Friday, October 23, 2009

Releasing my code on the unsuspecting public (EclipseFP)

Today I've released a new version of EclipseFP (Haskell support in Eclipse). There are quite a few changes in it, and there are even some changes in the Scion library that I've made and that Nominolo integrated. So people can give it a try if they want: get the current Scion source code, build/install it, and get the 1.108 version of EclipseFP.
Hopefully that's another step for me in getting more proficient in Haskell: interacting with other Haskell hackers, learning from them and their code, and releasing code that may actually been of use to somebody (or annoy them no end if it doesn't work) instead of only a little game as before. And of course working on an Haskell IDE, even in Java, gets me to learn new things about the language, the options for Cabal or GHC, etc...
Anyway, I hope I'll get some feedback on the new EclipseFP, and that we can move that thing forward!

Friday, October 09, 2009

What client for an Haskell Multi Player Game?

I've been thinking again, in between working on eclipsefp, about writing a multi player role-playing game in Haskell. OK, I'm not going to write something the size of WoW by myself in my free time (unfortunately my day job doesn't involve any game programming nor any Haskell hacking :-(), but since I enjoyed writing Mazes of Monad, I figured that a game is a good way to learn things. A MMORPG should get me into concurrency, persistence, graphics, performance etc...

What I'm trying to figure out at the moment is what architecture to use. Mainly, if I have no doubt there is going to be a server somewhere running Haskell code, I wonder about the client. Should I try to write a browser based game coupled with a Haskell web server? That way, users could easily play the game when (if) it gets to a usable state, and I won't have to worry about cross platform issues for the client. Getting proper server side events or push should be fun, and of course if I end up using something like web sockets I will probably require a fairly cutting edge browser, which negates the advantage. I'm not too sure meddling with AJAX long polling and dynamic HTML is such a attractive option.
The other path is to write a Haskell client. Granted, users will have to download it, which means either me dealing with cross platform issues (provide several exes) or restricting my users to people happy to use cabal install. But I'll get maybe into stuff like OpenGL in Haskell, and do everything in Haskell instead of mixing Haskell with HTML and JavaScript (I've just stumbled upon jmacro, which could be cool I guess).

I'm sure everybody has faced that question at some stage. Ah well, for the moment I'm still wondering what my game will do, so I guess I have time to play with a few things before I make my mind up.