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  Faster, smaller, simpler: yours for $99  (Read 10102 times)
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Offline princec

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Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Posted 2004-02-26 10:24:34 »

I'm, ahem, conducting some market research. In the time-honoured tradition made defacto by our dear friends at Sun, it's for an unannounced product in partnership with an unnamed vendor, and if I told you any more I'd have to kill you.

Should a certain little pioneering company offer you a product that turned your Java games into Windows executables that were

a) approximately same size as their C++ counterparts, with no runtime
b) faster than the server VM

for $99, would you be interested?

Have a quick think:

Blazing fast C++ speed, instant application startup, tiny downloads. And yet you can still deploy the very same code on Windows, Linux, and MacOS using Webstart. The best of both worlds is at your disposal.

Are you drooling yet?

Cas Smiley

kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-02-26 11:45:17 »

Well, not literally drooling, but interested under two conditions: (1) there needs to be an evaluation version I can try (15-30 days trial is fine by me, for example), to prove that your compiler works without problem with my code. (2) And it better support the Swing/AWT (unlike Jet). As a matter of fact, it ought to support the entire JDK, in my opinion. I'm open to reasons why this has (as of yet) not been done.

If this is so, then I'm extremely interested.
Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-02-26 11:50:10 »

What about a compiler to generates native Windows, Linux, and Mac.  Shocked

Just set a flag telling it what to build and away you go, a native Mac binary just like that. Need one for Linux, too? No problem! BAM! I'd spend much more than $99 that could maintain my "write once, run away" attributes of Java, but build natively.

Is this, infeasible?

EDIT: I talk English good. Tried to fix grammar a bit.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline shawnkendall

Senior Member





« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-02-26 11:51:14 »

You'd have to prove that it was faster than the reference Sun JVM.  With the latest JVM automatically using things like SSE, class shared archives, heap self tuning and GC improvements, personally I doubt it.

Run a thorough benchmark and give us some numbers :-)

Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-02-26 11:53:33 »

Quote
And yet you can still deploy the very same code on Windows, Linux, and MacOS using Webstart.


So it's like 3 compilers? Generating 3 executables?
It would for me be just a temporary solution to the current JRE download issue (I have no serious issues with performance or start up time).
So in that respect, being able to deploy native executables using web start is not a very good reason for me.
Now I *am* (moderately) interested, although I too like to see it work first.

Erik

Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-02-26 11:56:44 »

I think what he is saying, correct me if I'm wrong, is you can create a native executable for Windows only. Just saying that the other OSs can run through the jre via webstart the regular byte code.

If not, and all platforms are native... Ignore my previous post.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Offline shawnkendall

Senior Member





« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-02-26 12:02:56 »

Quote
Well, not literally drooling, but interested under two conditions: (1) there needs to be an evaluation version I can try (15-30 days trial is fine by me, for example), to prove that your compiler works without problem with my code. (2) And it better support the Swing/AWT (unlike Jet). As a matter of fact, it ought to support the entire JDK, in my opinion. I'm open to reasons why this has (as of yet) not been done.

If this is so, then I'm extremely interested.


When I tried JET several years ago, it worked fine out-of-box, and with exotics like Java3D (exotic at the time, because of the .dlls) just fine.  But it was much bigger in memory and a tad slower than the default JVM of the time.

[mod]
I am just using JET as an example. I am not saying this woudl be JET, just explaining my experiences.

Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-02-26 12:11:20 »

Now, who said anything about Jet Tongue?

We're talking Win32 only here. This is a mass-market product aimed at backroom coders who are currently using Blitz, Delphi, VB, Darkbasic, and ripped off copies of MSVC from work.

MacOS simply requires no native compiler; in a fit of wisdom Jobs saw wisely that bundling it with the OS was the Right Thing, and they've got a top-class VM implementation for all to use, ready-distributed.

Linux... isn't a market. Enough said. But something could be done on that front.

AWT and Swing support will not be included. This product concept is based solely on the LWJGL project. SWT support is trivial to add of course; with any luck that means Xith support too in the near future.

