IF Editors

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David A. Cornelson

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Aug 14, 2003, 1:53:09 AM8/14/03
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I just thought I'd mention this, even though I suspect a pin drop will be
heard after its posting...

Microsoft has released their Visual Studio .NET integration SDK for free.
This used to a $10,000/year license and now this let's anyone integrate
anything into VS.NET.

If you've never played with it, it's a fairly sophisticated and extensible
development environment. Some would say IDE, but I don't think that's
accurate. It's just a great organizer of "projects" and has built-in hooks
for syntax-highlighting and checking, intellisense, in-line debugging (if
the compiler supports breakpoints and such), and context-sensitive help.

Now if I were a MS C++ programmer, this would be excite the hell out of me
because I would probably implement an Inform solution within VS.NET.

But I'm not. I'm a pretty good coder, but C++ is greek to me.

But I'm sure there others out there that aren't so timid about C++ and with
a little bit of effort could implement TADS3, Hugo, or possibly Inform into
this environment.

Why?

Sure, the damn thing actually costs money, so it's not like it's for free or
anything.

I don't know...might make writing games easier. Maybe. Who knows.

Just a thought.

Dave


Jeff Nyman

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Aug 14, 2003, 7:22:17 AM8/14/03
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Originally, with IF Builder I wanted to build something that had a sort of
VB-like look and feel in terms of an IDE. I am currently working on version
2.0 but more for myself than anything else. It is hard to do a real good
development environment type tool. Currently I am learning C++ and using a
program called AnyEdit as a possible basis for porting the Visual Basic IF
Builder to a C++ version. (I would not mind doing a Java version, however,
for cross-platform capability.)

The problem is time and effort. I released the source code to IF Builder in
the hope that others might take it and run where I could not. For example, I
would love to do a mapping routine (similar to what is in Plugh) of some
sort but I simply lack the knowledge. I have searched the code example sites
and while I have found bits and pieces, I have not found enough yet to
implement that as a solution. Another thing I want to do is emulate the
Ctrl+F2 functionality which takes you to the function when you click the key
combination on a function name. Easy to do in principle, but optimizing it
proves a little tricky (at least for me). Likewise, I am using the CodeSense
control to implement IntelliSense and Code Tips but even that gets largely
problematic when you really try to make it robust. So, again, my hope was
that open sourcing the tool would lead others to try to run with it in
directions I could not. (Admittedly, I have really not tried to be too
forceful in getting the tool out there.)

Ideally, I would like to stay away from frameworks (like .NET) that are not
free. For me, that defeats the purpose of the current Interactive Fiction
enterprise, which is largely predicated (it seems) on freely available
solutions (compilers, interpreters, and story files) and sometimes open
source solutions. That said, .NET is a very powerful platform. I am just not
sure I want to build my foundations on a Microsoft idea, particularly
because many players of Interactive Fiction seem to be on Unix variants.
(And, yes, I know Mono might help with that in terms of porting .NET.)

- Jeff


Andreas Davour

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Aug 14, 2003, 8:01:40 AM8/14/03
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So not underestimate the power of Emacs! ;-)
Free, powerful and kind of cranky. Anyhthing you need...

Really, it is a funky idea.

/andreas

Søren J. Løvborg

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Aug 14, 2003, 4:55:29 PM8/14/03
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> It's just a great organizer of "projects" and has built-in hooks
> for syntax-highlighting and checking, intellisense, in-line debugging (if
> the compiler supports breakpoints and such), and context-sensitive help.
>
> [...] with a little bit of effort could implement TADS3, Hugo, or possibly
> Inform into this environment.

I can't speak for Inform or Hugo, but TADS 3 already has Workbench
(for Windows), which manages project and supports integrated debugging.
Add to that several online helpfiles for those who need them.
Workbench doesn't have a built-in editor, and it doesn't have
syntax-highlightning.

But syntax-highlightning wouldn't be that interesting, really.
T3 has something like 15 reserved words. Not much to highlight.

> I don't know...might make writing games easier. Maybe. Who knows.

While the idea sounds interesting, I still think TADS 3 is covered pretty
well
already.
(When it gets a library manual, anyway. )

--
Søren J. Løvborg
k...@it.dk


Andy Chase

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Aug 15, 2003, 4:24:47 PM8/15/03
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There *is* an major editing mode for Inform available for Emacs:

http://www.rupert-lane.org/inform-mode/

I haven't used it much (then again, I haven't programmed much with
Inform in general), but it does support syntax highlighting and code
formatting, and you can set it up to compile your project from within
Emacs. Very nice for free. You can also install Malyon, a z-code
interpreter for Emacs:

http://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXinfocomXinterpretersXemacs.html

So you can edit and test your story within the same program - very
handy!

I'm still in the tutorial phase in terms of programming with Inform,
but I use Emacs daily for PHP, HTML, and XML. It's got lots of nice
hooks for editing files on remote servers, and checking files in and
out of a CVS version control repository if you happen to use one.
Editing modes are available for a myriad of other languages, too...
It's really nice to be able to use the same editor no matter what I'm
hacking around with.

It's a disconcerting program to use at first; many of the keybindings
don't match up with modern OS standards (No Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V for
copy, cut, paste), but once you get the basics down it's a pretty
amazing piece of software, and 100% free. (And available for Windows,
OS X, Linux/Unix, and others.)

Whew! I get way too excited when I start describing Emacs to
people... but seriously, it's worth checking out if you do a lot of
text editing in multiple formats.

Cheers,

-Andy


Andreas Davour <an...@update.uu.se> wrote in message news:<cs9fzk4...@tempo.update.uu.se>...

David Kinder

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Aug 15, 2003, 5:35:34 PM8/15/03
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> Now if I were a MS C++ programmer, this would be excite the hell out of me
> because I would probably implement an Inform solution within VS.NET.

Visual Studio is a great development tool. Probably Microsoft's best product,
not that that is exactly a glowing recommendation :) Being able to debug
Inform code as easily as I can debug C++ with VS would be something. Mind you,
I'd like to be able to debug C++ that easily on non-Windows platforms, too.

> Sure, the damn thing actually costs money, so it's not like it's for free or
> anything.

Yeah, even the cheapest version is what, $100 or so? Given the limited number
of Inform developers, that's going to be a big issue.

David


David A. Cornelson

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Aug 15, 2003, 5:38:08 PM8/15/03
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"Andy Chase" <gg.20...@spamgourmet.com> wrote in message
news:7c1f0553.03081...@posting.google.com...

> There *is* an major editing mode for Inform available for Emacs:
>
> Whew! I get way too excited when I start describing Emacs to
> people... but seriously, it's worth checking out if you do a lot of
> text editing in multiple formats.
>

I would say that emac requires a lot of mucking around to make work properly
and is certainly not for someone who wants things to "just work".

