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Mozilla The Internet

Game Development in Mozilla 89

Posted by Hemos
from the better-than-pac-man dept.
camworld writes "O'ReillyNet has a short article from the Alphanumerica guys about building a classic arcade game using Mozilla: In a way, this is like connecting a DSL line to a Commodore 64 computer. We're working on rewriting an arcade game from the early 80s using Mozilla technologies. By combining two different technologies from two very different times, we hope to be able to learn something new from in a new way."
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Game Development in Mozilla

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  • by spectecjr (31235) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:58PM (#955330) Homepage
    The main reason for doing this and a good reason at that is to demonstrate to all those who haven't quite grasped it yet that mozilla is not just a browser. I have spent time trying to talk about the great things you can do with XUL with people and all they talk abotu is how we don;t need another languages to skin with, newsflash, XUL is much much much more than a skinning language

    Neither's Internet Explorer then:

    Asteroids in DHTML, from Microsoft, done at least 2 years ago [microsoft.com]
  • Why can't they just say: we're doing it for fun, because we have way too much time on our hands?

    Because Alphnumerica has done a lot of things to draw attention to Moz. This just happens to be the furthest out. The idea of Moz being "a platform from which a browser is built" is something the Moz community (not just these folks) have been dreaming of for a while.
  • RTFA :) They state that they are planning this to be web based, and not a package you have to download. As there are layers of XUL you can access without being installed locally, and the layers that can be harmful have to be installed locally. Well to play pacman you don't need those other layers. :)
  • That's what caused the icon to become pixels. The new, larger image has the same filename as before; your browser used the old image from its cache and scaled it according to the new HTML. When you pressed Reload, the new icon came in and everything was peachy.
  • You're right. The linux.org website doesn't add junk to netscape 4.7. It's an equal opportunity website and trashes up any browser that connects to it.
  • For those who care...

    Believe it or not, people still make demos for the good ol' c64. Not so many games these days, but with such a deep library who cares?

    Try www.c64.com for games, or www.c64.org for other stuff.. Try finding some recent CREST demos, they really show off the hardware. Most people are amazed at the stuff that is possible on an 8-bit, 1 Mhz platorm.

    Also, try going to #c-64 on ircnet. Yes, people still crap on about c-64s :)


    Simon
  • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @03:59PM (#955336) Journal
    If you care to read your own link, they apparently added new Javascript functions, now its a matter of Mozilla adding these functions. And please note that these functions will only be accessable from localally stored javascript, making sure that happends is another story.

    Could a javascript program look itself up in cache, and call itself to be run again, this time having local priviledges?
  • What next? Frogger coded in COBOL?

    (then again, it might be a project to employ all those unemployed post-Y2K COBOL programmers)

  • by _Wrath_ (91984)
    Dude, you have no clue what you are talking about. Z80 is perfectly fine for making such a game. And you can use tables bigger than 256 bytes, but you would have to make your own routines to search through it since cpir uses a 8bit loop counter, but anything else you would use is 16bit. FYI, there is 16bit addition... if there wasn't it would be impossible to do any kind of pointer manipulations... add hl,xx exists. Besides some ppl find the register dancing fun rather than simple lines of C. And to this day gameboys still use bank swapping to allow addressing more memory. Don't go bashing z80 just because we could put some 20x more expensive chip in there and not have to swap memory and do register dancing. Get a clue...
  • by Zaaf (190878)
    I love old Games,my favorite for the C64 was one that was a RPG in an Egyptian tomb (I forget the name)

    Do you perhaps mean Pharao's Curse? With a annoying bird to take you away from the treasure and a cowboy and mummy to shoot you? Ahh, long live memory lane....

    ---
  • It's obvious that M$ has been illegally trying to use it's dominance in web browsing to try to dominate the OS market. In a recent statement, they said,

    We are committed to creating great products. We believe the addition of an Operating System to the Internet Explorer experience is a great enhancement, which will benefit comsumers greatly. We fully recommed M$ Winblows as a great choice of OS, as it alone will work best with Internet Explorer. We have included the OS as a great new feature -- it is a great enhancement, and we absolutely cannot remove it from the browser.