WRT Jet execution speed: Jet is stunningly fast. My experiments with Jet and Alien Flux show it to start up almost instantly and run like the clappers from the off; it's roughly the same performance as the server VM, except of course for that massive difference in startup time.

Cas Smiley

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-02-26 12:12:36 »

We would be selling a time-limited trial version of the software, probably softwrapped or similar, with instant online unlocking, like Alien Flux.

Cas Smiley

Offline NVaidya

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-02-26 12:16:23 »


Frankly, $99 is chicken **** for the features that you have described. I've always wondered if this would be a lucrative way that Sun could make money out of Java - provide such an exclusive tool for a fee only to those interested.

Specifically, can better -than-or-comparable-to-server  performance be guaranteed for heavy duty polymorphic code ? Just been trying out Jet to compile my ~100K Java + Java3D code. The size of the exe is ~8.5mb. And the performance - overall OK, except that it is slower than client VM in certain specific cases. Need to contact their support to find out if there are avenues for improvement.

And why is it specifically a game VM ? game only or otherwise, I would be very interested.




Gravity Sucks !
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-02-26 13:22:18 »

Just removed my vote (maybe temporarily), I haven't really decided if I would really benefit. For instance I plan to make a start up config menu using Swing. I'd have to create such a gui in openGL instead. No thanks: Too much work for too little :-/. And I heard SWT is not any good on anything but windows (I haven't tried it on other platforms myself though).

Some questions:
* will there be licensing restrictions related to having to use it in a LWJGL based game? I could imagine it could be very useful for creating small command line utils for example.
* Isn't $99 way too cheap? I mean, for such a specialized product how will anybody ever make a buck?

So I'm interested in seeing it, but undecided about its usefulness to me  Roll Eyes

Erik

kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-02-26 13:27:59 »

Quote
AWT and Swing support will not be included.


My vote has been changed from yes to no. If it doesn't support the entire JDK, I'm not interested, even if it's free. I'm happy with Java as is, so give me native everything, or don't bother me.
Offline moonpxi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock indeed!!!


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-02-26 14:01:42 »

Quote


My vote has been changed from yes to no. If it doesn't support the entire JDK, I'm not interested, even if it's free. I'm happy with Java as is, so give me native everything, or don't bother me.



Pardon me if I am wrong, but doesn't Jet already support the whole JDK??

From what I perceived, this...errrr...compiler is to be used directly with LWJGL and only suporting, I hope, a few Java key libraries, such as util.

This really sounds interesting for small developers (such as myself)

Moon Pxi, a NerdCorper
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-02-26 14:27:24 »

Yes, I think JET supports the whole JDK. There's just this license issue with using AWT where you have to include the whole JRE in your distribution.

kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-02-26 14:48:06 »

If you have to distribute the JRE with a Jet compiled app, what was the point of using Jet in the first place? Performace? Perhaps, but there are better ways of getting good performance than trying to *fix* it by compiling to native code.

Perhaps my definition was unclear. I want to be able to compile to native code, and get the full benefits of native applications. That includes not having to distribute a JRE with my app.

My possible interest in this project has to do with distribution issues. My app already runs in bytecode - if I can't get away with not distributing a JRE, then I'm not interested in a natively compiled application.

I'm already NOT using Jet. If this new project can't address the reasons why I, and many others still haven't gone to Jet, then what's the point? Yes, Jet is expensive, but I really don't think that's the reason for some developers. I'm as poor as the next indie programmer, but if I had to scrimp and save for 18 months to get a product that actually did what I expected, what I thought I could assume when it comes to natively compiled applications, then I'd do what I could to make it happen.

Does the price tag make it a more attractive solution? Of couse! and I'm sure that will be enough for plenty of people. However, a sub-standard tool at any price is still a sub-standard tool.
Offline moonpxi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock indeed!!!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-02-26 14:58:32 »

Quick dumb question: does Jet  works directly with the bytecodes, the .class files, or with the source code?

