[ODE] On the meaning of ODE stability (was some quick notes on 0; 6) ...

Justin Couch justin at vlc.com.au
Fri Jun 23 11:52:28 MST 2006

Jon Watte (ODE) wrote:
> Each game will depend on specific bugs and quirks of specific versions 
> of ODE. A systemwide ODE shared library isn't all THAT useful in general 
> (other than as a checkmark), and is downright detrimental to software 
> compatibility moving forward.

That argument doesn't stand up to reality. You could apply this same 
argument to any library that a game uses - OpenGL/OpenAL, DirectX, 
whatever. Yet, games and game writers manage to do just find handling 
that. They even have to deal with bugs based on different driver 
implementations of the same API or different variants of the same 
hardware - a far, far more complex set of problems than a simple 
software library like ODE.

This whole stand against a system-wide library strikes me as very 
backwards in thinking. It's almost like we're in the late 80's all over 
again. It's the only library that I've come across with this sort of 
horribly negative attitude towards its users. You, as library developers 
should be listening to what your users want and make sure it functions 
correctly for that situation. Not the other way around of telling them 
how to write and package their applications - many of which are 
completely unable to do that.

I'm another one of these developers that has another language binding 
over ODE (in my case, Java). We're needing to use the system library 
approach because that's how the language and runtime environment works. 
The current setup is, quite frankly, a horrible nightmare to deal with 
for applications that bind to it from the Java world. Something, that 
with a couple of line change to some build scripts, could be easily 
solved once and for all (ignoring the GL-style f/d function name suffix 
stuff, which will be very, very useful once complete).

Justin Couch                         http://www.vlc.com.au/~justin/
Java Architect & Bit Twiddler              http://www.yumetech.com/
3D Java Graphics Information                    http://www.j3d.org/
"Look through the lens, and the light breaks down into many lights.
  Turn it or move it, and a new set of arrangements appears... is it
  a single light or many lights, lights that one must know how to
  distinguish, recognise and appreciate? Is it one light with many
  frames or one frame for many lights?"      -Subcomandante Marcos

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