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javanerd

[java] New API's in JDK 1.4!

14 posts in this topic

I''m quite surprised how many game related new API''s are popping up in the upcoming JDK 1.4. E.g. see http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/extra/fullscreen/ a tutorial for the upcoming fullscreen graphics mode API. I think the success of I-Mode (I-Appli) phones in Japan due to the ability of downloading Java games has woken Sun up to see the potential in games. This is good news as up until now Sun has consentrated totally on business applications and their needs. At the same time I''m a bit frustrated as they have taken the DirectX approach of "it is the responsibility of the developer to check everything before he does anything" as opposed to mine "developer knows what he wants, just do what he wants in any way possible" approach in my GameFrame for Java library. What do you think, can Sun come up with decent Gaming API? Or do they just copy the DirectX things to Java side leaving us with the "usability" of DirectX, but a new API to learn?
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I think it is better for Sun to release some sort of general graphics and gaming API such as DirectX and then have people developing game libraries with it the wat you have done it with the GameFrame Engine.
This way we can use the same API for all our games and get better performance/quality with the new improvements Sun does with the JDK and when the library developers support those new features.
People at Sun don''t have to make a good game engine but instead to make an open and generalist (don''t know if this word exists in english) so we can make good libraries and then good games with it.
Look at OpenGL, it''s not a game API. Far from it. And its learning curve is not the shortest. But it''s powerful and you can use the engines based upon it or instead develop your own engine. You have the choice.
Severance (Unreal), Deux Ex (LithTech if I remember) are good examples of games using an engine instead of a basic API. At the other hand you have Quake3 which is made from scratch with OpenGL.
The work you have done with GameFrame is based upon the same philosophy : there will be game developers AND library developers.
In my opinion it is better this way.
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Ok, I noticed this a few days ago, and all I can say is..."When is it coming out???"

I''m not sure Sun is making this as a Game API per se, but I see where the new functionality will help game programmers. Remember, even DirectX is used for more than games (I''ve seen some nice middle-ware graph components that use it). Sun does seem to be pushing the idea of Java Game programming lately though, so I think that this push will be a good thing.

Of course, the average user out there still only supports JDK1.1 (ish) so you should target your applications to your audience. The puzzle-game applet crowd will likely see nothing special about this, as they mostly use the 1.1 JDK (I''m talking about groups like Popcap Games). Those making an RTS or turnbased strategy game, or an RPG (or really, any complex game) will likely have a user base who won''t mind downloading the latest JRE to run it, if it exists for their platform.

My only real worry is Sun''s propensity for slow code at first release (think SWING...hell, it''s STILL too slow for most needs). I have the same feeling for new Java API''s as I do for new MS products...version 1.x to 2.0 will be stable/fast enough to bother using. I dearly hope they prove me wrong here.

That''s my ramblings on the topic
Eboz
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quote:
Original post by eboz
Of course, the average user out there still only supports JDK1.1 (ish) so you should target your applications to your audience. The puzzle-game applet crowd will likely see nothing special about this, as they mostly use the 1.1 JDK (I''m talking about groups like Popcap Games). Those making an RTS or turnbased strategy game, or an RPG (or really, any complex game) will likely have a user base who won''t mind downloading the latest JRE to run it, if it exists for their platform.



This idea pains me every time I read it and it show up a lot. I think Java developers should try to get the user base to move to the better technolory of jre 1.3 or 1.4 when it comes out. The bastardized version that MS gets to promote for a year or two until their license runs out is a dagger in the side of Java. I think everyone whould make games that use 1.3 and get all the suckers out there still using 1.MS to switch. Here ends the Guinness fueled lesson.

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
--EM Cioran

Opere Citato
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Actually, I wasn''t thinking of MS here. Mac''s (non-OSX) only support 1.1x I ran into that problem making an imaging applet for a start-up turned not-com that I worked for a while back. When most Mac users have upgraded systems to OSX running beasts (don''t count on that for at least a year or more), they have no other choice.

