On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 8:49 AM, Mateusz Viste <mate...@viste-family.net> wrote:
> On 05/05/2013 08:16 AM, Rugxulo wrote:
>> Yes, apparently you use SDL (1.2, I presume?)
> You're right - I use SDL 1.2, and that's indeed the only reason why
> Atomiks won't compile on DJGPP.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't miss a DOS port.
Considering that a DOS port already existed many years ago, that would
be understandable.

>> (BTW, just vaguely curious, why Linux IA-32 and x64 but only Win32 and
>> no Win64? LLP64 incompatibility bite you? So much for portability!)
> Here as well the reason is much more trivial than what you'd imagine :)
> I don't have any Windows PC, only an old virtual machine with Windows XP
> that I used for presentation needs in one of my past jobs. Now I use
> this virtual machine only 2 or 3 times a year, to compile stuff with
> mingw. This VM being 32 bit, I simply don't have the possibility to
> compile 64 bit code on it.

If only you could run one (DOS) binary in more than one OS (NTVDM,
DOSBox, DOSEMU, VirtualBox). If only such a thing existed.   :-)

There are Win32 cross compilers out there hosted atop Linux. Even
OpenWatcom can (unofficially) compile SDL, from what I've read. Also,
you could maybe? still download a Win8 RC .ISO, which probably?
doesn't expire for a year or so.

A quick search shows that MinGW-64 has builds of SDL also. While I
(begrudgingly) have Win64 and MinGW-64, I've not done any
Windows-specific programming. So I could (in theory) try building it
for you one of these days, if deathly desired, but I don't see how
useful it would be (for an app not needing 64-bit "advantages"). Who
knows, maybe you just want to see how uber portable it is or deploy to
certain machines (servers?) lacking the 32-bit WoW layer.

>> Honestly, I really wish there was SDL for DOS. They brag about so many
>> supported OSes on their official site but have never had a DOS port at
>> all.
> I can't agree more. A DOS version of SDL would be amazing indeed. It
> would open a wide gate to porting so much software!

Hate to be cynical, but I doubt it would help much. We had Allegro 4,
and nobody cared. We have latest GCC, and nobody cares. Sure, part of
that is due to developer ignorance, and the rest is just plain
anti-DOS preference. But what can you do? They only target and use
what they want to use. (Though I do find it ironically funny that they
constantly can keep up with ten bazillion distros and package formats,
each for IA-32 and x64, but can't be bothered to keep a working
console DOS port of something fairly simple. Esp. since Windows
downloads always trump everything else 9 to 1, which means even they
waste too much time on unimportant platforms.)

> But doing a DOS version of SDL is a tremendous amount of work, so I
> don't really expect it to happen.

No big loss, I suppose.

>> Yes, I've noticed you're in love with GPLv3 (such a long text!)
> Love is maybe a big word for this :) It's a bit like for SDL.. I read
> the text of the GNU GPL v2 many years ago, and it sounded fair enough,
> so I used it since then in all my opensource projects without looking
> back. I honestly never read v3, just assumed (naively maybe) it's a
> 'step up' of the v2.

Allegedly, yes. It fixed the Tivoization gap and attempted to protect
users from patent warfare and licensing keys. (It also bundles the
LGPL in there, maybe the main textual increase, dunno.) It's just too
damn long. And, well, legalese is annoying.

Most people consider v2 "good enough". Or they explicitly don't want
v3 (e.g. Apple, FreeBSD), at least not for "base" setups. Others
prefer simpler licenses (OSI), whether "four freedoms" or copyleft or

I don't know, it's weird. Sad when licenses cause things to break.
Funny when I see code (uHex) that is smaller than the license text
itself!   ;-)

>> Though my
>> perception of you, for whatever reason, was always of BASIC and
>> Pascal, not C.
> In fact, I started with BASIC 15 years ago, because it was integrated
> into the ROM of an old Atari 800XL I was playing with

There's a (DOS) app for that.   ;-)

> and later I had a QBASIC interpreter shipped with some MSDOS version
> (6.20, IIRC).

Yup, all MS-DOS versions from 5.0 until 7.0 (and even then, briefly,
in /olddos/ or whatever on CD) had it. I think even some others had it
too (e.g. PC-DOS 6?). Not sure about OS/2.

> Some time later I discovered FreeBASIC, and instantly switched to it,
> because there was no learning curve for me, and it allowed to create
> really nice and multiplatform stuff.

FBC is awesome, but its "-lang qb" is far from perfect. Not a big
deal, just slightly annoying.  :-/

> But since I learned C for my actual job (~2
> years ago), it made more sense to just stick to it for everything. So
> yeah, I 'abandoned' FreeBASIC, although I still strongly believe it's an
> astonishing language & compiler.

You can mix the two languages. No reason to be "exclusive or". And I
hear (but haven't tried) that "-gen gcc" is a lot better these days.

>> Yes, maybe I
>> should've mentioned this before all my other ranting, but "it does
>> work!"
> That's really cool! Although it sounds like some kind of emulation more
> than a natively running program, but it's still nice that FreeDOS allows
> to run some Windows apps these days, thanks to Japheth and his excellent
> HX extender :)

It's not emulation as in DOSBox, but yes, HX implements the relevant
APIs. Not everything works, but luckily this does.

> Some times ago I wondered about trying to port some stuff to DOS using
> HX. Then I figured that it would require to include some
> Microsoft-licensed bits along with programs, which would be a no go for
> any possible legal distribution.

Such as? Normally you don't license anything from MS. The only thing I
can remember is MSVCRT (or some variation of it, as there are several)
being non-redistributable in Express editions (but don't quote me, I
could be wrong). Luckily, not every Win32 compiler relies on such a

> But now that you mentioned ReactOS,
> the idea seems doable again, without getting in any legal troubles with
> MS! If memory serves me well, I believe there are even some tricks
> possible to compile 'native' HX binaries using DJGPP

Native meaning PE format, but still using DOS libs (calls, internals).
IIRC, the only real advantage was true flat model and .DLLs. It was a
hack for 2.03p2 only. Not widely used, easier to use OpenWatcom, IIRC.

> though the whole
> thing is still unclear to me, and I got a bit confused the last time I
> tried to understand how it works exactly, and the 'MS will track you
> down' argument made me simply drop the whole thing. I will give it
> another try one of these days, using the ReactOS stuff.

You don't need ReactOS at all. But like I said, some compilers (e.g.
MinGW, TinyC), for whatever misguided reason, rely on MSVC*.DLLs.
OpenWatcom thankfully does not. So you don't need anything outside of
HX (and of course ZLIB or PNG or whatever).

> About sound in Atomiks: there is none. I don't felt the need to do any
> sound in a logic game (personally I always prefer to have my own tunes
> playing in background anyway), and besides, the original Atomix didn't
> had any sound either (not the DOS version at least, which is the only
> one I ever knew, but I was told recently that the Amiga version had some
> sound effects).

Okay, I just halfway assumed some cheesy 8-bit music existed. Probably
better it's not there. I agree that the end user has better tunes than
most games.  :-)

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