October 19, 2008

Quake 3 BSP loading (WIP)

I woke up this morning and I felt like doing some BSP rendering... in Java though. Yes, I'm forsaking Lisp for now, and returning to that partial 3D engine in Java that I was working on before. No I do not suddenly consider Java to be better than Lisp; Lisp is still the cooler language. The main reason seems to be that I have a much more comfortable development environment for my Java code than I did for my Lisp code. Lesson learned: the success of a language is only partly defined by its features; the surrounding "ecosystem" also plays a major role. Yes I know I could be using something like LispWorks and enjoy the comfort, but I don't want to. It's not open, unless you agree to a somewhat limited environment. I much prefer the Eclipse philosophy where non-commercial software developers are not treated like second rate citizens.

So anyway, I looked around for some apropriately licensed Java code to start off from. When I didn't find anything, I just decided to start coding the loader myself. Sofar I've got the plane and node records loading, based on the unofficial Quake 3 Map Specs. I'm also using info from "rendering Quake 3 maps" to help me decide which parts of the file to load first.

No big promises that I'll be finishing this code soon though. :-)

October 16, 2008

Good news, bad news

The bad: I'm putting my 3D Lisp engine on hiatus. I still haven't found the right vibe to continue with it. It's partly to do with the uncomfortable development environment I've got going, but also with wanting to get something going that's more for the end user. I.e. not just a 3d engine. Anyway, we'll see what happens if and when the vibe returns.

The good: I will become a dad somewhere in the middle of next year ! This has taken most of my spare-time thoughts, as you can imagine. Apart from the obvious meanderings, I'm also wondering if I could not make something which will benefit him/her. A lot of kids these days naturally know how to use a computer, but not how to make it their own. They are only able to make it do what other people have provided for, not make it do whatever they want it to do. (This is why I think that learning some programming language should be a compulsory part of modern day schools.) I know of some projects in this area (e.g. Alice), but I haven't really seen anything that "just makes sense".

Anyway, for now I'm transforming this blog a more general purpose ranting mode. I'll try to find my muse, and see where life takes us.