Stage3D Online Conference Slides

It was really awesome to be invited to talk about Minko today during the Stage3D online conference organized by Sergey Gonchar. He has done an excellent job in organizing this and I hope people enjoyed attending it as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.

minko_file_formats_comparison minko_editor_workflow minko_editor_triggers minko_darksider

You can watch the entire conference here.

As I promised, here are the slides to this presentation. They are pretty heavy because they embed some videos. Here is the outline of the content of the presentation:

  • Community SDK
    • Scripting
    • Shaders and GPU programming
    • Scene editor
  • Professional SDK
    • Physics
    • Optimizations for the web and mobile devices

At the end of the presentation, I also demonstrated how Minko can load and display Crytek’s Sponza smoothly on the iPad and the Nexus 7 in just a few minutes of work thanks to the editor and the optimizations granted by the MK format. You will soon here more about this very demonstration wiht a clean video demonstrating the app. but also the publishing process. This is incredibly cool since Sponza is quite a big scene with more than 50 textures including normal maps, alpha maps and specular maps for a total of 200+MB (only 70MB when published to MK).

Don’t forget to have a look at all the online resources for Minko:

As stated in the presentation, Minko’s editor public beta should start next week. So stay tuned!

Apple makes its own compiler… illegal!

”3.3.1 … Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”

This is the very bad (sad) addition (restriction) to the iPhone developers program everyone is talking about right now. And I feel very concerned about this… and now everyone is wondering if software like the Flash-to-iPhone packager, Mono or Unity are definitely banned from the iPhone programming tool-chain.

I never talked about it before, but Aerys is working on a project targeting the iPhone and the iPad (among a lot of other platforms). And this very project is leveraged by some home-made code generation tool. Therefore, we are very scared of what this kind of restrictions might imply for our business.

But as scary as this statement might look at first, it is actually even funnier when you understand it makes any iPhone/iPad application illegal. And it gets even better because even Apple’s standard tool-chain finds itself… prohibited!

The reason is very simple: Objective-C, C or C++ never “link” to any library providing the Documented iPhone APIs. Objective-C, C or C++ actually never link to anything. When compiling your code, the compiler creates an intermediary representation of your program in order to make it easier to (eventually cross-)compile it. In the case of GCC, the compiler used to build such applications, those intermediary languages are:

(Source: Wikipedia – Intermediate language)

This very intermediate representation is built before the symbols resolution and before any linking is done. Thus, linking against the “Documented APIs” has always been done “through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer”. And it won’t change anytime soon! But, still, I wish good luck to Apple’s engineers in their future work to patch GCC and make it “compliant” (sic!).

To me, it is the most obvious sign that Apple doesn’t care about its developers (but I was still pretty thrilled to eventually become one of them about a few days ago…). Not because it bannishes any interesting cross-compiling software venture. And not even because any iPhone/iPad developper who knows about other platforms openness and ease of production will feel sick just by reading this kind of restrictions.

No. To me, Apple is losing it all simply because this kind of idiocy can only be written by someone who doesn’t have a clue about how a computer/compiler works! Apple started building casual devices and ends up targeting casual developers. Could this be the first sign of how (so called) intuitiveness – when enforced by completely hermeticly closed devices – finally makes people… dumber? So now the real question is “What happens when your developers program EULA is written by a marketing control-freak moron?“.

PS : The title of this article was desgined to attract the eye. It is my interpretation of the latest Apple’s developers program EULA additions and I might be completely off or wrong. Anyway, the doubt and worry caused by this very fuzzy and unclear addition stands as a major issue for all the companies and developers targeting the iPhone and iPad platforms.