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Dark GDK / Dark SDK

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 03:57
Yeah, not saying he wasn't asked to do so..
Question is, what if IanM didn't want to take it down?

it's a hypothetical one, but if Ian had said no.. then what?
with DarkSDK being released with a pricetag, the question stands; who is going to want to buy it just to make TPC?

I mean if you want to create a Matrix function, which can be used as an object; the simplist way is through the Mesh Memblocks. Using IanM's Interfaces this is child's play.

If someone else was to put up an Interface System for DBP; then what? I mean it's like personally I wouldn't want to develop any TPC if I have to pay to develop anything of worth. As then I would *have* to sell that plugin just to recoup the loss i make from purchasing the SDK. I'm not against giving things away for free I've worked on, but I'm not about to go out and spend my hard earnt cash just so I can give people something for free.

Sorry but that's just stupid. Especially as things like these always have clauses for '1 Application Per Platform' deals.. if it doesn't then that in itself is stupid business management.


Chenak
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 04:10
okay im confused, what is darkSDK? is it just extended code for the modification of db commands or an interface library? i dont think we should be charged for interface libraries but the other stuff seems okay...

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DWD
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 04:11
Can I exchange my purchased DBPro to the Dark SDK??

I dare to release anything commercially with DBPro because of the many bugs but I see possibilities if I am able to use Visual C++! However, I am not too fond of paying for a new product when I have not even found use for the old one so could I refund DBPro to DGSDK?

Cheers
Tartopom
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 04:13
@Kentaree

No problem with that, but using, for instance, visual C++, which is unbugged, and the C++ language which is better and more flexible, I don't see why I'm going to still use Dbpro ...
Philip
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 05:45
I'm not going to continue participation in the "to Dark SDK or not to Dark SDK" debate because my view remains: (1) its worthwhile; and (2) TGC should charge for it having put effort and manpower (Mikepower) into it.

However, my interest has been perked by the following:

(Mike):
Quote: "
The SDK isn't so bad after all. I have been able to fix another bug while working on it - http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=41313&b=15
"


@Mike

In that thread there are actually three connected pick object bugs posted. They are:

1. pick object with multiple cameras doesn't return a reliable result with objects;

2. pick object with multiple cameras either doesn't return any, or at the least very unreliable, results for instanced objects;

3. ditto 2 above but with cloned objects;

Do I understand you've fixed all three? If so, smashing!

Philip

PS: I think the problems with the "object in screen" and "object screen x and y commands" when using multiple cameras are also connected.

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CattleRustler
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 10:30
whats all this C++ business? will the sdk be usable from vb6 or vb.NET via interop? Are they COM Objects? if so, fine.


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Mike Johnson
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:28
Philip - This all looks to be fixed now. I have run through the code snippets and the first problem is now sorted, I tried your example for the 2nd and 3rd problem and that is now working as it should. If all goes well next week I can post the new beta DLLs for the next upgrade.

Raven - The TPC SDK will be updated so don't worry about that. We will include DBO structures etc in the TPC SDK so you can create DLLs and access all the relevant data you need for example, you can get a pointer to a 3D object and modify it directly which is much faster than using function calls through the DLLs.

Mike
David T
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:35
So - in future if we want to write a TPC that accesses DBPro functions, instead of using Ian's lib we now have to pay extra for Dark SDK?

Hmm. This is certinaly going to hit a lot of TPC developers, especially with the patches moving and and Ian's lib eventually becoming out of date.

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IanM
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:39
The DarkSDK is a set of C style static libraries (.lib), so no you won't be able to use them in any language that doesn't support the microsoft linking system (currently ... Mike has plans to support Dev-C++ too).

@Raven,
The decision was made by me, before Mike (or anyone from TGC) asked. Your 'what if' is therefore entirely academic and serves no purpose that I can think of.

Your assumption that the DarkSDK is targetted at TPCs is incorrect - it is targetted at producing full applications that do not rely on the DBPro library DLLs. There was some cross-over in that it is possible produce a full app with the DLLs from the interface.

I made the decision to not compete, as is my right.

Hopefully we can move on now?

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Kentaree
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:40
Quote: "No problem with that, but using, for instance, visual C++, which is unbugged, and the C++ language which is better and more flexible, I don't see why I'm going to still use Dbpro ..."


