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Increase in Programming Questions
Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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Has anyone else noticed it? Seems to be a lot more healthy questions and discussions on the programming forum. Maybe it's a sign of increased Allegro usage stemming from 5.0?

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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I think it is very related to the emerging countries arrival. Both "Online Users" and the English "level" used to ask these questions point to it.

Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
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I'm not so sure about 'healthy'. Seems to be a lot of new posters who forgot that there is a manual.

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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When I was completely new, I'm not sure I even knew there is.. I was given the examples found here by my teacher in high school and I was told: "Study".

weapon_S
Member #7,859
October 2006
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Steve++
Member #1,816
January 2002

Dizzy Egg said:

I'm not so sure about 'healthy'. Seems to be a lot of new posters who forgot that there is a manual.

If users can't ask "stupid" questions here, there's always stackoverflow.com.

Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
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One of my colleagues always says "there are no stupid questions". Every time I hear that I start asking questions like "will I ever turn into a planet" and "do crabs walk forward when they're drunk".

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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Dizzy Egg said:

"will I ever turn into a planet"

This is actually a very interesting question, answer to which varies with definition of "you", and a planet. It's also up to what we actually take as "becoming"..

Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
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No, will I ever "turn into".

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type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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???

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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There are no stupid questions, just a lot of inquisitive idiots and philosophers.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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No I think the users would be running due to usage of Allegro 5.0 as it isn't very noob friendly like is predecessors were. :P

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Neil Black
Member #7,867
October 2006
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No I think the users would be running due to usage of Allegro 5.0 as it isn't very noob friendly like is predecessors were.

I'll agree with that. This noob certainly wants to run from it. ;)

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Well I took part in a DeVry hosted chat a few weeks back. It was for new students and alumni to discuss the tools available to budding game developers and programmers. At the front of the discussion there was OpenGL, DirectX, XNA, Torque, and then we got into SFML, SDL, Allegro, Clanlib, Ogre, OpenAL, and several others. I didn't put my two cents in, I just listened to the other ones talk and most of them went on about the big named stuff XNA/DX/OGL. Though I was surprised when Allegro came up and sadly it wasn't good for A5, they brought up that point right off the bat, Allegro pre-release 5 had friendlier API and was a little easier to follow for the new programmers but the new A5 API is harder to grasp for someone who is just getting into programming. In defense though someone pointed out that a lot of libraries have confusing API for a new programmer.

The discussion was about 3 hours, and had professors giving input on the different libraries. I laughed hard when one professor said, "Got to love how we taught Torque game dev one class and now are warning against using it". I don't know if they plan to release the full discussion but they covered the pros and cons of every library that was discussed and even recommended an order for going 'fairly smoothly' from beginner to industry profeesional libraries and tools. Doubt I'll put any of the advice I heard to use though considering my track record.

[EDIT]
Yes I realize OpenAL is a sound lib, we discussed a lot of libs (graphics, networking, sound, and everything that popped up in between).

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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What is it about A5 that these people found unfriendly?

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verthex
Member #11,340
September 2009
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What is it about A5 that these people found unfriendly?

I guess theres more instantiation in starting up a basic allegro 5 program, but all of that could be hidden away in some function called,

init();

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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In A4, user controls program, in A5, program controls user!

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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What is it about A5 that these people found unfriendly?

Allegro 4 is perfect for putting together a simple 10 line program that draws some primitives, prints some text, and waits for a key to be pressed. There's just one include, one library to link against, and the function calls are self explanatory. If you are a lazy professor who doesn't want to get any more involved than that, anything else seems complicated and hard to use.

With Allegro 5, you have to link to a few different libraries, include your own font, "flip" a display, check for keyboard events, etc. None of those things add any meaningful complexity to a full sized program, but that's irrelevant to somebody who has no intention of going farther than a simple demo.

And of course there always is the "good old days" phenomenon that automatically causes anything different to seem worse.

A reasonable complaint would be a lack of quality, high-level documentation and tutorials, but really it's not that hard to look at the many examples and ask some questions. And there's probably enough content for all but the most stupid person on the wiki.

van_houtte
Member #11,605
January 2010
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fyi Arthur Kowowowlalaololsky A5 is not supported in AmigaOS

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kazzmir
Member #1,786
December 2001
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I could be wrong but my stance on the difference between A4 and A5 is that software rendering is easier to grasp for beginners. The graphics aspect of A5 is essentially equal to opengl which requires more knowledge on the part of the programmer to get things going.

The rest of the A5 API is cleaner than A4 but at the cost of additional concepts to understand (events).

With Allegro 5, you have to link to a few different libraries, include your own font, "flip" a display, check for keyboard events, etc. None of those things add any meaningful complexity to a full sized program, but that's irrelevant to somebody who has no intention of going farther than a simple demo.

You know thats borderline trolling. There are plenty of examples of high quality A4 games on a.cc (timewarp comes to mind). My own game, paintown, is highly non-trivial.

Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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Matthew said that A4 was good for simple things. He did not say it was bad for complex things.

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kazzmir
Member #1,786
December 2001
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Any reasonable person would assume the implication was there.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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kazzmir said:

Any reasonable person would assume the implication was there.

Any unreasonable or ultra-sensitive person would assume the implication was there. :P

Allegro 4 is fine for single display, unaccelerated 2D games of any complexity. The only major shortcomings are due to incompatibilities with modern operating systems. The state based input system is somewhat limiting, but probably not enough to get in the way. The API is a mess, but that doesn't really matter.

I would disagree with the argument that Allegro 5 is significantly more complex to understand due to its closer ties with OpenGL and D3D. You may have to read more than two sentences of the manual to realize how the implicit target bitmap works, but if you take the time to do that, it's actually simpler than A4 in that you get double buffering for free.

kazzmir
Member #1,786
December 2001
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To get any reasonable performance you have to throw out putpixel/getpixel. You essentially cannot create bitmaps on the fly and draw to them, everything must be done to the screen. Certain effects require shaders. Blending is quite different. The difference between video and memory bitmaps must be well understood in A5 where as in A4 you could mostly ignore it.

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