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All Homebrew Developers Don't want to hide from the world!

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Hi Richard,

 

I moved this topic to a different thread because things are getting too off topic with discussions about EEPROMS, CD Bootsectors, and miscellaneous Thunderbird bashing. I wanted to bring this one subject to a topic where this can be discussed logically without all that background noise, because I think this is important.

 

I'd be interested to see what other members of the forum think of the idea of keeping the underground development scene so secret that a developer can only join by "invitation".

 

Well the thing is that we are a group of individuals working on our

own projects, for fun, not for profit, and I really don't want to do

the job of "marketing" the Atari Jaguar as a development platform.

The "web-ring" nicely links active developers, that enough for us.

I don't know why I am having so much trouble getting this point across to you because every thing I say you respond to in a way which addresses some other issue other than my main point.

 

Once again, I am saying that closing the group is going to cause any new person who is trying to begin developing to quit and/or give up their ideas because all activity is going on in your "private" list. To an outside observer it would appear that the Jaguar homebrew situation is pretty much completely dead.

 

I'm not saying you should have to actively "market" the group. All it takes is for the group to stop hiding behind the scenes and the marketing would happen automatically, through Google and people adding links to their pages, etc. You wouldn't have to do anything once you shut off your "cloaking devices". How hard is that?

 

You and Songbird (as publishers) have real reasons to do marketing!

You sell JUGS as the "first complete development system" (I forget,

does that mean you sell it complete with Brainstorms "Mac", "ALN"

and so forth?) and I think people finding that, or "Jag Development

Club" or the new "JagDev.Org" or other sites will find what they want.

Marketing products is a totally separate issue. I'm talking about recruiting new developers. It makes absolutely no sense to me to hide all of the active developers from the public and only provide external links to websites and message boards with a handful of members and no active message threads. The JDC and/or JagDev.Org should be the central hub of all development activity, hustling and bustling with messages and members all contributing. These wonderful sites are seldom used and very inactive, since it sounds like hundreds of messages per month are flowing in "secret", so the visible sites remain vacant.

 

A potential new developer going to JagDev.Org (which is a very nice looking site and looks really professional) is going to find a members page with only a handful of members, a download section with only a handful of files (mostly the old Atari tools and samples) and a message board with only about three inactive threads. It looks like it's abandoned. It's a shame, in my opinion.

 

To a potential new developer, the links you refer to make Jaguar scene looks like it's completely lifeless!

 

Why is it that you don't want to have new people find out about the Jaguar and develop for it? It seems to me that new blood can only help. More people will be able to get more projects done and also provide more help and sample programs and libraries for the benefit of everyone!

 

My point, again, is that that Jaguar development appears very dead to anyone outside your group, and this will definitely turn away potentially new developers!

 

 

So??? Does this mean we should drop the Jaguar, and go out to buy

ourselves a Dreamcast? I develop for the Jaguar because I like to

do so, I bought the devkits because I wanted to, even though doing

so was costly, and I continue because the Jaguar is fun and my main

games platform, even now. (I also own 2600, 7800, Lynx and N64,

so you can see I'm not a die-hard Atari fan, but why must I upgrade?)

That was not my point at all. The fact is that a person who wants to get into console development as a hobby is more likely to develop for another platform because the homebrew developers for other platforms are not hiding. I have no idea why you think I'm telling you to stop working on the Jaguar and switch platforms, that's got nothing to do with what I was saying.

 

Many of the customers who buy JUGS from me ask where to go to hook up with other Jaguar developers, and I have absolutely no way to refer anyone to your group. I can only give them the same inactive links I have previously noted. and try to encourage them to make programs. I know that the lack of visible activity in the Jaguar homebrew scene is disappointing to people because I have customers who have told me so. I am 100% positive that the Jaguar is losing developers because the community is not open like the 2600 developers are. This is the reason I was mentioning the 2600 as an example.

 

Heck, reading the 2600 homebrew discussions has been so fascinating to me that even I am tempted to try my hand at developing a 2600 game!!! I say that we could attract new jaguar programmers from other platforms in the same way, simply by having a public forum that was active.

 

I'll probably still be writing games for the Jaguar in another 7 years

time, if my equipment keeps running, even if I'm ALONE in doing so!

(I bet I won't be.) I don't need to impress people, I develop for fun.

So, why go out of your way to keep other people from discovering the Jaguar Homebrew Scene? I can only see more people contributing as a good thing.

 

 

 

Did you read my first post in the discussion about why most amateur developers these days do not talk about their projects. Please do...

In fact, you said YOU develop in secret, and gave various reasons...

