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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / DBPro's future opinion needed

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WickedX
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Posted: 13th Aug 2016 22:25
We have all heard the hype about where Microsoft may be going with Windows and if that is the path Microsoft is on, I will be ditching Windows. This is the reason, I will not or never owned an Apple product. But, for now DarkBasic Professional runs just fine on WindowsXP up to Windows10.

In my opinion the leading cause to the failure of DBPro is the simple fact that the forum is a community of users with little to no previous programming experience teaching the beginners in programming. Don't get me wrong, I think the community has a great amount of talent in other areas and some of the functions they have come up with are great. The books and tutorials do a great job of teaching how to use DBPro statements and function but, do little to teach proper overall programming structure. I don't like to say this but, I feel it needed to be said.

Now on to what this thread is about. I have updated a copy of DBPro v1.074 to v1.077rc7 and using the source available on Google Code I intend to work on a new version, DBPro v2.0. I am doing it in this manner so available plug-ins will work, if they can be activated. I may decide at some point to see what can be done with the source to the compiler on GitHub. My main concern at the moment is bug fixes and a few additional functions that I have added to DarkGDK. I have begun by eliminating redundancies in the keyword files and adding missing keywords. I have also fixed the Set Sound Volume issue and fixed the Stencil Shadow issue introduced in v1.077rc7.

If opinion is positive installation of DarkBasic Professional v2.0 will be a total OOB experience. It will include various licensed and non-licensed plug-ins. Unfortunately, since TheGameCreators activation system is no longer active, the licensed plug-ins will only include those now publicly available.

You decide if this is something you want.
Kuper
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Playing: Planescape:Torment
Posted: 14th Aug 2016 11:59 Edited at: 14th Aug 2016 12:01
Its great to hear that someone work on new DBPro release!!!!Since last GitHUb releases there were no news about and no updates or messages so
it was look like the whole idea of new version of DBPro is dead.
Its will be great if You give us new stable version.No matter how ( on GitHUb or upload file here )
The most important issue for me is that most of plugins dont work with new compiler. ( also such functions like: "get object effect" and "set effect constant vector element" )
Some plugins ask for registration but other just crash down DBPro.
Ive made some tests few months ago - you can find my messages in "Dark Basic Pro - Out In The Open" thread.
PS Also some features were aded by Lee ( lightmaping and maybe new shadow system )
Have no idea how good does they work.Maybe they dont work at all
seppgirty
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Posted: 14th Aug 2016 14:14
Would be great to see some fixes and tweeks for the new released source code. I say go for it.
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WickedX
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Posted: 14th Aug 2016 17:28 Edited at: 14th Aug 2016 17:30
Thanks, guys. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Two thing that are puzzling me the most are distribution and installation. GitHub is sounding like the best approach for distribution. Maybe, we can get some contributors to the project. After careful consideration, I don't think a total package installer would be wise, since current users may have licensed plug-ins activated that are not included. A better approach might be a self extracting zip file with an install file for new users that will modify the registry and set the Launch Path in Launch.cfg accordingly. This will make my job so much easier. Existing users should backup their installation so possible issues can be sorted. I do intent to look into functions and features in the GitHub open source version for inclusion and seeing if we can get the compiler source working properly in this release. Your thoughts, please.

I have a list of known bugs in my head and some that most users are not even aware of. I will be looking on the Bug Reports board. But, it would be helpful if you could post existing issues here.

Thank You.
seppgirty
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Posted: 14th Aug 2016 22:40
Quote: " A better approach might be a self extracting zip file with an install file for new users that will modify the registry and set the Launch Path in Launch.cfg accordingly."


That sounds like a really good idea.

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Green7
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Posted: 15th Aug 2016 11:54
I support this, at last mentally. WickedX for the win!
+1
Mage
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Posted: 16th Aug 2016 05:39 Edited at: 16th Aug 2016 05:52
Quote: "In my opinion the leading cause to the failure of DBPro"


When did DBPro fail?
It uses DX9 and the world moved on from that years ago. It's just obsolete technology.

