Author Topic: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates  (Read 20142 times)

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« on: November 14, 2011, 03:21:28 am »
A few years ago, when I was active in programming games, mainly RPGs, I was often the direct target of many anti-TI-BASIC remarks and in some rarer cases (such as from a certain 68K IRC channel) flames. Around 2005-06 this stopped, but then I had to face bad remarks because I used libraries in my BASIC games. Apparently, doing it that way was cheating, for those people, because I did not go through the effort of doing it in pure BASIC, requiring more optimizing and RAM/garbage collecting, or in ASM, requiring me to learn ASM successfully even if it takes me 10 tries or so.

In fact, around 2004-05, there was an anti-BASIC mentality going on on a formerly active forum MaxCoderz (back when they used Ikonboard software instead of PhpBB) and it sometimes sparked arguments between United-TI website, where most members were pro-BASIC, because pro-BASIC coders felt disrespected by some of the ASM crowd due to generalizations made about BASIC programmers (due to the fact many BASIC games on ticalc.org were half-hassled) and some narrow-minded remarks (IMHO). A year or so later, the Anti-BASIC mentality waned, but on United-TI, a mentality against the usage of libraries in TI-BASIC games started and because some people on MaxCoderz used them, it fueled new flame wars and debates. Similar things occured on Ticalc.org news comments around that time. At one point there it was so bad that the minute a BASIC game was featured, all there was in the comments were BASIC vs ASM debates and some people questioning the newsworthiness of the program. And when a BASIC coder announced a project somewhere, he was suggested to learn ASM, but in some cases the ASM programmer insisted so much that it became harassment. Some examples of news that triggered BASIC vs ASM tensions are this one and the 2005 ticalc.org April Fools joke.

In my case, I did survive the harrassment wave and also even tried to learn ASM to shut them up, although my 3 attempts were futile, but I did not make it through the remarks about my usage of ASM libs afterward. There's a reason why all ROL4 attempts died, why Reuben Quest 3 never took off, why SMSD isn't 100% complete and why I haven't made a single entire new game since 2006. I simply lost interest after what happened and my interest never recovered. As a result I just worked in making sure there would be at least one calc forum where everyone would be able to announce a project without his topic turning into a debate about which language usage is good practice or not and which one is worthless or not.

Over the years, those debates were less and less present, but the TI community was quiet then, so maybe that doesn't count.

Then came Axe Parser. At first I worried about even more BASIC haters because BASIC coders had even more reasons to switch from BASIC, but finally I only ever saw two mild incidents towards BASIC programmers here, which were quickly solved. However over the year after Axe arrival, I started to notice at some places other than Omni that some people tried to discourage people from pursuing their Axe programming from time to time and suggested them to switch to ASM or Doors CS7 BASIC libs instead. However, at the time there were no arguments given as to why the person should drop Axe and switch to something else and in other cases nothing was said about people's choice of Axe parser.

However recently I noticed that this escalated and now it seems in some cases it's just plain generalizations and this is why, after seeing this, I decided to post this. Since some of the remarks come from banned Omnimaga members or people who sees Axe popularity as competition to their own projects, I worried that the escalating hate towards Axe was simply because Axe Parser came from Omnimaga and Axe is the most popular language here, and some people happen to hate Omnimaga with a passion (competition and/or clashing mentalities, I guess... can't please everyone). However I think it's not just that, because when some of the anti-BASIC flames occured, Omnimaga did not even exist yet. I think now it's because some people just can't accept that people go through an easier language to make a game instead of spending the effort and time to learn ASM, even though some Axe and BASIC coders stated many times that they failed at learning ASM despite getting help or simply disliked lower level language syntax, so now some hardcore programmers just retaliate with generalizations and narrow-minded remarks, like what happened towards BASIC coders back in the days.

Although some people do have a point (most BASIC games just plain suck and several Axe games are larger clones of ASM games or poorly-optimized code), just because a group of Axe or BASIC coders produced poorly-optimized or redundant games doesn't mean that every single Axe programmers are lazy bums. They may not be true hackers if most of their code is not pointers/direct memory access, they may not be as hardcore calc programmers as some z80 ASM programmers are, but IMHO it doesn't mean that no Axe programmer should be recognized for their work for the community. Also just because you managed to learn ASM easily doesn't mean everyone has the same IQ as you and will manage to do it as easily, if at all. I myself dropped out of computer programming major in college because I realized it was not for me, yet it wasn't even close from ASM yet. Just because you love the challenges of coding doesn't mean everyone have to think the same way as you. However, it seems that some people do not realize that certain people just like to program games because they like making them, not always because they love challenges of programming that some languages provide. I do not think it's right to imply that everyone use Axe as a lazy way to make faster games for calculators.

