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brucesinner

SDL Library... Bad or Good ???

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Continuing the discussion about libraries what do you people think about using the SDL library? Like the GLUT's discussion, let's talk about the pros and cons about this one... [edited by - brucesinner on April 20, 2003 11:35:02 AM]

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Some people think it''s the only way to make a cross platform game. Though that''s not necessarilly a con of the library, it pisses me off whenever I start a topic on cross platform developing, someone chimes in and says "why not just use SDL??1 loool". The answer is because I think I can do a better job than they can, and I don''t need their library.[/vent]

James Simmons
MindEngine Development
http://medev.sourceforge.net

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I agree with neurokaotix. I don''t like depending on other peoples libraries for programming. Ive never used GLUT and I perfer to do "real" programming using the API calls. If I was programming for Linux or MAC I would do it the same way.

I have used SDL and I didn''t think it was that great. It claims to be better then DirectX but the input only lets two keys be held down at once like the normal Windows API. It has no 3D support and it all needs to be done in OpenGL. The 2D commands are sooooo slow! and it doesn''t even come with sound you need to download an extra mixer library.

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I will also have to agree with neurokratix... What worries me the most is that you never really now EXACTLY what the library is doing, and if that particular thing will be slower than if you did it yourself, or not...

And of course, I will learn ALOT more by writing the code myself, and do not like using libraries!

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I think SDL is good, it does what its supposed to.
It''s easy to make cross platform programs, and makes things a lot easier.

James Trotter -
Of course you don''t know EXACTLY what its doing. So what?
Do you not like DirectX or Windows for the same reasons?
Do you not like Object Oriented programming either?


Scet-
I can''t remember it claming to be better that DirectX, and since it actually uses DirectX this struck me as being strange

Why should it have 3D support? -thats not oen of SDL''s aims.


The best way to find out how good it is to try it
that said, I don''t think a pro would use SDL

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Ya why dont you write yourselft a OpenGL to while your at it! The more i think about it the more a tell myself that the best thing to do is use the tools and APIs that are already there and stop reinventing the wheel. This way you learn important stuff and have a chance of sharing new discovery with other folks!

Just my 2cents!

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A pro would use it. All the ports coming from Icculus.org like MOH, Serious Sam... all use SDL. And i bet icculus is THE PRO!

Ok im finished replying. Just because you dont know SDL doesnt mean its bad or not of PRO level. If you want to know what SDL does...just look at the code ITS FREE AS IN BEER! Try that with directx....
You people can try to do what SDL does when writing a multi-platform game but remember that you probably are going to lose more time on the multi-platform part and wont get half the result SDL is giving you. Great programmers worked on SDL... Sam Latinga (former Loki employee now Blizzard) is the creator and i dont think is qualitys can be questionned. You want to use OpenGL i dont think it gets easier then with SDL...

See Ya!

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My vote goes to SDL as well, especially when combined with OpenGL. A cross-platform windowing environment with a cross-platform 3D graphics API...sounds about right to me.

These are ofcourse what I am currently working with, and as such may be my preferences only...but I like to keep my projects as platform independant as possible, while at the same time, saving myself alot of work...

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The thing about using SDL isn''t that it wonderfully does every thing for you... but what do you really learn? What happens one day when your all growed up and have to write a program for you employer and all you know how to do is use SDL rather than actually use DirectX or OpenGl? It seems to me that rather than do the work you self you just stand on what some one else has done. Sure that''s what it''s meant to do, but I''d rather know that I wrote every line of code and that when it finally eats it self (and it will, there is always a problem you didn''t see) that it''s not because of some library I based my program on. I guess the problem that get''s me the most is that if you go into a forum lately there are almost more requests for working code than there is for actual help. It''s not the I enjoy ''reinventing the wheel'' I just think that the clunky old wagon wheel could be redesigned... and if no one is willing to take the time to improve it, then I pray to God I don''t get stuck programming with any of you. Just to clarify my stand point any of you who prefer to code it your self I''d be glad to help... (wow I was really harsh)...

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SDL does not do DirectX/OpenGL for you - SDL only takes care of the windowing part (and optionally sound, etc) if you want it to. You can have SDL create the window, and then you can take care of the rest any way you want (DirectX for sound, input, etc).

What happens if you only know DirectX and your employer wants you to know OpenGL? Or vice-versa?

What happens if you know the Windows API (Win32) but your employer wants you to make a project cross-platform? or vice-versa?

Or, what happens if you spent the last X years knowing all windowing API''s there are, for every OS in existance, but you couldn''t create a triangle in any 3D API if you tried.

The point is, set your focus on what you want/need to learn. In most cases (unless you are creating a project from scratch, and I mean from NO source code) the actual windowing code is already available or easily creatable, which is the least of your problems. Learn DirectX or OpenGL and associated tools - learning the specific tools for low level management can come after you are confident with the 3D API''s.

That is one reason I like SDL - you can drop the dependance on a particular platform, while putting in very little work in this part, and get right to the core of what you want to do - creating the next MMORPG!!! (heh, j/k)...

btw: The applications I am working on compile with both the SDL, and the Win32 API - why? because I created the SDL interface to learn SDL (thought it was cool, and it is), then plugged in a Win32 direct interface (again, because I wanted to learn it as well).

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