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Learning Java Through Violence

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the is-there-any-other-way dept.

Java 225

Joe writes: "Someone introduced me to a new game called Robocode and now I'm hooked as well as my 17 year old son. We are both learning Java while playing the game or I should say while building our Java robots. The game is setup to teach you how to handle events, how to create inner classes, and other Java techniques to build more sophisticated Java bots. I have a c++ background so I've been helping my son with his bots, but he's catching on very fast. It's turning out to be a cool and easy way to get the kid clued into programming and best of all its free." I'll bet if the little Logo turtles shot at each other, I would have had more fun programming as a kid.

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THIS IS THE POST BEFORE # 2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270686)

GUESS The weekend is pretty slow, huh

Diagnosis (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270693)

Java is a disease.

It slows your computer down and eats all the memory.

Java is a CowboyNeal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270738)

It slows your car down and eats all the groceries.

Hmmmm. (3, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270695)

Now if we could only have Quake III teach reading, we'd be good to go.

This is how i learned C, too (3, Redundant)

Smallest (26153) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270697)

There was a thing just like this for Amigas in the late 80's that used a crippled version of C for the bots. You could use "radar", shoot things, move, etc.. a lot of fun - and a good way to learn C.

And, before that, i actually wrote my own version of a programmable bot game for C64, using a homemade 'machine' language. no slick graphics here - you watched the memory space (each bit in the arena's memory space lit up as a single pixel on the 340x280 screen).

All of this based on a Scientific American article about a phenomenon called "Core Wars".


Re:This is how i learned C, too (1)

EmilEifrem (11066) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270747)

Me too! It was tons of fun, until one of us figured out how to construct a bot that ALWAYS won. I seem to recall a version of CoreWars for tinyASM as well. Fun times...

Re:This is how i learned C, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270757)

Screen resolution on the C64 is 320x200. I know of no trick to _individualy_adress_ 340x280 pixels.
If you do know one, please elaborate :)

Re:This is how i learned C, too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270848)

holy shit, the nitpick police are out in force today.

Re:This is how i learned C, too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270881)


I can't believe people still fall for that shit.

Re:This is how i learned C, too (3, Insightful)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270796)

Was I the only one who went to a college with this type of game? Net trek was fun and all, but even the most relentless ogger needs a break. A friend of mine created a robot wars game in the late 80's for a project in compiler design. You wrote C code; moving the robot, firing patterns, etc. The game had 2d graphics, etc. It was pretty cool actually. If I recall correctly the game engine could handle up to 8 different robots. I wonder what other schools used their Connection Machine for....

A good way for each person to tout his programming skills. The project was updated over the years by each new class of ACM members. Kind of like a university of maryland cult legacy thing in the com sci department. Anyway, I was under the impression that pretty much every school had their own version of robot wars. I know at one point, U Texas had a world wide robot wars gaming contest based on similar concepts. This was about 18 months or so before lego bots got popular. They truely cunning would like at the compiler code and figure out how many instructions were executed per time unit and craft state machines accordingly.

I regret to inform you... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270838)

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

Re:This is how i learned C, too (1)

tjgrant (108530) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270844)

I was pretty fresh out of college with my CS degree in those days, and was fortunate enough to work at a company that was attempting to do some Amiga development. That game sucked huge quantities of time from our small three person development staff. That said, we were probably all better coders due to those experiences.

Re:This is how i learned C, too (3, Informative)

maxxon (124407) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270882)

Yes, this game was called Crobots. You can still find copies of it around with some well-placed Web searches.

There's also a more recent type of this simulation called RealTimeBattle [] which uses a simple text-based protocol so that you can write a bot in literally any language.

Awesome! (2)

Captain_Frisk (248297) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270698)

There was a game I played as a kid on my macintosh. It had the same general idea, and i've been looking for something to replace it. Theres a new game called RoboForge out, but it costs money, and doesn't look all that interesting. Thank You!

I play that game every time I run Java apps (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270705)

Kill all the other tasks as quickly and accurately as possible before your computer crashes.

Re:I play that game every time I run Java apps (0, Troll)

~MegamanX~ (119882) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270816)

Change that for Java applets. Many browsers don't handle them properly.

Otherwise, java applications run well. Try them. I run JBuilder 5, wich is a full-featured IDE comparable to Visual Studio and such that many people use. It is all java, hence portable. Btw, it does runs on Linux.

Java gui support is slower than your typical native gui support, it doesn't make Java technology is a whole flawed.

Oh it's just a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270828)

Don't take it serious.