I'd consider myself an an expert programmer, I even have a background in computer science. I toy with DBpro because it is quick and simple. I only show up here maybe once every few months at best. Maybe more if I have a post on the front page like I do now.
I suspect others are the same way. So don't think that everyone here is novice giving advice over their grade.

I think what would have really helped DBPro though is if in 2002 they started and properly maintained a wiki.
So much useful information is buried in forum conversations.
WickedX
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Posted: 16th Aug 2016 22:55
Just because the world moves on to newer technologies does not make DirectX 9.0 obsolete. It will run along side the new technologies, including Windows.

Quote: "So don't think that everyone here is novice giving advice over their grade."


I meant that as a generalization after looking through forum posts, recent and past. It was not my intent to imply everyone, including yourself.

Mage
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Posted: 21st Aug 2016 22:57
Some would say that's precisely what being obsolete means. Is riding horseback not still better than walking?
WickedX
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Posted: 22nd Aug 2016 01:10
When the time comes that DirectX 9.0 will not run on my current hardware then I'll consider it obsolete. So, does that mean you don't walk?
Mage
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2016 22:27 Edited at: 23rd Aug 2016 22:28
You're certainly entitled to your opinion on whether you consider DB Pro obsolete.
Obsolescence does not mean something is no longer usable. Just that it is no longer used in favor of other things.

In the case of DB Pro, people use "Software Development Kits" that use DirectX 10,11,12 instead. Or many have moved on to mobile platform development.
DBPro came out around 2002. It lacks basic error handling, and modern multi core and shader support. Since it is based in DX9 it also has a massive problem where too many draw calls tanks the framerate. A major reason DX10 was invented.

Quote: "Just because the world moves on to newer technologies does not make DirectX 9.0 obsolete."

This is what the word obsolete actually means.

I still find DB Pro very useful and I hope what you are doing helps.
seppgirty
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 00:24
Someone is actually working on direct x 11 for DBP so that's a big boost.

https://forum.thegamecreators.com/thread/210180
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James H
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 00:43
To be fair they did release the in house X10 version a long time ago now and X11 is a WIP, also you're referring to the meaning of a word which is relative to the task it was designed for. It is a basic language, so is there a better basic language out there? If so what is replacing it? If we're going to nit pick about definitions then let us at least remain focused on what the definitions application is here and not what your interpretation is of its application. Pretty sure in DBP world people do not use SDK's - that is what DGDK is for, a whole different kettle of fish. It is not the same as using DBP out of the box for its intended purpose. Things like error handling, multi core support and shader model support don't really come into this when you look at the fact it is a basic language and as such it becoming obsolete is not relative to this alone. You can not for example say everyone is favouring UE4 over DBP therefore it is obsolete, UE4 is an engine, DBP is not - no I am not saying this is what you said, merely an example, now you could say that basic language is obsolete altogether in favour of modern game engines or SDK's or whatever, but that would be wrong, the clue is in what the letters of Basic stand for -Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. I believe one of the main aims of DBP as with other basica languages, was to introduce newcomers to a language that is easy to grasp which it still does, but then for the user to progress to other languages. I cannot profess to be up to date with languages but I am unaware of a basic language product that is being used in favour of DBP. Obviously I could be wrong, I don't know, so let us be sensible here and can someone tell me what has "replaced" DBP in this sense?
At best you could determine it is obsolete because Visual basic still gets updated and DBP does not, or does it? The official move was to back track to a suitable place in the update history in order for them to continue with GameGuru because Lee was porting it to C++, I THINK! This is now the nearest to an official release we have along with promises to update this in line with what is going on with the in house version as they progress it to meet the needs of GameGuru development, one thing Lee mentioned was cascade shadows in a future update to the GitHub open source. So is it out of date really? At what point do we say it is out of date? It is always going to be behind the latest tech as is the nature of higher level language like this...I don't know the first thing about visual basic and as it is updated still I would think perhaps it does out shine DBP, I don't know, but if it does I only see DBP as competition rather than being made obsolete by it... now we have this Google code older version of DBP being taken on by WickedX, once this is underway and released it to will be up to date, not only that but we don't lose the functionality of all those wondrous plugins that really make DBP so much more powerful and more useful as well as Lee's free updates he worked hard on do not go to waste either. So right now I would say no it is not obsolete, activity on the boards isn't really a good indication of how many still use DBP, I hardly post yet I have been using it for years and still do, there might be just 1 person in this position like me, or there could be many but we have no way of knowing. Basically relative to other basic languages that I am aware of I don't view it as obsolete, I don't feel it is out dated, being behind the times as has generally been the case, to me this permits it a lot of lee-way in this grey area, whats important is it is still essentially under production, with X11 on the way, we have no way of knowing how many still use it but it still is in use on a number of peoples machines - it is not like there where massive numbers of users anyway.
You may be wondering why I am referring to the non GitHub version as not out of date when it has been years since it's last official update and here is why - so far no one has had a good thing to say about the GitHub version, my opinion is other than a faster compiler it does not do anything that the non GitHub version can't do, in fact it does less now that a significant number of plugins are no longer compatible. Yes it can be argued it is obsolete, but no more than it could be argued as not obsolete in my view. About the only thing I can be sure of is it is not dead by a long shot. I couldn't say how multi core would work - it may be better to simply write plugins with multi core support, neither is it 64 bit, the hack to make it use 4 GB does work but it isn't true 64 bit, I am not remotely worried about X12, it is still fairly new, lets get X11 under the belt first. Now if multicore/64 bit/X12 features got implemented fully I could see a time when the person(s) who put that work in would reap the rewards, I can see people returning to the product, word would get around I think fairly quick but it is a gamble, much like any product I would guess. Anyway that's my two pennies worth, I look forward to hopefully seeing DBP V2.0 far more than I look forward to the GitHub version having the same functionality because it will take a lot longer I would think. Anything that doesn't play nice with Matrix1Utils doesn't play nice with me :p
Morcilla
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 09:30
Do DBPro programs compile and run on Windows 10?