(That makes me glad most of the Nspire C vs Lua activity is on Omnimaga/TI-Planet. I can't imagine the C vs Lua arguments that would go on elsewhere if C was easily useable on the latest TI-Nspire OSes and models...)

Anyway I'M kinda glad that here we do not single out our programmers just because of the language they use to create games. Granted, some newer people here need to improve their coding *cough*and spelling :P*cough* but everyone has to start somewhere, right? As for the guys who stayed with Axe, Grammer or BASIC instead of switching to ASM, IMHO it's their choice and they should not be judged because of that, especially if it makes their programming experience more enjoyable. Otherwise, IMHO, it tends to be a bit like when you judge somebody who prefers electronic music to rock.

P.S. The same thing happens in the music making community: If you showcase your music but ever mention you used GarageBand, MTV Music Generator, Dance Ejay or Magix Music Maker to make it, prepare to get laughed at, no matter if you post the best song ever on their site. Hence why I created a MTVMG forum a few years ago.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 03:47:52 am by DJ_O »

Offline ruler501

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 03:36:20 am »
Me Grammars is good though
/end spam
:P

I have to agree with this. Language wars for the most part are pointless. If there is a good reason to use another language you can point it out but you never try to force someone to use it. Like if someone was writing an Operating system in Brainf**k you might recommend they learn C/++ and try that instead. But you dont force them to do it. Language wars just take away from code and make people less likely to make wonderful, great programs.
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Offline aeTIos

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 04:56:43 am »
DJ, you got a great point with this post. +1.
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Offline Yeong

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 07:18:32 am »
+1 for you, DJ. :D
I agree with that all language stuff. I was in Cemetech other day and saw people discouraging people from using hex code. Really, in my opinion, people should use language that they want, not the language "recommended" by peer pressure. :D
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*cough*and spelling :P*cough*
well, it's kinda hard to fix that (at least, me)
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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 08:11:47 am »
>.< I saw the post by merth on cemetech and I agree with him.
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How is that different from any other language and library? I do a lot of programming in C#, does that mean that the only person who really did any work was the language designers and library writers? Obviously not. If there's a higher level language that exists and makes development faster and easier, I don't see any reason not to use it. Should people learn ASM? Yes. Should they have to stick to it then? No. Should it matter to anyone else what language someone else prefers to write their software in? No--as long as the language isn't getting in the way (or you have to support the code).

Offline JustCause

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 11:45:32 am »
I second everything in this topic. Simply put, programming languages are tools, and for every project you've got to use the tools you know and that will get the job done.
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Offline alberthrocks

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2011, 12:02:13 pm »
I have a feeling that it *might* have to do with last year's PoTY, but I'm not going to jump to conclusions.

Nevertheless, I think languages debates are pretty much pointless. Who cares about what language the program's in if the program is awesome? :) And I strongly emphasize the point of... you know, having fun while programming! :D As I've pointed out in my Cemetech reply, if a person is programming for a reason other than to have fun, then that person should consider a new hobby... ;) To make an example: even with wxWabbitemu coding woes, I enjoy it. Why? It's a good challenge, and the satisfaction gained from having it work - no, having it come alive in your eyes... it's indescribable. :D

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Offline lkj

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2011, 01:54:31 pm »
I agree with DJ  :)
Programs / games can be fun or boring to play whatever language they are in. If the idea is good and the chosen language doesn't constrict the implementation, why should you choose another language if you like the one you're using? Some people like the challenge of a complicated language, but others like to make a game even though it's not in the most complicated language.

Offline Hayleia

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2011, 02:26:35 pm »
People who think a language is worth more than another are just like people who only like one kind of music (quite the same example as DJ_O said but not exactly): narrow minded. Why not saying this, when we are at it
"No seriously, you are not a good coder until you can write your program in native hex."
That is nonsense.
We can make good programs in every languages and make bad programs in every language too.
And I find it funny from Kerm to say this about Axe after making DoorsCS
   <KermM_> But I don't feel they show any great programming skill, just some creative game design
   <KermM_> Not to mention that it's not good for real applications and games, because it creates huge
   executables

But at least he didn't speak about speed.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 02:26:51 pm by Hayleia »
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2011, 02:33:30 pm »
And I find it funny from Kerm to say this about Axe after making DoorsCS
   <KermM_> But I don't feel they show any great programming skill, just some creative game design
   <KermM_> Not to mention that it's not good for real applications and games, because it creates huge
   executables

But at least he didn't speak about speed.
Well to be honest, the negative Axe remarks started to come immediately after Doors CS7 added backwards compatibility with xLIB and added new commands for BASIC coders. Granted, the executables are much smaller because they're interpreted, but the speed is slowed down by the BASIC code present in the program. Basically both got different advantages/disadvantages. Right before Doors CS added BASIC tools, most Axe comments were positive.