But it is a free alternative to my suggestion so there is that.

I also feel that Hugo and TADS3 are much closer to what I would envision as
a great IF development environment, they really need the rest of the things
that I find so useful in VS.NET. TADS3 seems awfully close too.

Dave


David A. Cornelson

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Aug 15, 2003, 6:14:19 PM8/15/03
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"David Kinder" <d.ki...@btinternetspamnothankyou.com> wrote in message
news:bhjjn5$qbu$1...@sparta.btinternet.com...

Build it, and they will come.

or - "Help me build it, and they will come maybe, but it would sure make
some of us more productive."

Dave


Adam Thornton

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Aug 15, 2003, 6:21:57 PM8/15/03
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In article <hX2dnU2j2sl...@speakeasy.net>,

David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>I would say that emac requires a lot of mucking around to make work properly
>and is certainly not for someone who wants things to "just work".

It has a learning curve, sure, but it's really nice once you have it
tuned the way you like it.

Adam

Nick Bronson

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Aug 16, 2003, 8:25:32 AM8/16/03
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On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:35:34 +0000, David Kinder wrote:

>> Now if I were a MS C++ programmer, this would be excite the hell out of me
>> because I would probably implement an Inform solution within VS.NET.
>
> Visual Studio is a great development tool. Probably Microsoft's best product,
> not that that is exactly a glowing recommendation :) Being able to debug
> Inform code as easily as I can debug C++ with VS would be something. Mind you,
> I'd like to be able to debug C++ that easily on non-Windows platforms, too.
>

Plenty of good IDE's on linux with fully functional debuggers. I like
Anjuta personally but some people swear by KDevelop too.

>> Sure, the damn thing actually costs money, so it's not like it's for free or
>> anything.
>
> Yeah, even the cheapest version is what, $100 or so? Given the limited number
> of Inform developers, that's going to be a big issue.
>
> David

Did I mention Anjuta and KDev are free? Oh, yeah and open source?

David A. Cornelson

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Aug 16, 2003, 12:38:05 AM8/16/03
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"Nick Bronson" <nbro...@austarnet.com.au> wrote in message
news:pan.2003.08.16....@austarnet.com.au...

> On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:35:34 +0000, David Kinder wrote:
>
> Did I mention Anjuta and KDev are free? Oh, yeah and open source?

This is where I branch from the general IF crowd. Why do things have to be
free or open source and do you assume that everyone feels that those things
make something "better"?

Maybe the IF community _does_ favor free and open source things, but I
don't. I "like" free and open source things, but if something costs money
and _it's_ better, then I'd rather use that.

Dave


Andrew Plotkin

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Aug 16, 2003, 1:35:52 AM8/16/03
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Here, David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
> "Nick Bronson" <nbro...@austarnet.com.au> wrote in message
> news:pan.2003.08.16....@austarnet.com.au...
> > On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:35:34 +0000, David Kinder wrote:
> >
> > Did I mention Anjuta and KDev are free? Oh, yeah and open source?
>
> This is where I branch from the general IF crowd. Why do things have to be
> free or open source and do you assume that everyone feels that those things
> make something "better"?

If the alternative you're positing costs $100, then the free version
is better by a hundred bucks.

Then you figure in all the other factors. Maybe it's worth it to you.
But $100 is a lot to pay for IF development, when -- at least at the
moment -- you're not expecting to make any money off the hobby.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
* Make your vote count. Get your vote counted.

Jeff Nyman

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Aug 16, 2003, 7:13:23 AM8/16/03
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"David A. Cornelson" <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote in message
news:KMydnVIfubq...@speakeasy.net...

> This is where I branch from the general IF crowd. Why do things have to be
> free or open source and do you assume that everyone feels that those
things
> make something "better"?

Nothing "has" to be free or open source. I personally prefer that model in
some areas, certainly in Interactive Fiction. I can tell you that if someone
started charging for Inform or TADS, my interest in the tools would go way
down. Likewise, since the tools (compilers and interpreters) are predicated
upon freely available and open source solutions, why should the IF Editor
necessarily be any different (at least at this point)? That does not make
them "better" necessarily but I would guess that many different people would
not even try their hand at Interactive Fiction if this was something they
had to shell out the bucks for. And since they *do not* have to do that for
the compiler tools, they are probably not going to expect to do it for an
editor either. I can tell you, I would not. I would either use a freeware
one or write my own.

> Maybe the IF community _does_ favor free and open source things, but I
> don't. I "like" free and open source things, but if something costs money
> and _it's_ better, then I'd rather use that.

For you, that might be fine. But, as you said, if the community *does* favor
free and open source material you always have to take into account the likes
and dislikes of your community since that is, ostensibly, who you are
serving your products to and particularly since, right now, this is mainly a
hobbyist community. If you do not take these factors into account, there is
a chance your product is probably not going to see much use. Also remember
that in certain cases, even if something is admitted to be "better", that is
a judgment call by the individual. (I was always very interested in the
things people told me they were *not* interested in seeing in IF Builder as
opposed to those things they *were* interested in seeing. A lot of stuff
like IntelliSense and Function Mapping are the least asked for things. Due
to that, developing a full VB.IDE or VS.NET solution actually looked less
appealing.)

Note all of this perhaps changes if you think you can make money on the
results of your work. Some 3D engines out there start off as free and then
you have to buy a full version for editing work if you plan to sell your
works. That helps because people can play around with the tool and see what
they can create and if they think it might be viable. If they think it can,
they shell out the bucks. I am not sure how well that same sort of model
would work in Interactive Fiction.


David A. Cornelson

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Aug 16, 2003, 9:53:13 AM8/16/03
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"Jeff Nyman" <cryptonom...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:nlo%a.125519$cF.33826@rwcrnsc53...

>
> Note all of this perhaps changes if you think you can make money on the
> results of your work. Some 3D engines out there start off as free and then
> you have to buy a full version for editing work if you plan to sell your
> works. That helps because people can play around with the tool and see
what
> they can create and if they think it might be viable. If they think it
can,
> they shell out the bucks. I am not sure how well that same sort of model
> would work in Interactive Fiction.
>

Okay let's be clear. Inform is owned and operated by Graham Nelson. My
thought was only to create an extension to non-free development tool that
uses what is already there for free.

Next. There's no clear indication from MS on whether VS.NET couldn't be sold
for less than $100 if all it had were some non .NET implementation. They
sell VB.NET for $99, but maybe they might allow "Visual Studio .NET for
Inform" to sell for $20 or maybe they won't care because it's mostly a hobby
and it could possibly be free. I actually think it's worthwhile to follow-up
with these questions of MS themselves.

Yes, there are some busy little markting and commercial IF plans in my head.
They have no physical manifestation yet because I don't have the resources
(or support) to attempt anything serious. However, I can assure you that a
development tool is _not_ one of the things on which I would base my
business model.