I guess the answer is yes, and so, DBPro developments can go on for years and years yet.

The same happens with DGDK, it works, and I see no reason for dropping it if you like it.
Van B
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 10:33
DBPro works fine under Windows10. I'm actually using Rudolpho's DX11 add-on and Synergy editor in Win10 without any issues. And... when I try a compiled exe on my brothers fresh Win10 install (no DX9.0c), it works, just works fine without any specific downloads.

So for a supposedly obsolete language, I'd say it's doing alright, when you can make a terrain system with normal, offset, specular mapping with 9 detail textures and point cloud foliage, you have to wonder just how much potential is left in DBPro, I'd say a helluva lot - we just need to support people like Rudolpho and those who want to see DBPro flourish in its twilight years, like WickedX I'm sure. I can't agree with the sentiment that it's the blind leading the blind here, we come from a lot of different areas of expertise and professional fields... just because we suggest someone does something one way, does not mean that's the only way, it doesn't even mean that's how we'd do it ourselves - we can only try and point people in the right direction for what they want to achieve. Frankly, I've seen people go to incredibly unselfish lengths to help others on this forum, and it's the level of advice and help that you tend not to see in this market - you see it with Microsoft products, Unreal, Unity, and shader specific forums - but in terms of DBPro's equivalents (like BlitzMax), they WISH they had a forum like this

DBPro is an organic language, it really doesn't enforce a lot of rigmarole, like every other language out there - and I like it for that, it lets you develop however you like - with a close eye on program layout and orgnanisation, or completely random, the mistake people often make is that they think they have to adopt someone elses style, or people think they have to educate about things like program layout, as if it's any sort of standard. You need to write a good few programs before you can realise for yourself how you want things to be organised, never just regurgitate someone elses style, it has to develop organically, has to make sense to the guy writing the code otherwise it just turns programming into a chore.
The code is dark and full of errors
Mage
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 19:02
I seem to have started a small fire here.

I was answering the question of why "DB Pro failed" arguing it didn't fail. DirectX9 is obsolete. I'm not nitpicking.
Nobody is saying DBPro isn't useful or that people should stop using it. I won't.

