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Alan Grimes

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Sep 9, 2019, 3:15:03 PM9/9/19
to 'Benjamin L. Russell' via Open Cobalt

First, I want to state up front that there is a latant thermonuclear
flamewar between me and Eugene about the future of VR and various
metaphysical issues with profoundly practical consequences. I don't
intend to shoot first because I really want to get Croquet/Cobalt/XYZ to
the state it deserves to be in. I'm just saying that this is something
that will probably inevitably happen at some point.


That said, let's take a look at what the parts of Cobalt are, (working
from 10+ year old memory.)


Squeak's greatest strength and it's greatest weakness is that it is a
very fluid, rapidly evolving platform.

That is to say, if we isolate and extract the classes that we deem to be
part of OpenCobalt and truck them over to a state of the art image/VM,
we will have a hell of a time getting them working in the evolved system.

The fundamental issue is that machines that can run up to 256 threads
are already on the market and in a few years that will only get higher,
and that is how things are going to be in the future as fairly hard
limits of clock speed, power density, and, for cultural reasons,
architecture have already been reached.

The next issue are the 3D assets shipped with OpenCobalt, do those have
any licensing restrictions? How much work will it take to maintain them?
-- There was an outrageously ammusing animation with an alien dancing to
the BeeGees (or similar) in the Croquet distribution... Who owns that?

I just did some palentology in my home directory, found it at
~/opencobalt-1.0alpha21/content/videos/alien.mpeg


Check out the Open Morrowind project for the potential of using existing
assets that can be obtained for cheap...


Thirdly, there are external issues. Cobalt still uses OpenGL which has
been moved to legacy status. It forces all communication with the
hardware through a single-threaded straw too.

Well, that's been fixed with Vulkan... In other news, we need to import
the IDL-based API (vk.xml) into Smalltalk and then get it working with
the external procedure call system and finally rewrite the rendering
engine to use it.?? (Note: RTX extensions have been proposed to vulkan
but it is not at all known how things will settle out as it becomes
multi-vendor...)

--
Clowns feed off of funny money;
Funny money comes from the FED
so NO FED -> NO CLOWNS!!!

Powers are not rights.

Eugen Leitl

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Sep 10, 2019, 5:00:01 AM9/10/19
to 'Alan Grimes' via Open Cobalt
On Mon, Sep 09, 2019 at 03:16:33PM -0400, 'Alan Grimes' via Open Cobalt wrote:
>
> Croquet/Cobalt/XYZ to the state it deserves to be in. I'm just
> saying that this is something that will probably inevitably happen
> at some point.

Nah. :)

> That is to say, if we isolate and extract the classes that we deem
> to be part of OpenCobalt and truck them over to a state of the art
> image/VM, we will have a hell of a time getting them working in the
> evolved system.

My uneducated plan was to start with https://blog.krestianstvo.org/en/open-croquet-for-squeak-6/
for Squeak 5.2 32 bit and try to get OpenCobalt to work there.

Failing that, regress to 4.2, since https://sites.google.com/site/opencobaltproject/downloads
references versions which used to run there.

Pharo should be very similar to Squeak, so a Smalltalkperson might be able to port OpenCobalt with finite effort.

> The next issue are the 3D assets shipped with OpenCobalt, do those

OpenCobalt (as is OpenCroquet) is MIT open source licensed:
http://www.opencobalt.net/license
Open Cobalt is free software made available under the following MIT open source license:


Copyright © 2008-2011 by individual, corporate, and institutional contributors who have collectively contributed elements of the Open Cobalt code.


Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:


The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

> have any licensing restrictions? How much work will it take to

The official statement ibid is:

"All Open Cobalt-related content and included media (including
this website) is made available under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 United States License:"

> maintain them? -- There was an outrageously ammusing animation with
> an alien dancing to the BeeGees (or similar) in the Croquet
> distribution... Who owns that?
>
> I just did some palentology in my home directory, found it at
> ~/opencobalt-1.0alpha21/content/videos/alien.mpeg
>
>
> Check out the Open Morrowind project for the potential of using
> existing assets that can be obtained for cheap...
>
>
> Thirdly, there are external issues. Cobalt still uses OpenGL which
> has been moved to legacy status. It forces all communication with
> the hardware through a single-threaded straw too.
>
> Well, that's been fixed with Vulkan... In other news, we need to
> import the IDL-based API (vk.xml) into Smalltalk and then get it
> working with the external procedure call system and finally rewrite
> the rendering engine to use it.?? (Note: RTX extensions have been
> proposed to vulkan but it is not at all known how things will settle
> out as it becomes multi-vendor...)

Woden on Pharo runs on Vulkan https://github.com/ronsaldo/woden

There's way to make Unreal work as well, according to
https://www.quora.com/What-would-it-take-to-code-a-sophisticated-OpenGL-based-game-in-Smalltalk-Is-it-possible

Dimitris Chloupis, Mainly Pharo developer , played around with Squeak too

Answered Aug 29 2018 · Author has 214 answers and 671.9k answer views

I recommend using a game engine like Unreal. I managed to make Pharo use Unreal via a shared memory bridge that utilizes memory mapped files. This allowed me to extend the Smalltalk image to cover also C++ live state and code and also do live coding via the usage of DLLs. It’s very easy to do.

I don’t recommend OpenGL mainly because of how badly document it is and outdated. Which means it’s much slower than something like Vulkan. But then Vulkan is insanely hard to learn.

Unreal strikes the perfect balance between ease of usage, documentation , power and performance. It will also offer you way more than OpenGL because it’s far more developed and far, far, far larger library.

So yes it’s possible to make a sophisticated game in OpenGL but there is a reason why the vast majority of sophisticated games are developed in Unreal and Unity.

Alan Grimes

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Sep 10, 2019, 11:07:32 AM9/10/19
to openc...@googlegroups.com
Eugen Leitl wrote:
> So yes it???s possible to make a sophisticated game in OpenGL but there
> is a reason why the vast majority of sophisticated games are developed
> in Unreal and Unity.

That kind of approach is something we would consider if we didn't have
Cobalt in the state it is already in.

The advantage of Cobalt is that it is tightly integrated where
everything is visable in Browser.

The only thing that's missing is one or two layers to jack up Vulkan to
where OpenGL was and then optimize...

I'll put a compiler for the IDL on my TODO list... not sure where I'll
have to start though, not sure what the state of XML in Squeak is.

The structure does change a bit... OpenGL had to go through a C-binding
based on gl.h, with vk.xml the bindings become native but still have to
go through a FFI layer to reach the underlying library.
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