    Industry analysts have voiced their support for the inclusion of the legacy OS, stating,

    This is great for the whole industry. Modern business wholly depends on this functionality.
  • would be a hacked version of Mozilla running from a command line using just svgalib (i.e. no X windows or WM), or even aalib (text mode graphics).

    In fact, I might even develop a version myself that runs under Curses...

  • We're working on rewriting an arcade game from the early 80s using Mozilla technologies.
    Has anyone noticed how what used to be called "methods", "ideas", "algorithms", or any one of a dozen other terms are now called technologies? - like push technology - that's probably the funniest. So what are we supposed to call real technology to avoid being ambiguous nowadays?
  • SO true. Who are funding these guys? I mean if it was a local bunch of goofs in some club, fine, but this is an alleged business, that's sad. What's sadder is that if some guy just wrote in saying "hi slashdot, i'm doing this.." slashdot would NEVER post it. But this is a startup! A real company! Wow!

    Even when this is done it'll be vaporware, it's so pointless. What will they really learn from this? LAAAAAAAAAAAME.

  • These specs are open, why not build a native SWF renderer into Mozilla instead of dicking around doing things with XUL that would almost certainly work better implemented in Java/Shockwave/Flash?
  • This just proves that Mozilla is too bloated as well. What is a browser for? Why would we want to make a browser that can be programmed to do anything we want? Is this not just the same thing as saying "Hey, lets create our own programming language and say "Hey, everyone should use this because it can do ANYTHING".."... It can't, it shouldn't, and if it could, I'd say it wasn't properly designed. If it can do anything you want, then there has to be a lot of obscure methods and techniques involved to fit the small crowd of people that do weird things. Leave the programming up to the best choice of platforms. Stuff like this just bugs me! Arrrghh... why is the computer world so stupid and insane? Why doesn't someone figure out that the future of computers is more than just "A killer application".. Comon, what happens to mozilla when "x" technology comes out? Does it lag behind 4 years because it has a,b,c,d,...,w technology already, and has to make sure it interoperates with all those perfectly before shipping a new release? This is arcane, this is bloatware.. Separate out the functionality into its on definable areas, and let those areas thrive on their own, without the bloat of the rest. If one needs it, let them use it.

    I'm ranting now, I should quit...

    Jay (a programmer that hates when fucking shit is praised as "the best thing since sliced bread"..)
  • by PD (9577) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:23PM (#955346) Homepage Journal
    "As farAs far as I know, Javascript 1.5 has no capabilities to directly access the information on your harddrive, other than saving cookies and possibly files. as I know, Javascript 1.5 has no capabilities to directly access the information on your harddrive, other than saving cookies and possibly files."

    Javascript can do file I/O in Mozilla. Take a look at this link [alphanumerica.com]
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:23PM (#955347)
    I'm wondering how close they are coming towards the original programming structures of Pac-Man. (Yes, I know. But for those who don't, it was programmed in assembler for the Z-80 processor. I have the arcade game.) I've seen a number of vintage game programming books which detail in various ways how the game was programmed. (The different tables and what not.) I'm a little surprised that someone hasn't disassembled and documented the game's code.

    Question: Will it still have the original cheat where if you fit into the right side of the "T" (which is above where you start) and face up while no ghosts are looking, you can stay there forever without getting caught?

  • by freddie (2935) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:24PM (#955348)
    xmlterm [xml.com] - The most advanced gui available? Allows you to switch from gui mode to cli mode within the same window without having to use the mouse. Pretty amazing.

    [alphanumerica.com]
    Script Editor
    - Another example of mozilla put to good use.

  • by mikpos (2397) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:24PM (#955349) Homepage
    I don't see it as a good thing. There is still no decent graphical browser for X Windows. Our new poster boy, Mozilla, however, is not only a browser, but a newsgroup client, an e-mail client, a replacement for MAME, and, hell, why not an entire OS as well? It's like they're in competition with the Emacs people or something: see who can create the most complete yet unusable operating system that requires another operating system to run.