Problem is, most of the bugs are in the actual engine, not the language itself. If they're going to be using the same internal functions etc, the bugs will carry over.

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Mike Johnson
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:43
You don't use the Dark Games SDK for creating TPC commands - you use the TPC SDK The TPC SDK will be updated to make it easier to access the data you need.

Mike
David T
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:44
Quote: "Your assumption that the DarkSDK is targetted at TPCs is incorrect - it is targetted at producing full applications that do not rely on the DBPro library DLLs. There was some cross-over in that it is possible produce a full app with the DLLs from the interface."


Sorry I probably didn't make it clear - all I wanted to know was if there is a way to produce TPCs that call DBpro functions, like we can do now with your lib.

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Kentaree
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 19:50
Ok, now for the question we've all been waiting for...

How is stuff like object numbers etc going to be handled in the SDK, the same way as in DBP, or will we be able to use OO and pass object references etc to use them? That'd make a lot of people (including me) very happy.

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David T
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 20:12
From the code samples looks like object numbers.

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MikeS
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 23:32
IanM should get DarkSDK for free for his most honorable decision.

As for DarkSDK, I hope to hear more from the newsletter this month.



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Rob K
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Posted: 20th Nov 2004 23:46
Quote: "Microsoft's EULA on Dynamic Link Libraries notes that you are allowed to use freely exposed functions. If TGC don't want them used then they should encrypt the Resource Table"


It isn't up to Microsoft though.


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JerBil
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:13
So, does this mean that we can make a program to rotate a cube that's less than 6 megabytes?

-JerBil
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:18
Doubt it...

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Rob K
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:36
Quote: " So, does this mean that we can make a program to rotate a cube that's less than 6 megabytes?
"


The core executable itself is only around 70K for a basic program. The 6MBs comes from the vastly oversized DLLs. IanM made a few simple suggestions to Mike and the conference, if they are implemented then exe sizes should go down by 2 or 3MB.


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Mike Johnson
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:40
Executable sizes are vastly reduced. As an example the Sphere Mapping demo that has been converted is 1.72 mb. So far this is the typical size of any application using 3D.

Mike
JerBil
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:43
Thanks, sounds real good.


-JerBil
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:49
Sounds like that non-used DLL's aren't loaded, which is good.

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griffirr
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 00:58
That will make five new things completed before the DBPro bugs.
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 01:13
But one set of bugs has been fixed...

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CattleRustler
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 02:15
why do I get the distinct impression TGC will be abondoning DBPro for this SDK and FPSC. Also, Mike never answered my question of if the SDK can be used from VB/VB.NET ?


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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 02:23
I wouldn't see it as abandoning - the bugs do need to fixed as they will also occur in any DarkSDK enabled program.

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David T
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 02:25
Again - just wondering if anybody has any idea how to access DBPro functions from TPCs now that IanM's lib has gone.

I had a plugin that was half finished that no longer works with the latest DBpro

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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 02:26 Edited at: 21st Nov 2004 02:31
Wouldn't it be done the same way as IanM's one ?

One thing : Will the DBPro installation be needed as well as the DarkSDK (ie will the latter come with all the DLL's, rendering the former unneeded ?).

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IanM
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 02:58
@CR,

The DarkSDK is a set of .lib files, so you won't be able to access it from any language that doesn't use the MS linker system.

@TCA,

The DarkSDK is entirely self-contained. I haven't tried, but I would guess that you might actually be able to build the DLLs from the SDK libs.



I do think that people are reading far too much into the motives of TGC with the release of the DarkSDK.

Why would TGC discontinue one proven stream of revenue to follow a totally unproven one? Wouldn't they build upon their existing technology to add new ones?

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Dazzy
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:04
Abandon DBpro? don't think so! last rumour I heard was the UK Publisher is about to relaunch it!

Dazzy
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CattleRustler
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:06 Edited at: 21st Nov 2004 03:06
Thanks IanM. If thats the case then it really sucks. I will reserve my comments until I hear definitely what the story is from TGC, like if there will be a COM Object version of the sdk etc.