Now that's smart (1)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270710)

Most edutainment is really pretty boring, but this seems like a good conceptI think I've heard of something similar based on Z80 processors. Are there many other projects like this (especially for other languages)?

Slashcode revisited! Bumper Double Issue! (-1, Offtopic)

Surviving O. P. P. (520210) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270712)

It's been a couple of weeks since my last analysis of slashcode's deficiencies. We've all seen the evidence of Taco's totalitarian methods. Now let's look a little deeper at his incompetence and short-sightedness as a coder. To paraphrase Taco's words to Anne Tomlinson, was he dropped on his head at birth?

Part 1: Why is Slashdot the only site on the internet that DOS's itself?

I'm sure you've all noticed the frequent protracted outages over the last couple of weeks. Many have demanded an explanation, or at least an acknowledgement that something has gone wrong. Slashdot has been down for hours at a time, but the editors act as if nothing had happened. Since Rob "Cmdr. Whitewash" Malda and friends aren't willing to open up to their readers, it's up to me to give you the dope on why Slashdot is such a piece of crap.

The problem is of course, MySQL, as we have always suspected. mod_perl is another slice of the problem, with the last factor in the equation being unscaleable hardware.

MySQL + mod_perl + PC hardware = crash

MySQL has long been a favourite among people who want to set up a database backed web page, but are too cheap to pay for oracle. It has a reputation for serving up pages quickly, which it does admirably on sites that have low loads. As the number of connections to the DB increase past 50, MySQL seems to lose a lot of stability. In fact, it is not uncommon for it to crash and lose data in some circumstances.

In most circumstances, this isn't a problem for slashdot. It's rare for the site to reach more than 50 connections, however it does happen. It is at these times that slashdot has an increased tendency to experience the slashdot effect firsthand. The reason is that while mod_perl isn't quite a replacement for a proper middleware layer. mod_perl includes persistent database connections, but these are irrelevant. MySQL is known for it's high connection speed, and persistent connections don't really lift it's game much. They also don't solve the problem of handling excessive connections. When mod_perl runs out of open connections, it just opens another one. In other words, mod_perl does nothing to protect the MySQL database from overload.

The other problem is the hardware. A site like slashdot, receiving approximately 600 connections per minute should be running on high end enterprise hardware, not PC hardware. Taco has tried to overcome this with clustering, but this has limitations in an IO intensive area like running a website. PCs are not known for having good network performance, and this is one area that cannot help but cause a bottleneck, particularly when the site is running under load. One advantage of running on Sun or IBM hardware is that you get good IO performance combined with the ability to utilise multiprocessing. Running your site spread over 12+ low-end machines in a network just isn't anywhere near as good.

Compare slashdot to any other high traffic site. for instance. Have you ever seen amazon go down for four solid hours without being DOSed by canadian hackers? Amazon copes with their load because they run a sensible database, a well-designed front-end and hardware that can cope with the load. Thanks to the open-source ideology of this site, only one of these options are open to the administrators. PostGreSQL would reduce the number of crashes, however it is about 3 times at dealing with individual connections as slow as MySQL.

Essentially, we have a situation where the site is periodically hit with a large number of simultaneous connections, and they cause the database to keel over and die. This does not reflect well on Open Source software, and puts this site in the ironic position of bringing disrepute upon Open Source though their success at evangelism. It's no wonder the slashdot editors are unwilling to acknowledge their site's incredibly fragile nature.

I'd like to make it clear at this point that I don't actually know for sure that this is what's happening. For all I know, Taco is working on the code that is running on the actual slashdot server, and keeps breaking it. I'm just making educated guesses here.

As a bonus final note to the first half of this bumper double issue, has it occurred to anyone else that this site's codebase shares it's name with a slang term for homoerotic fan fiction? Linux gay conspiracy indeed!

Part 2: What in holy fuck?! under the microscope.

I have conclusive proof that Cmdr. Taco. is a gibbon. [] and [] . Here's something cool for you to try at home: go to the search page, and search for all comments containing the word "competent". Now wait a few seconds. Wait a few minutes. Go grab a bite to eat. When you come back, it should be done.

Yep, this is the slowest search page in the universe. If you didn't believe me last time I told you that Malda has all the coding ability of a starving five year old from Ghana, you will believe me soon.

OK, you don't need to look at All the meat is in, and this time it's nicely placed at the top. Find the _keysearch function. Notice the for loop in there. What that loop is doing is constructing a "LIKE" clause to insert in a query string. It surrounds every word you entered into the search field with wildcards and uses them to search against comment text and title. This is then used in the findComments function as a clause in a select query which searches the entire comment database.