    The whole idea is a little strange, though. Having cross-platform data (HTML) apparently wasn't good enough; now we need cross-platform programs too. Oh, pretty well the whole thing has to be rendered in software? Good! Just as long as every single pixel looks exactly the same in Windows as it does in Linux. That we can be sure that it will not look, feel, or act like any other program on any other platform, a sure-fire way to confuse our customers to no end. Then again, who needs to use programs on different platforms when they can run programs running on this new OS called Mozilla? I can only hope that some day Emacs will be ported to Mozilla, so that we can run an OS inside an OS inside an OS for no apparent reason.

    Anyway I'm done bitching. I've got fed up with waiting for a decent, free web browser to appear; it's apparently never going to happen (Konqueror aside; I don't like KDE, OK?), so I've started the arduous task of writing my own. Blah. Mozilla looked so promising at the start, too. At around M8, it was the coolest thing on Earth.
  • by JasonChu (207887) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:26PM (#955350)

    This is certainly an interesting project: Not because it's Mozilla, not because its cross-platform, not because Pac-Man kicks ass (I'd rather it be good ol' Pong, myself), but because this has been what a number of major companies have been looking forward to, or fearing depending on who they are and what they have.

    This is something that Microsoft realized too late,and has only recently recovered from. What is it? The movement towards web browsers as a platform. MS passed off the Internet has a fad and only later realized that the future was moving away from the desktop. You don't actually think that IE was "integrated" for added value you, do you? Of course not: it's only there to ensure that their desktop OS marketshare continues to their browser marketshare as they see that this is the platform of the future.

    Sun couldn't be happier that the desktop is going, they want all the programs to be hosted on Sun servers like the good ol' mainframe days. However, they are not a major player in this area (HotJava was never designed as a end user browser, and their servers don't care which of the other browsers are being used). Netscape had the lead until MS was able to buy it back, but their merger with AOL could lead to Bad Things as this continues.

    Perhaps I'm letting my bias interfere when I assume that Bad Things will happen out of necessity,just because this is AOL, but you can probably see why I feel that way. Chances are that you've probably logged on to AOL at least once, maybe at a relatives house, and been spammed by all those annoying popups. Just imagine going through that every time you want to finish a document under a deadline. That's just one obvious problem that I can think of, but let your mind wander . . .

    This is the next frontier, and some have seen it coming for quite some time . . .

  • in order to run things from the chrome level (aka with write proviledges) you need to install it as a package
  • by acidrain (35064)
    No, games in XUL. Basically skins so sexy that you can make almost any UI out of it. Consider that everything you see in the Moz interface is javascript. Take a look at the .js, it will make you feel humble. And I imagine they will have better input event handling because they don't have to work within a "browser." Although, I imagine javascript can capture all keyboard input too. Someone know that one? I don't see why they can't do a dead knock off of the orig. As long as the still poor although improving optimization of Moz doesn't kill them.
  • I think it's kinda odd that they couldn't find anything worse to say about Java beyond "if the code sucks, the code might suck". sort of grasping at straws if you ask me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I agree. If these guys would spend less time fucking around and more time fixing bugs they might actually ship a stable product sometime before MS finally gets broken up in 2008. Not likely though.
  • From the Looking-a-Gift-Horse-Straight-In-The-Fucking-Mouth Dept...

    Why can't Mozilla just be a BROWSER ?

    Honestly, all I want for Christmas is a standards-compliant browser. Please, please , make it happen soon...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Give me an OS, any 'ol OS will do.

    I'll give you Mozilla, Mozilla is all I need now.

    Write a new OS in Mozilla. Any OS will do, cause Mozilla can do it. It can do anything.

    I'll give you Mozilla, a Mozilla to run in the OS that runs in Mozilla that runs on an OS.

