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Re: Games in Java?

On 17-Apr-2000 Bert Peers wrote:
> Erik wrote:
>> c++ is almost 20 years, C is a little over 30, those are the two common
>> ones.
>> and java is from '91 I think :) The thing I think really turns a language
>> from a
>> neat toy to a standard language is adoption by the universities, which is
>> just
>> starting now for java. 
> euh.... lol ?
> Universities have been adapting all sorts of funky stuff,
> like Scheme, LISP, Pascal, Smalltalk, etc because they are
> considered "educationally ok" or whatever.  Ok, your

yes, but the primary language used right now is C++ and that's moving to java.
My experience has been that they teach "You will be using this, so this will be
central to most courses, you will learn the introductory stuff, data
structures, algorithms, etc in this language. These others will be tacked on
here and there to give you 'exposure'." If the universities choose a language
as primary (like c++ is, like java is becoming), then you will have a lot of
programmers who are confident in that language. Otherwise the employers spend a
lot of money and time training them in new languages, which is not effective
use of the grunt force. While the universities do expose students to other
languages (scheme, lisp, pascal, prolog, ada, etc), I feel they also guide the
industries 'choice' languages. 

> statement holds true in that there are indeed some
> projects which are using those languages simply because
> the authors of the software were probably exposed to them
> at the university (like Gimp's plugin, or the game logic
> module of Abuse).. Other than that, I don't see much
> relation between industry practice and university standards.

it's a supply and demand type issue I think. The U's supply C++ programmers. If
you want to staff a development team, you hire one or two expensive gurus and a
handful of cheap kids out of college. You don't want to dump a lot of money
re-training your cheap labor.

> To stay on topic, I think that especially for games it's all
> about performance and available APIs, regardless of what
> the universiteits teach.  For instance, a lot of universities
> are also pretty enthusiast about Ada95, and it is perfectly
> suited for highperformance, multithreaded big-LOK count
> projects that games are.  There are no APIs though
> (except maybe a hacked-after-work OpenGL binding or
> something).  So I came out of univ with 0 hours of C++
> training but a solid background in Ada95.  Guess what
> happened now that I do games ;)

obviously need will dictate language. My hypothesis was that in a few years,
java would either evolve to meet higher expectations of effeciency or would be
lumped with the 'amusement' languages (the ones that are fun, but you wouldn't
use for anything real). Unless java is "good enough" or fullfills some special
needs, it is probably not a good choice right now.

>> When companies start using java as their
>> primary, they will demand better tools, better performance, etc. I think
>> that
>> kind of large scale demand is just now starting. 
> Er, no.  You don't start a critical project assuming that
> the immature technology will have matured by the time you're
> done with it.  What you *can* do is start some noncritical
> apps just to explore and evaluate that new technology.
> When you see the light with those apps and consider that
> new tech as The Bomb, then you can put some weight behind
> requests for better performance and/or hire more programmers
> who can use it.  Until then, you just discard CVs where
> Known Languages only lists "Java".

java gets used right now where either there's a specific need for it's
capabilities (like belting out a binary distributable that works on about any
UNIX in a short amount of time) or where it's performance is "good enough"
(like the software I'm developing at work). I'm not saying you should start
writing all your games in anticipation that java will support it, that would be
ludicrous. Java has already gone through at least two serious changes in how
the GUI stuff is handled (1.0 and 1.1 are pretty different, and 1.2's swing is
radically different). The language will probably be very different in a few
years. But it will evolve and the tools will evolve so in two years it may be
the de-facto industry standard. Languages evolve.

>> I think that javas challenge
>> will be in the next couple years, and if it's still around in 5, it will
>> probably do to c++ what c++ did to C in the market (not fully replace it,
>> but
>> take more precedence in more projects)
> I must confess that all of the above is largely "imho" and
> "based on what I see around me".  I don't know how C++ eventually
> became to dominate the software market -- you could actually
> be right that it was the influx of C++ only guys ;)

everyone's entitled :)

> Bert
> -- 
> -=<Short Controlled Bursts>=-

-=<Long Sustained Flatulance>=- :) (sorry, couldn't resist, I keep seeing that
sig and chuckling)

        -Erik <erik@smluc.org> [http://math.smsu.edu/~br0ke]

The opinions expressed by me are not necessarily opinions. In all
probability, they are random rambling, and to be ignored. Failure to ignore
may result in severe boredom or confusion. Shake well before opening. Keep

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