Oh, I forgot. Another thing that took A.CC down some was Stack Overflow being the "goto" for questions, and Reddit being the goto for "cool links to share with people."
That being said, SDL still seems to have survived much better. And I have no idea how the newer up-and-comer SFML became so popular.
I need to spend some more time investigating their APIs but I'm really thinking it has nothing to do with API structure. They're all thin wrappers around DirectX, OpenGL, etc. You can't abstract away the fact a screen has a resolution, a refresh rate, windowed vs fullscreen, etc. Comparing 7 lines of API code to 5 lines of API code for X library vs Y library cannot be a significant reason for the disparity. My only guess is the integration or attraction of people with community connections or skillsets. Either acadamia (e.g. game dev schools using SDL because it showed up first on Google or whatever.), or a few notable guys working for notable companies making notable products.
IIRC, SDL was written by a company that was developing ports of games to Linux / MacOS and needed a cross-platform layer. So that's instantly more industry exposure than most of us have with the sole exception of the long departed Shawn Hargreaves.
As long as you guys keep supporting Allegro 5, I'll keep name dropping it whenever I make a product that uses it. I've got a couple in the pipeline. But as always... health and life (hugely behind in work!) issues have been taking precedence.
I've got a really cool utility I think will make a big PR/viral splash when I get it running. But I'm trying to keep it secret right now because the idea is so novel.
Not sure if we should start another thread for this but... what does Allegro 5 really lack at this point? Other than rigorous bug testing / unit testing on many platforms (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, iOS and Android), are there any features that really need done?
- A network library is, as we've discussed, a "bad idea". Newbies like it, but we should at least have a FAQ and explain why it's a bad idea. (IIRC, great network libs exist already, and network libraries are usually so coupled to a custom game that taking a pre-packaged one can be a real PITA.)
- A proper FAQ.
- Wiki work. Tutorials. Articles? Etc?
- Is there any kind of PR work we can do? Great articles submitted to Gamesutra? (Can anyone submit them?) Articles submitted to Reddit and Hacker News.
- YouTube videos.
I'm actually planning on doing some YouTube videos on game development subjects (as well as many others like physics). As mentioned, I'll be name dropping Allegro.CC/A5/etc.
Lastly, slightly related: I just uploaded an hour ago my 15 minute speedrun of Fallout 1!
(Click the full YouTube link to see all my speedrun notes in the description.)
I just found out about, downloaded and tried KDENLIVE which is a FOSS non-linear video editor. It's AMAZING on first impression. Exactly the kind of "full editor" you expect it to be like Adobe Premiere when I was in high school. It has tracks, clip editing, effects and transitions. And outputs to any format, framerate, etc. I JUST started with it but so far I found it to be fairly straight forward. In this video, I had to edit out all the times I saved the game (because they don't count for time, and also, they they're kind of annoying to the flow of watching the gameplay).
Now that I found a non-linear editor I can finally use (that's free!), I'm going to start making more videos, of higher complexity and production value. This video was kind of a short test of those skills since I have zero modern experience in video editing and all my previous uploads have been simply 1-to-1 captures from Open Broadcast Studio.