    There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza dear Liza

  • That's not much of a cheat in that it doesn't help you with the game, unless you REALLY gotta pee.
  • Just have a load of HTML pages with embedded video (or an animated .gif and BGSOUND), and slam in some links along the bottom for "Up", "Down", "Left", "Right", and "Action", along with a META Refresh that points to death.html after a few seconds.

    It'll be slow as hell, but wonderfully cross platform. Bit like Mozilla, really.

  • actually the functionality is there, via nsIFile and cousins. However access to XPConnect is blocked from non chrome* scripts. Try loading an XPConnect script in the content area from a non-chrome URL and you'll find your code fails.

    *chrome = part of an installed chrome package in the chrome directory, e.g. Navigator.
  • I had Parallax. I got it with a ten-pack of games for the C64. It also included Usagi Yojimbo, Wiz-Ball, a bunch I can't remember at all, and Paradroid. Paradroid was my favorite.

    There's a pretty good Java applet version of Paradroid at J*va on the Brain [javaonthebrain.com] called "Urbanoids". Actually, there are a bunch of other cool Java games there, like Iceblox and 3D-Blox, which the penguin fans among us should enjoy.
  • Beat me to it.
  • With all the games coming out that are oriented around cellphones, and little itty-bitty displays, this is a welcome change. Supporting Mozilla is a great thing... Netscape has been doing some great stuff lately. Love that Open Directory!

    CAD, kicked, good [cadfu.com]
  • >Of course, the next thing we'll see is the gnu >utilities suite recreated in UnrealScript :).

    !ack! You've opened the can of worms. Now the next thing will be a demand that everyone call it GNU/Mozilla . . .

    :(

  • by Tom7 (102298)
    I'm not bashing it, I like programming for it (I certainly have more than "no clue"!). I'm just saying that there's no reason to imitate the style of programming for the Z80 in a "modern" scripting language.

    You're right, you can do a 16 bit add from BC or DE to HL, but that's the only one. It's still a pain in the ass, though, simulating 16-bit multiplication with 8 bit shifts.
  • Write a classic game or simple program for something that is for something completely different.
    ----
    Oh my god, Bear is driving! How can this be?
  • Imagine:
    M.U.L.E. [eidolons-inn.de] under Mozilla with network-enabled play.

    Catch the Wumpus!
    ---

  • by Mr804 (12397)

    So like did I miss the point? or was it just to so you can make games in Dhtml?

  • They're just using browser technologies (XML, DHTML, JavaScript) to write computer games.

    It's not as big a deal as many of you are making out. People have been doing this for a while now. Did any of you check out the link [harmonix.ne.jp]? There are some excellent examples of JavaScript games here. Check out Art Run (Out Run clone) in Netscape. Truly amazing when you consider it's just JavaScript and Layers (note: I have only tried this in the Windows version).

    Anyway don't get annoyed at these guys they're just having a bit of fun and learning the capabilities of the various technologies.

    I doubt this is slowing down the Mozilla development. If anything it is probably speeding it up because only when you start doing really obscure things with a piece of software do you find out the limitations and bugs.

    If you don't agree with what they are doing, remember that most of these guys are just working on Mozilla in thier spare time; they are under no obligation to do "Proper" work on Mozilla. If you don't like it maybe you should start helping out the Mozilla effort yourself rather than just complaining. (Unless you already are a Mozilla developer! ;-).

    Anyway that's just my two cents.

  • by 97jaz (33263) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @01:47PM (#955369)
    Other web-based clones of this game exist on the Internet. Most of these versions were created in one of two ways: using the inconsistent and limited implementations of DHTML in current browsers, or using Java,
    which can be buggy and may result in horrendous lag time.

    Emphasis added

    Because, of course, nothing written using the Mozilla libraries could possibly be buggy...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why you want development of game in Mozilla? Mozilla design for browse of web, why want games? Seem like to me that like you want to precision surgery with chainsaws.

    I'm not giving this idiots any of my time.