So if I ever had the opportunity to create what I consider a "better" IF
development tool (whether it be for Inform or IF#), that would be a
secondary support tool for my business model and really not much else. The
whole idea is to try to make ways for speeding up IF development. To me,
that includes strongly-typed-ness (TADS3 is pretty nice), and all the things
I find useful in developing .NET code and some things that have been around
before .NET (intellisense, inline-debugging, object-browsing, templates,
syntax-checking and highlighting). But VS.NET has the hooks to let you do
other things that people have requested, like a mapping tool, possibly a
scenery manager, and other "code-wide" organizers that have eluded us
because we use more or less your basic text editor for development.

Dave

Andrew Plotkin

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Aug 16, 2003, 10:10:49 AM8/16/03
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Here, Anson Turner <platyp...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 1:35:52 -0400, Andrew Plotkin wrote
> (in message <bhkfro$3e7$1...@reader1.panix.com>):

>
> > If the alternative you're positing costs $100, then the free version
> > is better by a hundred bucks.
> >
> > Then you figure in all the other factors. Maybe it's worth it to you.
> > But $100 is a lot to pay for IF development, when -- at least at the
> > moment -- you're not expecting to make any money off the hobby.
>
> Six days earlier:
>
> > I'm going to
> > make that decision on the strength of the marketing plan -- a couple
> > of hundred dollars doesn't sway me much.
>
> I don't get you, man.

That's because you haven't paid enough to own me. :)

A couple of hundred dollars looks even less interesting if half of it
is eaten by startup costs.

> I would note that at least two people stand to make $500 off IF this
> year.

Leaving about 198 of us around here who don't.

David A. Cornelson

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Aug 16, 2003, 10:31:48 AM8/16/03
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"Andrew Plotkin" <erky...@eblong.com> wrote in message
news:bhle19$aku$1...@reader1.panix.com...

>
> A couple of hundred dollars looks even less interesting if half of it
> is eaten by startup costs.
>
> > I would note that at least two people stand to make $500 off IF this
> > year.
>
> Leaving about 198 of us around here who don't.
>

Please Andrew. If you wrote a typical Zarf game and marketed it, people
would pay and you would easily make $500 or more.

Then there would be 197.

Dave


Andrew Plotkin

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Aug 16, 2003, 11:00:55 AM8/16/03
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Here, David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:

I was not complaining of my penury. I was observing the situation as
it exists.

dreamfarmer

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Aug 16, 2003, 9:14:08 PM8/16/03
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Andrew Plotkin <erky...@eblong.com> wrote in message news:<bhkfro$3e7

> Then you figure in all the other factors. Maybe it's worth it to you.
> But $100 is a lot to pay for IF development, when -- at least at the
> moment -- you're not expecting to make any money off the hobby.

Am I the only person who thinks of hobbies as something to spend money
on? I've spent an awful lot of money on paints and canvases and art
programs as well, and I don't ever expect to make money off of
painting.

I just think it's an interesting point of view that sort of surprised
me when I saw it verbalized.

--Chrysoula

David Thornley

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Aug 16, 2003, 11:53:44 PM8/16/03
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In article <a839f13.03081...@posting.google.com>,

dreamfarmer <exst...@msn.com> wrote:
>Andrew Plotkin <erky...@eblong.com> wrote in message news:<bhkfro$3e7
>> Then you figure in all the other factors. Maybe it's worth it to you.
>> But $100 is a lot to pay for IF development, when -- at least at the
>> moment -- you're not expecting to make any money off the hobby.
>
>Am I the only person who thinks of hobbies as something to spend money
>on? I've spent an awful lot of money on paints and canvases and art
>programs as well, and I don't ever expect to make money off of
>painting.
>
Not the only person, but it isn't a universal point of view. In
particular, university students often have computer-related hobbies
and darn little spare cash. Other people just prefer to spend money
on other things. In my case, I find it a lot easier to pay for
hobby expenses in small amounts over longer periods of time than
to just buy something for $100 or more.

--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
da...@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

Jeff Johnson

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Aug 17, 2003, 12:08:54 AM8/17/03
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"David A. Cornelson" <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote in message news:<ZPSdnc1Qq5L...@speakeasy.net>...

> There's no clear indication from MS on whether VS.NET couldn't be sold
> for less than $100 if all it had were some non .NET implementation. They
> sell VB.NET for $99, but maybe they might allow "Visual Studio .NET for
> Inform" to sell for $20 or maybe they won't care because it's mostly a hobby
> and it could possibly be free. I actually think it's worthwhile to follow-up
> with these questions of MS themselves.

Much more important to me than the IDE is the Framework and Cross
Language Inheritance.

I'm dreaming here... but...

What I would like to see is an object model for the Inform parser. I
want lots of events I can put code in... and I'd like to be able to
inherit Inform objects (written in Inform and compiled to Microsoft
IL) and then extend them in VB.Net and/or C#.

If we had this... VB.Net and C# programmers could program Inform
without really having to invest tons of time to learn it. AND inform
source code can be moved to the .Net platform without any rewrites and
then benefit from all the libraries, routines, and functions that are
built into the .Net Framework. Finally, we'd get to use lots of other
free tools (like NUnit and SharpDevelop) to hack on the Inform parser.

(sigh)

But when you guys are talking about VS.Net for Inform... you're still
wanting it to compile it to z-code, right? Doesn't sound very
VisualStudioIsh to me....

OKB (not okblacke)

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Aug 17, 2003, 1:32:47 AM8/17/03
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dreamfarmer wrote:

> Am I the only person who thinks of hobbies as something to spend money
> on? I've spent an awful lot of money on paints and canvases and art
> programs as well, and I don't ever expect to make money off of
> painting.
>
> I just think it's an interesting point of view that sort of surprised
> me when I saw it verbalized.

Well, I don't mind spending money on my hobbies, but I still think
$100 is a lot. As zarf said, it might indeed be worth it to some
people; to others, the benefits of a whiz-bang IDE and stuff just aren't
worth $100.

--
--OKB (not okblacke)
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is
no path, and leave a trail."
--author unknown

Seebs

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Aug 17, 2003, 3:16:52 AM8/17/03
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In article <Xns93D9E4...@130.133.1.4>,

OKB (not okblacke) <Bren...@aol.com> wrote:
> Well, I don't mind spending money on my hobbies, but I still think
>$100 is a lot. As zarf said, it might indeed be worth it to some
>people; to others, the benefits of a whiz-bang IDE and stuff just aren't
>worth $100.

I have never yet seen an IDE that I thought was worth money. For anything.
I dunno; they just never seem to fit with the way I try to solve problems.