When you say that DBPro is still useful, it is but that doesn't change the fact that it is obsolete. I get that some people feel this is a beginner language. It's a great beginner language.
I'll try again with an analogy: Horseback riding is obsolete. It's still better to this day than walking. Yet we all drive cars now.
"You can still ride a horse so it's not obsolete." Yeah it is. It's still wonderful, but it is.

I'm not liking the fact that so much focus has gone into this since I like WickedX's ideas and I feel this discussion is starting to step on them.
It was only a throw away comment.

Quote: "X10 version a long time ago now and X11 is a WIP"

As far as I'm aware these have some problems with them,

Quote: "VAN B: Rudolpho's DX11"

There's a DX11 addon? What's that about?
Van B
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 19:36
It's a separate engine pretty much, most DX stuff in DBPro is replaced by DX11 commands, it supports FBX etc and a lot of the features in DX11 that we all kinda wish DBPro had.

You can find it in the WIP section, comes with tons of documentation, help files, examples.
The code is dark and full of errors
James H
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Posted: 24th Aug 2016 22:13
Quote: "Horseback riding is obsolete"

Whoah! Hold your horses! They most certainly are not...you can only say it relative to the task in hand. Horses as transport are obsolete certainly in the developed world anyway, they still have many uses in the developed world and even more so in some third world nations that have a population that can not afford modern machinery. The french eat them so I doubt anything could make them obsolete for this purpose. Then there's farming, show jumping, the military, horse riding schools, horse racing and these are just what I can think of. There was even a horse meet scandal for Tesco and maybe other companies over here not all that long ago where I think it was Romanian horse meat found its way into supermarket ready meals instead of beef! The horse industry is still in existence and rather large.

Simply knowing a definition doesn't mean it applies anywhere you like. For something to be obsolete it absolutely has to be relative to what it does or is used for. You have used it as a general term which it can be if every single use is accounted for. Analogies are great for explaining something if after providing proof there is need of helping some one understand something, however I have yet seen no proof. I have asked the question what has replaced Dark Basic Pro but received no answer. You also seem to be missing the issue relating to the relevance of dx9 being obsolete. So no analogy from me but a simple repeat - DBP's purpose is determined in the acronym BASIC - Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. dx9 can be as obsolete as it likes, just because DBP uses it does not make DBP itself obsolete. What will make DBP obsolete is a replacement product that diminishes its popularity vastly. This is why I have asked what the replacement product is - which basic language? This is a question for anyone to answer if they want to. In terms of being outdated, well it could be argued here that if it is more popular than an attempted replacement that failed the popularity test, then being outdated has not made it obsolete. So like I say we would need to know what has replaced it and how many users of each product there are to say definitively that DBP is obsolete. Basic language itself could be obsolete which in turn would render DBP obsolete but again I need to see facts and figures to support this before I could say this is the case. Until such a time those questions are addressed sufficiently I for one will not say it is obsolete. For the record, as of when it is decidedly obsolete I won't have a problem saying so. I merely seek answers to my questions.

I wouldn't say started a small fire and I don't feel this is off topic, mods slap me if you will but I simply find it irresponsible to say something which may not be true; other less informed folks may read it and decide to go elsewhere on this basis. I have always enjoyed these forums for the help that folk get and for being guided to the right places. If DBP is not obsolete and a newcomer for example reads it is obsolete, then they are not getting guided to the right place, if however it is obsolete then they are being correctly guided. I am not arguing for the sake of it here, or hold any malice towards anyone who says a bad thing about DBP, aside from having the facts for the purpose of guidance as I have just outlined, I had questions to ask which your discussion with WickedX triggered in my thoughts, on the basis that DBP is not obsolete my opinion is WickedX picking this up is something I look forward to, if it is however obsolete then I may have to reform my opinion once I have the answers to the questions. It is to this end that I feel it is relevant to the discussion at hand.
Mage
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Posted: 25th Aug 2016 04:46 Edited at: 25th Aug 2016 04:48
I am not advocating using other products. I have been using DB Pro since 2002 and DBC before that in 1999. I'm about as core as they come.
DBP is limited to DX9. For the purposes of making a commercial video game in 2016, it is obsolete.

