Need some help choosing a good graphics library

This is a discussion on Need some help choosing a good graphics library within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Look I dont like Allegro either, but a lot of your points I really disagree with, this isn't meant to ...

  1. #16
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    Look I dont like Allegro either, but a lot of your points I really disagree with, this isn't meant to antagonize you, I just think there should be some defense for something that a lot of people have put a good amount of work into, even if it isn't the best.

    2. Not very flexible. Although they think it is, just because they support a bunch of obselete file formats nobody uses anymore
    Allegro supports most file formats through it's extensions, last I checked so do OpenGL, SDL, DirectX and almost every other API I know of, most don't concern themselves with file formats.

    Someone asked one of Allegro's dev'ers one time to change it to Hungarian Notation, or at least LikeThisToSeperateWords and he said "No, because I like this way better" The attitude with the developers is "This is OUR library meaning what we want goes in, what we don't does not. Just because everyone wants something doesn't mean we're actually going to put any effort into it". They actually said that in some form on the message boards.
    These two comments combined show that you fail to recognize it is their library.. and Hungarian Notation is much worse in most people eyes, and as for the CapEveryWord versus use_underscores debate it is split as much as emacs vs. vi is. And it is their library, and the developers dont have to add stuff they dont want.. but keep in mind it is open source and you can add whatever you want to it, but they dont have to do it for you.

    As far as C vs. C++ support goes.. some people will tell you that they should just rewrite allegro in C#, but they are the ones using C#, C is still very popular, and if you want an OO wrapper write your own (SDL is C, as is OpenGL, and if they weren't they'd lose a good chunk of their users)

    7. It's slow and kinda bulky. Sure it uses DirectX, but I think it uses like DirectX 5 or something.
    SDL Uses DirectX5 as well.. and DirectX's speed does not change much from DirectDraw 5 to 7

    Just to make alpha blending not take you down 10 FPS you have to download a whole new plugin just for blending crap, and don't get me started on how ugly coding for FBlend is.
    Alpha blending is slow in DirectDraw no matter what... if you need it that much you probably shouldn't be using a 2D API.

    The fact that 1,9,and 10 were all the same takes validity out of your message, seeing repetative complaints shows a reader that you have less of a point.

    11. Lots of glitches
    And DirectX is well known to have none so it must be just the Allegro code


    12. 600K DLL file, bad for someone like me who's limited to 24K connection.
    Most people are past the point where we can really worry about 24k users.. I feel sorry for you, but a 600k DLL is not large at all, and worrying about making a 600k DLL smaller so that <1% of the users can have an easier time getting it isn't going to happen often.
    Last edited by cozman; 01-04-2003 at 12:43 AM.

  2. #17
    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    the basic allegro package has a bunch of old formats like FLC. if they took them out it would shrink size. If you really want FLC you can make it a plugin.

    I can see you like the ***** attitude, that is okay with me. I just thought if you were making a library for people to use that you should at least listen to what the people want.

    I didn't say it was slow because of DX5, now did I?

    And you're saying I don't know allegro too well? They could cut the DLL file down very easily, they are just to lazy to do it.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion though.

  3. #18
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    I would tend to lean towards FrenchFry's opinion, since he used to be the great Allegro-er of the forum (at least in my opinion, looking at his avatar), and at one point he was a great help in my debate for the usefulness of the Windows GDI Besides, I find his points convincing enough...
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  4. #19
    fry
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    Well, i thought i should post a few things here, jsut for the sake of it

    just because they support a bunch of obselete file formats nobody uses anymore
    600K DLL file, bad for someone like me who's limited to 24K connection
    I found it interesting that you argued that it still uses old formats, and should rid them in order to keep up to date, and then also argue that they should be weary of 24K users for their file sizes.
    So in one sense, you want the latest and greatest, while in another area, you want it cut down to suit you?

    I HATE the function names. Everything is lowercased and words are seperated by underscores.
    Function names are personal preference. I for one, use the same standard as Allegro anyway, but i know that everyone is different, and its hard to use another format. But you cant use this as a reason for downgrading it.

    The attitude with the developers is "This is OUR library meaning what we want goes in, what we don't does not.
    cozman: And it is their library, and the developers dont have to add stuff they dont want.. but keep in mind it is open source and you can add whatever you want to it, but they dont have to do it for you.
    Makes sense to me. Would you want to add in a bunch of stuff that doesnt appeal to you? People can contibute their own parts though. Its just that people dont want to go out of their way for more specific stuff.

    but most people who use Allegro use C++ and not C. C is dieing day-by-day
    I am a c++ user. But, im pretty sure that the split of allegro users is fairly even between C and C++. As cozman said, OpenGL and SDL and compatible with C as well. Thats how things are at the moment. It isnt a specific Allegro problem.

