From: jeffno at (Jeffrey Nowakowski)
>Dave Ahn <ahn at> wrote:
>> Regardless of the technical differences between Java and C/C++, any Java
>> port will require substantial man-hours of implementation and testing 
>> without the help of most of our existing developer base that, I would guess,
>> will continue to work on Vanilla, COW and other software.
>Going to Java is debatable.  On the one hand the C code is well
>established, but it is also a mess.  C is also harder to maintain.
>I'm willing to bet there are more converted C++ programmers on this
>list than you think.

Is the future of development in procedural C calling arcane libraries with an arcane architecture, using arcane graphics?  Is that what people are working on today in their jobs?  Is that what people are learning in the schools?

I don't think so.

So it boils down to what do you want to work on.  For me, I'm interested in experimenting with software that will help teach me new concepts I can utilize elsewhere.

I had this discussion with Jim Ivey a few months ago over beer at a local pub.  Now the two of us were talking about utilizing the .NET framework to build a new and improved Netrek.  We sort of roughly outlined the types of things you could do today because of the availability of the new technologies.  Better integrated into web sites, easier to extend clients and servers, so forth.  The same is also true of Java or any other newer dev environment.

Why?  Well because it's cool.  That's why!  What more reason is there?

Yeah, it's a lot of work, and I haven't convinced myself that it would be worthwhile.  But I think it would be fun.  There is also a realization that in order to be somewhat successful it would have to interoperate with the established systems.  That's not impossible, simply a question of maintaining compatibility at the network layer.

>> I really wish we could try to consolidate our development efforts.  We merged
>> the INL server functionality into Vanilla, so the server dev is pretty well
>> organized.  But there are simply too many clients with people forking off in
>> different directions.
>I've been saying this for years.  It's unlikely to happen unless
>somebody with enough sway can get everybody to agree on a clear

One of the advantages of changing directions like this is the invigoration and life it would bring. If you are on the bleeding edge of technology, what interest might that drive?

And yes I know, it's been tried before.  But like I said, maintaining compatibility is key.  The Java client written by Temple is still in use by a few people, even though it was never 100% finished.

I'm more of a complainer than a leader, but when I mentioned this months ago on r.g.n. I did receive some emails expressing interest.  I suspect it would probably get some new blood as well, I have mentioned it to friends at work as well.  Some of them have played Netrek in the past, others have never seen the game but expressed interest anyway.

Well those are my thoughts, and I'm sure they don't help anyone because what I talk of doesn't fit into anybody elses grand scheme on this list.(Because I'm one of the few who doesn't have an anti-MS bias)  So that just further forks things.

Ohwell, I've got to finish my GIAC certification practical right now, but come January I'm going to think about this a lot more.  

I'll shut up now.