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  MoleBox  (Read 6229 times)
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Online princec

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« Posted 2005-03-03 11:47:42 »

I'm investigating MoleBox Pro but having some trouble getting it to work. Anyone had any success with it?

Cas Smiley

Online princec

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2005-03-10 11:45:29 »

Ok, I've been in touch with the developer and gotten the MoleBox glitches ironed out. Would you all please swivel your download managers to this special version of Puppytron (4MB) and install it (preferably somewhere else other than the original version if you've got it) and have a look what it installs. Ignore the scary dialog @ startup, that's because I built this one with the trial version. I also used low encryption because high encryption doubles the installer size as it's much harder to compress.

Boy am I happy Smiley

Now I can distribute my games on the portals and coverdisks without breaking the JRE license agreement.

Molebox is $199 and believe me it's worth every bean if you're serious about distribution.

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:03:51 »

Uh, hows that? You're still packaging your JRE I take it, just in encrypted form?

Kev

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Offline kevglass

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:04:46 »

Oh, and its apparantly only $99 at the moment for the Pro version Smiley

Kev

Online princec

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:07:18 »

I'm packaging my JRE, which is compiled according to the strict definition of compilation. This is exactly what Jet does: it takes a Sun JRE, transforms it into some different files, throwing out much of the cruft, and that's what you distribute. It's perfectly compliant with the Sun license as no JRE files are redistributed.

I think a champagne is in order as it's solved the biggest single problem with Java development for Windows.

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:11:06 »

Can I have instructions on how to create a Cas (TM) JRE now then? Smiley

Kev

Offline Daire Quinlan

Junior Devvie





« Reply #6 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:18:54 »

I was initially excited by this when I read it on the Indiegamer forums, but reading the actual details makes me a little squiffy. What actually makes you think this is any more legal than what you were doing originally ? This would be fantastic if it were completely above board. Is there provision in the license for this or something ? I haven't read it in a while, ever since I gave up on trying to contact somebody in Sun with specific questions pertaining to the license. No-one ever replied :-(

D.
Online princec

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:29:28 »

The Sun JRE license permits you to distribute only the entire unmodified JRE files. MoleBoxing does not distribute any files at all. It compiles them away, in the same manner as JET (although of course in an entirely different way). This is both in agreement with the letter of the license and the spirit, which is to prevent people distributing broken JREs all over the place and giving Sun a bad reputation, or indeed, simply tweaking the JRE, calling it PuppyJava or somesuch, and selling it as their own work as a JVM. And at the end of the day I still get to promote Java for them as a great platform for games development. Win-win-win!

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:30:02 »

Hmm, interesting, but how does that affect user-created mods like extra levels? Thats a must for anything that I do...

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Online princec

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:30:40 »

To create a Cas JVM: quickly grab the old version of Puppytron, before it's gone forever, hack the lib and bin out of it, and then do a bit of trickerypokery with VC.net to create a launcher for your game.

Cas Smiley

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Online princec

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:32:00 »

You don't have to include your .jars in the molebox, I just did anyway for ultra-neatness. You still have a fully functional JVM in there, so you can still load in any jars you like, or remote classes, etc.

Cas Smiley

Offline Daire Quinlan

Junior Devvie





« Reply #11 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:38:22 »

Neat !

Can you leave data files out of the moleboxing and still load them up transparently ? Can you have several 'moleboxed' archives (say one with your launcher/jre, one with your main  application jars and a couple with different sets of data and what have you) and STILL not have to worry about any load issues and so on ?? The FAQ doesn't seem entirely clear on this.

D.

-edit- Woops, didn't see your reply above as regards leaving files out of the molebox distrib. -edit-
Online princec

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:43:40 »

Yes, yes, and yes! I can't believe what a fantastic bit of work Molebox is. I think I'll try selling it as an affiliate if they'll let me Wink

Cas Smiley

Offline oNyx

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:49:54 »

>I also used low encryption because high encryption doubles
>the installer size as it's much harder to compress.

So it's stuff->uncompressed jar->molebox->nsis (lzma), right?

Hm.

stuff+lzmaed data->uncompressed jar->molebox->nsis(won't compress much)... should be smaller then, but I'm afraid that the loading time would be *very* bad then (unless you use some temp directory)

Hm.

small launcher+gzipp data+gzip/p200 classes->molebox->nsis(won't compress much)... should be a rather nice combo.

Well, if this really solves that license issues it's clearly a winnar Smiley

But it's odd that the encryption level influences the compression ratio... that sounds like they compress the encrypted data and not the other way around.

edit: oh wait... I guess you didn't compress at all with molebox and decided to let nsis do that, right?

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Daire Quinlan

Junior Devvie





« Reply #14 - Posted 2005-03-10 12:56:05 »

from the faq:

Quote

Q: Does encrypting the application affect the compression results?
A: No. The compression is performed before encryption. However, strong encryption destroys the data statistics, and thus cancels any further compression results. If you're planning to compress your application with another packer or with an installer, you may prefer XOR encryption.


I presumed Cas was talking about the compression achieved by the installer, not molebox itself.

D.

-edit- must remember to re-read thread before hitting submit :-) -edit-
Online princec

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2005-03-10 13:18:07 »

That's right. Molebox does the encryption, NSIS with LZMA does the compression. Encryption of course is bound to flummox compression by its very nature.

Molebox adds about 50kb to the total install size otherwise. Happy happy day.

Cas Smiley

Offline oNyx

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2005-03-10 13:24:22 »

>Encryption of course is bound to flummox compression by its
>very nature.