Another thing that I found ironic is how after DCS added xLIB backwards compatibility, Kerm encouraged people to use ASM libs for BASIC coders, while years ago, the very same person would discourage the usage of such libs in BASIC. (See Metroid II Evolution news comments on ticalc.org)

Also personally my issue is not really the pointing out of flaws in Axe that some people do, since we do it all the time here with every language (especially Nspire BASIC), but rather the generalizations that some people have done about some languages or users of some languages.

I still remember a certain remark about hex programmers somewhere that Qwerty.55 got extremly pissed at, although later there was an apology about it.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 02:42:56 pm by DJ_O »

Offline Scipi

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 03:01:54 pm »
Honestly, I do think they have some good points. However, just because a language is easy (and for many, including myself, it's not) doesn't mean worthless things come out of it. (Case and point, PortalX, Graviter) Actually, in my experience with games, high quality Axe games totally beat all but the highest quality ASM games. (Again, from my experience)

Each language has its uses. Axe is designed for speedy development of games. It was made for programmers to make as high quality games as ASM, in a fifth of the time. (However, as with every language, there is no such thing as a perfect design or programmer)

Something I find personally funny to the Axe/ASM debate, is that I actually find ASM easier than Axe! ;D

So I agree, each language is capable of great things. It's not about what you're given before hand or how you go about it (though the experience of it is important) It's about the product. It's the same in professional development as well. 1. Make it work, 2. Make it fast, 3. Make it small. if one and two are taken care of in one fell swoop, then all the better. :P And if that's not your style, then just make something even awesomer in ASM! But don't bash the Axe programmer because of it.

As a side note, but I wonder how OPIA will influence this. O.O

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2011, 03:09:42 pm »
I wholeheartedly agree DJ ;D
+1

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2011, 03:34:58 pm »
JustCause, excellently put. Most languages have advantages and disadvantages to other languages and so the programmer picks the most appropriate tool for the task :)

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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2011, 05:40:16 pm »
I came here because of Axe. I had been programming in BASIC for a while and, when I heard about Axe, I was hesitant. I knew about the power (THE POWAH!) and what it could do if used wrong (Who am I, Uncle Ben?).
To cut the melodrama, I was afraid of crashing my calc. (and wrecking a few other things in the process)
But as I heard about all the awesome stuff Axe could do, I became more and more excited--GREEEEEEYYYYYYSCCCUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLAAAAAAAALLE!!!!! (It was cube runner that did it. I never actually downloaded, but I was so impressed by the screenshots and the hype I thought "Holy Crap, I wanna do that!")
So I got Axe.
And then I needed help.
I was trying to port a drawing program I had over to axe--or something. I dunno. I hesitated, for reasons that still don't make sense.
I still use BASIC occasionally, when I need to write a quick math program or something, because it's easy, and when you need the floats, you need the floats.
One of my favorite programs was a Basic program that made clamped cubic splines off of inputted points (no arg Input ftw), and I did the graphing manually, because I wanted to let you go backwards, which I did. Loop-de-loops! The only thing you couldn't do was have two consecutive points line up vertically. In otherwords, you couldn't go straight up, because vertical lines are not functions of x (SCIENCE!MATH!). I was so proud of it, and I had lots of fun playing with it, and you could not do that in Axe, not without a program much, much larger in size. You'd also have to use floats, because the precision required cannot be contained in a mere 16 bits.
But the program I was most proud of was a BASIC AI that played another BASIC game of mine. Unfortunately, I lost the selecting engine to it, but I am now trying to put it back together in my spare time.
I love Axe, because of what I can do. But sometimes, it isn't the right tool for the job. So, yeah.
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Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 06:14:35 pm »
As someone that has remained neutral in the whole matter, I have to point out that I rather dislike the fact you blatantly pointed out in such a manner, and I quote:

Quote
However, it seems that some people do not realize that certain people just like to program games because they like making them, not always because they love challenges of programming that some languages provide.

And linking it directly to the Cemetech thread with that text.

Omnimaga was not once mentioned in his post, and to that end, wasn't saying people shouldn't use Axe.

I am rather sad to see that you would word it out in such a way, DJ.

The discussion on the thread has remained in an intelligent conversation with different people posting their views. It has not once turned in to an 'OMG YOU SHOULDN'T USE AXE IT SUCKS' thread.

Quote
Anyway I'M kinda glad that here we do not single out our programmers just because of the language they use to create games.

Was anyone really singled out, beyond Quigibo, Albertho and Ashbad? No one was being picked on directly, only opinions and views were being expressed, discussed and debated.

And for all of you others that might read this, remember, KermMartian is NOT the embodiment of Cemetech. The users are Cemetech. And you will see there is a lot of pro user posts for Axe that have given him counter arguments.

So instead of bashing Kerm or Cemetech by only posting snippets instead of the whole discussion, go read it all for yourself, see what is said, what is agreed to, and what arguments are made against other aspects.
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