We can do these gymnastics all month. Yes you can dig up a 1984 Macintosh and teach someone BASIC on it and say it's not obsolete because you found a use for it.
The question was asked why people aren't using DBP much anymore and I'm just chiming in, it's not modern anymore.

And now we've trampled all over WickedX's plans to do something wonderful...
Van B
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Posted: 25th Aug 2016 07:26
I'm not sure we've trampled anyones plans - we've stated that we still like using DBPro, some of us are passionate about it but we are all realists... we don't think we'll be making the next indie hit with it. I think we mostly just want to make something that people want to play.

My last 2 games were for the ZX Spectrum, a 30 year old 8-bit system, and I got more recognition and kudos for those than I ever did with DB and had a lot of fun developing them. No system ever becomes obsolete, people who are quick to dismiss old systems and languages often regret it. I guess it boils down to what you want to develop and what system makes that possible - and hobbyists have the luxury of not having to care too much as long as it facilitates their needs. If someone was to take the open source DBPro and add to it, then I'd be very interested in that. DBPro is like an old tattered sofa, threadbare and had too much coffee spilt on it and even the dog won't sit on it... but it's damn comfortable.
The code is dark and full of errors
WickedX
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Posted: 25th Aug 2016 16:17
This discussion has only served to fuel my desire to continue the work on Version 2.0. I would like to get to a level comparable to what I've done for DarkGDK and add some features from my plugin before the initial release. I am current with the new technologies. But, I feel DarkBasic Professionals potential has not been realized.

Thank you all.
fancy music
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Posted: 25th Aug 2016 17:21
Quote: "DBP is limited to DX9. For the purposes of making a commercial video game in 2016, it is obsolete."


i like dbp too but mage has got a point here

at least Rudolpho and WickedX are moving darkbasic to a new level
what are you still doing driving a cab?
Mage
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Posted: 26th Aug 2016 05:22
Quote: "This discussion has only served to fuel my desire to continue the work on Version 2.0. I would like to get to a level comparable to what I've done for DarkGDK and add some features from my plugin before the initial release. I am current with the new technologies. But, I feel DarkBasic Professionals potential has not been realized."

Thank you. I am very interested in what you are doing.
seppgirty
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Posted: 27th Aug 2016 00:12
Quote: "This discussion has only served to fuel my desire to continue the work on Version 2.0. I would like to get to a level comparable to what I've done for DarkGDK and add some features from my plugin before the initial release. I am current with the new technologies. But, I feel DarkBasic Professionals potential has not been realized.

Thank you all.
"


Good to hear.
gamer, lover, filmmaker
Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 5th Sep 2016 20:46
Do not forget to fix all the memory leaks that were found in DBPro.
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.
Kenjar
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Posted: 8th Sep 2016 20:19
The future of DBPro is this.

It has been over a decade since it was released. No one is buying it anymore so it didn't make any money. There are far better and more advanced open source alternatives out there so without a dedicated company actively developing and supporting it DBPro has no future. It's pretty much gone as far as it ever will.

Support AppGameKit v2 is your best bet. Or just move to a better more advanced community supported open source alternative.
WickedX
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Posted: 9th Sep 2016 17:00 Edited at: 9th Sep 2016 17:14
DarkBasic Professional is not the only programming language I know. I have been programming on various platforms and in numerous languages for over 30 years. Beside DarkBasic, I have programmed in Assembly, C++ and various low level basic languages such as PowerBasic, FreeBasic and xbLite, to mention only a few. I am quite comfortable with the Windows API and all versions of the DirectX API. I have installed about 5 or 6 of these so called open source alternatives and find them to have more bugs then DBPro and very unstable. Look at how many users have projects on hold due to bugs in AGK. theGameCreators have just release AppGameKit Version 2.0.21 and these projects are still on hold. Thanks, but no thanks.