I have two major problems with what Taco has done here. They are as follows:

1. Even retards are laughing at him for writing code this fucken stupid.

2. LIKE queries are slow. They are text substring searches. They can't be optimized very well by databases like MySQL. These systems simply aren't designed with this sort of thing in mind, because for applications that aren't designed by twits, this functionality is seldom needed, and best implemented in an application specific way. Let me reiterate what's going on here. Slashcode is performing a substring search on every comment and comment title in the entire database. That is, too put it mildly, a shitload of text to search through. It cannot be done quickly, as our little demonstration should have proven to you. It is an idiotic thing to implement in a web page like slashdot, and Taco should be hanged by his testicles for having even had the idea.

You're probably thinking, "Hey, wait! Doesn't google do this sort of thing all the time, with incredible speed?" Yes, google does, but google's developers actually took the time to implement data storage methods geared towards fast search and retrieval of data based on substrings. Examples of this, for those who care, would be digital search tries and ternary trees. These are the best methods I know of off-hand for implementing the type of search slashdot is providing. Evidently Taco doesn't know of them, but that's hardly surprising, since gibbons can't read or study computer science. I also doubt that they can be implemented efficiently in perl.

I didn't think I'd be able to find a clear, simple example to top the postercomment compression filter's ability to demonstrate what an imbecile taco is, but I guess I understimated him. This is without a doubt, the dumbest thing I have ever seen in code anywhere.


should not be surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270730)

slashdot hasn't really changed since it was taco's side project in college. can you believe the millions they sold this shitbag for and it hasn't been spent on a decent codebase? probably not, i think they blew their load in linux boxes, and computer games.

this site is prove positive that open source will only go so far, before you need to call the big boys at MS, Oracle, Sun, IBM, etc.


javabandit (464204) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270739)


/. is a great message board. It provides great content. You don't have to support it. You don't even have to be here.

Who care what they use? Who cares if they are down now and then? Who cares what database they use? Who cares what language they use?



Kombat (93720) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270807)

Who care what they use? Who cares if they are down now and then?

LOL! Now this is an ironic comment to find on a site that is so viciously anti-Windows/pro-Open Source. "Linux is way better than Windows, because Windows occassionally crashes. But hey, cut Slashdot some slack - who cares if they are down now and then?"

Re:WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270890)

ha ha.

Re:Slashcode revisited! Bumper Double Issue! (2)

Pengo (28814) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270849)

Hmm.. it's a message board, a BBS.. not a air-traffic-control system. I am sure that more time and effort can be put into better text search tool (ie. off the shelf alternatives exist), but who cares?

I just want to see the news, read crap from trolls (such as yourself), and hopefully learn a thing or two.

You put a lot of effort into this post, but you haven't offered a single suggestion on improvments, only shot down the efforts of many. I guess some people are born to build, some are born to tear down.

Good luck on your conquest.

Moral implications... (0, Insightful)

UltraBot2K1 (320256) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270713)

Joe: I think it's fantastic that you're teaching your son to program. I only wish my parents and teachers recognized the importance of learning computers when I was your son's age. But don't you think that there are better ways of teaching programming than encouraging unnecessary violence? There is enough sex and violence present in the media already without intermingling it with education. The road to knowledge should not be paved with death and destruction. This is certainly not the way to encourage our children to expand their horizons.

I say, reward our children for their good deeds with positive reinforcement. The violence is completely unnecessary, and can warp an impressionable young mind.

Children are notoriously suceptible to the power of suggestion, and if you present violence to your son as a prize for doing something good, he will receive the message that violence is okay and should be encouraged. This is unacceptable, and should be stopped immediately.

Re:Moral implications... (2)

scrytch (9198) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270727)

How about an updated version of Rocky's Boots? Oh wait, that has a boot that kicks things, that could be violent. How about The Other Side? Oh wait, spies, bombs, environmental exploitation... I guess changing the graphics to throw flowers and compliments at each other to see who makes the other smile most might just be interpreted as a surrogate for missile weapons and damage.

I knew there'd be some self-righteous pollyanna that'd react to the title. Astonishing how everyone already knows how to raise everyone else's kids.

You have got to be kidding . . . (3, Insightful)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270732)

First of all, take a look at the alternatives to "learning through violence."

1) Barney. Or, as I like to call it "unlearning through sensory numbing." Obviously not a good choice for anyone, at all, period.

2)Not learning, although still through violence. Example: most pointless video games. I say most, because I am still a firm believer in the idea that viedo games are great for the imagination, among other things.

