Micro-update

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matatk

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Nov 26, 2013, 6:09:48 PM11/26/13
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This is just a very quick message to say that I am still working on AQ but as you can see there have been no updates in the past few weeks.  I have been very busy with work, and I will be until around the 10th of December, but I will pick things up again then!

Meantime thank you for the information on bugs etc. and many thanks to those who've tried the very early-stages new build process.  Now that the build system is starting to become cross-platform, things are really starting to get exciting again.  There's lots to do, but I'm sure it can all be done :-).

best regards,


Matthew

matatk

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Jan 7, 2014, 6:06:31 PM1/7/14
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Merry 2014 to you all.  At the end of last year, I got to the stage where a cross-platform build system seems just 'round the corner, and that means we should have a nice easy installer and GUI soon too.  Unfortunately on the Mac side I've just "upgraded" to Mavericks and have been presented with a number of problems.  One is that I can't get the screen resolution I usually use to work, so I am finding it hard to use the computer (the developer of SwitchResX is being very helpful and hopefully we may have a fix soon).  The second, AQ-specific problem is that ZQuake won't compile under Mavericks and ZQCC compiles but then segfaults due to a string-handling problem.

Now the codebases are very old but they also (to my knowledge) work fine on Windows so I'm loathe to change anything major at this point.  I've tried installing gcc-4.2 from home-brew to try compiling with that instead of the new compiler in Mavericks.  That seems to have helped, in that ZQuake now complies, but ZQCC still segfaults.  I am looking into why this may be.  It seems something has changed in the standard library.

I was hoping and expecting to have a stable Mac base to work from to get the build system up-and-running across both Mac and Windows. This makes things a lot more complex but I'm sure in time it will be sorted out.  Just wanted to let you know how it's going.

best regards,


Matthew

matatk

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Jan 27, 2014, 6:01:26 AM1/27/14
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Further to my post on the problems with Mavericks, a tiny update: I found this article that I thought may help: http://www.jasonamyers.com/mavericks-clang/

I have tried some of the stuff in there, but no joy yet; will try to investigate it more deeply and try more things ASAP.

matatk

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Feb 12, 2014, 6:56:27 PM2/12/14
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I am still here and still looking into the recent unexpected problems with Mavericks when I can.  We were so very close to getting it all working on both Windows and Mac and, I hoped, finally handing it over to the community or posterity... anyway, I now understand what the problem is; it appears that the new built-in string functions are breaking things left, right and centre.  The problem is that I can't seem to disable their use, either by forcing it to use the older GCC complier from homebrew (rather than Clang which is the only choice on Mavericks now).

Very frustrating and not fully good news, but at least we have an idea of what the problem is now.  I'll update you when I find a solution...

best regards,


Matthew

matatk

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Feb 18, 2014, 5:56:51 PM2/18/14
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Hi, just a very quick update.  I have managed to fix (at least temporarily, enough to make a release soon) the string-handling problems on Mavericks.  They were caused by extra robustness checks when dealing with strings, which are kind-of a good idea, but will take some time to sort out properly so for now I have disabled the checks (this code has been robust for many years without them, and if there is sufficient demand for LDL and AQ after the next release then I may go back and fix properly, otherwise, nothing lost!)

Unfortunately then after fixing that one at last, an apparent bug in Mavericks surfaced and the engine crashed again.  This second bug was one in the graphics stuff, which is very scary, but fortunately I managed to find the solution as another 3D game project had encountered the same issue.  I've tried the fix and it works and I can now compile and run ZQuake on the Mac.  It is delicate and I need to properly integrate the fix into the code, but it is a relief to see it running.

With respect to Windows, as soon as I've got a robust version of the engine on the Mac I'll check to ensure it still is in Windows.  I can then finally sort out the build system (which now works the same on both platforms) and we can make a release of AQ for modern Windows and Mac systems.  The "final" step as far as I'm concerned is to include LDL in this bundle, so that it's very easy to start making your own 3D levels.  Maybe if enough people start using LDL, we can work on making LDL easier to use (natural language instead of XML) but that's for the future.

So anyone who's still out there -- we're still trying to support this, and are getting closer!

bye just now,
take care,


Matthew

Christoff EILERS

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Feb 18, 2014, 7:52:30 PM2/18/14
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Hi Matth,

Nice job! I'm so sorry I can't help with the Mac things, but yeah. I'm
just not a Mac user so...

Hopefully you get it working entirely soon!
As soon as that's done, eventually should we be able to work together
on new features. I've got quite a few ideas!