-s
--
Copyright 2003, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach / se...@plethora.net
http://www.seebs.net/log/ - YA blog. http://www.seebs.net/ - homepage.
C/Unix wizard, pro-commerce radical, spam fighter. Boycott Spamazon!
Consulting, computers, web hosting, and shell access: http://www.plethora.net/

Seebs

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Aug 17, 2003, 3:17:43 AM8/17/03
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In article <f70bde2.03081...@posting.google.com>,

Jeff Johnson <jeffr...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>What I would like to see is an object model for the Inform parser. I
>want lots of events I can put code in... and I'd like to be able to
>inherit Inform objects (written in Inform and compiled to Microsoft
>IL) and then extend them in VB.Net and/or C#.

I would hate to see that, because it would result in interactive fiction
games that would be closely tied to a proprietary platform, and impossible
to write new emulators for later.

David A. Cornelson

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Aug 17, 2003, 9:05:33 AM8/17/03
to
"Jeff Johnson" <jeffr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:f70bde2.03081...@posting.google.com...

>
> Much more important to me than the IDE is the Framework and Cross
> Language Inheritance.
>
> I'm dreaming here... but...
>
> What I would like to see is an object model for the Inform parser. I
> want lots of events I can put code in... and I'd like to be able to
> inherit Inform objects (written in Inform and compiled to Microsoft
> IL) and then extend them in VB.Net and/or C#.
>
> If we had this... VB.Net and C# programmers could program Inform
> without really having to invest tons of time to learn it. AND inform
> source code can be moved to the .Net platform without any rewrites and
> then benefit from all the libraries, routines, and functions that are
> built into the .Net Framework. Finally, we'd get to use lots of other
> free tools (like NUnit and SharpDevelop) to hack on the Inform parser.
>

See http://sourceforge.net/projects/if-sharp/. This is completely different
process from creating a Inform-as-it-is IDE. IF# is pretty much what you
describe. I've been working on the syntax with some people behind the scenes
and we've taken a break from it for now, but it's there.

Dave


David A. Cornelson

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Aug 17, 2003, 9:16:10 AM8/17/03
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"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
news:3f3f2c16$0$1094$3c09...@news.plethora.net...

>
> I would hate to see that, because it would result in interactive fiction
> games that would be closely tied to a proprietary platform, and impossible
> to write new emulators for later.

I think this is a poor view of the IF world. I believe there is plenty of
room for tools that may not be completely open source and free within our
hobby and I don't think using .NET is as horrible as some people make it out
to be. In fact, I would say, after reading Don Box's .NET Essentials: The
Common Language Runtime, that Microsoft is truly trying to be a more open
company. This book is like an "inner workings" and has a great deal of the
thought process behind how .NET works. You can either use it as a guide to
write .NET code or you could theoretically use it to build your own
framework. With the CLI and C# set as standards, Rotor as an open-source
(albeit non-commercial) implementation of .NET, and now Mono nearing a
version 1 release, this _is_ a viable cross-platform development platform.

It's also much more accessible to non-C++ programmers, which is something
that I appreciate a great deal.

As for interpreters, one could be made from the same source _right now_ that
would work on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X using Mono. It may not be
perfect, but in about 4 months when Mono hits V1, .NET will be truly
cross-platform.

Dave


David Thornley

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Aug 17, 2003, 1:03:50 PM8/17/03
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In article <3f3f2be4$0$1094$3c09...@news.plethora.net>,

Seebs <se...@plethora.net> wrote:
>In article <Xns93D9E4...@130.133.1.4>,
>OKB (not okblacke) <Bren...@aol.com> wrote:
>> Well, I don't mind spending money on my hobbies, but I still think
>>$100 is a lot. As zarf said, it might indeed be worth it to some
>>people; to others, the benefits of a whiz-bang IDE and stuff just aren't
>>worth $100.
>
>I have never yet seen an IDE that I thought was worth money. For anything.
>I dunno; they just never seem to fit with the way I try to solve problems.
>
They were wonderful on the older personal computers, where you couldn't
leave the editor open while compiling, running, and debugging, for
example. Once you can have windows with vi/emacs, gcc, and gdb open
at once, they're less useful.

Seebs

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 1:11:44 PM8/17/03
to
In article <5vmcnTbWN5O...@speakeasy.net>,

David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
>news:3f3f2c16$0$1094$3c09...@news.plethora.net...
>> I would hate to see that, because it would result in interactive fiction
>> games that would be closely tied to a proprietary platform, and impossible
>> to write new emulators for later.

>I think this is a poor view of the IF world.

I dunno. We're archivists at heart.

>I believe there is plenty of
>room for tools that may not be completely open source and free within our
>hobby and I don't think using .NET is as horrible as some people make it out
>to be.

I'm not drawing the line at "completely open source". I'm drawing the line
at "a multi-billion dollar company would rather kill you than let you break
their total proprietary grip on this technology". Sorta-closed systems are
not that big a deal, but actively *defended* proprietary systems aren't.

>In fact, I would say, after reading Don Box's .NET Essentials: The
>Common Language Runtime, that Microsoft is truly trying to be a more open
>company.

Bullshit. This is about the tenth time through the "no, we're good now"
line from MS. They lie. They lied before, they are lying now, they will
lie in the future. Windows '95 was completely 32-bit, and very stable.
Windows '98 was really completely 32-bit, and now very stable. Windows '98SE
was really completely 32-bit, we promise, and was *for sure* stable.

Microsoft does not tell the truth. Microsoft tells convincing-sounding lies,
carefully making it impossible for anyone to verify their claims.

>This book is like an "inner workings" and has a great deal of the
>thought process behind how .NET works.

Which any rational person must assume to be as accurate and complete as all
of their other documentation. "You can't use that system call; that exists
solely to improve the performance of Microsoft application software."

Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

>You can either use it as a guide to
>write .NET code or you could theoretically use it to build your own
>framework. With the CLI and C# set as standards, Rotor as an open-source
>(albeit non-commercial) implementation of .NET, and now Mono nearing a
>version 1 release, this _is_ a viable cross-platform development platform.

No, it isn't. It looks sort of like one, but MS has long since mastered
the art of breaking cross-platform things. Remember Microsoft's "enhanced"
Java? Remember their compatibility with OS/2? They offer compatibility
to get you to commit to an API which *THEY HAVE TOTAL AND UNILATERAL CONTROL
OF*. Then, and this should not surprise *ANYONE* by now, they change the API
so fast that no one can afford to keep up with them until competing
implementations are squashed.

>As for interpreters, one could be made from the same source _right now_ that
>would work on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X using Mono. It may not be
>perfect, but in about 4 months when Mono hits V1, .NET will be truly
>cross-platform.

No, it won't. MS will move the goalposts.

For fuck's sake, does *NO ONE* pay *ANY* attention? This company has had the
same set of practices for something like twenty years now. Remember "DOS
isn't done until Lotus won't run?"

Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. Nothing can change. These people
are what they are; they have committed to their path. History is littered
with the corpses of those who trusted Microsoft.

Making anything you want to be available to others down the road depend on
a Microsoft API is stupid. One of the maor characteristics of the IF
community is a desire for long-term archival accessibility of projects; that
suggests that an API owned by a company with a long history of aggressive and
destructive feature creep is probably *not* a good basis for anything.

Seebs

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 1:12:28 PM8/17/03
to
In article <3f3fb576$0$159$a186...@newsreader.visi.com>,

David Thornley <thor...@visi.com> wrote:
>They were wonderful on the older personal computers, where you couldn't
>leave the editor open while compiling, running, and debugging, for
>example. Once you can have windows with vi/emacs, gcc, and gdb open
>at once, they're less useful.

...

!OH!

You know, I've been wondering for something like fifteen years what the point
of an IDE was.

Now I know.

Michael J

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 4:12:19 PM8/17/03
to
"David A. Cornelson" <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote in message
news:iuKdndrJXt9...@speakeasy.net...

> Microsoft has released their Visual Studio .NET integration SDK for free.
> This used to a $10,000/year license and now this let's anyone integrate
> anything into VS.NET.

What does this SDK do though? Does it mean I don't need to purchase the full
.NET? (I would find that hard to believe.) What can I do with this SDK if I
was to download it right now? Does this mean I can write VB.NET or C# or
whatever? I'm curious because if I wanted to develop sometihng for .NET, it
still sounds like I'd need the full platform. This SDK is just helpful if
you've already got the platform. Or is that wrong?


David A. Cornelson

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 4:21:26 PM8/17/03
to
"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
news:3f3fb750$0$1095$3c09...@news.plethora.net...

> In article <5vmcnTbWN5O...@speakeasy.net>,
> David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
> >"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
> >news:3f3f2c16$0$1094$3c09...@news.plethora.net...
> >> I would hate to see that, because it would result in interactive
fiction
> >> games that would be closely tied to a proprietary platform, and
impossible
> >> to write new emulators for later.
>
> >I think this is a poor view of the IF world.
>
> I dunno. We're archivists at heart.
>
>
> No, it won't. MS will move the goalposts.
>
> For fuck's sake, does *NO ONE* pay *ANY* attention? This company has had
the
> same set of practices for something like twenty years now. Remember "DOS
> isn't done until Lotus won't run?"
>
> Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. Nothing can change. These
people
> are what they are; they have committed to their path. History is littered
> with the corpses of those who trusted Microsoft.
>
> Making anything you want to be available to others down the road depend on
> a Microsoft API is stupid. One of the maor characteristics of the IF
> community is a desire for long-term archival accessibility of projects;
that
> suggests that an API owned by a company with a long history of aggressive
and
> destructive feature creep is probably *not* a good basis for anything.
>

I think there are quite a few people that disagree with these sentiments.
Granted, MS has done some shoddy business deals and have abused their
monopoly several times and are likely to continue to do it with the policies
of the Bush administration (look the other way), but frankly there isn't a
corporation out there that I trust.

And as for moving targets for API's, name _one_ API that _hasn't_ moved over
its lifetime. If you do, I suspect that it's a dead API that no one uses
anymore. Change is important to the health of any platform and Microsoft nev
er changed API's to halt software - they may have done it for IP or
obfuscation reasons, but it's far more likely that they did these things
because businesses/people requested them.

Before Microsoft you could have said IBM was evil. You could have said other
companies were evil. I do not associate morality with corporations with a
few exceptions (tobacco and pharmceuticals come to mind). But MS has nearly
always had pretty big competition. Apple, IBM and Lotus in their early days
and now Linux and the open source movement are directly competing with them.
If you were the CEO of a company and had a competitior, you would do
everything in your power to beat them. If not, you'd be a bad CEO.

Sounds to me like you don't understand capitalism. You want everyone to play
fair and nice and not hurt each other.

That's ludicrous. Life doesn't work that way and neither does business.

I can happily say that I do not like some of MS's business practices, but at
the same time say that I think they have _nailed_ the next generation of
developmnent with .NET. And if I want to compete in this world as an
employee or business owner I need to know what the best stuff is and I
probably need to be using it.

So what about all the "nice" companies that are sending jobs overseas? Does
that fit your morality clause? There are many things to dislike in this
world. Picking one company to represent all things evil is naive.

Dave


David A. Cornelson

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 4:27:26 PM8/17/03
to
"Michael J" <no...@dontemailme.com> wrote in message
news:DkR%a.41434$2x....@rwcrnsc52.ops.asp.att.net...

Correct. You would still need an Enterprise version of VS.NET to be able to
use the SDK.

However, the .NET Framework, C#, and VB.NET do _not_ require payment. They
are all downloadable for free and you can use any editor you want to develop
and use .NET code.

Microsoft makes money on their server and development tool products. They're
giving the .NET framework away for free.

But I'm still researching what a non .NET price for VS.NET would be.

Dave


Seebs

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 5:15:23 PM8/17/03
to
In article <EU-dnUAHvp9...@speakeasy.net>,

David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
>news:3f3fb750$0$1095$3c09...@news.plethora.net...

>> Making anything you want to be available to others down the road depend on
>> a Microsoft API is stupid. One of the maor characteristics of the IF
>> community is a desire for long-term archival accessibility of projects;
>that
>> suggests that an API owned by a company with a long history of aggressive
>and
>> destructive feature creep is probably *not* a good basis for anything.

>I think there are quite a few people that disagree with these sentiments.

Yes. That doesn't make them right. Lots of people have been suckered by
Microsoft in the past; hell, they managed to put one over on IBM.

>Granted, MS has done some shoddy business deals and have abused their
>monopoly several times and are likely to continue to do it with the policies
>of the Bush administration (look the other way), but frankly there isn't a
>corporation out there that I trust.

So? With an open standard, you aren't trusting a company.

>And as for moving targets for API's, name _one_ API that _hasn't_ moved over
>its lifetime.

The question isn't whether or not they move at all, but whether they do
so *maliciously* and *quickly*.

I can take a proram written for Unix circa 1985 and have a reasonable chance
that it'll run on NetBSD today.

>If you do, I suspect that it's a dead API that no one uses
>anymore. Change is important to the health of any platform and Microsoft nev
>er changed API's to halt software - they may have done it for IP or
>obfuscation reasons, but it's far more likely that they did these things
>because businesses/people requested them.

No, it isn't.

>Before Microsoft you could have said IBM was evil.

And they probably were, although they seem to have gotten religion.

>You could have said other
>companies were evil. I do not associate morality with corporations with a
>few exceptions (tobacco and pharmceuticals come to mind).

MS is one of the few I have seen consistently actively seek to harm hobbyist
developers. Their push for "signed" software is calculated to eliminate
recreational software development.