This leaves us with the healthy alternative of:

C)Learning through violence! Yes, blowing up giant robots is FUN, and most kids would be thrilled to pull the trigger and show off his or her prowess on the virtual battlefield. I know I would love to destroy a an opposing process or script with the knack of my own creation. What is the big problem, when the kid would more than likely spend his or her time on a (possibly) less productice game? I say that this is a great idea. People learn better when they are having fun with what they are doing.

Finally, it is not "rewarding" the child for following through with a violent act - it is simply a mode by which the student can learn a new skill. Haven't you ever built an erector set? Most of them involved the construction of battlefield tanks or other war machines. It just happens to be one of the best-suited applications for teaching programming.

Re:Moral implications... (3, Insightful)

tlianza1 (471577) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270752)

The violence is completely unnecessary, and can warp an impressionable young mind.
The kid is seventeen. He most likely has a driver's license by now. The violence is not completely unnecessary, as it is not uncommon for teenagers (even those younger than himself) to love action movies or other films and TV shows with violence. I'm sure a lot of us did when we were that age and turned out AOK. In this case the subject matter may be precisely what makes the game more fun and entertaining. Create a game about puppy dogs and ice cream and see how many teenagers are interested enough to pick it up and learn a new programming language...

Computers in education wasRe:Moral implications... (4, Insightful)

firewort (180062) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270763)

When I was in 3rd and 4th grades, way back, we had Apple ][ and IBM PC Machines, and we were taught BASIC, and LOGO, both turtle and mathematic instructions. We had district-wide competitions. Computing was for more than teaching productivity software and reader rabbit-crap.

This is something that has been lost from the curriculum, and should be regained.

Joe's son is 17, and while still developing, I'd venture that any associations he's made with violence and good were made long before he reached this age. Give the kid and parent some credit, the kid is an adolescent and hasn't rejected hanging out with his Dad- they must be doing something right!

Re:Moral implications... (2, Offtopic)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270799)

There is enough sex and violence present in the media already without intermingling it with education.

I disagree on both counts. You say for both sex and violence that there is "enough". How much is enough?

There is too much violence in media.

There is not enough sex in media.

And your idea of intermingling with education is a great concept. Now that you've mentioned it already, is it too late to patent it?

Re:Moral implications... (1)

ReelOddeeo (115880) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270827)

...there is "enough" sex and violence in media...... ...How much is enough?

Who defines enough?

Some people may be satisfied with the present level of sex and violence, and others may not yet be satisfied. Some people are harder to please.

FAG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270851)

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

Re:Moral implications... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270804)

You may be interested in this story: Children kill their parents because of computer games [] . You heard it here first.

Re:Moral implications... (2)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270845)

But don't you think that there are better ways of teaching programming than encouraging unnecessary violence? There is enough sex and violence present in the media already without intermingling it with education.

It's a game, he either learns to code while killing "non-living" robots, or doesn't learn to code while killing humans playing counter-strike.

And everyone knows that video games *do not* contribute to violent acts. I have been playing violent video games for years, and over those years my violent tendancies have deminished.

-- iCEBaLM

Re:Moral implications... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270857)

"I have been playing violent video games for years, and over those years my violent tendancies have (sic) deminished."

That's good, because all those video games certainly didn't help your spelling.

** FAG ALERT! ** (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270847)

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

Re:Moral implications... (2, Flamebait)

G-funk (22712) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270863)

You wouldn't by any chance live under a bridge would you?

There is enough sex and violence present in the media

I think not. Sure there's enough violence, but never enough sex! I'll tell you what there is enough of though, self-righteous pricks who think they should be the thought police, and that they have the magical rules as to how everybody should raise their own children. That and trolls, so you've got to go either way.

Re:Moral implications... (3, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270886)

I'll tell you what there is enough of though, self-righteous pricks who think they should be the thought police, and that they have the magical rules as to how everybody should raise their own children.

While I disagree with the poster's hand-wringing about violence, I have to defend his right to judge others. The biggest problem with society today is not sex, violence, the DMCA or any of that: It's the "who am I to judge" crap. It's everyone's responsibility to judge EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in society, but be willing and prepared to be judged by others.

Notice that the poster was not calling for laws to be passed, but it is his absolute right and responsibility to judge on a personal basis what he feels is right and wrong. When enough people feel the same way, society can be transformed.

RM101: Self righteous, and proud of it.

What!? (1)

battjt (9342) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270870)

Humans have solved conflicts using violence for hundreds of thousands of years. Why should we drop that great tradition now? Why should we forget its effect through suppression in the media? Is it better for me to take your stuff by way of bribery, legal trickery or by knocking you down and taking it? I suggest that the more honest approach is through the violence of knocking you down and taking it (it may result to that anyway).