Most of the MS crowd will download the plugin with very little prompting.


Eboz
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Does anyone know if JDC members get access to early beta releases of SDK''s or is it restricted to add-on libraries??
Just wondering, cos if we do then it could be a while before 1.4 hits our shores as early beta access isn''t currently available....

JJ.
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As much as I hate to do this,

There is a forum at www.javagaming.org
Ok, so what? Well some of the participants seem to be closely affiliated with Sun and might have let go a few details as to Java 1.4''s schedule. As you will surely notice when you go there, the forum gets a bit of activity on the scale of maybe the GDNet Lounge. If Myopic Rhino ever does pull through on his desire to assimilate this forum into a more general forum, javagaming.org should be a good place to go get answers.

It''s sad because we''ve acrued a lot of good knowledge here.

joeG
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Release canidates seem to show up in the developers connection but I doubt that 1.4 is anywhere near release, even though it was supposed to be Q1/01, since 1.3.1 was just released.

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
--EM Cioran

Opere Citato
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Some thoughts from reading the release notes and api docs:

1. I can''t believe that they actually have a Linux version released more or less concurrently with the Windows and Solaris versions! I''m going to have to wait till I get access to a broadband connection to download the thing, but still...
BTW, what happened to Blackdown?

2. What do you all think about the NIO API? I haven''t decided yet what I think about it but it is encouraging to see some more depth being added to Java networking.

3. The new API that intrigues me the most is the Image I/O API. Stuff that I am currently working on (like building a Huffman class to compress/decompress some images of a custom format), is already (mostly) there. Things like a plugin interface, low-level byte access, etc...

4. Finally getting access to fullscreen in the AWT! Mileage seems likely to vary for the different OS ports out there though. I thought the 1 line tip on how to get a mouse wheel working in Linux (at least in X11) was cool. The custom frame (they call it the "Undecorated Frame") interface seems cool also (I would definitely use it in my games!).

5. Then it seems that Sun has added some cool programmer utilities like a logging API and a new keyword for assertions. Would any of you actually use these? I''m not to sure as I haven''t tried rolling my own logging system and I haven''t bothered at all with assertions (I just test for null references where I need to to get a piece of code to run,...). And what about the Preferences API? The example doesn''t seem like anything new (at first I thought it was using some Reflection API magic where you hand the Preferences object the variable that you want to restore and it finds the appropriate value for you and *poof* you''ve initialized your class like that) though.

6. Regular expressions. Finally.

7. The Collections stuff- I''m basically ho hum about the new classes, etc... I am dissapointed that I didn''t find any tree classes in there.

Wow, Sun''s added a lot of stuff. What''s your opinions?



joeG

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I stand corrected. I was wondering why they gave examples of how to use fullscreen when the jdk wasn't out. Does anyone know what the difference between a beta release and a RC release?

< edit >
< shitting brick >
79 megs for the jdk and the docs?
< /shitting brick >
< edit >

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
--EM Cioran

Opere Citato

Edited by - GKW on May 24, 2001 2:03:55 AM
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Well,
I got it on my lil'' 56k modem at home. I removed the 1.3.1 version from my system and loaded it up.
Forte stopped working from that point on. I uninstalled it and reinstalled it (Forte) but still got no end of errors.

Anyone else have this problem? I know it''s a beta, but I actually LIKE using Forte for development.

Any suggestions on how to get this running would be dandy.

Eboz
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My Forte screwed up too. Had to reinstall 1.3.1. Life sucks. The mouse wheel worked great though.

Anyone get those fullscreen demos to work?
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One of the things listed in the release notes was that 1.4 didn''t work with Forte or Netbeans, but the netbeans 3.2.x release that''s coming out soon would work with the 1.4 beta. However, the beta is still missing a lot of things I consider important to be useful to me, so I''m not going to get it for at least one more beta...
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