>But MS has nearly
>always had pretty big competition. Apple, IBM and Lotus in their early days
>and now Linux and the open source movement are directly competing with them.
>If you were the CEO of a company and had a competitior, you would do
>everything in your power to beat them. If not, you'd be a bad CEO.

I would say that I would expect someone to do everything *moral* within his
power to help his family - but if he steals, cheats, defrauds, and willfully
harms people to better his family's position, he is no longer a good family
member, but a bad person.

>Sounds to me like you don't understand capitalism.

Bullshit.

>You want everyone to play
>fair and nice and not hurt each other.

Fair, yes. Capitalism depends upon a fair competitive market.

>That's ludicrous. Life doesn't work that way and neither does business.

Do you rape people whenever you're horny?

If not, you have accepted the same "ludicrous" claim - that there are
limits to acceptable methods.

>I can happily say that I do not like some of MS's business practices, but at
>the same time say that I think they have _nailed_ the next generation of
>developmnent with .NET.

If they have good ideas, then we need an open standard which incorporates
those ideas, but is *NOT* owned by Microsoft.

They may hvae good ideas, but the very idea of the future of development
being owned by Microsoft is equivalent to saying that software development
as a field in which ethical people can do good work is doomed.

>And if I want to compete in this world as an
>employee or business owner I need to know what the best stuff is and I
>probably need to be using it.

Well, depending on the metric you use, .NET is anywhere from mediocre to
suicidal.

>So what about all the "nice" companies that are sending jobs overseas? Does
>that fit your morality clause? There are many things to dislike in this
>world. Picking one company to represent all things evil is naive.

I never said MS was the only evil company. I don't trust companies. I use
open standards. I don't write in Metrowerks C, or GNU C; I write in
Standard C. I don't use RedHat or SuSE or Debian; I use Linux and BSD. I
avoid depending things which are owned by a single source, because it is
likely that the source will one day be malicious.

However, in MS's case, one day is *now*. We *know* they are malicious; we
know they will act against the interests of all developers everywhere, and
will do so consistently. Trusting them is *STUPID*, and building something
based on an API they own is trusting them.

Gene Wirchenko

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 5:18:59 PM8/17/03
to
jeffr...@yahoo.com (Jeff Johnson) wrote:

[snip]

>If we had this... VB.Net and C# programmers could program Inform
>without really having to invest tons of time to learn it. AND inform

Why would this be a good thing?

I suppose the argument does have some merit. It is the approach
used with Adrift, the one that has been disagreed with recently.

>source code can be moved to the .Net platform without any rewrites and
>then benefit from all the libraries, routines, and functions that are
>built into the .Net Framework. Finally, we'd get to use lots of other

Including support for Macs and other platforms?

>free tools (like NUnit and SharpDevelop) to hack on the Inform parser.
>
>(sigh)
>
>But when you guys are talking about VS.Net for Inform... you're still
>wanting it to compile it to z-code, right? Doesn't sound very
>VisualStudioIsh to me....

Not Borgish at all. Imagine the nerve of some people: not
waiting for Microsoft to dominate the market before doing anything.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
I have preferences.
You have biases.
He/She has prejudices.

Kevin Forchione

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 5:59:21 PM8/17/03
to
"dreamfarmer" <exst...@msn.com> wrote in message
news:a839f13.03081...@posting.google.com...

You're quite right. It's an interesting phenomenon, and I wonder if it isn't
a generational thing.

Hobbies are like opera; money goes in and opera comes out. To misquote Terry
Pratchett.

--Kevin


David A. Cornelson

unread,
Aug 17, 2003, 9:08:33 PM8/17/03
to
"Seebs" <se...@plethora.net> wrote in message
news:3f3ff06b$0$1099$3c09...@news.plethora.net...
>

I never said _I_ wasn't an ethical person. I only said that it's impossible
to figure out who is. I probably break a few rules here and there, but
nothing that would seem to hurt anyone. (selective ethics!)

Your choices are seemingly the opposite of mine. I have decided that since
I can't figure out who or what to believe where corporations and their
products are concerned, that I'm going to figure out what works for me and
corporate morality be damned.

You have decided that you're going to make every effort to avoid all
corporations and anything that smells like a corporation.

I think either one of these is an acceptable choice. The problem I have with
your diatribe is that _I'm_ willing to accept your choice as a good one
whereas you've condemned me for mine.

I don't feel even remotely burdened by whatever morality or logic you
associate with Microsoft. I don't see how they're going to screw me over
since I'm one of their advocates. Could they screw Novell by forcing a
licensing fee on the namespaces System.Windows.Forms on Mono? Eh, who cares.
So then Novell changes that namespace to System.WinMono.Forms or something
similarly stupid.

Besides, Microsoft knows this would be an enormously bad PR move and I
really think they understand _now_ that PR is an important part of combating
Linux and OSS.

I think they will go the opposite direction and _bless_ Mono when it's
released.

So if and when that happens, we will have another discussion about how MS is
screwing us.

Dave


Nick Bronson

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 7:47:04 AM8/18/03
to

Sure, me too, however whenever possible i'll take open source over
proprietry (free or not) because its extensible then. The ball is in your
court - don't think its good enough? Make it better.


Richard Northedge

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 5:14:34 AM8/18/03
to
> Correct. You would still need an Enterprise version of VS.NET to be able to
> use the SDK.
>
> However, the .NET Framework, C#, and VB.NET do _not_ require payment. They
> are all downloadable for free and you can use any editor you want to develop
> and use .NET code.
>
> Microsoft makes money on their server and development tool products. They're
> giving the .NET framework away for free.
>
> But I'm still researching what a non .NET price for VS.NET would be.
>
> Dave

Rather than altering Microsoft's .NET IDE, how about starting with the
source code for an alternative .NET IDE, and modifying that for use
with IF languages? I'm thinking of something like SharpDevelop, found
at http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/Default.aspx.

The result would be an application that wouldn't require a VS.NET
client licence of any kind, which I think judging by previous posts is
an important issue for a lot of folks.

Richard

David Thornley

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 9:08:01 AM8/18/03
to
In article <EU-dnUAHvp9...@speakeasy.net>,

David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>
>I think there are quite a few people that disagree with these sentiments.
>Granted, MS has done some shoddy business deals and have abused their
>monopoly several times and are likely to continue to do it with the policies
>of the Bush administration (look the other way), but frankly there isn't a
>corporation out there that I trust.
>
Nobody is asking you to trust a corporation. If there's one out there
that is completely ethical and above-board...well, all it takes is one
shareholder suit that goes the wrong way and they're just like the
others.

What some of us are saying is that it is dangerous to have to trust
one single corporation. You are in much better shape if you can get
what you need from several sources. Then you have competition and, if
one of your sources decides to screw you over (and corporations will
try to do that), you can do business with somebody else.