Violence is an honest viable form of conflict resolution. I suggest that people learn when it is appropriate. Given that, it is not appropriate in school, in the houses of congress, or in the board room.

Violence may be appropriate when dealing with a group that has extremely different background and values from you own. Violence is a very basic conflict resolution style that everyone from Asian, to African, to European, to American Indian, to canine, to sheep, to lion understand. I would guess that any form of life capable of memory and self preservation, even alien, would understand violence.

Violence is in itself not wrong.

Are battling robots really violent? What's the difference if we settle our conflict through dumping money into lobbiest, or dumping our money into battlee bots; in the end, the organisation with the most money wins.

Just some Sunday morning banter.

Re:Moral implications... (3, Insightful)

osgeek (239988) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270871)

Well, I'm sure if little boys were interested in programming pink unicorns to run around kissing daisies in meadows, then a wonderful teaching tool could be constructed around that very concept. As it is, though, a "battle" provides a setting that motivates young boys to get into the educational activity enough to make it worthwhile.

Besides, having grown up in a house where my parents didn't really censor my cable access, I find it hard to believe that shielding kids from all possible influences really makes a difference. I never got into fights in highschool or college, despite watching Rocky I - V. I've always felt that an intellectual approach to conflict is far better than a violent one.

How could that be, when I watched The Exorcist and Jaws before I was even a teenager! Why, I even used to watch The Roadrunner back when old Wile E Coyote used to actually hit the ground!

The key to raising your kids to avoid exerting violent behavior isn't to shield them from all possible observations of it. It isn't even that helpful to have them avoid board and video games where violence is a goal.

The key is to teach your kids the difference between fantasy and reality. "Yeah, it's fine to go watch a Jackie Chan movie, but when you leave the theatre, don't kick your friends and pretend that you're in a karate fight." "Play Quake and Duke Nuke'em, but remember that they're just video games."

Additionally, build loving trusting relationships with your children and encourage them to build similar relationships with others. Teach them how to think their ways through problems, rather than giving up and reacting violently.

Re:Moral implications... (2, Funny)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270872)

was that supposed to be modded insightful or funny? it's getting hard to tell around here...

although, i'm sure i read that one of the first signs of a serial killer is the torture of small instruction sets.

no, really.

Violence doesn't cause all evil in the world. (3)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270898)

OK, I think this "violence is bad" argument is being taken way beyond a sane or healthy level here. You call this game violent? Did you ever play Tank for Atari as a kid? This is game a remake of that game with modifiable AI and better graphics. You aren't looking at horrific scenes of brutal warfare; you see these small robots shooting little pellets at one another with a decreasing counter above them. Hardly what I would consider violent. Suppose kids were not exposed what you consider violence. How would they deal with the real world? They couldn't, they'd probably go crazy and we'd be worse off than we are now. I don't know about you, but I was technically a kid when I played Wolfenstein 3d, Spear of Destiny, Doom, Doom2, and Quake. You fail to reallise the premise of these games, they clearly state that you have two options: kill, or be killed, they do not present you with the peaceful resolution option because it is assumed to have failed. A situation we would hope never to put into but one we as a species are innately curious about. I also don't feel these games had any negative affect on me whatsoever, in fact, they gave my life direction: they inspired me to study Computer Science, and I'm sure there are millions, if not billions, of kids playing violent games every day. How many are cold-hearted killers? Very few. Due to the fact that Joe appears to be a good parent (helping his son pick up some skills that will be very handy later in life), his son is almost a zero risk for causing another Columbine. This debate against violence has been taken beyond reason. It has become more of a witch-hunt.

Mindrover (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270714)

Mindrover from Loki has the same idea. The difference is really that it doesn't require you to learn a full programming language, but allows you to program your robots through a graphical building-block kind of interface, with counters, gates and stuff.


Re:Mindrover (1)

gnudutch (235983) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270737)

Back in the 80's we called that program "Rocky's Boots".

well well. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270718)


So is this like, national michael-posting day? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270719)

Oh well, at least everything he posts is spelled right...Taco :P

Yes, there are others (5, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270720)

Yes, robocode is not the first, see DMOZ's [] entry. Corewars was perhaps the most famous. Okay, now we can move on to talking about Robocode's merits instead of talking about its family tree.