Take care,

Chris

2014-02-18 23:56 UTC+01:00, matatk <mat...@gmail.com>:
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tony seth

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Feb 19, 2014, 4:46:49 PM2/19/14
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Just giving ya the feedback that at least someone is out here, and
thank you much for the update. I do look forward to it ,and I like the
idea of LDL being included in it. And not to gripe, but if possible,
will you be revamping the build for linux also eventually? Take care...
Cheereo!

matatk

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Feb 19, 2014, 6:17:08 PM2/19/14
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Thanks to Christoff and stringfellow for the encouragement; it means a lot.  I'm definitely hoping to ensure it builds on Linux -- it should already, but maybe me fiddling with the Mac stuff broke something -- in which case apologies!  And yes, I'd like to include LDL in it as, to me, this is now the most important part of the game from a general accessibility standpoint.

Some good news; I've just pushed some code (and tested it in two development environments) that makes a successful build of the app on Mavericks.  I have also uploaded the app to our dropbox folder in case anyone is using the Mac and wants to try it.  The folder is at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/quqwcm244sqoh5a/CiKpeYHOTi and you can find the build in the experimental folder under there.

Must be off now, but this is starting to feel a bit more under control -- I hope it still compiles fine on Winodws (did last time I tried it on Windows 8).  The next thing to work on is the cross-platform build system written in Python, which will make it much easier to build on any platform.  The result of the build process is an app bundle or simple folder that has all the required stuff in it, so there should no longer need to be a complex install process, when that's working.

matatk

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Feb 19, 2014, 6:18:47 PM2/19/14
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P.S. Further to the message I just sent: Christoff: ideas for new features sounds great!  Also, the latest code is on github (which I gather is not great for accessibility, alas): https://github.com/matatk/agrip

matatk

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Feb 23, 2014, 6:12:16 PM2/23/14
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Right, some good news: at long last I have a cross-platform build script working, which means the same code is used to build AQ whether you're on Mac or Windows.  What happens is that the 'prepare' script should be run, which will get all the bits together to make an AQ release and put them into the 'app-staging' directory.  On the Mac this includes compiling the engine and QuakeC compiler; on Windows you need to do that before you run the script (which can be done using Visual Studio Express and the supplied project files).  The cross-platform build script then compiles the QuakeC code, puts all the AGRIP-developed assets and the launcher into the right places and downloads the shareware data and mind grid and puts them all into the 'app-staging' directory.

The clever bit is that the Launcher (as with the build script) are written in Python, but there's a cool program called cx_Freeze that can 'compile' Python into a stand-alone Windows exe or Mac application, so you don't need Python installed to simply download and run the game.  Further, as we're including the shareware and mind grid data by default (in a manner that I believe is still compliant with the licences for said materials), all you will need to do is download and run the launcher.  Only developers will need to have Python installed.

There are some caveats at the moment, for example, when you first run the game, a window will pop up asking if it should be allowed through the firewall.  This can be difficult to navigate to and activate/dismiss.  Further we need to sort out the interaction between whatever screen reader you're using and the self-voicing bits of AQ. Also, now I have been able to test the build and install instructions, I want to go through them again and ensure they are as clear and simple as possible.

So whilst there are rough edges, I hope to polish these off soon, improve the build documentation to match the cross-platform build process (it's nearly there but could be shorter and clearer) and then finally we should have parity between Mac and Windows.  And maybe, in future, we can look at supporting Linux again then too.  But before that I'd like to work on making LDL part of the whole package, as I believe that's now the main attraction of AQ.  And I do hope to update the documentation for developers so you can, at long last, take this into your own hands and do with it (or not) as you will.  It's been an excruciatingly long time coming (for me very-much included), but I hope that will finally be able to happen.

best regards,


Matthew

matatk

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Mar 1, 2014, 3:35:25 PM3/1/14
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Just a very quick note to say that I have recently had to clean-install Windows and this has given me the opportunity to check the build instructions I had previously written.  It's enable dmd to find some errors in the process and fix them (I believe!) so it should go more smoothly now for anyone working from the latest code (committed today).  There are still the rough edges in that the AudioQuake program sticks around after it's been exited, and there's that popup from Windows about security for zquake-gl.exe, but the build process itself should now be much smoother and clearer.

I've tried my best to keep the BUILD.md file clear.  It's plain text (though is also valid markdown) so you can read it with any text editor, and if you were to visit it through GitHub you'd get a nice page with HTML headings and bulleted lists and links, to make navigation hopefully more accessible.  The latest build instructions are at: https://github.com/matatk/agrip/blob/master/audioquake/BUILD.md

best regards,


Matthew
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