>And as for moving targets for API's, name _one_ API that _hasn't_ moved over
>its lifetime. If you do, I suspect that it's a dead API that no one uses
>anymore.

Moved in what sense? And by whom? There's a difference between an
API that adds some new functionality over the years, but which allows
older software to mostly run, and one that can be arbitrarily changed
by one company in incompatible ways.

Change is important to the health of any platform and Microsoft nev
>er changed API's to halt software - they may have done it for IP or
>obfuscation reasons, but it's far more likely that they did these things
>because businesses/people requested them.
>

That's a matter of judgement, and mine is not the same as yours.
There are ways to change APIs to add functionality that do not involve
shaking off competition. You can see that in public standards, for
example.

>Before Microsoft you could have said IBM was evil. You could have said other
>companies were evil. I do not associate morality with corporations with a
>few exceptions (tobacco and pharmceuticals come to mind).

Nobody is saying Microsoft is unique. However, its evils are magnified
because of its monopoly status in several sections of the software
field.

But MS has nearly
>always had pretty big competition.

Not if they could help it, by fair or foul means.

Apple, IBM and Lotus in their early days

When did IBM compete with Microsoft? The standard IBM personal computer
had IBM hardware and BIOS, and pretty much everything else was Microsoft
(PC-DOS was MS-DOS).

>and now Linux and the open source movement are directly competing with them.

Right. Microsoft is doing its best right now to suppress Linux, by
fair means or foul. They are known to have done things like allow
one of their standards to get publicly used, and then change the
standards in ways that screw up the public use. They have done
that with other things, why not .NET?

So, there's the moral issue and the practical issue. Anybody who
tries using .NET on a non-MS platform is going to get screwed.
I'm as sure of that as I am of anything based on history. That's
not a matter of morality, it's a matter of fact.

>If you were the CEO of a company and had a competitior, you would do
>everything in your power to beat them. If not, you'd be a bad CEO.
>

So Kenneth Lay was a bad CEO only because he got caught?

>Sounds to me like you don't understand capitalism. You want everyone to play
>fair and nice and not hurt each other.
>

Well, yes, in certain ways. There are legitimate things to do in
business, and illegitimate things. If you run a grocery store, and
another one opens down the street, you are free to adjust your prices
and advertise and do all sorts of other things. Firebombing the
other store, on the other hand, is not something you should do.

Once you agree that lowering prices is acceptable in a way arson is
not, we can start talking about the details.

>That's ludicrous. Life doesn't work that way and neither does business.
>
>I can happily say that I do not like some of MS's business practices, but at
>the same time say that I think they have _nailed_ the next generation of
>developmnent with .NET. And if I want to compete in this world as an
>employee or business owner I need to know what the best stuff is and I
>probably need to be using it.
>

I wonder if it's too late for a career change....

>So what about all the "nice" companies that are sending jobs overseas? Does
>that fit your morality clause? There are many things to dislike in this
>world. Picking one company to represent all things evil is naive.
>

Your interpretation of seebs' position seems awful naive to me,
although not as naive as your belief that Microsoft is going to let
.NET run on other platforms.

David A. Cornelson

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 9:56:36 AM8/18/03
to
"David Thornley" <thor...@visi.com> wrote in message
news:3f40cfb1$0$162$a186...@newsreader.visi.com...

> In article <EU-dnUAHvp9...@speakeasy.net>,
> David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
> >
>
> >If you were the CEO of a company and had a competitior, you would do
> >everything in your power to beat them. If not, you'd be a bad CEO.
> >
> So Kenneth Lay was a bad CEO only because he got caught?
>

No. what Microsoft did to Netscape, Sun, Apple, and IBM is/was what I deem
shoddy business practices.

But how about AOL? How long did it take for the government to notice that
AOL was overbilling people and treating their customers like crap before
something was done? How long did Amazon.Com lose money before they made a
profit? Who's money did they lose?

And IBM? Everyone is in love with IBM at the moment, but if you think
they're not charging gobs of money for 20 year old technology because
they've retrofitted Linux to it you're crazy. Linux isn't free when you get
it from IBM because you have spend a fortune on hardware and service
contracts. And then you're getting locked into WebSphere. How is this better
than Microsoft and .NET? You don't think IBM is laying in wait for you to
complain about performance and then make suggestions to change your code to
use proprietary services within WebSphere that will close off your ability
to use another app server?

And let's look at the whole OSS subject area. It's a moving target. Not just
one moving target either. Linux and its implementations is made up of
hundreds and hundreds of dependently linked items that are maintained by a
general community. What happens if I bank my business on this stuff and the
guys that support one of dependencies takes a 6 month vacation without
finding a good backup? I've _seen_ this happen already. You're screwed. You
have to wait for the "community" to catch up to the problems. There are
times when this is muchb faster than the response times of corporations like
Microsoft, but there are hundreds and hundreds of dependencies managed by
hundreds and hundreds of different people and groups.

I see this as a _huge_ risk. Much larger than using Microsoft technologies.
In fact, I feel pretty damn _safe_ with Microsoft in charge of my
development tools as opposed to hundreds and hundreds of disparate entities
with no real incentive to keep up with things beyond corporate sponsorship
and sheer boredom. At some point, these corporate sponsors are going to dry
up and the coders will find something else to play with and Linux will rot
from the inside.

No thanks. I'll take the big corporate monopoly over that anyday.

> >
> I wonder if it's too late for a career change....
>

I love what I do for a living. Not gonna happen. And if I do change careers
it will revolve around programming and I will still choose whatever tools
makes me the most productive.

Currently, that is .NET and Windows.

Dave


Jeff Nyman

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 10:17:08 AM8/18/03
to
In a post too deep in this thread (so I am responding to the top level
post):

"David A. Cornelson" <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote in message
news:NmednSXknue...@speakeasy.net...

> I will still choose whatever tools
> makes me the most productive.
>
> Currently, that is .NET and Windows.


David - I agree with you here in terms of you have to choose what you feel
makes you productive. I do likewise. That is why I currently am writing IF
Builder in Visual Basic even though that, unfortunately, excludes the vast
majority of the Interactive Fiction community, who seems to prefer Unix or
Linux. But I would not be as productive with Java right now or with
something like portable ANSI C. Besides that, Unix/Linux users seem very
content with things like Vim, Emacs, and so forth whereas Windows users are
always looking for an editor of some sort beyond Notepad.

Now, with this being said, what I am curious about and this perhaps gets
more into what you want to discuss in this thread: What is it about .NET
that you think makes it more productive in terms of Interactive Fiction?

I have not explored .NET that much so I truly do not know. What do you feel
is the compelling reason(s) for doing something in .NET? I ask because, by
way of example, one of the compelling reasons for me looking at Java was a
cross-platform IF Builder plus mapping routines are much easier in Java than
in something like Visual Basic. But I am always willing to consider other
alternatives and opportunities if it seems like those opportunities can
provide a demonstrably significant improvement in what can be offered or
would be manifestly more attractive to the user community.