    I respect your opinions, because they are your opinions. As are mine. As long as you don't try and pass things off as fact (which aren't), then you can say what you like

    Allegro has its fair share of problems, true. But i feel some of your arguments were slightly misleading cozman answered everything pretty well, so i will leave it there for now
    IDE: Dev C++ 5
    Lib: Allegro
    OS: Windows 2000

  5. #20
    Unregistered Leeman_s's Avatar
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    i just want to add in that i absolutely HATE allegro!

    HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE!!!!!

    I don't like the bad habits it teaches, and how it takes you away from how windows programs really work. I like to think of it as "fake". Allegro is more for the "average" user, if you get what I'm saying.

    (geez now watch some dudes gonna flame me or something)

  6. #21
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    Well, allegro is for the people that used to program console apps,
    and got tired of the forever text crap, allegro is for those people
    easy to pick up, i used to use allegro and found it very easy to
    switch to from console applications, however im now a
    100% win32 person because i know that if you ever want to
    make a proffesion out of programming youre going to have to
    learn Win32, though i still stay at my opinion

    Allegro is for C++ programmers who are tired of text based
    programs but dont want to go trough too much hassle for
    Graphics

  7. #22
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    I don't like the bad habits it teaches, and how it takes you away from how windows programs really work. I like to think of it as "fake". Allegro is more for the "average" user, if you get what I'm saying.
    How is it that Allegro teaches you bad habits? Allegro introduces you to basic techniques used in game programming. Allegro makes it possible to take out a lot of unneccesary work from the programmer and allow the programmer to spend more time on the important aspects. Granted Allegro isn't the greatest API out there, but that is not Allegro's purpose nor intention of it's creators. Allegro is meant to simplify the task of creating 2d games. It is not complete library, by no means at all, which is why there are so many extra add-ons to the library. Once Allegro fully incorporates a lot of these other libraries then Allegro will become even more popular. However, even then I don't think Allegro will be meant much more than for creating 2d games that don't require a lot of intensive graphics.

    1. Lack of organization and consistency
    Where is the lack of organization? The documentation for Allegro is very well written along with the explanatory examples. What more do you expect from a small library that is NOT meant to compete with DirectX nor OpenGL.

    2. Not very flexible. Although they think it is, just because they support a bunch of obselete file formats nobody uses anymore
    How is it not very flexible? What kind of flexibility do you want? It supports all the graphics modes and file types you could possibly ever want. What sort of flexibility are you looking for?

    3. I HATE the function names. Everything is lowercased and words are seperated by underscores. example: draw_sprite().
    I personally like the function name layout. Like Fry, I make my own personal fucntions the sameway ( my_function() is easier to write/read than My_Function() or MyFunction() to me ). Not to mention that the names of the functions fit the description very well which simplifies things quite a bit.

    5. THEY MAKE EVERYTHING GLOBAL! They have a bunch of crap declared global, and they have a bunch of crap you could crash your program with right out in the open for Joe Schmoe to change. They need some sort of organization. At least use a structure for the things that were global.
    This seems to fall under your organization argument but regardless of that it still isn't correct. The global variables provided with Allegro help out a lot (i.e. SCREEN_W, SCREEN_H). What's wrong with that?

    6. Speaking of global things, I think they should have the allegro library packed up in a class. Sure you lose C support, but most people who use Allegro use C++ and not C. C is dieing day-by-day. There are some people still using it, but I think it is more of a drawback, because a lot of API's take OOP out of the API just so C coders can use it.
    What does it matter how the layout of Allegro is just as so it provides the same ease and efficiency? Not to mention that there are so many C coders still out there. Even though, some people may be using C++ they still may not be using OOP, just to let you know.

    7. It's slow and kinda bulky. Sure it uses DirectX, but I think it uses like DirectX 5 or something. Even if it is 6 or 7 or something, it's just slow. Just to make alpha blending not take you down 10 FPS you have to download a whole new plugin just for blending crap, and don't get me started on how ugly coding for FBlend is.
    As I said above, Allegro is not meant for graphicaly intense games; it is meant for simple (with little emphasis on simple) 2d games. Again, as I said above, many new features will be including in Allegro as time goes on. Allegro has not had enough time to establish itself yet, whereas, OpenGL and DirectX have been around for years.

    8. No consistency on function names. . . .
    9. Organization problems. . . .
    10. Organization problems. . . .
    Repetitive mentioning of problems on your part again...

    11. Lots of glitches
    Care to list any, because in my time with Allegro I haven't found many.

    12. 600K DLL file, bad for someone like me who's limited to 24K connection
    Hmmm...have you thought about dynamically linking the executable. Yes, the exe grows in size when you dynamically link, but the use of the grabber tool should compensate for that. Basically Allegro is the best API out there, that I know of, for making small file size programs because of the grabber tool.

    People will probably ***** about this, but I have my own opinion on things, and you probably have a diff one as well.
    Well, I didn't mean to "*****" about your post, but your lack of support for your reasons left me no choice. Don't buy a canoe expecting it to take you across the Atlantic, just as you wouldn't use Allegro expecting it to create flawless 3d games. Use the product as it was meant to be used. When the product doesn't fit the need it wasn't meant for don't complain.