Thus far vb'ers have been getting the shaft, I dunno why I hold out hope that it will change.

whatever


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Rob K
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:13
@Ian

Presumably this means that DarkSDK will have to be updated for each patch to DBPro (ie. there will be one set of updates for the DLLs, and one set of updates for the .lib files?)

Quote: "Thus far vb'ers have been getting the shaft, I dunno why I hold out hope that it will change."


CattleRustler, I think it would be difficult to do much in VB6, but something might be possible in VB.NET using DLL imports and a few helper functions. Does VB.NET support unsafe functions (ie. using pointers)?

I don't blame Mike for not making a COM object, the interface (from a C++ perspective) is pretty fiddly.


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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:15 Edited at: 21st Nov 2004 03:17
.RobK, it is Microsoft's format. If you ever read the EULA over the format, like FAT Partition Formats you may only use the format if you agree to Microsofts' terms to use it. The terms give them no fiscal power over it, but it assures that developers that do not take measure to protect thier DLLs are giving others the free right to use thier libraries.

If for example I wanted to convert your BlueGUI DLL to another language; I'm within my right to create the link header and library or Control Class, however what I cannot do is disassemble it in order to circumvent the protection in it.

The same thing stands for The Game Creators, they could quite easily put in a protection system making sure that anyone using the DLLs that come with DBP are *ONLY* used with DBP. Wouldn't take more than a few hundred Bytes, which really considering the engine size is nothing. If they choose not to protect it though, then they're agreeing (albiet unknowingly) to allowing other to use the functions exposes as they please.

.DavidT, don't worry about the Interface System... I'll see about updating it for the Visual Languages and letting people have it who ask. The way I see it, we have a right to freely develop extensions for DarkBASIC Professional, I think that TGC should think about adding protection to the engine though.
I did actually express this when Ian first released his Interface that people could use it and download the Trial version of DBP, getting it for free in Visual C++. You would've thought protection would've been added then.

Quote: "Does VB.NET support unsafe functions (ie. using pointers)?"


Yes, it does. Creating a Class/Control interface in VB isn't hard; just timely, it would be possible to create a Control in it which also exported for COM access through .Net ... or rather .Net through COM


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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:17
Yes, COM is not very nice - should be banned really... Its one of the things that is not allowed to be used at work.

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CattleRustler
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 03:17
Rob

Yeah, at this point I couldn't care less about 6, its .NET I am concerned with. As far as your question I cant answer that off the top of my head, but yes VB.NET support pointers etc. and I agree about com. I was coming from the POV that vb.net could use either a com object via interop or, preferably, some .net based component.


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Rob K
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 05:16 Edited at: 21st Nov 2004 05:17
Quote: "The terms give them no fiscal power over it, but it assures that developers that do not take measure to protect thier DLLs are giving others the free right to use thier libraries."


I cannot understand why Microsoft would want to do that, nor do I understand why it would be their prerogative, nor would it make sense that any such requirement would be invalidated simply by encrypting the DLL.

Quote: "If for example I wanted to convert your BlueGUI DLL to another language; I'm within my right to create the link header and library or Control Class, however what I cannot do is disassemble it in order to circumvent the protection in it."


As Philip pointed out, EULAs have little legal importance in the UK at least, but common sense dictates that whether or not you could use BlueGUI in another language would depend on the license I provided within the plugin. As it happens, I don't.


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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 06:35
I presume there will be no actual delays inside the dbx functions - it all goes as fast as possible...

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 11:15
Quote: "I cannot understand why Microsoft would want to do that, nor do I understand why it would be their prerogative, nor would it make sense that any such requirement would be invalidated simply by encrypting the DLL."


It was to promote interdevelopment. Think for a second about exactly how Windows works and why DLLs exist in the first place.
Remember Microsoft isn't stopping competition, they're stopping people from becomming independant. Heh, thus if you want to use thier stuff you have to buy thier products; interdependancy thus means more cash for them by providing what seems like free services.

Business Strategy at it's purest level really, evil or genius solution is really an 'eye of the beholder' thing.

The thing that stops true free use of a library, and the 'dependancy' clause is the fact that it is illegal to back-engineer software.

Just think about it and what the alternative to using a DLL is.
While EULAs might not mean alot internationally, one thing always remains a constant world over.. Back-Engineering Software is Illegal. It's one of those international laws.