  • I love old Games,my favorite for the C64 was one that was a RPG in an Egyptian tomb (I forget the name),
    It was also perty easy to program, my uncle had a program the determined Balistics from weapons.

    May I be the first to Say COOL,

    I also like Mozzila, only a 5meg or so Download and just as good as netscape, just no mail program :-(
  • by twjordan (88132) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @01:49PM (#955372)
    The main reason for doing this and a good reason at that is to demonstrate to all those who haven't quite grasped it yet that mozilla is not just a browser. I have spent time trying to talk about the great things you can do with XUL with people and all they talk abotu is how we don;t need another languages to skin with, newsflash, XUL is much much much more than a skinning language.

    I guarantee that in the coming weeks and months, you will begin to see more and more mozilla based applications come out. I would say that a good portion of what can be done on the desktop can be done in mozilla.

    That said, any project that forces people to recognize that what we have here trancends the realm of browser is "a good thing."

    Oh yeah, all it takes is a ZillaGL module and you could play quake too!

    Tony

  • It's about time someone found something useful for Mozilla to do. =P

  • Of course, the next thing we'll see is the gnu utilities suite recreated in UnrealScript :).
    !ack! You've opened the can of worms. Now the next thing will be a demand that everyone call it GNU/Mozilla...

    :(

    They'd best not. Everybody knows that mozarella is made out of buffalo milk, not gnu milk. :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I get the impression that the Mozilla team really wants to go for somthing like a mini-os inside the browsing environment, which is funny considering the lengths MSFT went to trying to shove their OS into a browser. Personally I agree with you to a certain extent, I wish the Mozilla team would concentrate more on making a workable WEB BROWSER that loads in under 30 seconds on a mid-range machine, rather than try to expand horizontally like this and throw in everything, including the kitchen sink.
  • Check out the software for emulating arcade games at: http://x.mame.net/ [mame.net]
  • I'm sure this is going to get moderated to flamebait, but here goes anyway...

    This is a project that the authors admit is barely even started, has already been done using a number of different technologies, and is being justified based on a number of dubious assertions (a.k.a. Java is buggy, Doing a 70's game on modern SW will teach you something valuable).

    I really don't see the news value in this.

  • by PD (9577) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @01:50PM (#955378) Homepage Journal
    Micro$oft Word, Excel, and Outlook are very powerful because they contain scripting languages. That also makes them dangerous. What safeguards are there so that the ability to make a video game out of Mozilla can't be misused to format a million hard drives by remote control?

    Anyway, it's not just Mozilla that could be powerful enough to make a video game. Tcl is a language that was designed to be embedded into programs as a scripting language. It's just not that remarkable that Mozilla has a scripting language powerful enough to build whatever you wanted.
  • by gunner800 (142959) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:32PM (#955379) Homepage
    (And no, I don't know how to spell "naysayer")

    So what if this is a silly, pointless thing to do. Not everybody is driven by some relentless urge to advance the state of technology, or to earn a paycheck. Some of us design/code software because we like to.

    This sounds fun, and perverse (which many of us consider a good thing), so I like it. If you think it's a waste of time, then go write something productive and stop heckling people who have a different view of what it means to program.


    My mom is not a Karma whore!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    In a way, this is like connecting a DSL line to a Commodore 64 computer.

    I think the analogy is flawed. Connecting a DSL line to a C64 enables you to use all of your computing resources; you just need a better computer to do more with it.

    This project, on the other hand, is like connecting a 1200 baud modem to an SGI. You waste your computing resources just for the hell of it.

  • Funny how the browser is part of a desktop OS isn't it. If you can't get to the www then who needs it? I mean unless you have real work or something silly like that. I never realised how close Netscape was to cutting in on windows until I read Jackson's finding of fact. And in a way it's interesting how Moz has started to plow ahead again in M$'s darkest hours. I imagine Time-AOL are ready to take another shot at the "Middle Ware" arena. "Poor" M$, kick them when there "down." Ahh well, comes around, goes...
  • by NaughtyEddie (140998) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @03:27PM (#955382)
    By combining two different technologies from two very different times, we hope to be able to learn something new from in a new way.