Moon Pxi, a NerdCorper
Offline Jens

Senior Member




Java for games!


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-02-26 14:58:35 »

Quote
What about a compiler to generates native Windows, Linux, and Mac.  Shocked


gcj

Xith3D Getting Started Guide (PDF,HTML,Source)
kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-02-26 15:03:05 »

Quote
Quick dumb question: does Jet  works directly with the bytecodes, the .class files, or with the source code?


Pick one.
Offline Java Cool Dude

Senior Member




Java forever


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-02-26 15:26:23 »

Gimmie Awt/Swing support and I'll get you the money Smiley
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-02-26 15:54:08 »

There's the rub: if you want AWT/Swing support and native compiled EXEs, currently you have to pay $800 for Jet Professional + JetPerfect. What's more, by the time AWT and Swing support is compiled to native code, you'll have a particularly large binary anyway (as I have discovered - just one tiny accidental reference to AWT in AF caused the executable to bloat by 4MB).

This solution is for backroom game coders who would like to deploy on Windows. It is not a solution for

a) Big Game Studios, who either have the resources and clout to ship a JRE with their game, or are able to buy Jet Professional anyway;

b) MacOS, which doesn't need it;

c) Linux, which is not a viable market for this product;

d) Anyone who feels that AWT & Swing are necessary to write games.

but it is a solution for:

a) Developers who want an end-user friendly deployment option on Windows;

b) Developers concerned with performance (there are situations where AOT compilation is still much better than the current client VM JIT compilation)

Because of the nature of the Java community, there already exists a ton of code to do many of the things that people need to do which costs nothing. There's LWJGL, to take care of the tricky stuff. There's Xith3d, to do scenegraph rendering, or the Monkey Engine. There's SPGL for sprites. There are several widget libraries in development for LWJGL (Spaghetti development would likely resume if there is enough interest).

As I have said, this product is directly competing with Blitz Basic on price. It soundly trounces it on functionality and deployment options (because you can still deploy anything you write on Webstart as usual). It completely beats Blitz on performance. It also lets you use vastly more powerful IDEs to do your development.

The tool is likely to be supplied with an Eclipse 3.0 plugin, and shipped with Eclipse too, along with tons of other resources.

I'll shortly provide an example of what it produces Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:02:27 »

Curious, I wasn't expecting as many people to cite missing AWT & Swing as a reason against this kind of thing. For everyone thats said that, what do you actually need them for?

I've always been a fan of Swing as a library in general, and have currenly used it for 3 major game editor / map creation tools (V-Script being the most complex so far). Yet I've still only used minimal (and easily replaceable) parts actually in the games. What is everyone doing thats so different that makes AWT & Swing essencial?

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:15:54 »

Quote
Curious, I wasn't expecting as many people to cite missing AWT & Swing as a reason against this kind of thing. For everyone thats said that, what do you actually need them for?


I'm surprised too Smiley. But...Swing has matured enough that some parts are very good and it would be a PITA to re-invent the wheel (e.g. Action's ActionMap's EventMap's focus-handling and drag-n-drop have all become very nice now).

Personally my only attachment to Swing is that it took Sun 7 years to get it to this level of maturity (which is only about 80% of what it ought to be - c.f my previous problems with large swathes like JTree etc) and I'm cynical that any alternative library is going to appear that gets it right in very much less than 7 years Sad. I'd love someone to produce an OpenGL widget set with the high-level features of Swing, but you need good system architects to do that level of quality design and that usually means you have to pay for the end product. Licensing costs just for a "good JTree" were in the high hundreds / low thousands of dollars last time I checked - how much would it cost to get a complete widget set?  Cry

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:23:16 »

This tool would not be for
Quote
Anyone who feels that AWT & Swing are necessary to write games.


1) 4MB of bloat is still better than distributing a JRE.
2) No AWT/Swing support excludes those who would use JOGL.
3) Adding AWT/Swing support opens your tool to those who want to write normal applications as well as games.

