Allegro.cc - Online Community

Allegro.cc Forums » Off-Topic Ordeals » Allegro 5 "marketing" :)

This thread is locked; no one can reply to it. rss feed Print
Allegro 5 "marketing" :)
beoran
Member #12,636
March 2011

Well, that's the point of this whole marketing of allegro 5 we want to do. We want to tell people that Allegro 5 is also as great as Allegro 3 was in it's day, you can use it just as easily today. Well OK, we may have to work on the ease of use a bit, but the API is already very nice.

Seriously, maybe it's a good idea to stop the biked shed about the logo for now and focus on improving the web site and Allegro itself, of course. I finally was able to get Allegro cross compiled under 64 bits Linux to MinGW, so I started writing a force feedback driver for that platform. It's not complete yet, and I still need someone else to test if for me though, since wine doesn't emulate force feedback yet, but it's a step forward.

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

I should never have introduced the term "marketing" here. As you can see from the thread title, it was meant as a joke (I don't like "marketing" either), but people seem to take it ideologically.

So let's just say:
1) The website could be improved by providing more and more concise information about Allegro 5.

2) There could be less outdated stuff about Allegro4 which isn't clearly separated from A5 stuff.

3) It could be a bit easier on the eyes (least important - but I sent a patch nevertheless, because I don't have time to to work on the other issues at the moment)

:)

The new "Getting started" article on the wiki is already a major improvement over the old one.

Dennis
Member #1,090
July 2003
avatar

Pardon me if it had already been brought up ( I did not read the whole thread ).

Why not make an entirely new website for Allegro5 and leave everything Allegro4 related as it is?

They are essentially separate libraries so it would make sense to separate information on them.

There would also be the benefit of not having to deal with old website code, you could just start fresh on a clean green meadow of its own.

Striker
Member #10,701
February 2009
avatar

And all the work doubled. Who wants to do all the work without payment? You? As long as we don´t earn money with allegro there can't be a real marketing.

Its right, A5 should be strictly separated from A4. A complete new corporate design, style, name and mascot would be the best. Maybe a dragonfly instead of earthworm alligator Alex, symbolizing that Allegro now has new abilities. Like a dragonfly it can lift up and reach new goals fast and elegant.

But i understand, the developers already have much unpayed work, they dont want much more of it. :)

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Dennis said:

There would also be the benefit of not having to deal with old website code

It all was re-done for Allegro 5 already by Peter. The website as well as the documentation are generated with pandoc. All we have to do for any changes is commit some markdown into git. It's just beautiful, I'd say as close to perfect as you can get with web dev. And minimum maintenance.

The patch by Polybios for example is only to a single CSS file :)

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

Dennis
Member #1,090
July 2003
avatar

Elias said:

It all was re-done for Allegro 5 already by Peter. The website as well as the documentation are generated with pandoc. All we have to do for any changes is commit some markdown into git. It's just beautiful, I'd say as close to perfect as you can get with web dev. And minimum maintenance.

\o/

So... I am starting to wonder about the purpose of this thread. Seems like everything is running well already.

Striker
Member #10,701
February 2009
avatar

The real problem is imho that Allegro has become much more complicated, especially installation. It is too much for newbies. Even experienced users like Edgar and me have problems with it. I yesterday installed A5 for the third time. Now that i know which files belong where it took me "only" one or two hours. For a newbie it is days of fiddling around. For them it should be made easier if Allegro wants to get new members. 8-)

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
avatar

The two biggest improvements I think that allegro needs are:

1. More developers
2. Regularly made binaries for all platforms

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

And lots of pizza.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
avatar

If anyone wants to have an Allegro Hack, I'll pay for pizza every day.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

PoVRAZOR
Member #3,083
January 2003
avatar

Elias said:

OMG, is it the PoV, the guy who runs LudumDare? Didn't expect a post here

Long time no see man. :)

And what are you using now?

The somewhat obvious one: SDL. But over the past few years none of the libraries were particularly mature on Mobile, so I did A LOT of native ports, or occasionally used a piece of middleware called Marmalade. When SDL2 finally matured enough to do mobile well, I stopped using Marmalade, and vowed never to do another native port (unless it was necessary, i.e. consoles, Windows 8).