**WARNING! WARNING! FAG ALERT** (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270877)

1 R3GR37 70 1NF0RM J00 7H47 J00, 51R, 4R3 4 R461N6 H0M053XU41!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

anal filter encountered. buttfuck aborted!

glilkklkl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270722)

slashdot sucks. Man I HA?TE YOU LOSERS

Is there a question or something here? (2)

dmorin (25609) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270723)

Lots of kids learned to code this way. Back in the days of Pascal in my high school I found Tom Poindexter's C-Robots and learned C that way (thinking it was pretty much just Pascal with some shortcut characters like braces instead of BEGIN/END). It's a funny coincidence that someone introduced you to the game within a day that somebody interviewed the guy behind the game at kuro5hin, however. :)

nice! (2)

gnudutch (235983) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270729)

This sounds tons more fun than that lame ass Karel the Robot [] baloney we had to go through in high school programming class. Forget the steeplechase, code up a deathchase!!!

Re:nice! (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270749)

I couldn't agree more! I recently took 15-100 (introduction to programming with java) at CMU, and we had to use Karel: The Java Edition [] for the first half of the semester..

Considering most of the people there, such as myself, were already well versed in at least one other programming language, we were needless to say bored out of our minds. By the end of the semester, we spoke our mind at The Fence [] (you people familiar with CMU will enjoy this..)

Re:nice! (1)

maan (21073) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270802)

I can't believe they're using karel here in CMU now...what are people gonna say about us...I'm glad I got credits and never got to do any of the intro classes. Anybody in 212 or 213 around?


Violent Computer Games (2, Flamebait)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270734)

Just wait until some kid decides to shoot up his school again.

We don't really know what set off this victim of child-abuse and school bullying who just happened to have easy access to firearms. But we think it might be the fact that he was a Java programmer.

And we'll have Oprah and Senator Liebermann calling for a ban on applets for a few months afterword.

Re:Violent Computer Games (1)

luge (4808) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270746)

And we'll have Oprah and Senator Liebermann calling for a ban on applets for a few months afterword.
Would that be such a bad thing? ;)

Re:Violent Computer Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270760)

Oh, come on. Reasoning like that we should forbid e.g. Agatha Christie's novels, as they educate prospectous murderers and robbers :-/

Taking a sunbath does not make you an inquisitor torturing others with fire

New idea? (1)

forsaken33 (468293) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270744)

Wow, someone finally gets it, make an educational game that is actually interesting! Seriously, id bet if developers/companies/whoever made educational games that were actually fun to play, they could do well, esp. dealing with computers......programming......stuff like that.

good job /. ers (1)

necrognome (236545) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270751)

All of you browsing ibm's pages have decreased my transfer rate to 2.3K/sec. Thanks.

waaaaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270853)

I'm getting 8k (and d/loading both the winversion and the ns .jar version go cry in yer cheerios anyway..sorry to browse YOUR turd

OS X (1)

dukethug (319009) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270754)

I ran Robocode under the OS X terminal using the Linux install/run options, worked like a charm, although it seems that the text in the preferences window got cut off for some reason. If you're using a G4, I highly recommend maxing out the FPS and watching the game fly.

combinations (1)

crowke (300971) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270755)

Maybe they can combine this technology with the dog-bots from sony [] ? Fun will be guaranteed :)

/.ed (0)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270758)

the website's /.ed, google's cached version is at [] (just delete the space, slashcode always puts extra spaces in URLs...)

Re:/.ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270792)

Mr Nobo, you appear to have accidentally posted a correct google link, instead of a goatse link. This is shocking, especially after previous jewels from you, such as this [] . What gives?

another recent game (1)

ziggles (246540) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270761)

Colobot claims to teach you the basics of programming through a game, and I haven't gotten very far in it yet, but it seems cool. You have to program robots to go do tasks that you need done.

I want to play Perlbot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270818)

Program a robot to get a date with Heidi Wall. Meee-ow!

More programming, less game... (2, Troll)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270767)

There was a whole range of products out there along these lines back in the mid 80s. I recall one from Origin Systems (back when they were independant) that enphesised the game aspects rather than the programming aspects but nonetheless tought basic programming concepts using a BASIC-like language. As a teaching aid it was somewhat lacking but as a game, it rocked. Battles ere fought in a dufimentry 3D universe set around Origin Systems headquarters in Austin Texas. They even offered the ability to upload your robots for competition against other players where the stats were available on a BBS where members could review their rankings. Granted the online competitions weren't realtime and Blizard's is a far cooler forum for online gaming, but all that proves is that technology marches on and that Origin Systems was way ahead of their time. I think the game was called OMEGA although I'm not sure.


Re:More programming, less game... (2)

tmark (230091) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270810)

Origin Systems was way ahead of their time. I think the game was called OMEGA

Before that I believe there was a game for the Apple II called (I believe) Robot Wars. It had its own programming language and you programmed your robots to fight and move in a little arena. This was in the early 80's at latest, so I believe this would well predate the game you're thinking of.

