[SDL] [gsoc] Application proposal suggestion (SDL++)

Bob Pendleton bob at pendleton.com
Sat Apr 4 11:34:32 PDT 2009

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:42 PM, Pierre Phaneuf <pphaneuf at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/4/1 Bob Pendleton <bob at pendleton.com>:
>> In the past I have rather strongly opposed putting this kind of thing *in*
>> SDL for the simple reason that C is easier to embed in more other languages
>> than is C++. And, right now I still oppose putting it *in* SDL.
> As Kornel says, this wouldn't strictly have to be in the SDL tarball
> itself (although I'm saying that it could potentially be so small and
> low-impact that it'd be silly to leave out), and most specifically,
> embedding SDL in some other language would not involve C++ at all.
> We're talking about a C++ wrapper to SDL, not using C++ in the
> implementation of SDL itself.
>> OTTH, I'm believe this could be a very long process. It is unlikely to be
>> complete by the time GSOC 2009 ends. The usual first approach to this
>> problem (as I have seen several times) tends to wind up ignoring a huge part
>> of what you can actually do with SDL. Not to mention that 1.3 may still
>> contain instabilities that could result in work stoppages in parts of the
>> project. So, I expect this to be an iterative process that might not
>> stabilize during the first few iterations. The person proposing the work
>> needs to understand that, and the GSOC people need to understand that
>> successful completion of the project does not imply that the code will be
>> complete at the end of the sumer.
> I'm surprised by this one. I'd expect a C++ wrapper to be both doable
> in a very incremental way (start with a tiny subset of the API, and
> grow it), and not being extremely difficult to implement (it's mostly
> a matter of translating calls, it's not like it would do the actual
> work). That latter point is all relative of course, but I'll be damned
> if you can't make a wrapper around an SDL_Surface in a whole bloody
> summer! Specifically as I think there are already a number of C++
> projects who ended up rolling their own wrappers that covers the parts
> of the API that they use, so there should be plenty to draw from and
> learn from.

I'm basing my comment not on anything I know about SDL or C++ but on a
series of projects I was involved in as a teaching assistant when I
was in grad school oh these many long years ago. At the time it was
noticed that certain languages, in particular Fortran and C (this was
between '81 and '83) were becoming ubiquitous. Every architecture and
OS supported one or both of those language. So, it seemed like a good
idea to compile languages such as LISP and Pascal to C and Fortran. At
first, second, and even third glance it seems like compiling Pascal to
C is trivial, just a simple transliteration, not a full compilation.
And then you notice nested functions in Pascal and every thing

Until a design is proposed and at least partially implemented we will
not know what detail is going to kill it.

Bob Pendleton

+ Bob Pendleton: writer and programmer
+ email: Bob at Pendleton.com
+ web: www.TheGrumpyProgrammer.com

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