There's a difference between not discussing details of a project and not talking about the Jaguar at all. For example, I work on several projects at one time and only tell a few people in private about them. That does not in any way stop me from answering a question about the Blitter or sharing what I have discovered about encryption for CD's, or giving out CD boot loader or Analog Joystick sample, or some other sample program to help someone. People can help each other without a public discussion about sensitive issues. That's what makes a forum like Atari-Age so cool... it has the "Private Message" function for privacy, but I can still comment and read the regular threads.

 

There are Jaguar development boards out there if you look. However,

the fact is, who cares? We're happy chatting together, as friends, and

helping each other out. Nobody is "marketing" the Jaguar. It's not a

cool machine, we're not "in it for the money", just "in it for the fun".

You are crazy if you think that the Jaguar is not a cool machine. No wonder people don't want to get involved if the people running the underground are going around bashing the hardware. I hope this is not the general feeling within the underground.

 

And, yes, I already mentioned the boards I found using the methods a new developer would use to find information. I already pointed out how dreary and lifeless the public boards make the Jaguar Homebrew Scene appear.

 

If a Jaguar fan wants to start developing, that's much more sensible

than an existing developer looking around for new platforms to port

their projects too. If they're so keen to do so, they'll do so anyway!

I think that people would not be actively looking for new platforms to port to. The idea would come to them AFTER they discover the Jaguar underground. Not the other way around. For example, an Amiga developer or Genesis developer is looking for information on the 68000 and they do a google search. Imagine if one of the links they get in the search talks about active development on the Jaguar and how the Jaguar uses the 68000. Chances are that the person would get curious and read about the Jaguar and read the threads and think it sounded like a fun platform to develop for or port their game to.

 

The way things are currently set up, anyone that might possibly stumble into the Jaguar Homebrew Scene and would likely join in would never know it existed

 

I really don't think that people are going to think about developing for the Jaguar on their own. They are going to "discover" the Jaguar by finding links and discussions about it. This will never happen the way things are going. In my opinion, this is really hurting the Jaguar Homebrew Scene.

 

I understand you do this for fun and don't want to market the Jag as a development platform, but I can't imagine why you would want to keep people OUT of the homebrew scene. It seems the more people in the scene, the more their efforts could help you and your projects.

 

There's so many levels that hiding the discussions is a hinderance to the group. People tend to surf using search engines to find references to things they are familiar with and since none of the discussions are public you could be missing things like:

 

1) A printer could read a discussion about boxes and offer you a good deal for packaging in exchange for a link on your page.

 

2) An expert in GCC could see the talk about the lost GCC profiles that id used on DOOM and they would offer to help make a new GCC profiles for DOOM+.

 

3) An artist or Musician could see talk about needing help with these things and offer to contribute to your project.

 

The list goes on. See what I'm getting at?

 

What benefit does making the group a secret "invitation only" club have that could possibly outweigh these benefits?

 

I'm not telling you how to run your group or anything like that. I'm just giving you my OPINION of the way I see things. It's up to you to run your things the way you see fit. I'm just giving constructive criticsisms. You can ignore them if you want, but I feel that it would be in the best interest of the Homebrew Scene to give them some thought.

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Hello,

 

Well why don't we just start some active threads on this board, and if people want to talk about them, they'll come along and so so. I'm thoroughly in favour of open discussion, let's start some threads on here, to give them credibility, and interest, you should create the headings, and let's get discussion on them going. Nobody is going to object to that!!!

 

However, the UGD-JAG group should not be expected to change when everybody is happy with it. If everybody migrates to these public forums then the UGD-JAG group will die off, and that will just be an old chapter. Any interesting topic will attract posts and spread by word of mouth.

 

If you stop being secretive about your discoveries too, and give some good development advice to everybody about things which have been problem areas for years, and which everybody would love to have some sample code for, like Jaglink networking, the Cat/Scatnet networking, reading and loading additional tracks off CD, how you think the EEPROM problem should be resolved, and more, then this would really encourage everybody, as these things are all real problems that need discussing!

 

You are crazy if you think that the Jaguar is not a cool machine. No wonder people don't want to get involved if the people running the underground are going around bashing the hardware. I hope this is not the general feeling within the underground.

You are either completely misunderstanding when I say cool, or being a bit mischevous. I'll presume the former. Go out on the street, walk into some game stores, and ask people if the Atari Jaguar is cool. They'll say no. That does not mean that you and I, and all the other Jaguar fans don't think it's cool. I think "Motorhead" is a cool band. However, they're not number one in the charts because the majority of other people don't think they're cool, poor misguided souls who are living under a misconception.

 

On the subject of cool, you may not have noticed that Lars, Matthias, and others, have posted both source code (not Atari source) and projects that need input, to their web-sites. Lars has a complete CD of stuff. He created a nice Breakout / Arkanoid project, publicised it widely, and got only one response to a request for new level designs. Requests for music and graphics help from other developers are widely ignored, unfortunately.