He's using Java.

You are an evil evil man. ;)

--
Sig's are for suckers

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

You should use Allegro5, because it is better. :( :o :)

@Elias:
Yes, the system seems to be an excellent solution. We just need to actually make the changes which are so easy and comfortable to make.
Just like we need to make the games whose creation is made easer and more comfortable by the existence of Allegro5. :)

Striker said:

I yesterday installed A5 for the third time. Now that i know which files belong where it took me "only" one or two hours

What platform were you on? Windows?

GullRaDriel
Member #3,861
September 2003
avatar

Hell yeah, evil I am. ;D

I also like Thomas would love to see updated binaries for various platforms.

And pizzas too.

"Code is like shit - it only smells if it is not yours"
Allegro Wiki, full of examples and articles !!

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
avatar

Just cause I'm curious and I honestly don't know, what would it take to consistently provide up-to-date binaries for all of the platforms? As in, what resources are required?

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

As in, what resources are required?

Time. Nothing else.

[edit:] To clarify, you of course will also need a computer, with the target OS, and the ability to compile Allegro and its dependencies. And ideally some way to automate the process so new binaries could be made for small changes, like when a new bugfix needs to be tested.

If anyone wants to have an Allegro Hack, I'll pay for pizza every day.

You are sending pizza to all the speedhack participants? :D

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
avatar

How far can you get without a target OS? What can be automated in a cross-compile?

AMCerasoli
Member #11,955
May 2010
avatar

I think that ideally there should be a cross-compile environment that gets the Allegro source and compiles it. I guess that a "complete" cross-compile environment is not needed, I mean, with only one virtual machine you can compile for windows, and then on another virtual machine create the cross compile enviorment to compile against Ubuntu(1,2,3), Debian(1,2,3), Fedora(1,2,3), etc... But I know nothing about cross-compiling what I'm doing right now is set up a virtual machine for each OS that I want to support.

Striker
Member #10,701
February 2009
avatar

Polybios, that was on XP. The other box with win7 already has an A5 installed. But now i am going to use more Ubuntu 12.10 with wine to get away a bit from all this windows and still use the same programs. 8-)

If Allegro would be my project i would design a Windows version similar like it was 20 years ago. Like Turbo C and Turbo Pascal 5.5 was. They had an own IDE in Textmode, very similar to the Rhide of the old Allegro. I would use such an IDE in graphics mode, but keep it simple. That must not be a huge project like CodeBlocks with more than 100 MB. Most of the functions of CodeBlocks i never use. What you really need are three to five functions, i have mentioned some time ago with my allegro IDE batch "c.bat". These are:

E - edit the source code
C - compile it and see the error messages
R - run the program

as advanced features there could be:

D - debug
P - profile

Thats all i need for my way of programming. I mostly code one (if unsure) or a few lines and then compile it to see the error messages. Then run it to see the output. With this system i am usually coding. I know some people are writing the whole program at once, but it is difficult to find bugs then.

These three functions fit in a batchfile of 100 lines. Most of the other stuff in CodeBlocks is more or less useless, imho. Syntax highlighting is useful, few other things, but many other functions are only a distraction.

Together with the IDE i would put the compiler MinGw and the Allegro binaries all in a directory structure so that everything is ready. You just need to download, install (unpack) and you are ready to type in your program. Matthew has the binaries for download on a.cc, CodeBlocks has MinGw included, so it seems that should be possible. Who wants can get the sources and compile them.

And that way Allegro will not only be able to attract newbies, it would even be possible to sell it (if that works with the licences of the dependencies). Marketing could be like many programs do. Free for personal use, companies have to pay. Then Allegro could be sold to schools. They are the best customers, because they may take a lot of copies and are willing to pay a good price. 8-)

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
avatar

Just cause I'm curious and I honestly don't know, what would it take to consistently provide up-to-date binaries for all of the platforms? As in, what resources are required?