- Jeff


David A. Cornelson

unread,
Aug 18, 2003, 10:34:47 AM8/18/03
to
"Jeff Nyman" <cryptonom...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Ed50b.145014$It4....@rwcrnsc51.ops.asp.att.net...

.NET and Java a very similar except that I have yet to use a fat-client java
application that approaches anything remotely usable even from an old
Windows 3.1 standard. .NET WinForms are just like any other windows program
written in VB6 or C++.

The advantage of .NET is that the .NET Framework has pretty much everything
you would ever need from an application foundation perspective. With GDI+
you can do your own graphics. With the strongly typed nature of .NET you can
create complex class structures that manage information logically as opposed
to physically. And VS.NET is about the best development enviroment I have
ever worked with. I love people that say they're more productive in emacs or
something when there is _no way_ they could be more productive. The amount
of information that an IDE provides during development is not replicapable
in a generalized text editor. Inline debugging, syntax highlighting,
syntax-checking, readable error messages, stack traces, error traces, file
management, source control, meta-data management, object browsing, class
hierarchy browsing, contextual help....all of these things save time. Every
time someone using emacs has find the right signature for a method call, I'm
already done because Intellisense has prompted me for those arguments based
on type and with contextual help in case I forget what that argument does.

The strongly typed nature of .NET is built into the IDE. The compiler isn't
even really like a compiler because it's so fast. I hit Ctrl-Shift-B and the
list of errors are on the bottom of my screen. I double click on an error
and the editor locates that line for me in the source. I get a readable
error message and sometimes with a suggested solution. But for the most
part, I _create_ a fraction of the errors that I used to create


David A. Cornelson

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Aug 18, 2003, 10:42:19 AM8/18/03
to
"Jeff Nyman" <cryptonom...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Ed50b.145014$It4....@rwcrnsc51.ops.asp.att.net...
> In a post too deep in this thread (so I am responding to the top level
> post):
>

(continued - I accidentally hit send)

The strongly typed nature of .NET is built into the IDE. The compiler isn't
even really like a compiler because it's so fast. I hit Ctrl-Shift-B and the
list of errors are on the bottom of my screen. I double click on an error
and the editor locates that line for me in the source. I get a readable
error message and sometimes with a suggested solution. But for the most

part, I _create_ a fraction of the errors that I used to create with VB6.

It's nearly impossible to quantify the number of errors you don't create
anymore.

As for the IF community not liking Windows, oh well. I don't do things for
the IF community anymore. I do things for IF that I find interesting. Some
things are helpful to the community (Plover.Net) and some may seem to not
coincide (using MS tools). I approach my hobby with my own set of values and
rules.

It's sort of funny that I love IF, but in so many ways I am not like the
general IF community. Supporting and using .NET is probably something I
should know better than to promote around here. But then again, there are
only a few _really_ vocal .NET opponents. Most people don't care and this
off-topic chatter is probably driving them mad.

I think you'll have many more headaches with Java, but that's my opinion.

Dave


Jeff Nyman

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Aug 18, 2003, 10:58:37 AM8/18/03
to
"David A. Cornelson" <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote in message
news:aoKdnfspW6F...@speakeasy.net...

> As for the IF community not liking Windows, oh well. I don't do things for
> the IF community anymore. I do things for IF that I find interesting.

I definitely agree. That is why I did IF Builder, really. It was more to
help me learn Visual Basic and because I could never find an editor for TADS
and Hugo that I liked. As a tool I realize IF Builder is largely lacking. Of
course I certainly hoped others might find it useful (hence releasing it
publicly) and others might even take it and run in directions I could not
(hence releasing the source code). Alas, neither has really happened but I
gained a lot of experience in the language, if nothing else.

> Supporting and using .NET is probably something I
> should know better than to promote around here. But then again, there are
> only a few _really_ vocal .NET opponents. Most people don't care and this
> off-topic chatter is probably driving them mad.

I have noticed a lot of people talk about "off-topic" topics but, to my way
of thinking, I am glad you started this thread. I think it is interesting.
And since it involves developing a potential tool for use in the sphere of
Interactive Fiction, I would certainly argue it is on-topic. I think this is
a very interesting discussion. I tend to stay away from the "religious"
debates regarding Windows vs. Unix or Microsoft vs. IBM, which is why I have
avoided that area of discussion in this thread.

> I think you'll have many more headaches with Java, but that's my opinion.

Certainly could be true and that is one of my concerns. Thank you for the
information on .NET. I am definitely going to be taking a closer look at it.
(I am also looking at the TrollTech Qt library as well, which is being used
for a lot of cross-platform development.)

- Jeff


David Thornley

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Aug 18, 2003, 12:15:07 PM8/18/03
to
In article <NmednSXknue...@speakeasy.net>,

David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>"David Thornley" <thor...@visi.com> wrote in message
>news:3f40cfb1$0$162$a186...@newsreader.visi.com...
>> In article <EU-dnUAHvp9...@speakeasy.net>,
>> David A. Cornelson <david dot cornelson at iflibrary.com> wrote:
>> >
>> So Kenneth Lay was a bad CEO only because he got caught?
>>
>
>No. what Microsoft did to Netscape, Sun, Apple, and IBM is/was what I deem
>shoddy business practices.
>
>But how about AOL? How long did it take for the government to notice that
>AOL was overbilling people and treating their customers like crap before
>something was done?

AOL is not a monopoly in the same sense Microsoft is.

How long did Amazon.Com lose money before they made a
>profit? Who's money did they lose?
>

That's different. Amazon planned to lose money while it established
itself (remember that it was setting up a new sort of business, and
that's always hard to do). It was part of the business plan, and a
risky one. Back when I was a frequent Amazon customer, I still thought
it a questionable business investment.

>And IBM? Everyone is in love with IBM at the moment, but if you think
>they're not charging gobs of money for 20 year old technology because
>they've retrofitted Linux to it you're crazy.

Right. Now, how important is this? There simply isn't a large
dinosaur market anymore, and IBM is seriously limited in what it can
do to monopolize it. As long as the dinosaur market isn't going
to support competitors, it isn't that important. If IBM prices
stuff too high consistently, or the demand for big iron goes up,
there will be competition.

Linux isn't free when you get
>it from IBM because you have spend a fortune on hardware and service
>contracts. And then you're getting locked into WebSphere. How is this better
>than Microsoft and .NET?

There's other games in town, although not necessarily if you really want
mainframes.

You can get locked into this in any field where you've got a sole
supplier. Most things have multiple suppliers, at least generically
(I can't get certain books except from O'Reilly, directly or
indirectly, but I can get books on similar subjects from other
publi