    Also, Allegro is very good for someone wanting to use graphics but still isn't completely comfortable with C/C++.

    EDIT: Ha, my last comment was pretty much what Travis said, and I hadn't even read his comment because I was still in the midst of writing my post (I sort of took a break in between lol).

  8. #23
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    Originally posted by frenchfry164
    6. Speaking of global things, I think they should have the allegro library packed up in a class. Sure you lose C support, but most people who use Allegro use C++ and not C. C is dieing day-by-day. There are some people still using it, but I think it is more of a drawback, because a lot of API's take OOP out of the API just so C coders can use it.
    Watch that 'C is obsolete' aditude, just for the reminder Quake3
    was written in C, so dont go yelling that C is dieing!

  9. #24
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    doom 3 is written in c++ dude
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  10. #25
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    doom 3 is written in c++ dude


    The documentation for Allegro is very well written along with the explanatory examples.
    Sorry, but I don't think he was talking about the doc when he said "organization"...

    This seems to fall under your organization argument but regardless of that it still isn't correct. The global variables provided with Allegro help out a lot (i.e. SCREEN_W, SCREEN_H). What's wrong with that?
    Well...
    they have a bunch of crap you could crash your program with right out in the open for Joe Schmoe to change.
    Not to mention that there are so many C coders still out there.
    True. Besides, I heard that C is faster than C++...

    Again, as I said above, many new features will be including in Allegro as time goes on.
    I don't think that was the point either... the point was that the features already there are slow, not that they're missing. Still, not a bad point.

    Repetitive mentioning of problems on your part again...
    Maybe he just wants to stress them?


    Fry:
    I found it interesting that you argued that it still uses old formats, and should rid them in order to keep up to date, and then also argue that they should be weary of 24K users for their [large] file sizes.
    So in one sense, you want the latest and greatest, while in another area, you want it cut down to suit you?
    Sorry, you've got yourself mixed up. By "ridding them", it will both "keep up to date" AND cut down the "large file sizes". Thus, it's not a contradiction.

    Sorry, i actually have no personal experience with Allegro, but I felt like pointing out some logic stuff
    Last edited by Hunter2; 01-05-2003 at 12:41 PM.
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  11. #26
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    Just to quikly mention about that last point, He said that he wanted flexibility. That could mean many things (he didnt specify), but one major one would be supporting many different formats, systems, etc. which increase the dll size. Dropping support for a number of file formats wouldn't really drop the dll file size all that much, unfortunately
    IDE: Dev C++ 5
    Lib: Allegro
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  12. #27
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    Sorry, but I don't think he was talking about the doc when he said "organization"...
    Then what is he talking about? What is it about Allegro that is unorganized? What sort of organization is there supposed to be?

    Well...
    The quote of yours under that makes no sense at all. Shouldn't Joe Schmoe know a few things about programming and Allegro? The quote made no sense what so ever.

    the point was that the features already there are slow, not that they're missing.
    Well, as I said before, Allegro is not meant for graphically intensive games, but as time goes on more features will be added/improved so that better graphics can be possible.

    Maybe he just wants to stress them?
    Yeah, but all of us should be able to get the point the first time.

    By "ridding them", it will both "keep up to date" AND cut down the "large file sizes".
    You're wrong. The two have no corralation with each other at all. This statements shows why you are wrong...

    i actually have no personal experience with Allegro
    Allegro supports a lot of different file types for what you can use with your program which is a plus. The large file sizes does not have to deal with these file types. The large files size that you're thinking of is the appromixate 600kb dll file called allegro04.dll (whatever version of allegro you have). Ah, you know what I'm not going to explain it anymore, because it doesn't matter *. But you were wrong with what you said and Fry was right. Sorry.

    * = it seems that Fry explained the file situation to you already.

  13. #28
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    Shouldn't Joe Schmoe know a few things about programming and Allegro?
    Yes, but things should always be designed to be as idiot-proof as possible, just in case.

    Well, as I said before, Allegro is not meant for graphically intensive games, but as time goes on more features will be added/improved so that better graphics can be possible.
    That's why i said "still, not a bad point". Bad wording, that's all

    You're wrong. The two have no corralation with each other at all.
    Oh.
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  14. #29
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    6. Speaking of global things, I think they should have the allegro library packed up in a class. Sure you lose C support, but most people who use Allegro use C++ and not C. C is dieing day-by-day. There are some people still using it, but I think it is more of a drawback, because a lot of API's take OOP out of the API just so C coders can use it.
    Heh... dying? I don't think so.

    C is faster than C++... that's why most (if not all) operating systems are being made with it. I think Linux is made with C and not C++, but I may be wrong. Windows is so buggy its a wonder they didn't make it using BASIC, but I believe it's C also.

  15. #30
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    if im not mistaken windows is C++ GUI built on C built on Assembly.
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