Michael's Childhood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270770)

Judging from Michael's Environmentally Profitable posting at 7:04 and this one, it kinda looks like Michael [mailto] had a pretty miserable childhood.

What gives, man? Seek therapy or something.

Online version ala Battlebots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270771)

Has anyone given any thoughts to creating an online 'arena' where anyone who wants to can pit their bots against one another? This would be the poor man's version of battlebots, although I'd like to see if we can extend the code to do more 'interesting' things...

Another idea.. (3, Interesting)

dwlemon (11672) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270773)

Has this been done?

What about a programming puzzle game? You'd get a task and some constraints and have to write a program that meets the requirements.

from "Output the alphabet without using any character literals." to.. something more complicated. permutations of a string?

It'd just have to parse the source file to see if they followed the rules, see if it compiles (warnings not allowed!), and then run the program with whatever input it needs, and parse the output.

down they go. (2, Offtopic)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270776)

wow, weve /.ed IBM.

Bend to our will IBM l0z3rzz.

Re:down they go. (2)

jsse (254124) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270832)

It's just getting slow but doesn't crash. I'm still downloading the game at 1.2K/sec, 1hr to go. Not too bad really. :)

Re:down they go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270896)

i'm at 1.36KB/s .. hehe .. l0ser..

Old hat (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270779)

This kind of game came out 16 years ago as C-Robots [] .

link weirdness (0)

Gantoris (442791) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270780)

Have a look at the link here [] . At the bottom of the page, and i thought that thing was dead and gone by now.......

mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270788)

does anyone have a mirror for the setup files?

heh.. reminds me of school (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270789)

This reminds of of one of the programming projects I had to do for my introductory C++ course in school was an artillery simulator. The final program had to input the angles you wanted to launch the shell, and you had to hit certain targets around campus. It was pretty fun.


What about the other way around? (3, Funny)

Grelli (98061) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270798)

There are those that will tell you it works exactly opposite this.

You Learn Violence through trying to program in Java!

interview with the developer (5, Informative)

n3m6 (101260) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270811)

kuro5hin has a much more in depth look at robowars [] .

hehe Kuro5hin...can it stay up for a week yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270860)

that site is great..when it's up

Variety Of "Java Robots" out there... (2, Informative)

Tronster (25566) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270814)

Java robot-programming systems have been around for a few years. My room mate created one three years ago called
J Robots [] . His inspiration was the C-Robots which many people have already mentioned in their comments.

There are a few other Java robot systems listed on [] .

metamod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270820)

damn it why won't slashdot let me metamod? my uid is under the bottom 90%...and yes i have an account, i'm posting this anonymously cuz i don't want to lose karma

Just like Apple's RobotWars (2, Interesting)

shodson (179450) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270821)

In 7th grade Comp Sci class (only in San Jose, CA!) we used Robot Wars on Apple ]['s that did similar things. Robots would be in a 2-dimensional plane, had a motor, radar and a cannon. You could control these things with code. Your bots would fight each other on the screen. By the way, I had the best bot in the class! I even beat the bots built by the teacher's sons, who were CS students at San Jose State and he always bragged about them.

Anyways, I've been craving a modern version of this for some time now and haven't been able to find anything. I've thought of building one but I'll have to check this one out. (2, Informative)

Chagrin (128939) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270822) [] also allows users to create Java robots to test and play them on the server.

...which is where I wrote my first (and last) java class. Ech.

Lame! (2, Interesting)

vishakh (188958) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270824)

Real men play Core Wars [] and learn assembly. This does beat learning Java in Prof. Thronton's ICS 22 class [] tho. :-)

Real men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270904)

Real men buttfuck each other 75% of the day and then suck each other's cocks the rest of the time!

I regret to inform me that I, sir, am a raging homosexual.

Oops I did it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270830)

Yet another site slashdotted

Re:Oops I did it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270835)

A google cache won't do much good cuz google dosen't cache the stuff you need to download.

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

chipwits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270831)

Does anybody else remember a game called Chipwits? It was a mac game, I think it came out sometime in the mid 80's. The player put together a program from little instruction-tiles (kind of like a flowchart in a way), for the purpose of guiding a robot through a maze filled with hazards and goodies.
I don't suppose it's as good a primer on programming as some of these other games people have mentioned, but then again it's playable by younger kids -- I have fond memories of playing it when I was 9 or 10.