    Did this strike anyone else as a steaming pile of BS?

    Why can't they just say: we're doing it for fun, because we have way too much time on our hands?

  • I don't care how many times they rewrite it, what platform/program/etc... they write it for. I suck at Pac-Man!
  • For one of their hacks submitted at the MacHack contest [hax.com], the Mac IE team wrote asteroids in DHTML. Seems like they're a little ahead. :-)

    Seriously though, it's a good kick in the pants for people who didn't realize that a LOT of work is being done to make it possible to wite complete applications that load via the web.

  • I bet running this game inside Mozilla will make it as slow as it was on a Commodore, too ;) No matter what you do.

    Dave
  • who can create the most complete yet unusable operating system that requires another operating system to run.
    Bet Amiga is sizing Moz up as competition. Wonder who will run on bare metal first? (Just kidding.) Dude, theres nothing to see here, move along. Every high flying {syntatic,eye}-candy super-hack-toy these days wan't to be OS independant.
  • While I actually agree with several other posters that a working Mozilla browser would be nice, I like this idea - back when Netscape 2 came out and the introduction of the plug-in architecture, I started to argue "the browser is the operating system". Amusing to see it eventually coming true. Of course, the next thing we'll see is the gnu utilities suite recreated in UnrealScript :).
  • yeah, I mean kinda like doing Asteroids entirely in DHTML. Like here [microsoft.com] (warning MS IE 5 only!)
    ---
  • by / (33804)
    Run an emulator. Most of the time, you can even find an emulator for your own system that you can run on your own system, like vMac [vmac.org], a Mac Plus emulator, which runs [jagshouse.com] on Macs as well as Windows95/98/NT.
  • by LS (57954) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @05:44PM (#955390) Homepage
    I remember when I first heard of DirectX and games being built to run in Windows. I thought, "why slow down a game by running it in Windows when you can run it in DOS". Mind you, this is when I knew little technically. But as computers became more powerful, the small (or not so small, depending on the code) decrease in game speed paid off in interoperability with many video and sound cards, and other hardware.

    I think the same is true for XUL/XML, DOM et al. In adding the extra layers (running an application on top of a browser on top of a virtual machine on top of an OS, ...) performance may be hit, but when the technology fills out, we will truly be able to run an application anywhere. Windows or Linux, who will care? - mostly developers, but eventually they will be as significant to the end user as the microcode on your CPU.

    LS
  • (And no, I don't know how to spell "naysayer")

    Yes you do: "naysayer" [dictionary.com].
  • :)

    Raising the important question, just what kind of cheese *do* you get from a gnu?

    :)
  • THe "core" Mozilla Team is working on making a working browser!! The people who are trying to make a game are just trying to get to know Mozilla's capability. And if they find a better way to do something that can apply to web browsing, even cooler!! The game would be using Mozilla's XML/Javascript features and therefore help test Moz even more. If you are thinking that this will slow down Mozilla Dev, think again!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wish the Mozilla team would concentrate more on making a workable WEB BROWSER that loads in under 30 seconds on a mid-range machine,

    Maybe they can hack one up in XUL. ;-)

  • At around M8, it was the coolest thing on Earth

    Given that M8 used the same cross-platform self-rendering technology that M16 uses and that you are criticizing...

    It's always fun when people who disagree with me refute themselves.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • I'll be impressed when they develop a Mozilla version of Dragon's Lair.

  • That's the stupidest thing I've heard in a good few hours. What the heck could you expect to learn from porting a game to a different environment? please.
    Chris Armstrong
  • Another one!

    PAGMAN is being developed in XML because of its efficient data-handling capability.

    Heh-heh. For especially low values of "efficient."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That said, any project that forces people to recognize that what we have here trancends the realm of browser is "a good thing."

