you guys wasted so much effort on such a worthless endeavor. Roll Eyes

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

About me: http://jroller.com/page/rreyelts
Jace - Easier JNI: http://jace.reyelts.com/jace
Retroweaver - Compile on JDK1.5, and deploy on 1.4: http://retroweaver.sf.net.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #58 - Posted 2004-02-09 16:32:42 »

Jens,  I have 'tried it' several times as well.  My experience has been exactly like Cas'.   Why don't I use a Package?  I try but they rarely install - they simply spew a message that you need a zillion other packages.  Good luck finding them..  Better luck finding the packages that they depend on. etc...
Then of course the package is out of date, the reason you were installing version x+1 was because version x was crashing and the linux experts told you it's fixed in x+1.  "Use the source Luke" is all you get now... ./configure --- fail fail fail.. search for more 'packages' pray that you can get them installed... ./configure  gets a bit further, fails... repeat...

Finally get the app installed.  No integration with the shell/desktop because you HAD to get it from someone other than your distro's ftp site.  Must use shell to launch it.  Run it for 15 minutes - crash.

Cas' comments about appalling UI is also true..  applications have radically different behaviour and looks, a zillion different widget toolkits are in use all with their own quirks.  It is obvious they are trying to be 'like windows' to get more of the Windows users...  But they are coming at it form all different directions.  The linux community just needs to try to be consistent.  Everythig is so fragmented now that it is just very hard to use - by computer EXPERTS such as Cas and myself.   I could never be so cruel as to unleash that on the general public.. and of course the general public doesn't use it.  Though in a sense they would be much more likely to succeed than an expert because they won;t actually try to do anything.  They will just click on the pretty pictures they are given and that's it.

Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #59 - Posted 2004-02-09 17:02:04 »

Quote

This has not been my experience, only a month or two ago I tried a vanilla install of SuSe 9:

Well, it's been my experience. :-) Of course it all depends on the PC you try to use - russian roulette. I've seen PCs with mixed hardware (new motherboard but "old" Geforce1, or the other way round) which won't let you install Win98, 2K or XP (without knowing Win internals). I've seen PCs which don't like Linux.

What's concerning OpenSource apps. There are good ones, bad ones and ugly ones. Exactly the same for commercial software. (Toby said this pretty well.)
There are good and bad developers who program OpenSource - and the same for commercial software.

Java's success and attraction is due to its platform independency: run your applications and games on the platform of your choice.
If there's just Windows everywhere there's no need for Java. Since Linux is a very serious competitor to the Windows hegemony [¹], a Java developer can't flame Linux without being schizophrenic. If you don't like Linux, no problem, don't use it, but be happy it exists: embrace the competition and please keep in mind that Java and Java developers depend on more than one platform.



[¹] If you don't believe this, well, Microsoft does - and they're right this time.
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