Richard Davey
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Posted: 21st Nov 2004 23:19
Quote: "Why do I get the distinct impression TGC will be abondoning DBPro for this SDK and FPSC."


DBPro drives both FPSC and DarkSDK, neither product can exist (or evolve) without DBPro being updated in the process. When FPSC is finished Lee isn't going to just vanish, he *will* be back on making the changes to DBPro public.

DarkSDK was created for a specific internal project (not FPSC), the marketability of it was something that only recently became apparent, although plans for something along these lines stem back several years (as anyone who was on DBDN will remember).

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Rob K
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 00:22
Quote: " Back-Engineering Software is Illegal. It's one of those international laws."


In the USA, reverse-engineering is allowed for reasons of interoperability under the DMCA. Other countries allow reverse engineering for similar reasons.


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Philip
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 03:52 Edited at: 22nd Nov 2004 03:52
Quote: "
If for example I wanted to convert your BlueGUI DLL to another language; I'm within my right to create the link header and library or Control Class, however what I cannot do is disassemble it in order to circumvent the protection in it.

The same thing stands for The Game Creators, they could quite easily put in a protection system making sure that anyone using the DLLs that come with DBP are *ONLY* used with DBP. Wouldn't take more than a few hundred Bytes, which really considering the engine size is nothing. If they choose not to protect it though, then they're agreeing (albiet unknowingly) to allowing other to use the functions exposes as they please.
"


This is not an accurate statement of English law.

Quote: "
one thing always remains a constant world over.. Back-Engineering Software is Illegal. It's one of those international laws.
"


This is also not an accurate statement of English law. Decompilation is permitted by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 in certain very specific and limited circumstances. Refer to the talk I delivered to the Con for further details.

Philip

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Mnemonix
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:39
The impression I recieved from TGC at the convention is that there is no way in hell DBP is being abandoned.

You must respect the order in which bug fixes occur. TGC is not the largest software company on the planet, but like every other company its primary function is to make money, I see no harm in that. Lee and Mike are both very much devoted to DBP and the bug fixes will come, but if the company isnt making a steady profit or whatnot there wont be any bug fixes at all. Its simple maths, Do you think Mike and Ravey are paid in sausages?. Do you think the publishing company(ies) publish dbp for free?. I dont know quite what the situation is but the fact remain is that dbp needs to make money to stay alive. Fixing bugs does not make money which is why they are substantiating a larger income now so they can prepare for this bug fixing period. Give the guys a break, they work very hard and deserve it.

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Philip
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:41
Actually, I really do believe that Mike and Lee are paid in sausages. But thats a different story.

Mike has gone and fixed all the bugs connected with the multiple camera commands. I could hug him.

Philip

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Mnemonix
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:44
Well sausages are expemsive

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Phaelax
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:44
whats this sdk you're all talking about?

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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:45
Allows users of the Dark Arts (ie C) to interface with DBPro...

Whether it will work with other languages it unknown at the moment.

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Mnemonix
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:47
All that I can substantiate so far is that it will work with Visual Studio(not sure what version) and is being tested with dev-c++(That would be great. It is FREE).

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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 04:51
Indeed - hopefully people will be able to test it with Delphi, .Net and possibly a few others...

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IanM
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 07:13
You are still missing it ... it is a totally stand-alone set of libraries. Imagine creating a single exe that runs without the DBPro DLLs, and you'll be closer to the truth.


With the developments that Mike is doing right now, it should work with any language that can handle the standard Microsoft linking system (such as VC++, or MASM, but excluding Delphi and .NET/MSIL) and Dev-C++ - other languages will probably come along later too.

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The Wendigo
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Posted: 22nd Nov 2004 07:29
Quote: " it should work with any language that can handle the standard Microsoft linking system (such as VC++, or MASM, but excluding Delphi and .NET/MSIL) and Dev-C++ "


Not sure I understand this sentence right. It will work with Dev-C++? I am very dissapointed to find it will not work with .NET, but am not suprised as well. You state other languages will be supported eventually. Is the .NET framework a high priority? This is great news about the SDK as anyone using DOOP will eventually be able to copy and paste their DOOP code into C++, or so I hope.


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