There isn't a way to turn encryption completely off right now, is it? I mean it's rather pointless if you also distribute mac/linux versions of the same game.

>Happy happy day.

Heh. Yea, it sounds really great Smiley

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Online princec

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2005-03-10 13:33:43 »

Yes, I turned it off for that beta demo.

Cas Smiley

Offline cyberyoyo

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2005-03-10 17:17:07 »

Hmmm.. I'm pretty sure that your are still infringing on one of Sun's licence since you are distributing their classes, even compressed. Maybe not the JRE licence but another one.Now maybe I'm wrong because I haven't read all of the EULA and I don't remember the terms.
Anyway you'll probably have most of your bases covered if you don't mention the word "java" for that packaged version of the software.
Offline oNyx

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2005-03-11 20:49:07 »

Yesterday I read through those annoying licenses, but I hadn't found a hint that something like this is allowed.

I read the one from 1.5.0_01's JRE and from 1.4.2_07's JRE.

So... I guess you're going for something like 1.4.2_05 or so, right?

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Daire Quinlan

Junior Devvie





« Reply #20 - Posted 2005-03-11 23:32:33 »

Yeah, I've read them through again aswell, I thought that maybe there was a 'loophole' of some sort that Cas had discovered in this regard but if there is I can't seem to find it. It pretty much, to me at least, appears to be on the same equivalent as distributing a 'cut down' jre with your app. As i understand it (although I could be mistaken), Jet actually either compiled everything, or had their own reference implementation of the JRE which they used for compiling purposes. It appears quite different from Molebox, which entails distributing the JRE, only in comrpessed/encrypted form.

D.
Online princec

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2005-03-12 10:17:01 »

If it's compressed, encrypted, and embedded, then it's hardly redistributed is it? There is no JRE. There is only the game.

Jet compiles an existing JDK. There is no standalone Jet; you have to first install a JDK and let Jet recompile it.

The end result is identical: an exe that runs a game, and nothing else. Who cares about the precise implementation underneath? Hell, I've even got Jet. No-one would ever know which one I've used.

Anyway, I don't much care. Either they want people to promote Java or not, but I don't want to have to do their dirty work of installing the damned thing for them. When they get a deal with Microsoft things will be different... but not before.

Cas Smiley

Offline swpalmer

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« Reply #22 - Posted 2005-04-06 00:47:09 »

Quote
If it's compressed, encrypted, and embedded, then it's hardly redistributed is it? There is no JRE. There is only the game.



I would think that this is violating the license agreement for sure.  You ARE still distributing bits and pieces of the JRE, this is no different than if you had a partial JRE in a ZIP file or if you stripped down rt.jar and called it cas.jar.. hiding it in an exe is just that - hiding it.

You might think that Sun wouldn't have an issue with it because your partial JRE is not usable by others.  But your point about tweaking the JRE and selling as your own still applies... you've taken technology that Sun developed and tweaked it and sold it as your own.  You can't legally call it Java, and yet you can't deny that it contains bits of the Java runtime.

It's a neat idea, but until Sun comes out with a license that allows it, or some other solution I would stay away from MoleBox for Java apps.

Online princec

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« Reply #23 - Posted 2005-04-06 05:34:48 »

I don't believe it violates the license but if it did... well, I'd quit Java game dev, and advise anyone else in the same position to do the same. I've had enough of it getting in the way.

Cas Smiley

Offline Bombadil

Senior Devvie





« Reply #24 - Posted 2005-04-06 05:59:33 »

Maybe some SUN guys could check this out, so we all know for sure?

Personally I think that Cas' description of the molebox and his mention of it being compatible to the "spirit" of the JRE license (in the form not to install/spread modified JREs to the user's PCs) make sense to me. However juridical I've no idea.
Offline Vorax

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« Reply #25 - Posted 2005-04-07 00:53:27 »

Quote
I don't believe it violates the license but if it did... well, I'd quit Java game dev, and advise anyone else in the same position to do the same. I've had enough of it getting in the way.

Cas Smiley


I intend to use MoleBox as well, so I hope your right.

Offline swpalmer

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Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2005-04-07 03:43:21 »

Quote
I don't believe it violates the license but if it did... well, I'd quit Java game dev, and advise anyone else in the same position to do the same. I've had enough of it getting in the way.

Cas Smiley


That's a bit extreme.   Maybe you could switch to developing for the Mac only Smiley ...  the one platform where it isn't an issue.

Online princec

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« Reply #27 - Posted 2005-04-10 09:20:26 »

That is a possibility but it's like stepping back 2 years performance-wise Sad Just when I was getting used to being able to target GF2-class cards and 1GHz chips, the Mac is still stuck on GF1/600MHz. Damn you infrequent upgraders!!

Cas Smiley

Offline Jeff

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« Reply #28 - Posted 2005-04-17 05:16:56 »

Interesting solution Cas.

Be aware that I Am NOT speaking for Sun corporate or Sun lawyers.  I don't have that authority.

Having said that I think you have pretty good argument that what you have created is an "embedded VM."  It certainly  deals with the issue of VM visibility.  I havent read through the thread but have you run thsi by Chris to see if he can get actual Sun approval?


Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Online princec

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« Reply #29 - Posted 2005-04-17 12:00:28 »

Might be an idea.

I was supposed to be coming up with a concrete product suggestion for Chris as well ... kindof like a  "Puppy Games VM" product which was basically LWJGL + mini VM that we could sell as a product with a royalty to Sun. Nice little earner I expect and hopefully would bypass all that "profile" rubbish by just doing what it says on the tin.

Cas Smiley

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