[messages] [General Discussion] Vassal & Windows 8 & Convertible Laptops

tangentRW scotmc3 at aol.com
Mon Jan 7 02:46:55 MST 2013

I have been researching this matter myself. I have no direct experience
here but, barring something that temporarily breaks Java on Windows 8 or
VASSAL not recognizing something in a late release of Java, VASSAL
should run on tablets and laptops running Windows 8. VASSAL 3.x hasn't
been optimised for a touch interface so expect the touch interface with
VASSAL to operate like any other standard non-touch pre-Windows 8
application: you should be able manipulate standard desktop windows,
buttons, etc. by touch but it will be somewhat clunky. For example, some
interface elements could be very small to manipulate by touch. Adjusting
resolution should help. Also I would have a wireless mouse handy for the
tablet just in case. Java 7 Update 10 is the first official version of
Java for Windows 8. Note that Java management has to be done from the
Desktop in Windows 8, not the Start Screen. See Oracle's comments on
Windows 8 at http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/win8_faq.xml.

However, there is one important clarification to the above remarks.
Windows 8 RT appears unlikely to ever have a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
for reasons similar to why the IPad doesn't support Java: the platform
has been closed off by the OS developer. So VASSAL 3.x will not work on
any Windows RT device (or Windows Phone for that matter). For VASSAL to
appear on Windows 8 RT the VASSAL developers will have to make a
decision similar to what they will have to do with the IPad: write it
non-Java code (already planned for VASSAL 4) and submit the program to
the OS manufacturer's app store. 

To put it more concretely, VASSAL 3.x won't run on a Surface or a
Windows RT convertible laptop (I think that there are a few of these in
addition to Windows RT tablets) but it should run on a Surface Pro, a
full Windows 8 convertible laptop (these do exist), or standard
ultrabook, laptop, or desktop.

Has anyone tested this? My only similar experience so far was using an
Android tablet to remote access a Windows desktop running VASSAL. I
could manipulate the program but I should have lowered the screen
resolution from full HD. The lag of remote access made the concept not
very worthwhile (a problem that will not exist with VASSAL actually
installed on the tablet/convertible laptop).

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