[MUD-Dev] java clients

Daniel James d at djames.org
Thu Nov 13 10:40:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, ceo wrote:

> As a separate issue, JWS is often difficult to get people to use
> because it often DOES NOT WORK under windows! This is a quite a
> major problem. I don't know yet what the conditions are that cause
> it not to work, but this affects a large number of windows users.

Do you have any details on this? Offlist would be fine, as I don't
wish to bore mud-dev.

We've been deploying Java Webstart for just over a year for Puzzle
Pirates. During Alpha we had folks download and install it
separately, since Beta we've been packaging up the JRE in a windows
installer that then fetches down our code and media via
webstart. Yep, we just assume that they don't have webstart, indeed,
we do a private Java installation just for us (so they can't go off
and update the JVM and booch Puzzle Pirates).

Of course people who have Java 1.4 (notably Linux and OSX users) can
just hit the jnlp link.

We have had very few *reports* of failed installations. Of course we
have no idea how many people are just giving up. Unfortunately when
problems do occur they can often be extraordinarily peculiar and
hard to track down; the joys of using someone else's platform.

> AFAICS, it's all about expectations. Today, in 2003, Joe Bloggs
> home-user is accustomed to having to download a bevy of upgrades
> to his system every now and then to use an app / play a game /
> surf a website.

I tend to think that this is the case. Joe is also used to
downloading MP3's, game demos, etc. We are making our poor pirates
download ~40mb (10mb Java, 4mb code, 28mb art/media). Lots of them
do it via modem.  Thanks to Webstart's incremental update flakiness
they often have to re-download the whole 32mb when we issue an
update (often weekly) -- and although the modem users wail and gnash
their teeth, download they do.

Quite how this limits our audience long-term remains to be seen, and
will always be a little hard to determine.

> via their official Game Technology Group. Some game developers
> have been trying to persuade Sun to move the JRE into a
> fully-modular system,

Yes please. That said, we probably fall into one of the few camps
that actually *use* most of the libraries.

- Daniel
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