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Gamer Gamester

[web] Adobe Alchemy: C++ to Flash... what's the future hold?

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Gamer Gamester    140
Adobe just released a beta of Alchemy. It allows C++ code to be compiled to be run on the ActionScript Virtual Machine. This is getting near to something that I've always wondered about. C++ compilers exist for many platforms. Will it ever be possible to have a straight-up C++ compiler for the "web browser platform"? I can compile my c++ program for Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. All I need to change is any OS-dependent stuff. Do any of you envision a future in which I could compile my C++ programs for a browser? Why not or why not yet? I know such compiled code would require a "virtual machine" such as the Flash Player or JVM, that could run through the browser (browsers themselves will not likely handle this). What prevents this? Why not a C++VM or C++ Player?

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Sneftel    1788
Other than adapting legacy code without a rewrite, what do you see as the advantages of C++ code over ECMAScript (aka ActionScript) code?

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Gamer Gamester    140
I'm not yet familiar enough with ECMAScript to see any advantages between it and C++. I'm wondering more about being able to program both a desktop and browser application simultaneously (or with mild porting -- such as the OS specific stuff when compiling for both Windows & OS X, etc).

As time goes on, internet applications are becoming more and more like desktop applications. I'm curious if the gap between the two will eventually be mostly non-existent. Will we eventually play fullscreen, graphic-hardware-accelerated games with surround sound and joystick control directly from a webpage loaded through an internet browser?

If the desktop-web gap mostly disappears, couldn't we develop "web applications" with C++ (or any currently non-web language)?

P.S. Oh, I do see one personal advantage of C++ over ECMAScript: I already know C++ very well and thoroughly. Though I don't see that as too strong an advantage as I can always learn other languages... and probably quite quickly given the programming foundation I already have.

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Oluseyi    2116
Quote:
Original post by BeauMN
I'm not yet familiar enough with ECMAScript to see any advantages between it and C++. I'm wondering more about being able to program both a desktop and browser application simultaneously (or with mild porting -- such as the OS specific stuff when compiling for both Windows & OS X, etc).

You're overestimating the potential of Alchemy - and not reading the release notes:
Quote:
Alchemy is primarily intended to be used with C/C++ libraries that have few operating system dependencies. Ideally suited for computation-intensive use cases, such as audio/video transcoding, data manipulation, XML parsing, cryptographic functions or physics simulation, performance can be considerably faster than ActionScript 3.0 and anywhere from 2-10x slower than native C/C++ code. Alchemy is not intended for general development of SWF applications using C/C++.

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Sneftel    1788
Quote:
Original post by BeauMN
I'm not yet familiar enough with ECMAScript to see any advantages between it and C++. I'm wondering more about being able to program both a desktop and browser application simultaneously (or with mild porting -- such as the OS specific stuff when compiling for both Windows & OS X, etc).

You'll be happy, then, to hear about Java and C#, both of which have been explicitly designed for this purpose from the very beginning.

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