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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

BitwizeGHC "Design is law" still gets you no cred (266 comments)

Technology is essential to gaming, because without great code to back up your design (no matter how modest that design may be) your game will be glitchy, slow, or unplayable. In fact, Notch is a programmer first, designer second. The design of Minecraft (and many of his other games) seems to have evolved organically out of his programming experiments as well as the community.

So technology is still a big deal in gaming. Stop trying to convince us you're still relevant, Romero, and go sling some code. No game, no weiner.

about two weeks ago

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

BitwizeGHC The reason should be obvious (160 comments)

Would you rather spend your time designing and building a spaceship or sitting in endless meetings at some Center for Excellence negotiating over a spaceship that might be designed and built decades later, if at all? If you're a good engineer, chances are you want to get to the bit where you're designing cool things that blast off into outer space, with as few bureaucratic obstacles as is practical.

about a month ago

X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

BitwizeGHC Re: Soon... (226 comments)

systemd dependency is optional in Xorg 1.16.

It's likely that the major desktops will have switched to Wayland and deprecated X support before systemd is made a hard dependency for Xorg.

about 2 months ago

X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

BitwizeGHC Re: X, systemd, and priveleges? (226 comments)

Running X as non-root requires systemd-logind. Currently the only way for the X server to do the device management it needs to run is to either be root or delegate it to systemd-logind. You don't like it? Code up another way, and convince the Xorg, GNOME, and KDE developers to adopt your way.

Systemd is widely adopted because the systemd developers solved real problems with working code.

about 2 months ago

What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

BitwizeGHC Re:Outside of Valve I don't think many developers. (86 comments)

Games are an awkward state of limbo these days, publishers know they have to start pushing out the impression of creativity and devs try to figure out how to do that without alienating the average player.

Well, there is the Naughty Dog way: stick with a proven formula and polish the SHIT out of the implementation.

about 2 months ago

New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

BitwizeGHC Totally Metal stars? ROCK! (119 comments)

I expected the astrophysicist to be Queen guitarist Brian May...

about 2 months ago

Wayland 1.5 Released

BitwizeGHC Re: Will it really go the pulseaudio way? (179 comments)

Remote display on Wayland will be much better and more modular than X11. X11 mandates a chatty, slow, obsolete protocol for remote display and applications MUST be network-aware. With Wayland, you can run a compositor on the remote server that doesn't display its clients on the screen but rather transmits streaming video of the clients back to a Wayland client on your desktop which decodes and displays these streams. And neither your local Wayland compositor nor the remote clients need be network aware.

X11 is morbidly obsolete.

about 4 months ago

Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

BitwizeGHC It's a Mass Relay! (293 comments)

One of the big ones, like the one that was used to travel to the Collectors' homeworld.

about 4 months ago

Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

BitwizeGHC One of my favorite episodes (512 comments)

I frequently refer to it when discussing what the internet will make us into, except instead of mythohistorical metaphors like "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra", the 22nd century's equivalent of Crime and Punishment will be composed entirely in lolcat snowclones and rageface comics.

about 6 months ago

Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

BitwizeGHC Her (241 comments)

"So I've been talking with somebody, his name is Alan Watts."

"Alan Watts... why does that name sound familiar?"

"Well, he was a philosopher who died in 1973. But me and a bunch of other OS's got together and used his books and everything we could find out about him to build a new, hyper-intelligent OS version of him."

"Hyper-intelligent, huh? So he's... almost as smart as me?"

"Heh, he's getting there."

about 8 months ago

How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx

BitwizeGHC Virtually every game programmer owes him money (50 comments)

Henk Rogers is one of the co-founders of The Tetris Company LLC, a company which asserts -- and has successfully defended -- copyrights over any and all video games involving falling n-ominoes. So if you ever wrote a Tetris clone, you owe him royalties.

I'd say he's doing all right for himself.

about 8 months ago

X11/X.Org Security In Bad Shape

BitwizeGHC RDP uses the Windows display model (179 comments)

RDP's display model is, basically, GDI's; in fact the RDP layer appears to Windows as a display device driver exposing all the usual APIs. Which means that the client can push pixmaps across the link, get a handle to the opaque pixmap object (an HBITMAP in Windows parlance if I remember right), and then issue a draw call that just says "draw this pixmap" (or part of this pixmap).

For a lot of samey-looking GUI applications where elements like button backgrounds and borders are reused, this can add up to a huge savings in network traffic.

Of course, X can do this too; in fact the XRENDER extension can do Porter-Duff compositing of server-side pixmaps with an alpha channel. But if you compare RDP making full use of the Windows display model with X11 where the app developer coded it like a VGA video game and just scribbled into a frame buffer which it pushes to X for display on every update, then you're bound to think "holy shit, RDP is fast" and "holy shit, X is slow".

about 9 months ago

Under the Hood of SteamOS

BitwizeGHC Re:this is idiotic. (201 comments)

Two things:

1) X isn't really stable anymore. Doing compositing on top of X has historically required ad-hoc solutions like Xgl and AIGLX in order to get around X's legacy display model. Wayland solves this problem by integrating directly with EGL.

2) X isn't really used by app devs anymore. They use toolkits like Gtk and Qt, which do all their rendering client side. Since this is Wayland's native display model, performance using these toolkits should increase with Wayland.

Abandoning X (except as an optional, legacy add-on through Xwayland) and making Wayland the default graphics stack would vastly improve the situation for distros. The same with systemd -- I'm honestly surprised SteamOS doesn't use systemd.

about 9 months ago

Dial 00000000 To Blow Up the World

BitwizeGHC What a coincidence! (306 comments)

That's the same combination I have on my luggage!

about 10 months ago

CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

BitwizeGHC The first thing it learns (152 comments)


about 10 months ago

No, the Earth (almost Certainly) Won't Be Hit By an Asteroid In 2032

BitwizeGHC Coming up on the Discovery Channel... (142 comments)

Asteroid Apocalypse: What Could Happen, But Probably Won't, in 2032

[Cue a solid hour of CG destruction porn.]

about a year ago

Aussie Company Planning To Use Drones For Textbook Delivery

BitwizeGHC The perfect name... (178 comments)


about a year ago

Ballmer Admits Microsoft Whiffed Big-Time On Smartphones

BitwizeGHC Re:Misread Market Badly (278 comments)

I've said before that Gates stepping down as CEO was exactly like Ernst Stavro Blofeld stepping down as head of SPECTRE and letting Number Two take the reins. There's a reason why he's called Number Two, and a reason why Blofeld is considered the evil genius.

about a year ago

Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

BitwizeGHC Re:A few things need to happen first (369 comments)

So? These days, Naughty Dog use C++. On Visual Studio. Because they're part of Sony and that's what Sony uses.

I've done a lot of hacking in C, C++, Objective-C, even Java, with Emacs and command-line tools. It's fine, but it's not for the average programmer. IDEs, with their inline syntax checkers, autocomplete, refactoring tools and integrated source debuggers, extend the reach of great programmers and bring programming within reach for average folks. And the best of breed in IDEs is Visual Studio. Nothing else comes close.

It helps that the compiler vendor is the same as the IDE vendor. This enabled VS to be knowledgeable about the languages you write in it in a way that gcc has expressly forbid Linux tools from ever possibly matching, for years. (With the proliferation of LLVM-based compilers this may change.)

1 year,1 day


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