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Date:      Sat, 4 Oct 2014 19:21:40 +0000
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** Microsoft exec addresses topic that is frustrating many software develo=



Each month we encourage developers in the Pivotal Perspectives panel to po=
se questions for other developers and industry leaders to respond to.  Las=
t month=E2=80=99s question came from US game developer Geoffrey Draper.
jpg Geoffrey asked =E2=80=9CAre any other developers baffled by Microsoft=
=E2=80=99s strategy? They say  they want us to develop for their platform=
=2C and then they deprecate XNA along  with their System.Drawing API for 2=
D graphics. The only supported options are  to code the entire GUI in XAML=
 (too high level) or DirectX (too low level).  Essentially they are making=
 it overly difficult for us to port our existing Android  games to Windows=
=2E Do any other developers feel my frustration? Or has  everyone else figur=
ed out a workaround?=E2=80=9D

Geoffrey Draper- Software Developer

We posed Geoffrey=E2=80=99s question to the Pivotal Perspectives  panel th=
is week and heard back from over 300 developers during the week of July 21=
st 2014.

According to Matt Foulon=2C Pivot Point Research Group analyst=2C =E2=80=
=9Cthe  poll results found that 37% of developers agreed that they share G=
eoffrey=E2=80=99s frustration and  15% said they had figured out workaroun=
ds; and 48% said they didn=E2=80=99t have enough experience to have an opi=
nion one way or the other.=E2=80=9D

Comments from fellow frustrated developers:

=E2=80=9CXAML is nice and declarative=2C and with better performance works=
 nice for some games=2C but doesn=E2=80=99t help with porting at all. Dire=
ctX is way too level without using an engine.=E2=80=9D (United States =E2=
=80=93 software architect =E2=80=93 game developer)

=E2=80=9CI am working in a startup doing a new mobile messaging product wh=
ich requires a very smooth reactive UI. We are baffled as to what to use o=
n WinPhone so it=E2=80=99s coming a LOOOONG last on our roadmap.=E2=80=9D=
 (Australia =E2=80=93 start up developer)

Comments from fellow developers who have figured out workarounds:

=E2=80=9CDeveloping with HTML 5 & Javascript is the future. Device-indepen=
dent=2C from Java Android to Javascript it=E2=80=99s not too far.=E2=80=9D=
 (Germany =E2=80=93 professional full time developer)

=E2=80=9CI develop using marmalade sdk and don=E2=80=99t sweat the native=
 sdk=2C that=E2=80=99s my game engine providor=E2=80=99s problem.=E2=80=9D=
(Canada =E2=80=93 game developer =E2=80=93 enterprise/business productivit=
y developer)

=E2=80=9CSeems now the only easy way to make games for Windows Phone is ei=
ther Unity 3D or HTML 5.=E2=80=9D (United Kingdom =E2=80=93 freelance/cont=
ract developer =E2=80=93 enterprise/business productivity developer)

We then asked for a response from Microsoft=E2=80=99s developer relations=
 team and got the following perspective.

Derek Burney- Microsoft GM=2C Technical Evangelism

=E2=80=9COftentimes a big=2C long-term vision for a platform requires brea=
king changes.  With Windows Store apps=2C we cemented and refined our inve=
stment for a secure=2C developer friendly=2C highly productive platform th=
at will serve the needs of our customers for many years; we have a platfor=
m that is touch first=2C mobile first=2C safe to deploy via our stores.  W=
ith games=2C we want a powerful platform that would meet the complexity of=
 today=E2=80=99s immersive games.

Let me explain what I mean by that. We want the best games running on the=
 Microsoft platform =E2=80=93 inclusive of Phone=2C Windows=2C and Xbox. T=
o accomplish that=2C we want to make available the best/most powerful APIs=
 and frameworks=2C and as much as possible we want to decrease the frictio=
n to reuse (or port) existing games to Windows/Windows Phone/and Xbox.

Here are a few examples on how we achieve these goals:
* We are making investments to ensure all middleware engines like Unity=2C=
 Marmalade=2C Corona=2C etc.  have a great offering on Windows.
* We are contributing first hand to ANGLE=2C Cocos2DX=2C OpenCV and many o=
ther OSS frameworks. All of these efforts make it easier to =E2=80=9Cport=
 to Windows=E2=80=9D from Android and iOS.  These ports are built on top o=
f DirectX technologies=2C so they offer unmatched graphics and media capab=
ilities. Those frameworks access the power of DirectX without having to wr=
ite against it directly.
* Once you are on the Windows platform=2C we maximize your code reuse with=
 Universal apps that you can reuse on Windows=2C Phone=2C and in the futur=
e=2C XBOX.

I should mention that as part of the we are investing into all these middl=
eware and framework offerings based on the demand we see in the market =E2=
=80=93 if you think we should invest more elsewhere=2C let us know where (=
and why).

This leads to the XNA question. It is indeed not the focus of our future i=
nvestments because today=E2=80=99s technology has outpaced the capabilitie=
s of what  XNA could ever expose.  Today=E2=80=99s games are more complex=
 than what the XNA APIs were designed for (e.g. advanced shaders). Direct3=
D and Direct2D have all the required capabilities =E2=80=93 which is why w=
e are investing so much into offering a rich XAML UI platform for controls=
=2C and seamless integration with DirectX in the same projects. While we a=
re not investing actively on XNA=2C the evangelism team does work with Mon=
ogame (the cross-platform=2C  OSS implementation of XNA )=2C which itself=
 leverages the seamless integration of the UI platform referred to above.=
  For people that prefer to still use the XNA APIs=2C they can do so using=

We reached out to Geoffrey to get his reaction to Microsoft=E2=80=99s pers=

=E2=80=9CAt first I was surprised by Microsoft=E2=80=99s decision to inves=
t in 3rd party tools=2C but as I think more about it=2C it makes sense.  S=
ince many of today=E2=80=99s popular game titles are written using Unity o=
r Corona or other such tools=2C it follows naturally for Microsoft to ensu=
re that Windows is supported by these tools =E2=80=94 rather than forcing=
 developers to port their titles to Windows from scratch.  Personally=2C I=
=E2=80=99ve always done all my development using each system=E2=80=99s pla=
tform-specific APIs rather than 3rd party tools=2C but maybe it=E2=80=99s=
 time I give them a try!=E2=80=9D

If you have not joined the Pivotal Perspectives advisory panel here is you=
r chance! Just click below to register.

Copyright =C2=A9 2014 Pivot Point Research Group=2C All rights reserved.
 You registered for the Pivotal Perspectives program

Our mailing address is:
Pivot Point Research Group
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Subject: Re: checking out ports tree: was  Downgrade a pkg
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On 2014-10-04 18:14, wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Oct 2014, Polytropon wrote:
>> On the other hand, it should be possible to manually
>> check out a specific version of the whole ports tree
>> where the port version reflects the required older
>> version number. This is mainly a SVN thing. Of course
>> this involves building from source, as pkg, with its
>> binary package approach, emphasizes the use of release
>> or most recent packages.
> Will this get the old source?

Old sources is here

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