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Re: libmikmod woes..

Steve Baker wrote:

>> >The shame of all this is that there was/is an effort to build one
>> >STANDARD game library (The Linux GSDK project) - I joined that at
>> >the outset - but they wasted so much time discussing and discussing
>> >what should be done that I gave up working with them and went my
>> >own way.
>> ...now the PenguinPlay as you know it is officially dead.
>> But as giving up is too easy - and plain wrong - there's now a new
>> PenguinPlay. Same basic goal (creating/defining a standard game SDK), but
>> completely different means of archieving it. I hope I can have the proper
>> new homepage up until this evening.
>> Steve (I knew I knew you...)
>...damn - is there no escape?!   :-)
>> can you help with it? I mean, not the "Uh, we have a plan,
>> can you do the work please" thing, but can you have a look at
>> PenguinPlay from time to time and give me a slap when you think
>> it's progressing too slowly, when there's too much talking again,
>> and too little action? And if I then come up with some stupid
>> excuse, slap again twice as hard?
>Well, I think that what went wrong with Linux-GSDK (Long before you
>were involved IIRC - and certainly before it had the PenguinPlay
>name) was that it needed to get something basic WRITTEN more
>quickly. Something concrete for people to criticize and build
>upon. When Stephane started GSDK, he wanted it all finished
>in six months - a very smart move!  However, there was no
>interest in building on existing technologies - which is particularly
>silly when you have such an ambitious goal and such a short
>You can't run a huge cooperative freeware project like you
>would a commercial project.  Writing specs up-front, planning
>everything out and then moving on to the coding just isn't
>the way to go.  Talk is cheap and when 95% of the subscibers

Right. If there's one thing PenguinPlay taught me it's this.

>to your list will never contribute a line of code, you can't
>afford to bog down the 5% who will contribute with the endless
>talk that goes on when 100 people all try to influence the
>work. Dive in, write code - be prepared for it to be rewritten.
>Establish who those 5% of productive individuals actually are.
>Weigh your decisions accordingly.  When someone who is not
>an active contributor says you are doing it all wrong, just
>say "OK - contribute something better and we'll use it" and
>99% of the time you'll never hear from them again.
>When GSDK started (many years ago of course), it was a great idea
>- there was then a real need for some kind of games SDK for Linux...
>but times have changed. There are now a bazillion games SDK's
>kicking around on the web.  Starting up GSDK again at this late
>stage seems rather pointless.  You'll never again have the
>chance to make a single GSDK that everyone could sign up to,
>and any new initiative would just add yet one more library
>so we'll have a bazillion-and-one games SDK's and even more
>fragmentation of effort.

I agree with you that starting another SDK is pointless. That's why we
decided to abort the PenguinPlay-as-a-library thing and changed it to
PenguinPlay-as-a-collection-of-libraries. The idea is to take the existing
libraries/SDKs, identify missing parts, weak spots, interoperability
problems (e.g. is it possible to use both Lib X sound and Lib Y input in
the same game), combine them into one "package" etc.
The details of this still need to be fleshed out, but I believe we are on
the right track. We'll see if it's the right thing. And this time I won't
announce it or try to convinve people to help etc until we have something to

If you want to get a better idea of it: I just finished the basic homepage.
http://sunsite.auc.dk/penguinplay/ will take you there.

>If PenguinPlay does restart, I'd be happy to listen in on
>proceedings - but you have to realise that from my perspective,
>the problem is largely solved.  I have PLIB - which is exactly
>what I wanted from GSDK.  I'm now into the maintenance
>phase and looking to start serious games writing (and I'm
>already 50% of the way into my first game - which has already
>been downloaded about 15,000 times - by any real measure, that's
>a success).
>PLIB's isn't "finished" - it's scope could certainly be extended
>- (eg 2D graphics, etc) - but I don't ever see the need to start
>all over again with a completely new SDK. I certainly don't want
>to fight those same battles all over again.
>I'm sure you'll hear the same story from the authors of
>ClanLib, CrystalSpace, etc.
>I'd advise anyone interested in restarting the GSDK/PenguinPlay
>project to pick the existing SDK that comes closest to their
>personal goals (eg 3D, 2D, high-level-genre-specific,
>low-level-general-purpose) - and join an existing team. They
>all need help.
>Better still, don't write a new SDK at all. Write a game
>instead. It's much more fun - and Linux desperately needs
>*new* games. The existing SDK's are easily good enough to
>let you do that.
>It would be nice to think that all the developers of other
>libraries (myself included) would say "Oh Wow!  At last a
>single package to unite all these little SDK's together -
>I'll drop everything and work for PenguinPlay." ... but that's
>*NOT* going to happen.
>GSDK is a lost opportunity - let's give it up and move on.


Drive A: not responding...Formatting C: instead