I'm fully aware that this is the java-gaming.org forum. I'm fully aware that SWT is an alternative to AWT/Swing. I'm fully aware that you're talking about a "gaming compilation" tool.

I'm also aware that JOGL is a gaming technology, and that your tool would not support it.

As a developer, I grow tired of having to install tools X, Y, and Z (not to mention tools A-W). Another tool that's *almost* good enough to do what I need, is just another tool that doesn't make the cut, because some feature (a feature that makes my life more convenient) is missing.

I understand this reason, but this point is highly subjective.
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:24:43 »

Hmm.  Anyone thought of porting GLUI?

I know it's very much a C library, but it might be worth a look, at least.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:27:18 »

Quote
just one tiny accidental reference to AWT in AF caused the executable to bloat by 4MB


1) If AWT/Swing support was provided, then you'd have a tool that addresses the needs of everyone.
2) Those that choose to use SWT (for example) need not be concerned with the extra bloat, because it doesn't even affect them.

Give us choices, not an ultimatum.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:27:46 »

Quote
how much would it cost to get a complete widget set?

$0. As usual, I'll be giving any supporting code I write away for free as a carrot to encourage take up of the Big Idea. Spaghetti 2, currently in cryo, basically pinches some of the good ideas from Swing and AWT and gives you the widget library you need for a game. Not a complex do-everything-model-view-controller job, just widgets that do stuff and a simple windowing library. You can see it in action already in Alien Flux of course. Here are the components it supports:

Draggable Windows
Buttons
Labels
Single line edit text fields
Scrollbars
Scrollpanes
Comboboxes
Lists
Pictures
Checkboxes
Radiobuttons
Text areas
Dropdown console
Generic panels

The only thing missing, sadly, is a Tree Smiley Easily rectified.

It supports nice simple focus management, modal dialogs, drag & drop and realtime animated controls.

Now prepare to choke: it's *** 56kb *** to deploy. Compare this with what it can do. Why use AWT (which looks awful?) Why use Swing (which is massively complicated and needs a meg of glue to make it work with GL)? This is only a game we're writing here folks! Look at the user interface in Quake 3! It makes Alien Flux look like Microsoft Word!

Cas Smiley

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 365
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:35:44 »

There are reason why AWT and Swing support cannot be provided:

1. Oh look, it's Sun's brilliant license rearing its ugly head again Smiley

2. We are explicitly segregating our customers from the business and corporate customers who need Swing & AWT so that we don't step on our unnamed supplier's existing customer base by offering the same product at 10% of the price...

...if you see what I mean. We're offering an $800 compiler for $100 provided you understand that it's targeted at people who use Blitz Basic and C++ to write games, not people who use Java to write general applications. If Swing / AWT support is that important, you'd spend $800 on Jet. If deployment size isn't a problem, you'd use a JRE.

JOGL, I believe, does not make a great case for itself in many respects as a gaming API, in terms of size, complexity, dependency, security, and style. But that is not for discussion in this thread.

Cas Smiley

Offline Java Cool Dude

Senior Member




Java forever


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:37:19 »

As I mentioned in the LWJGL forum not so long ago, if I ever get radio buttons, regular buttons and labels that are in no way dependant of awt/swing,  I'll be ditiching JOGL for real Wink
kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:46:12 »

Quote
If Swing / AWT support is that important, you'd spend $800 on Jet. If deployment size isn't a problem, you'd use a JRE.


I would spend $800 on Jet, but if you're offering a cheaper solution that does EVERYTHING.

C'mon, Cas. You know deployment size is not the only reason to go native.
 
Quote

JOGL, I believe, does not make a great case for itself in many respects as a gaming API, in terms of size, complexity, dependency, security, and style.


Personal, philosophical crap.

Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-02-26 16:49:28 »

Quote
I would spend $800 on Jet, but if you're offering a cheaper solution that does EVERYTHING.


From what I can gather... he is not trying to compete with the $800 Jet product, because he is working WITH Jet, for a lower priced, game based solution. That's what my keen observations tell me.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
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