 

The opportunity for Jaguar fans to have a forum for giving feedback on home-brew Jaguar projects is the point of the Yahoo "Jaguar-Homebrew" group that you joined and quit, it has an archive of Underground projects and tools, plus comprehensive links. How about a home-brew project from you, to join the freeware collection, with source code included too?

 

 

Yes, let's agree to start the discussion here, in several new threads, just please don't let previous arguments colour the technical discussions.

 

As I say, please start the threads, they need YOUR credibility, nobody is going to follow-up a thread I post, after all, my reputation here now is only for having started a massive flame war by inadvertently throwing stones about E2PROM development at you, for which I've already apologised. (My frustration over E2PROM standards progress can easily be resolved in a healthy new public discussion on this board, and I'll be happy.)

 

Regards,

Richard / JustClaws.

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Hello,

 

Heck, reading the 2600 homebrew discussions has been so fascinating to me that even I am tempted to try my hand at developing a 2600 game!!! I say that we could attract new jaguar programmers from other platforms in the same way, simply by having a public forum that was active.  

 

Just one of question, which maybe you can help me with. In fact, when I think about it, I think we need to start a new Jaguar Yahoo group for this discussion, or something similar, to resolve it, but I'm open to ideas...

 

Many of us on the UGD-JAG group are unfortunately not equipped with any nice fast Internet connection, and especially not an always-on one. They just aren't available to all of us, either due to cost, or location. I use a dial-up modem, as does Matthias, and several other people I think. For us, the facility to dial-up, pull-down our messages, and reply, is great.

 

Right now, I'm anxious about every visit to this board, because the length of time to read messages, and to post (and the reason why I only read about 1% of the messages posted) can be considerable.

 

I don't have the time to browse a discussion board. I'm paying for Internet access by the minute, and I'm paying for a phone-call, and I'm balancing my very limited free time between time spent on-line running up a phone bill against time spent programming, time spent socialising, time spent on my other hobbies, and no#1 time with my wife and kids.

I guess not everybody has that problem, and I guess you have always on Internet, but it's not available here, or for my UK home, so modem it is.

 

Email (as used by UGD-JAG) has the great advantage that it's still there and useful 2 weeks later, or 6 years later, and I can reply off-line. Just the time to read the most recent posts and type this message today has been ridiculous, and I'd not bother if I didn't see getting these issues with you resolved, so that everybody can work together on Jaguar matters...

 

The reason I've always liked JI2 is because it's one forum, one quick and simple page to browse, these forums are sophisticated, but the fact that there are so many different threads makes them a nightmare to monitor.

 

Regards,

Richard / JustClaws.

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Hi!

 

What i am wondering about is, why was it ok to have the Jaguar-underground "hidden" for about 8 years, and why isn't it no longer since three days or so? Doug, why didn't speak about this before?

From my point of view the things did work quite well during the years, and the main reason is that the Underground-mailing-list members are not hiding themselfs, most of them are active posters to either JI2 or AA (btw: i talk only about these two because they are the only two boards i daily use).

 

And the underground-mailinglist is not the only "place to be":

From my experience a lot of developing-related topics are as well

discussed here or on JI2 or in private emails or ICQ and so on.

 

And as you (all) know, i am hiding not at all: i use my real name (something other people would say is silly on the internet), my full name is seen on most of my (demo-)programs, so if you feed Google with it you'll find a link to my website where you can find other usefull things.

I don't have a "Proud member of the Jaguar Undergound" in my signature,

but i have a link to my website in my AA-profile.

 

Matthias

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[...] and the main reason is that the Underground-mailing-list members are not hiding themselfs, most of them are active posters to either JI2 or AA (btw: i talk only about these two because they are the only two boards i daily use).

 

And the underground-mailinglist is not the only "place to be":

From my experience a lot of developing-related topics are as well

discussed here or on JI2 or in private emails or ICQ and so on.

I posted a reply on the other thread to say just this. The UGD-JAG members always answer any question on JI2 or AA, and I have no recollection ever of anybody having any development query ignored.

 

And as you (all) know, i am hiding not at all: i use my real name (something other people would say is silly on the internet), my full name is seen on most of my (demo-)programs, so if you feed Google with it you'll find a link to my website where you can find other usefull things.

I don't have a "Proud member of the Jaguar Undergound" in my signature,

but i have a link to my website in my AA-profile.

Yes, and your site is a member of the "Atari Console Developers Webring" which includes Atari 2600 and Lynx developers as well as the Jaguar. Also all the Atari Jaguar developers help out "new developers", and of course as I've invited a most of the recent people that I've seen doing something productive with the Jaguar (like Mr.Well for instance) we search out members, and I can't think of one developer who is hiding at all anyway, except these mystery "Arachnoid" developers, whom none of us know.