    Why? Why can't we just get a working browser, first?
  • my guess is that the game will be a package that you have to install on your computer like any program. This isn't the kind of thing that you open a web page and your browser reformats, you have to give implicit cosent to install a package, and then you still have to load or run that package.

    tony

  • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @01:57PM (#955401) Homepage
    This is cool. Bloatware for the hellofit.

    These programmers are building an entire computing environment (XML in a browser) which runs inside of another computing environment (classic OS), and then re-writing a game to show how they can now work entirely inside of Mozilla and never have to leave the browser environment.

    This is yet another example of how the computer, the OS, the applications, and the network are all starting to become interchangeable. It goes one step closer to Bill Gates assertion that the browser belongs inside the OS, but it also shows that a sufficiently bloated browser can replace the OS.

    Now they just have to write some compilers and libraries in XML, and we'll never have to leave our browser environments again. Ooops, that's emacs. Sorry. :-)

    the AC
  • I think that's what it was called...
  • they just become emulated - in Mozilla???
  • Reminds me of a guy who got a dual Pentium 3 computer to play...you guessed it...solitaire
  • by / (33804)
    Relive the magic: Temple of Asphai Trilogy [cableinet.co.uk]. Just follow some of the directions here [df.lth.se], and you should be on your way.
  • You learn how it works and how to get it to work well. Just look at all that was learned when NASA tried porting humans to a new environment: the moon. More importantly, you learn how to design the system properly so that these sorts of efforts (and future ones that are more readily useful) can succeed with less struggle.
  • by Tom7 (102298) on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @05:59PM (#955407) Homepage Journal
    I can pretty much say for sure that it won't be programmed in the same way as it was for the Z80. I've recently tackled Gameboy programming (also a Z80), and I can't see why anyone would want to duplicate the "style" of assembly programming for the Z80. It's fun when you're doing it for a real machine, but senseless to simulate.

    For example, the Z80 only has ONE general purpose register ("A"). All loads and stores (even literals) have to pass through this register, so there tends to be a lot of register dancing that would be completely silly in a modern architecture.

    Second, you want to go to great pains to avoid tables larger than 256 bytes, and they must be powers of two (or sums of powers of two). This is because there's no multiply instruction, and no 16-bit add; you have to simulate that yourself (with just the one A register, again).

    You're also constantly at battle with the limited ROM/RAM of the hardware, switching banks (if you're lucky) to get around the 65k address space. Unheard of in a "modern" scripting language.

    They may go with a "character data" and "background/sprite data" scheme like used on the nintendo and gameboy (and possibly similar to the way the Pac-Man arcade game worked); this seems to be a sensible way to go about making games with high graphic redundancy. But with the (comparably) high memory requirements that XUL has, it's probably simpler and more appropriate to just draw everything programatically.

    My guess is that this will just be another everything-is-a-string javascript hack. Not that there's anything wrong with hacks...
  • Could a javascript program look itself up in cache, and call itself to be run again, this time having local priviledges?

    Since currently it doesn't matter where it's run from (because the feature isn't implemented yet) it's really moot. And certainly something that obvious won't slip by.
  • How about Tetris [planetunreal.com] for UT.
  • Neither's Internet Explorer then:
    Neither's Netscape 4.x then:

    Tetris done in DHTML [itchmagazine.org] by Rusty Foster, creator of Scoop and my fellow admin at Kuro5hin.org [kuro5hin.org].

    Really, this complexity is not needed in browsers. I'd be happy if people would just use HTML 4 + XML 1.0 + CSS.. Browsers should only render marked text, not be used to play 1980s games written in scripting languages. Do one thing, and do it well!
    ---
  • by carlfish (7229) <cmiller@pastiche.org> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @06:38PM (#955411) Homepage Journal
    "This just proves that Mozilla is too bloated as well."

    When the Mozilla project started, the requirements were that the resulting software be highly portable, compliant with a whole slew of web standards, and be a superset of the functionality of Netscape Communicator. Thus, it was doomed to be bloated before it even began. It was doomed to be bloated because that's what people WANTED it to be.

