Counterstatement to "Why doesn't your group release its code?"
Written by Dave
In Hugi #15, I read "WHY DOESN'T YOUR GROUP RELEASE ITS CODE?" by Rawhed. The article was very interesting from many points of view. However, I want to say that studying code from other people is not the best way to improve the quality of your productions, and thus the demoscene, in general. I will not neglect the fact that studying source code from other coders is a very nice exercise just because you're 'entering' in the mind of the coder and, then, you're getting 'tricked', learning lots of ideas (especially if it's ASM code). However, in another way, you are not developing anything new. That is: you can study from some source code how textures are generated, how samples are computed and how images are unpacked... but all this, again, is not apporting anything new to the demoscene. I imagine that the old-coders (the experienced ones) understand perfectly what I mean.
Here's what I think: Wanna make that 'xxxx' effect? Yeah... well, then go and see some intro where that effect appears and just imagine how it can be done. Again, with this approach you are not making anything new, however it's a good idea because maybe you'll discover a new effect... hehe, some of the effects (not all) in the demoscene were discovered just by trying stupid things.
I prefer to code effects from nothing (well, just a description and some equations). It's much more interesting than 'translating' source code from another person to your program and it gives you experience and knowledge about how things are done (especially in ASM). Don't you think it's much more nice?
There's no doubt that short pieces of code about how a particular thing is made are always welcomed in the sense that a coder, really, makes big and complex programs combining short pieces of code. So it's a good idea to release 'snippets'. Probably you think I'm a complete contradiction ... but that's not the case. I'm releasing an 'ASM-trainer' with basic (very basic) source code to teach Assembler. I prefer to give short proggies to beginners than a tutorial or a doc explaining 'how to code' because I find that everyone learns 'how to code' coding and not reading. However, it is one thing to release 'basic-code' (to learn) and another very, very, very different thing to release the complete code of a demo/intro which placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
Anyway, in my opinion, it's better to start from ZERO when coding an intro and always try to forget the standard known effects. There are infinite (but countable) amazing new 2d effects to be discovered, but no one is able to show them, simply because 10% of coders invent, and 90% only make copies. Now, you can imagine what will happen if everytime someone releases a production he gives away the source... we will enter in a new demoscene 'stage' where all has been seen and nothing new has been invented.
Nevertheless, it's only my opinion... if it's not the same as yours, then excuse me because there are no two people with the same mind in the entire world.
- Dave / PhyMosys