Hi Shaun,

Oh, no, no, no. For a project like this using Flash is a very bad
idea. Here is why.

First, if someone like Ken is thinking of a community project that
means he is going to want to use a programming language that is widely
known and relatively inexpensive. Flash doesn't meet either of these
requirements. Unlike Java, C++, Python, or several other languages I
can mention Flash is completely proprietary to the max, and has legal
strings attached to its usage etc. Not exactly great for a community
project based on that alone, but the tools and development kits for
Flash are fairly expensive to license from Adobe. So you aren't going
to find many blind developers willing to fork over cash to buy all the
required tools and development kits for Flash just to create a free
and open source project. That is counter productive in the extreme.

The second issue has to do with technical problems such as execution
speeds. Like alot of runtime languages Flash tends to run rather slow
on some systems. I don't think any of us can forget how slowly and
poorly AGM ran because it was written in Flash. The thing took forever
and a day just to start. It wouldn't have ran quite so poorly if the
AGM developers had chosen a better programming language for the
project. However, this only goes to show that writing anything fairly
complex in Flash isn't going to give you high-quality performence and
speed. In fact it is going to perform poorly on older systems with
less memory and processor power than you can get today.

I've written an entire game engine, G3D, in C# .Net and it ran much
smoother and performed a lot better than AGM and it was written in C#
.Net which also is a runtime language. While the .Net Framework
doesn't render native execution speeds I've read it comes pretty darn
close. Most apps run about 90% to 95% native execution speed in bench
mark tests which is close enough for a runtime language. The newer
Java 6 JRE also has huge performance updates and I've written my share
of Java apps that run faster and smoother than some Flash apps. So I
just think for games Flash isn't really in anyones best interests from
a technical standpoint. It appears other runtime languages has it beat
as far as execution speeds etc. Not to mention there are open source
tools for Java, C#, etc so there is no upfront costs to own and use
the technology to worry about.


Now compare Flash to something like BGT. The Flash tools are expensive
and you can't write anything without them. With BGT you can use the
demo to create games for free, and for $30 you get a compiler for free
games. So BGT is less expensive. With Flash it wasn't designed for
fast execution and high-quality performence. BGT was written in C++,
and seams to be designed to render decent performence on Windows XP,
Vista, and Windows 7. With Flash you have to lisence Shockwave
Directer to access DirectX on Windows. With BGT you have Streemway
built in to do the same thing, and the next update of BGT will have
5.1 surround sound support via XAudio2. Finally, Flash is a c-style
language and you'll have to learn it before you can use it. BGT's
Angelscript is a c-style language and you'll have to learn it. There
really isn't much difference in syntax etc so you might as well adopt
the cheaper route anyway.

Finally, my opinion as a developer is, based on experience, that there
really is no need to adopt proprietary languages for projects. In
fact, doing so only complicates the process. I've been a Linux user
for many years, and most open source developers adopt one of three
open standards for open source project such as C, Python, Perl, and
sometimes Java.  This makes coming along and maintaining, updating,
and/or modifying their code easy because everybody or at least most
people in the Linux programming community are skilled in those
languages. One thing they are careful to do is not base their software
on some expensive proprietary language, tool, etc as that would be
counter productive.

Cheers!




On 3/17/11, shaun everiss <sm.ever...@gmail.com> wrote:
> which is what I am getting at.
> I guess if you were wanting to get into the stuff you could use flash
> or something but vary few have successfully written anything remotely
> accessible in flash and its probably limited to simple games anyway.

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