This is a rant, a rant not aimed at anyone in perticular but a few people are going to get mentioned because they have caught my eye of late; don't worry guys, you aren't alone in this.
The internet; worse thing to happen to mankind ever.
Wait? What was that he said? But.. the internet is great, I mean... it gives us on demand porn!
True, ok.. that bit of the internet is great, the rest however is slowly becoming dead weight it seems because, despite this great interconnected web of information apprent basic research skills and comprehension of information is going away at an alarming rate.
I learnt to program about 14 years ago now; BBS ruled the phone lines, the BBC Mirco was the only computer in my home (thanks to my dad's love of technology) and the internet, while alive, wasn't really in the main stream.
I learnt to program what could be considered the 'hard' way; I found things out for myself. I poked at code to see what it did, I tried things out and played crashy-crashy with the BBC at first and later an Atari ST. If I wanted specific information I'd trawl the local library and book shops hoping to find something that would help. I even took the time and effect to photocopy about 100 pages from an out of print book on STOS Basic I had to order from the British Library to get some information.
The key point is; I had to work for what I know and pretty damned hard at times. I found things myself, read things myself and tried things myself from the age of 13 onwards, because I had a drive to learn these things.
Because of that I do it now; my thread start count on gamedev is very low, many of them aren't even questions either. Occasionally I'll bounce ideas of others but I'll have done my own leg work first to try and figure it out on my own.
But, back when I started I didn't have google, or gamedev, or irc, msn, email and 100 other things people take for granted these days. These days all these tools exist, all these tools are there to help you find information and yet.. yet in this brave new world it seems people have become lazy, just want the information spoon fed and don't bother to read things or in some cases even join the dots together to think about a problem logically.
I'm not talking about not knowing the search terms, that's a whole other problem which needs sorting and a few others on here have written about this before; no I'm on about having the information and not acting on it.
A classic example was last night on #gamedev; there was a guy with the nick AndyDD (if memory serves) who wanted to send text to a window, I don't think we ever found out why, and he needed to send it to a child window of a main window. So, helpfully he was throw the function name to enumerate window in Win32 (EnumChildWindows iirc). At this point you'd hope he'd go off and try to figure it out, google the function name or something... but no, someone else had to find it for him. He then apprently failed to even read the document presented to him properly and someone had to point out a question he asked was answered on the page... finally, we hit a gap in his knowledge about what a 'callback' is; but did he go and google it? (or even click on the probably highlighted link on the page which explains it?) nope, just asked another question and had someone else explain it... I totally tuned out at this point, I mean I was just being sarcastic at him anyways but I lost intrest in event that at this point.
Next up, Synth_cat and the apprent inability of C and C++ to read a '\' character. This one is simple none comprehension of simple String 101 escape code rules; I can't rant too much about that... however you've gotta wonder about the mind of a person who thinks it's impossible to convert or even use '\' or '/' in a program when an API call returns a string full of them...
Finally, Mars_999 and his apprently inability to read the documents pointed out to him. This one annoyed me the most because, based on what he has said and some assumptions (like he isn't being dumb and using some random insane class to reprensent a path or string in his code) meant his problem was answered in the 2mins tutorial on the same page that was linked to...
I didn't really mean to pick on those 3, however they are the 3 which have stuck in my brain and just indicate how things are sliding down hill when it comes to people finding things out on their own.
On a totally seperate subject;
Original post by MARS_999
Are you planning on making a GUI in C++ sometime? I know you have mentioned it before, just wondering if you were going to get serious about it after school is over?
Yes and no.
The post which was replied to was in fact detailing my plans to make a GUI system, which hopefully wont suck balls, however it won't be totally in C++.
Well, for starters C++ isn't the be all and end all of programing languages, speed isn't an issue here.
Secondly, it simply doesn't lend it's self well to this sort of thing; oh sure you can do it, many people have, but the messing about with base classes, inhertience trees and all that, plus the fixed nature of it makes adding stuff a nightmare.
This is why the large mentioning of scripting and XML; I'm convinced there is a better way.. I'll probably use C++ as the test and the glue, but it won't be all written in it and I think that will be for the better.