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Years of Service
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Joined: 17th Oct 2003
Posted: 20th Jun 2011 06:04 Edited at: 20th Jun 2011 06:47
I remember when I first learned Flash action scripting and it was so easy for non-programmer types to jump right in and develop powerful multimedia applications. Now Adobe has taken something that was awesome and turned it into something for people with a background in C++, C#, whatever. I am not sure if you noticed the shift that it caused. I remember seeing a lot more designee or multimedia websites in the past. Now all you see done with Flash is boring dynamic websites that mimic something you could do with plain HTML/CSS/JavaScript anyway. Flash lost its purpose and it's probably going to be replaced by HTML5 one day. They lost me, the Artist. What I am trying to say is... DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE ARTIST! Is that loud enough for ya? If you make AppGameKit just like all the other languages, then it's just another language. And it can be easily replaced.

The thing I like about Dark Basic Professional the most is that it is different and it is more forgiving then all these other hardcore languages. I don’t have to worry too much about syntax this and that. And still I can use it to build powerful applications that rival anything that can be built using a language only hardcore programmer would dare to touch.

I really hope we are not turning something simple into something super ridged just to fulfill the preferences or even habits of people who came from a background where we are not used to going. By "we" I mean the Artist in all of this. In fact, Dark Basic Pro is so easy to use that it is the sole reason why I don't just jump over to Unity3D (Game Development Tool). I hate JavaScript and C# (no offence to anyone who loves it). Not that JavaScript or C# it’s hard. I just hate fiddling with hard to remember syntax. I hear a bonus for AppGameKit coming too. An editor for us to drag and drop our objects and create a scene just like Unity3D is exciting to hear! Awesome!

I remember in school when I participated in a programming competition. This was a programming class way back in the days (2005 or so). I, being a Graphic Artist with little to no programming experience was considered to be the underdog. Everyone was so full of themselves. They asked me multiple times, why even try? My simple answer was always: I am passionate for making games! The competition was to create a small video game. They didn’t care how, just need to be fun. Students around school will play with it and vote for the best game. The amazing thing is that I was the only one who seemed to know about Dark Basic at the time. When the competition was over, my friend Mike (super duper hardcore, uber nerd, programmer extraordinaire), who used C++/DirectX to create his awesome (being sarcastic) rotating cube game asked me – “how in the hell did you managed to create a full-fledged racing game in such short time when you don’t even know anything about programming?!”. The game had one race track and three cars (kind of like Daytona USA, I’ll post pictures). And yes, I won the competition. My teacher was hard to convince. He actually thought I had submitted a commercial game! Haha, I wish! I had to step through the entire code with the class right behind my shoulders. I showed then how I had created the models in 3D Studio Max and exported it to an x file, etc… Most programmers in that class didn’t even know this and had created their models programmatically (no wonder everyone had cube or wireframe looking games! LOL). Let’s just say I changed that classroom forever! Duke Nukem would have probably said: “And that’s the power of DarkBasic baby!”

This whole thing about no spaces, always brackets around parameter or not, case-sensitive or not, is for the compiler to worry about. The developer should be free to choose how he/she wants its code to be readable. Professional guys will do this:

While the hobbyist can still do this:

It's only the professional programmer who needs to make sure they have proper use of syntax. And you learn this through formal education and discipline. Because he/she is most likely going to be working in a team and needs to share his/her methodologies with others. In that case it’s important because it’s your career. Hobbyists and artists will pick it up too with time. You just need a little more time to fall in love with it. And you do that by making games!

And that's the important thing. That we can still compile and we all can still play (programmers, artists, and hobbyists)! I would only complicate things if we had to in order to steer clear of bugs. The trick is to achieve it without the bugs.

Whatever you do, please make it easy! And stay true to your DarkBasic roots!

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Joined: 8th Feb 2008
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Posted: 20th Jun 2011 18:40

Michael P
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Joined: 6th Mar 2006
Location: London (UK)
Posted: 20th Jun 2011 21:03
@ Sam
There's a reason for standards which are adopted by multiple languages. That's because they help to minimize bugs and improve readability.

PointCamera (ObjectPositionX(id) 0, 0);

is easier to read and understand than

point camera object position x (id), 0, 0

to everyone, including novice programmers, because there is no ambiguity.

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Joined: 30th Jun 2006
Location: On Toast
Posted: 23rd Jun 2011 01:12 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2011 01:15
Good post Sam.

Maybe someone could make a program that would convert pseudo code into real code!
Obviously there's a limit to how flexible it can be because language is ambiguous, so you'd have to be within a certain distance of the actual syntax.

For example couldn't Point the camera at object x be converted to PointCamera(objectpositionx(x),objectpositiony(x),objectpositionz(x))
but like Michael P said, if you wanted help from coders it would be better to supply the converted code.

Are you able to re-name commands like you can in C?
so you could go (pseudo)
TEMPNAME obposx() = objectposition()
and any call of obposx() would call objectpositionx().

Valued Member
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Joined: 27th Feb 2003
Location: The Cold North
Posted: 28th Jun 2011 20:39
I vote for:
* No spaces in commands. (Easier to read and understand for new programmers)
* Brackets on all commands. (Easier to tell where one command starts, and another ends)
* NOT case sensitive. (That's my choice, we all do it different. However I'd love to see an option explicit option. and have the IDE match the case of Variable names to their defined names like VB and even Qbasic did.)
(And a return of the "Make Game" command!)

My signature is NOT a moderator plaything! Stop changing it!

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