What Elias said.. And I'm looking into some software called buildbot. If it ends up working for us, that would be awesome. If not, I can provide a windows or linux vm for someone to setup an automated windows build.

edit: or well, someone might still have to do the windows side of buildbot, not sure yet.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

Striker
Member #10,701
February 2009
avatar

Let me spin the idea with selling Allegro to schools further.

On a DVD there is still space free when there is burned the IDE with compiler and libraries on it.

There could be some free pictures, textures, tiles, sprites, sounds and music to use in programming.

And example programs to use as template for programming. I mean complete programs like the existing demos. Naturally for schools it would be necessary not to limit Allegro to games. There could be examples for the most common program types like:

1. text processing
2. paint and drawing program
3. Sound program

Games:
1. Breakout
2. Three-in-a-row
3. Hidden Objects
4. Solitaire
5. Car racing

and so on.

That could be a real interesting programming DVD where it is fun and easy to develop professionell looking programs and games like those at gametop.com and myplaycity.com. And it is an opportunity for the allegro members to develop these demo programs or port their old programs to A5.

This DVD could have two surfaces. One with a program and game menu to Execute all the demo programs and one for the developer side to see the source codes and how they are compiled.

Only ideas, maybe somebody is interested... 8-)

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
avatar

Allegro would be excellent to get into high school programming classes. When I was in grade 10 C++ it was so boring (we didn't even use classes -- but the teacher was all the rave about FoxPro) I spent most of my time programming games with allegro.

A classmate saw what I was doing and asked me about it (I made a tile based racing game with AI controlled opponents). I showed him the allegro ropes and he made a game where you control a penis that shoots sperm at falling objects. It was great.

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

These are interesting ideas, but obviously can only be the 3rd step or so.

About binaries / compiling / installing again, what is actually missing, what is important?

I'd say it's rather easy to get Allegro5 compiled on Linux because all you have to do is to install the dependencies via package management.

Windows is more difficult due to absence of package management. But I thought Michał Cichoń was already providing binaries? Has he ceased to do this?

Mac OS X: Although I don't know much about OS X, I managed to build Allegro 5 without problems as soon as I had Mac Ports installed. It took considerable time to build the dependencies, though. So this could really be improved by providing binaries.

I don't know a thing about iOS and Android. There is no article on the wiki about "getting started" on Android, the one about iOS is rather short. Maybe these are areas which could be easily improved by someone knowledgeable, so that we at least have "Getting started" info for all platforms online? It'd be good to have info online because at least I'd check how to build / install and if there's up-to-date info before even caring to download.

edit:
That means solutions for OS X, iOS and Android seem to be most important right now, right?

Also, is there a public todo list for Allegro5? The one on the wiki seems to be outdated. At least beoran seems to be motivated to contribute, it'd be good if people like him knew where to start to spend their time and effort. :)

furinkan
Member #10,271
October 2008
avatar

If you were to automate cross compiling it would probably save time, but on top of compliling for Linux, we also have Windows to worry about. You can only cross compile for MinGW. I don't think you can get MSVC set up in Wine... not that anybody has probably tried such a stunt.

Sounds interesting though... wonder if you could run the compiler in wine? No need for GUI. Just need a functional install of MSVC. ???

EDIT:
MSVC on Wine

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

Why wrestle with wine when a vm would do the job cleaner and in a more portable manner?

And I'm looking into some software called buildbot. If it ends up working for us, that would be awesome.

So that's what you were looking at. 8-) If it's good enough for Firefox, Python, and Chromium, it should get the job done for Allegro (provided it's doable).

Incidentally, SDL also uses Buildbot.

<whisper>At the risk of reviving an old, dead, and very evil horse... :-X

4 essential rules of effective logo design, for objective evaluation of logos.</whisper>

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

4 essential rules of effective logo design

1 Start with your brand
Ok. Allegro. That was easy.

2 Simplify
"If being provincial is part of your brand then feel free to break this rule.
Well, hobby games library, so yes, probably what he would call it. So point 2 does not apply to us.

3 Shoot for ten times your size
Ok...

4 Someone will hate it
Well duh. Good he tells us, or else we'd have spent forever trying to find a logo everyone likes.

So yes, very useful 4 rules for helping with creating a logo :P

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert



Go to: