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RE: [Caml-list] 32 bit floats, SSE instructions
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Date: 2004-06-09 (19:00)
From: Brandon J. Van Every <vanevery@i...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] popular for being popular
Brian Hurt wrote:
> So while the games industry may be all over
> single-precision, other users of 3D rendering aren't.

Your analysis is correct.  However, games were a $31 billion industry
last I looked a couple of years ago, so to pooh pooh its industrial
concerns is silly.  Actually, what really puzzles me the most is why
Microsoft hasn't added 64-bit floats to the DirectX API.  It's all
they'd need to chase the high end markets and put OpenGL to bed.  Maybe
it's XBox politics... they don't want DirectX on the PC to get too far
ahead of DirectX on the XBox.

> > Academics *don't* do real work.  They do research problems, and real
> > (i.e. boring) work is regarded as uninteresting. (And rightly so.)
> >
> > There's the impulse to do research, and then there's the impulse to
> > achieve widespread industrial relevance.  They are not the
> > same impulse.
> Obviously my dripping saracasm wasn't dripping enough.  Frankly, I
> consider writting a multi-platform optimizing compiler (like, say,
> ocamlopt) and maintaining it for a decade or more to be more
> "real" work
> than writting some game that'll have a six month shelf life
> (if you're lucky).

Newsflash: a six month shelflife is more industrial relevance than OCaml
has achieved.  I wouldn't suggest to industrial game programmers that
they're not doing 'real' work.  They're usually pretty stressed out
after their 10..14 hour days and wouldn't take it too well.  A lot of
people out there are obeying the dictates of the product cycle.
Cutting code, shipping product is what most of the real world of boring
gruntwork amounts to.

If you had made your comparison in terms of 'sustained work' or 'high
quality work', I'd have a basis for agreeing with you.  The game
industry is definitely throwaway and dysfunctional, which is why I'm not
part of it.

> And this is *exactly* the attitude I was talking about.
> "Academics can't
> do real work- if they could, they'd be doing real work and
> not research!"

It's calling a spade a spade.  Industrialists aren't operating on
assumptive theory like you suggest.  They're looking at what academics
have actually gotten done, and seeing that their products are wanting in
key respects.  An industrialist wants to know, "Does it work?  Does it
solve my problem?"  If your answer is 'no', don't make excuses about it.

Cheers,                     www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every           Seattle, WA

"The pioneer is the one with the arrows in his back."
                          - anonymous entrepreneur

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