Current state of the dev.scene

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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11-05-2007, 13:07

I dunno about you all, but I've the slight impression that today's developing scene is very different from the one from 2003/2004. This difference results in the impression of seeing less activity around. Do you have the same impression?

What are reasons? What could be done about it?

What about these possible reasons:

  • Ppl really growing older (I figure that the main scene is now aged around 28-36), and real-life stuff might interfere. Tho one wonders about how much time can normally be spent on hobbies..
  • Ppl loosing motivation in the MSX specs. (happened in the 90's as well when ppl moved to SNES, PC etc.)
  • Ppl loosing motivation due the scene-turbulence of the last few years -which fortunately I think is decreasing as we speak, give or take a few neverending exceptions-.
  • Ppl spend more time on large projects instead of many smaller ones (think MSXDev).
  • Ppl are just lazy, they like to be around on forums, talking a lot, but just couldn't care less about actually developing something.
  • The current quality-bar of products is raised too high for some. A bit controversal perhaps, but I'd like to consider it an option.

I've thought about the following additional reasons, but I don't think they're valid. Nonetheless here they are:

  • (Non-JP)OCM keeps people waiting. Not valid I think as the initial version won't differ a lot from our current machines.
  • Lack of tools. Also not valid I think, as the tools missing today were also missing in the more active years.
  • Lack of audience, tough one, over the years more and more people return to the scene, but how active are they? I dare to say that today there's more audience than ever.

So, how do you see all these points, and what about solutions -if any-?

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By multi

Expert (74)

multi's picture

11-05-2007, 14:23

for me it would be a few things:

- real-life stuff does interfere (has to be sloved personally)
- developing with tools on a PC is fun (can be solved with a group effort?)
- new things to learn are not here yet (OCM/vhdl could be a solution here when it arrives)

the msx is too slow to program in basic now a days and going back to coding "spaghetti" in basic or asm is not my idea of fun anymore. also i grown used to syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging, etc.

possible solution to some of the issues:
- maybe we need a MSX-Basic version that is compilable & is oo compatible (or maybe we like another language now a days?)

any thoughts?

By webmouse

Master (134)

webmouse's picture

11-05-2007, 14:35

No lack of motivation, real life stuff ...
OCM would be great, but not an valid reason.
I don't need one for MSX2 standard programming. openMSX and 5 MSX2 testing machines will do.

By konamiman

Paragon (1046)

konamiman's picture

11-05-2007, 15:07

You said real life? Huh... give me a salary, take care of my baby, and you'll see what I'm capable of. Tongue

By MicroTech

Champion (386)

MicroTech's picture

11-05-2007, 15:26

This is my POW:

* real-life takes most of the free time: a 6 months old child completely changes my priorities Tongue

* quality-bar is getting too high compared to available tools: E3D is written in C but, without a source level debugger, development is not really frendly Crying

* it is more and more difficult to find active developers: I'm alone working on E3D

* actual MSX machines are too slow and limited (TurboR is a 15 years old machine) and OCM (which has IMHO a huge potential) is on late ...

* last but not least lack of audience

MicroTech

By RobertVroemisse

Paragon (1235)

RobertVroemisse's picture

11-05-2007, 15:59

It hink that everything is already done on MSX. You have to be very creative to come up with something entirely new. And ofcourse most of the reasons above. But absolutely no lack of motivation.

I think that the turbulence in the scene is one of the big reasons. I am so fed up with people shouting and bashing each other. There are a few very sick individuals among the MSX users and that is one of the reasons why my activity decreased. People are almost forced to pick a side. You all know what I am talking about... It's a real shame...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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11-05-2007, 16:18

Tho these are only a few people reacting so far, real-life seems to be a major factor. Is this something that *can* be solved within the next, say, 5 years?

I think that everything is already done on MSX.
Is it? Perhaps regarding the V9938, but what about MSX1/2 patternmodes, or the G9k? I actually think that our classic concepts, which led to a certain classic workflow/streamlining/thinkingpattern, are stone-age. It would really be healthy to have a look at other retro platforms in terms of style and opportunities. There's enough interesting material to study, one can spot it on youtube. After all, consider this: when did the MSX scene come-up? During the MSX2/+/tR. During the days of the MSX1 there was little, nah, prolly no scene at all. The C64 for example is basically still what we call the 'MSX1' of the MSX'es (more advanced tho), so they've learnt to think in a far more microscopic and detailed way than we did. That might be a reason why those Bandwagon demos looked *so* alien to us. They didn't start on the MSX2 afaik, so they completely don't have our stiff way of conceptual thinking.
MSX'ians might still be able to come up with totally new stuff, but one has to empty himself regarding MSX history, and 100% rethink concepts.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6280)

ARTRAG's picture

11-05-2007, 22:42

Maybe the HW has no more secrets and nothing new to show, but today
we can use many new techniques and algorithms in order to get new things
even on MSX1.
Exploiting PC tools for the development, many new things can be done....

By spl

Paragon (1461)

spl's picture

11-05-2007, 23:53

Actually I think that scene is better than in 2003/2004: Every year new and great games in MSX DEV, MP3 Player, OCM, SymbOS, Games released on cartridge, Mambow 2, etc, etc, etc...

By mouser

Expert (90)

mouser's picture

11-05-2007, 23:59

Programming just for fun can be a very time consuming hobby. I think that most of the MSX die-hards are now facing more responsibilities (babies, wife, work, not necessarily in that order) and just they don't have nor the time or peace of mind to create new software.

BTW regarding the age-scale of 28 to 36 sadly I'm almost close to the second. But I was just a kid when in 1984 my Xmas present was a HB-55P, thus... may be there are much more users close to 36 than to 28, i.e., those whose first MSX was one of the first bunch of MSX-1 (the VG8010/20, the HX-10, the V-20, the HB-75P...)

By Poltergeist

Champion (275)

Poltergeist's picture

12-05-2007, 00:18

Well, when we stopped (in '94) we had lost interest in programming for MSX. We thought back then that we did explore all possibilities. Also, what was a very contributing factor was the fact that for some guys their study became more important. I had other responsibilities. Today, no one really has the time and motivation to start programming again for MSX. And we are all employed in the IT sector, and like to do something else than computers...

However, when I see some things nowadays (like symbos, or some demo's) I do think we did not explore all possibilities. Not by far. But, as stated by Wolf_, we where so used to that style of programming, it was hard to let go and create something completely different.

Solutions? Not really. I do not think that the OCM will really boost new developments for MSX. An MP3 cartridge is a nice gimmick, but I don't think it will be really usable for me. I don't need it. All these things are great developments, but I think it's to late. However, in the early and mid 90's, these things where not possible yet...

I think the biggest problem is that a lot of people who where active in the early 90's (like FCS) have been away to long to pick up again, even if they wanted to.

BTW, I do not even fit in that 28-36 age scale

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