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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 1:00 pm
by soft-bug
Well,

A serious Outsider : LOOK AT THE ONLINE VIDEO :

http://www.zuntzu.com/index.htm

At the present time this toolbox is dedicated to Windows Users only ... because of using direct X to handle the board ..

You will also notice that only the Online mode is effective too.

BUT,

The dark side of the force ... has already attracted plenty of new players and creators ...

The PBEM mode is planned for 2008 ...

I hope that the force be with us ... :wink:

A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 2:21 pm
by mkiefte
At the present time this toolbox is dedicated to Windows Users only ... because of using direct X to handle the board ..

I'm no Java zealot, but that's going to hurt them in the long run.
OSX and Linux are still increasing in popularity. I suspect 90% still
runs Windows, but that 10% will still be annoyed.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 2:28 pm
by uckelman
Thus spake "soft-bug":
Well,

A serious Outsider : LOOK AT THE ONLINE VIDEO :

http://www.zuntzu.com/index.htm

At the present time this toolbox is dedicated to Windows Users only ... becau
se of using direct X to handle the board ..

You will also notice that only the Online mode is effective too.

BUT,

The dark side of the force ... has already attracted plenty of new players an
d creators ...

The PBEM mode is planned for 2008 ...

I hope that the force be with us ... [Wink]

Those are tiny maps. I'll bet ZunTzu will choke on something bigger.
If the map is too big to fit into a texture in video RAM, then either
performance will be terrible or it shouldn't work at all. (I've been
meaning to try this to see what we can learn, so maybe I'll do it sooner
than I'd planned.)

I will eventually look into whether we can use OpenGL for zooming and
panning. There is a Java wrapper for this---JOGL---and using might
result it pushing some image-processing code out of Java and into
native calls or (even better) out to hardware.

What I see now that we need to do better is

1) have an easier-to-navigate and less cluttered web site
2) simplify installation
3) have better documentation (e.g., video tutorials wouldn be a bad
thing)

--
J.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 2:43 pm
by uckelman
Thus spake "Michael Kiefte":
At the present time this toolbox is dedicated to Windows Users only ... bec
ause of using direct X to handle the board ..

I'm no Java zealot, but that's going to hurt them in the long run.
OSX and Linux are still increasing in popularity. I suspect 90% still
runs Windows, but that 10% will still be annoyed.

(On that topic: If I ever find a Java-to-C++ converter which works, and
something like a C++ binding for Swing, I'd like to see just how much
performance we'd gain simply by translating everything to C++. Yes,
I know this would result in some rather gnarly code, but I'd like to
try it someday just for the sake of argument.)

--
J.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 3:54 pm
by mkiefte
(On that topic: If I ever find a Java-to-C++ converter which works, and
something like a C++ binding for Swing, I'd like to see just how much
performance we'd gain simply by translating everything to C++. Yes,
I know this would result in some rather gnarly code, but I'd like to
try it someday just for the sake of argument.)

Have you tried it with a JIT compiler?

- M.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 5:04 pm
by uckelman
Thus spake "Michael Kiefte":
(On that topic: If I ever find a Java-to-C++ converter which works, and
something like a C++ binding for Swing, I'd like to see just how much
performance we'd gain simply by translating everything to C++. Yes,
I know this would result in some rather gnarly code, but I'd like to
try it someday just for the sake of argument.)

Have you tried it with a JIT compiler?

Isn't the standard Sun compiler a JIT compiler? If so, then yes, all the
time.

--
J.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 5:20 pm
by mkiefte
I don't think it is. E.g.:

http://www.trl.ibm.com/projects/jit/index_e.htm

and:

http://schmidt.devlib.org/java/jit-compilers.html

I'm not an expert, but the last time I checked Sun's Java was not JIT.

However, for an application like this, I don't think a JIT would be a
huge improvement. Using SWT would speed it up, but then the graphics
would suck.

Isn't the standard Sun compiler a JIT compiler? If so, then yes, all the
time.

--
J.

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A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 6:07 pm
by uckelman
Thus spake "Michael Kiefte":

Look at the second paragraph: Hotspot is part of Sun's JVM, and
it enabled by default.

--
J.

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Re: A serious Outsider for Vassal

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 6:27 pm
by meng
uckelman wrote:What I see now that we need to do better is

1) have an easier-to-navigate and less cluttered web site
2) simplify installation
3) have better documentation (e.g., video tutorials wouldnt be a bad
thing)

Agreed (with some reservations about the video tutorials). Zuntzu looks to me like an interesting project with a small but dedicated community. Its only real distinguishing feature is the smooth zooming, but that's also linked to its disadvantage (platform-specific). And the developer's chief priority seems to be Vista-compatibility, I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

In terms of what we could learn from other projects, I think the biggest thing is fostering an large active community. Which is not to suggest that the VASSAL community is either small or inactive, but that perhaps there are better strategies to encourage ordinary users to contribute to the community.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 8:51 pm
by uckelman
I was right about large maps: If you can load the DAK2 gamebox in ZunTzu in
under five minutes you have a faster computer than my wife does.

They're doing something interesting with shipping the map image off to video
RAM, becuase the DAK2 map they're using is 350MB uncompressed but ZunTzu
never shows more than 150MB RAM in use in the Windows task manager at any
one time.

I like the mouse gestures. I was skeptical about that before I tried it;
now I'm interested in implementing that in VASSAL.

Someone involved in ZunTzu is a good artist. The UI of ZunTzu is pretty,
though I'm not convinced that it's a good idea to devise a set of completely
novel UI elements. All that does is ensure that users can't benefit from
the intuitions they've honed by using other software. On the other hand,
it wouldn't hurt us to add some shine to the UI. We could really use some
help with that.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2008, 11:25 pm
by YojimboUsaka
"Well they sure do look pretty, but can they fight?"
Dirty Dozen

The interface sure is nice. Zoom and move and all that. Other than that it has nothing else.

One of the things that makes VASSAL so strong is that you can automate so many things for the player. Pieces, maps, all sorts of things can behave differently. You cant do any of that with that other program.

Granted there are things that it does that VASSAL could do as well but I don't see many people moving away any time soon.

Yoj