 

Don't forget that people like my "Team Franglais" friend Fred has the French link with leading Falcon developers (just visit Jag Connexion), and the Falcon scene was well represented by Duranik and the 2 EJagFests.

There was an OPEN "Underground" developer session after the last one!

 

Regards,

JustClaws.

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I agree with Matthias.

The underground group always worked fine.

What's wrong with that now ?

New coders can get started with Jag stuff these days easier than ever before. There are not only cheap dev solutions (like BJL and the other hobby dev kits), but also Jaguar emulators and even the Starcat Developments Jaguar Dev Tools CD, which contains all the important files and even more. Everything a new coder needs.

 

And news also are not a problem.

I, for example, post news as soon as there is something new for the fans to know. I'm sure all the other coders will do the same if they think there is something the fans need to know about. (I'm sure nobody will "secretly" publish jaguar games without telling anybody ;) )

 

So I do not see any problem at all about UGD. In fact I'm glad that there is something like UGD. It worked great in the past and I'm sure it will work great in the future as well.

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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Hi!

 

What i am wondering about is, why was it ok to have the Jaguar-underground "hidden" for about 8 years, and why isn't it no longer since three days or so? Doug, why didn't speak about this before?

From my point of view the things did work quite well during the years, and the main reason is that the Underground-mailing-list members are not hiding themselfs, most of them are active posters to either JI2 or AA (btw: i talk only about these two because they are the only two boards i daily use).

 

This is like in 1930 asking why we need to put Jet engines on an airplane when we have had perfectly good propeller airplanes for 30 years.

 

The reason I didn't mention it before 3 days ago is because only 3 days ago I read that there are hundreds of messages per month on the mailing list. Until this time I thought the activity was similar to the activity that I have observed in the public forums (very little) and never thought there was much activity out there. Now that I see there is, I see there's a lot of missed potential in sharing this information.

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Maybe it would be a good idea to post a formal statement on the Jag Developers webring sites that aspiring Jag developers can also ask for help on this forum as well as JI2. New potential developers may not know they can do this or may be unaware of the two forums.

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Hello Doug!

 

Hi!

 

What i am wondering about is, why was it ok to have the Jaguar-underground "hidden" for about 8 years, and why isn't it no longer since three days or so? Doug, why didn't speak about this before?

From my point of view the things did work quite well during the years, and the main reason is that the Underground-mailing-list members are not hiding themselfs, most of them are active posters to either JI2 or AA (btw: i talk only about these two because they are the only two boards i daily use).

 

This is like in 1930 asking why we need to put Jet engines on an airplane when we have had perfectly good propeller airplanes for 30 years.

 

The reason I didn't mention it before 3 days ago is because only 3 days ago I read that there are hundreds of messages per month on the mailing list.

 

I still can't understand why you ignore the fact that i have told you all these things which you are now complaining about 2 months ago :(

 

At least i would expect that you start your complains with "My knowledge, derived from publically available sources is: ..."

 

Until this time I thought the activity was similar to the activity that I have observed in the public forums (very little) and never thought there was much activity out there. Now that I see there is, I see there's a lot of missed potential in sharing this information.

 

Irony (perhaps zyinsm) mode ON:

I doubt that all these mails contain important informations. Last summer some people were bored by all these noisy stuff broadcasted there and started a new mailing-list/Yahoogroup to concentrate on the real important things.

Irony (perhaps zyinsm) mode OFF:

 

Bye

Matthias

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Hello Doug!

I still can't understand why you ignore the fact that i have told you all these things which you are now complaining about 2 months ago :(

 

Because you're one person, and I don't think one person can make much difference in that group. If you told me you were the host or the presisdent of the group then I might discuss changes wit hthe group with you.

 

Plus, our talks were centered on more technical issues and there's perhaps not enough time in the day to talk about technical things and political things.

 

At least i would expect that you start your complains with "My knowledge, derived from publically available sources is: ..."

 

I think I was pretty clear that my information was derived from what I could find using the usual public sources like search engines, etc. I mentioned this about 5 times in the past 2 days. I didn't think it was necessary to keep repeating this.

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I have to agree with T-bird. We have hid ourselves from a lot of folk out there over the last ten years (WOW the Jag is 10 years old!) who I know would like to code the Jag just for the challenge, but like Doug says, have no where to go. Iall for keeping out the idiots who have nothing to do with development but not any one showing a serious interest in the further development of the Jag. I blew off the old udg due to a flood of marketing on what was supposed to be development board but many sheep in wolves clothing slipped throught the doors. Coding and hardware info only...but alas it turned lame...and we know who those folks are(no names please). Open the flood gates sayeth the Gorfian.

 

 

Steve"Gorfians Take No Prisoners"Scavone

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