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Re: SDL (was: Re: SVGALIB on Thinkpad)

Gregor Mueckl wrote:
> Steve Baker wrote:
>  >
> > There are some significant problems with SDL
> Just a little, but serious question: what are your problems with using
> SDL? I can't see any myself, so I'd like to hear your oppinion on it.
> And before I forget: I haven't had a thorough look at PLIB yet as I
> expect you mentioning that library in your answer.

I havn't used the library as an application developer - so I can't
comment on the API - my biggest complaint is that it's that as an
end-user, the release strategy is utterly hopeless.

SDL comes in a gazillion little parts - all with different
version numbers - all needing to be installed separately - many
parts having poor forwards and backwards compatibility between

Hence, *every* time I download a game that needs SDL, I'm
forever having to track down and download more fiddly little
SDL components - then finding that they depend on more recent
versions of other components.  I upgrade those - and then other
games break.

It's very frustrating.

By contrast, my own PLIB package comes all in one installable
bundle - it's all updated at the same time and changes version
number relatively rarely.  It has no external dependancies beyond
X and OpenGL and it *always* installs to the same place.

This means that *at worst* you only have to download one file
and install it...and typically, not even that.

Since applications link statically to PLIB '.a' files, you
cannot possibly destroy a working binary by installing a
new PLIB.

For the end-user of games, that's a much simpler proposition.

In surveys on several end-user gaming sites (such as HappyPenguin),
the number one problem with gaming under Linux is the hassle
of getting a program (and all it's dependent libraries) to install.
Hence, the number one goal of games designers should be to make
that entire process as simple as possible.  SDL comes *FAR* from
that goal.

----------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------------
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