DBPro has supported this company for over a decade, it is what made theGameCreators what it is today. With someone working to build upon the language, it has not gone as far as it can go. I feel FPS Creator is a real testament to the power of DBPro. When you consider the poorly designed code with all its redundancies, it amazes me it works as well as it does. In FPSC every light you add is a hidden object and static entities are static there is no need to also load them as a separate object.

I am aware of most leaks in DBPro and the general reason for them. I have browsed most of the source related to the leaks and think we can plug em. Thank you, Stab in the Dark.
OldSchoolCoder
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Posted: 9th Sep 2016 19:07
Good afternoon WickedX,

I'm fairly new to DBPro coding but not by any stretch am I new to programming. I began in the early 70's (yes, I'm old) writing Assembly language for the IBM 360 mainframe. Years passed and I learned and wrote in many low and high level languages including a dozen or more varieties of BASIC. I have finally landed on DBPro and C++. DBPro is by far the most powerful and extensible version of BASIC I have ever used - which brings me to the point of this message.

I have read a great many of the posts on the DBPro board and have been following yours and a few others in particular. I would very much like to lend my time and skill set to your endeavers, if you think it would be beneficial - OldSchoolCoder
Unseen Ghost
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Posted: 9th Sep 2016 20:19
I fully support Dark Basic v2. I would like to help if I can
Gigabyte Board/2.93Ghtz Intel Core Duo Proc./4GB Ram/Nvidia Geforce 9400 GT(PNY)1GB Video/500GB Western Dig. HD/Dark Basic Pro 7.4

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Scorpyo
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Posted: 12th Sep 2016 18:22
Fully support too
Ready to cash out 50 Euro for a good solid product
Cheers
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 14th Sep 2016 23:48 Edited at: 14th Sep 2016 23:49
It's nice to have to the big vision, the big objective... But setting up a series of smaller goals is prolly a better option for the time being. I haven't looked, but i suspect It wouldn't take that much work to tweak/tune the compilers code generation up some. Small things can really make big differences.

PlayBASIC To HTML5/WEB - Convert PlayBASIC To Machine Code
Kuper
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Posted: 15th Sep 2016 22:45
It will be great if at least new DBPro will work well with plugins.
I think it is the most important goal
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Posted: 16th Sep 2016 00:10
Quote: "Fully support too
Ready to cash out 50 Euro for a good solid product
Cheers"


I would pay easily a lot. I can program in so many languages, most are obsolete now but still the point is that I'm not limited to BASIC. I like DBP. No matter what engine I try, or computer language I always seem to come back to DBP. If a version 2.0 came out to make it viable again, alive as it were, I'd jump at it.

I guess Dark Basic Pro will always be my favorite, bugs and all.

Steele
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Steele
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Posted: 16th Sep 2016 00:13
Quote: "Fully support too
Ready to cash out 50 Euro for a good solid product
Cheers"


I would pay easily a lot. I can program in so many languages, most are obsolete now but still the point is that I'm not limited to BASIC. I like DBP. No matter what engine I try, or computer language I always seem to come back to DBP. If a version 2.0 came out to make it viable again, alive as it were, I'd jump at it.

I guess Dark Basic Pro will always be my favorite, bugs and all.

Edit:

Quote: "If opinion is positive installation of DarkBasic Professional v2.0 will be a total OOB experience. It will include various licensed and non-licensed plug-ins. Unfortunately, since TheGameCreators activation system is no longer active, the licensed plug-ins will only include those now publicly available.

You decide if this is something you want."


I invented Dark Data. I'd be happy to contribute it. I need to find the code and rebuild the DLL.

Steele
Maybe it\'s just a bunch of stuff that happens. -- Homer Simpson
James H
12
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Joined: 21st Apr 2007
Location: St Helens
Posted: 28th Sep 2016 21:20
Quote: "Unfortunately, since TheGameCreators activation system is no longer active, the licensed plug-ins will only include those now publicly available"

Dang this i missed first time round! Quite a big game changer though for me at least, if Rudolpho's Ex9 product turns out to be all the things he is aiming for(especially where licensed plugins are concerned) then I am afraid I would be leaning more to his version, at least that is my current view.

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