I wanna learn (1)

cyberbob2010 (312049) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270839)

I was gonna pay to go to a Non-credit Java course at the local college (I'm only in high school). I'll probably still go but this will definatley help. and being a amer it should be pretty fun to.
c-bob out


Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270858)

{:.. }
`~| O |~`
.'`~~~~~~~`'. YOU'VE GOT MORE
: )(_)( ; RIGHT NOW THAN
\ '.___.' / I COULD POSSIBLY
`.,__`=' _,.' BELIEVE
/ / \
jgs \/`\/

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

IBM server? (1)

deadgoon42 (309575) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270859)

Did we just /. and IBM server?

Re:IBM server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270892)

Yeah, as a matter of fact we did. Let's celebrate by sucking the semen out of each other's assholes!

realtimebattle (1, Interesting)

niklaus (139415) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270862)

For those who don't care about Java but want to program robots, there is a similar program called realtimebattle [] which lets you write robots in any language you want (ok, any language which can read and write standard input and output).


Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270866)

____ __.---""---.__ ____
/####\/ \/####\
(/-----) (------)
\__OO/ \OO__/
.-" . . "-. THE BIGGEST SHIT
| | \.._ _../ | | YOU'VE EVER SEEN !!!!!
\ \ \."-.__________.-"./ / /
\ \ "--.________.--" / /
___\ \_ _/ /___
./ ))))) ((((( \.
\ /
\ \_ _/ /
\ \____/""-.____.-""\____/ /
\ \ / /
-. .| ./.
." / | - / | - ".
." / | - / | - ".
/.-./.--.|.--.\ /.--.|.--.\.-.|

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual.

Stored Procedures all over again (1, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270876)

Why not make it be multi-lingual? Why just Java? Supply an API that any language can use. This issue comes up whenever stored procedures are mentioned and somebody wants to use another language besides PL/SQL or Java or whatever.

Learning vs. Imitating (2, Interesting)

egdull (142805) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270879)

In middle school, I built robots for a pascal-based fighting environment such as this one.

I notice now that I was merely imitating the coding practices found in the example code and the code that my friends and I shared.
I was learning interfaces and code structure in a very oblique manner.
I wasn't learning program structure or timing.

It was a lot of fun, but I didn't walk away from the experience with anything more than a cursory memory of what code is.

ripping off ascii spork (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270884)

O )) ( ( \ \_.-' \ O )) ( ( \ \_.-
\_.' | `. \ __ | \_.' | `. \ THIS IS A CROSS
\#_/ `-._/ . / _`. \#_/ `-._/ BETWEEN ESCHER
-' \ O )) ( ( \ \_.-' \ O . AND A STIFF
__ | \_.' | `. \ ' __ | \_/ DICK UP THE ASS
. / _`. \#_/ `-._/ . / _`. \#_/
)) ( ( \ \_.-' \ O )) ( ( \ \_.-'
' | `. \ ' __ | \_.' | `. \ '
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__ | \_.' | `. \ ' __ | \_.' |
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( ( \ \_.-' \ O )) ( ( \ \_.-'
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_/ . / _`. \#_/ `-._/ . / _`.
\ O )) ( ( \ \_.-' \ O )) ( ( \ \
| \_.' | `. \ ' __ | \_.' | `. \
\#_/ `-._/ . / `. \#_/ `-._/ fL

I regret to inform you that you, sir, are a raging homosexual. []

Your cock violated CmdrTaco's anal filter. Buttfuck aborted!

oooohhhh yeah that cock up my ass feels soo good! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2270900)

\"-._ _.--"~~"--._
\ " ^. ___
/ \.-~_.-~
.-----' /\/"\ /~-._ / IF YOU THINK MY HAIR
/ __ _/\-.__\L_.-/\ "-. LOOKS FUNNY YOU SHOULD
/.-" \ ( ` \_o>"<o_/ \ .--._\ SEE MY CROTCH
/' \ \: " :/_/ "`
/ /\ "\ ~ /~"
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___ \|___/ ./ l \___ ___
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/ / / \ _ : _ / \ \ \
.^--./ / Y___________l___________Y \ \.--^.
[ \ / | [/ ] | \ / ]
| "v" l________[____/]________j -Row }r" /
}------t / \ /`-. /
| | Y Y / "-._/
}-----v' | : | 7-. /
| |_| | l | / . "-._/
l .[_] : \ : r[]/_. /
\_____] "--. "-.____/

learning company-robot game (1)

faithhopeandcharity (110097) | more than 13 years ago | (#2270903)

The learning company had a cool game out that you had to put different gates together to make robots to complete quests. It was non violent. Very fun! I'm not sure why they don't sell it anymore. I wish I could get a copy for my neices and nephews.
anyone know what happened to this game??

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