    To quote JWZ (although he was referring to the pre-opensource Mozilla), "Mozilla is big because your needs are big. Your needs are big because the Internet is big. There are lots of small, lean web browsers out there that, incidentally, do almost nothing useful. If that's what you need, you've got options..."

    Mozilla's solution to its own bloat-by-design was, IMHO, rather elegant. It took stock of the what it was required to implement, and then used those technologies to build other components. This isn't anything particularly new, of course emacs invents itself from its lisp interpreter.

    To fulfil its goal of standards compliance, Mozilla had to understand HTML, XML, Javascript, DOM and CSS. To maintain a suite of applications (browser, mail/news, html authoring tool) across widely differing platforms, it needed its own flexible, cross-platform UI and Networking libraries.

    So Mozilla's self-reinvention as a platform, rather than an application was the result of necessity, and some pretty good thinking from the designers rather than just bloat for the sake of bloat. It was actually the most efficient way that it could perform the task it had been given.

    Charles Miller
    --
  • I would say that a good portion of what can be done on the desktop can be done in mozilla.

    Unfortunately, I wanted to actually use the applications that I have on my desktop... not watch them crash every minute like in Windows or... Mozilla!

    Yes, this is flaimbait- but also the harsh truth.
  • Good God! This gets an insightful??

    Read the article, a group of people outside mozilla are developing this based on an existing Mozilla feature, XUL.

    This is not something the mozilla team is adding to mozilla, it's a feature another group of of developers are utilizing.

    Oops, have I been trolled?
  • Insightful?!? This isn't "adding junk" to the mozilla code base, it is a XML application designed to run primarily on Mozilla, but could run on any other browser that cared to support web standards. This is like saying the the linux.org web site is adding junk to netscape 4.7. How does shit like this get moderated up??
    - Josh "Yoshi" Steiner

    ---
    Xiphoid Process Records - http://xiphoidprocess.com
    San Francisco based electronic music.
  • The thing about it is, It's completely portable. You don't even have to rewrite it. It's what Java tried to do but failed.
  • by Forge (2456) <kevinforge.gmail@com> on Wednesday July 05, 2000 @02:10PM (#955416) Homepage Journal
    Ahh the good old games. I remember when games had to be optimized and tweaked and seriously hacked in assembly in order to run on the slow desktops of the 80s. The biggest problem with those games is that they don't run too well on faster machines.

    Correction they run extremely well and so fast that on the right hardware the game will be over before you realize it has started. My saving grace was a program named atslow. It would slow down your systems apparent performance to a level that let those old games be usable.

    Recodeing a classic, any classic, inside Mozilla should have the same effect. The low resolutions and simple movements of older games are such that they can be run on modern hardware in even the slowest programing tools. Even Java and qbasic work.

    This project should be a whole lot of fun. I'll definitely want to run through this code. Now howsabout building crazy climber as a kpart or a bonobo object so that we can embed it inside the calculator or make it a VIgore easter egg.
  • the reason Word, Excel, and Outlook are dangerous, is the scripting language they use has the capabitlities to access any information on your harddrive and change that information, making it very powerful in good hands, but not so good in the wrong hands. As far as I know, Javascript 1.5 has no capabilities to directly access the information on your harddrive, other than saving cookies and possibly files.

    It is not implied that it's "just Mozilla" that could be powerful enough for Pacman, but since Mozilla is in the limelight these days and it features XML and powerful things of that nature, they chose to use it. Since O'reilly has been a known supporter of Mozilla they'll probably post any cool news about Mozilla, I can't see where it's implied in the article that it's remarkable, but rather just a nifty thing to try and do. I for one, think it's cool.
  • The article states "We discovered that the game that inspired our work is still protected under copyright (all these years later)."

    You'll be lucky if your grandchildren get to play the original unencumbered by copyright before retirement age. It lasts something like life-of-author plus 70 years.

    I remember another name-mangled clone from long ago: 'Taxman' on the Apple II. One of my first hacks was to find the ghost images in this game and replace them by pictures of a disk drive, monitor, floppy and joystick.

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