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Old September 21, 2012, 19:38   #1
nppangband
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Angband - status of the Linux ports?

I was trying to research a little bit about the 4 Linus ports that Angband has, with varying success:

SDL - appears to be going strong and is well documented.
GTK - removed from Angband. It looks like it is now kind of obsolete, with GTK+ taking its place. I remember reading somewhere that there are future plans or hopes for a GTK+ port of Angband. GTK+ seems to be well supported and used.
GCU - Is there a website or home page about the GCU library? Most of my google searches show either to universities with the initials GCU, or to sites for Angband. I couldn't find much.
X11 - Is this X Windows? Again, is there a website for this game library?

I have some changes I wanted to make to the various ports, but

My first inclination was to just work with SDL and perhaps GCU and drop the others. In NPP, GCU still works, but I can't find any documentation on it. GTK, I am definitely deleting, and I would keep X11 if I could get it working, but currently it fails to start due to font issues.

Eventually I want to have a combination of tiles and ascii displayed on the screen at all times and also do UTF-8, and I know some of the ports won't support that. So I wanted to try to figure out which ports I could make it work and which ones I need to drop.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
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Old September 21, 2012, 20:23   #2
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nppangband View Post
I was trying to research a little bit about the 4 Linus ports that Angband has, with varying success:

SDL - appears to be going strong and is well documented.
The big problem with SDL is the incredibly slow transition to SDL 1.3 - it's been about three or four years now (EDIT: slow on SDL's part, I mean, not ours). But for SDL 1.2, we're fine.
Quote:
GTK - removed from Angband. It looks like it is now kind of obsolete, with GTK+ taking its place. I remember reading somewhere that there are future plans or hopes for a GTK+ port of Angband. GTK+ seems to be well supported and used.
The port was removed because there are no devs capable of maintaining it, not because there's any problem with GTK itself. If a dev steps up, for GTK with or without +, we'd happily add it back.
Quote:
GCU - Is there a website or home page about the GCU library? Most of my google searches show either to universities with the initials GCU, or to sites for Angband. I couldn't find much.
The library is called ncurses, and since the UTF8 support you actually need the "wide character" library, ncursesw. Googling that should give you everything you need. It's old but does the job.
Quote:
X11 - Is this X Windows? Again, is there a website for this game library?
Yes, it's a native X11 port, not a game library as such. Just using the basic X11 API. Again we have no real maintainer, so it lags behind other ports in terms of what it supports. (It doesn't support tiles IIRC.)
Quote:
I have some changes I wanted to make to the various ports, but

My first inclination was to just work with SDL and perhaps GCU and drop the others. In NPP, GCU still works, but I can't find any documentation on it. GTK, I am definitely deleting, and I would keep X11 if I could get it working, but currently it fails to start due to font issues.

Eventually I want to have a combination of tiles and ascii displayed on the screen at all times and also do UTF-8, and I know some of the ports won't support that. So I wanted to try to figure out which ports I could make it work and which ones I need to drop.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
I would definitely drop both GTK and X11 for NPP. GCU won't ever support tiles but is always worth keeping for basic testing (and because you can play over ssh!). The only one which will do what you want is SDL, so it's probably worth developing your expertise there - unless you want to learn GTK+ and write your own front-end :-)
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Old September 21, 2012, 21:09   #3
nppangband
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post

I would definitely drop both GTK and X11 for NPP. GCU won't ever support tiles but is always worth keeping for basic testing (and because you can play over ssh!). The only one which will do what you want is SDL, so it's probably worth developing your expertise there - unless you want to learn GTK+ and write your own front-end :-)

If the "my eyes are biger than my stomach" category, I considered doing a port either in GTK+ or Allegro, and I added that to my to-do list right after adding UTF-8, all the graphicsal UI changes I want to do, writing 5th generation Monster AI, getting the cocoa port working for NPP (after I buy that notebook pro I have wanted for years), making NPP Moria, and finally playing all those variants I have wanted to all these years (like Steamband, FAAngband, Sil, etc... and other roguelikes like TOME and Crawl Stone Cold and of course the latest Angband).

Then I remembered that I average about 3-4 hours coding time for NPP a week, so most of that isn't even a possibility. UTF-8 and 5GAI will happen eventually, but the rest is iffy.

Again, many thanks. I saw that with SDL 1.3 we could even have multiple windows now, so it could have all the functionality of the Windows version. I want to either drop or improve X11. My temptation in dropping GCU is being free of the 16 color limitation and the workarounds we have to do for the additional colors, but it might stick around a little longer. I know of at one player around here who plays NPP with GCU.
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Old September 21, 2012, 21:51   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nppangband View Post
Again, many thanks. I saw that with SDL 1.3 we could even have multiple windows now, so it could have all the functionality of the Windows version. I want to either drop or improve X11. My temptation in dropping GCU is being free of the 16 color limitation and the workarounds we have to do for the additional colors, but it might stick around a little longer. I know of at one player around here who plays NPP with GCU.
You can add me to that list - I play NPP with GCU too!

Btw, d_m got around the 16-colour limit with the GCU port, so there's another reason to keep it ;-)
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Old September 21, 2012, 22:56   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
You can add me to that list - I play NPP with GCU too!

Btw, d_m got around the 16-colour limit with the GCU port, so there's another reason to keep it ;-)
GCU rules! When I found out that EyAngband has a beautiful curses display I decided to make my own variant.
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Old September 22, 2012, 14:51   #6
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Well, then GCU stays! Thanks again.
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Old September 7, 2013, 21:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
The big problem with SDL is the incredibly slow transition to SDL 1.3 - it's been about three or four years now (EDIT: slow on SDL's part, I mean, not ours). But for SDL 1.2, we're fine.
Sorry to revive an old thread, but woo-hoo! SDL 2.0, the "Chinese Democracy" of development libraries, has binally been released!

http://forums.libsdl.org/viewtopic.php?t=9375
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Old September 7, 2013, 23:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nppangband View Post
Sorry to revive an old thread, but woo-hoo! SDL 2.0, the "Chinese Democracy" of development libraries, has binally been released!

http://forums.libsdl.org/viewtopic.php?t=9375
That's brilliant - why it should only be two or three more years before it's packaged for Debian and Ubuntu ;-)
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