poniedziałek, 4 lipca 2016

AMIcast - Text Interview 6 - Roman kas1e Kargin

Hello. ;) Today we have guest, who is responsible for such programs like: new DOpus 5 (AmigaOS 4 and 3.x, AROS, MorphOS) and Odyssey for AmigaOS 4. Ladies and Gentlemen: Roman 'kas1e' Kargin!

1. Your first contact with computers. And was it Amiga or something else?

My first contact with computers was at begining of 1990s, when i was 10 years kid. It was ZX Spectrum 48, mass clones of which happens in Russia at this times. Cost of such computers was cheap enough and everyone who know how to works with soldering iron and have some understanding of electronic basis (I wasn't, so I collected money and bought it) can make a clon of ZX Spectrum. The first games which i was fan of was: Zynaps, Soldier of Fortune, Humphrey, Bomb Jack, Barbarian+, Fly Shark, Commandos and some others.

2. Your first Amiga. Type and configuration? There were some other models too?

First one was plain a1200. I collect money for this for about year or two :) Later (much later) i expand it to 030+8mb, but that was not enough. Then come 060 on 50mhz, but also wasn't enough. Then it was times when Elbox with their mediator come, and I made a megamonster, it was in end:

BPPC clocked on 300mhz on ppc and clocked on 66mhz on 68k
Mediator 1200 with Voodoo3
BVision connected to BlizzardPPC (Yes, at the same time I have 2 video boards, and two system partition to choice from which to boot).
Micronic Scandy scandabler IDE Fast ATA, bunch of little extensions, for mouse, for keyboard, etc. Sometime it works solid for weeks, sometime even didn't boot. And I tired to play with soldering iron and sold it out about 6 years ago.

3. When and why you switched to NG systems?

It happens accidentialy. 

I always was fan of demoscene on amiga, and dreaming to make a cool demo or a diskmag. And while I made only few small (and very lame) intros, I started to make diskmag called "The Vague", which was the first diskmag which renders via Warp3D. I also make later AGA version of first issue, but that was mostly to please 68k fans.

At this time I start to hear about amigaos4 and morphos, and that 68k friendly apps which done to not bang hardware will works, and so I was interested to make diskmag that runs on amigaos4 and morphos. And while still having my heavy-mostered 1200, I start to make binaries for os4/mos via VBCC, and test it all remotely on other's machines via amigaworld's irc channels such as #amigaworld (hey spotup and some others who help me with all that).

Remote tests was a pain: I compile binary, send, user check, make a video of how it looks like,
send me back, I check if all ok: if not make changes, send them back binary, etc, etc. Making the same for morphos again was even more pain, and I realised that I need morphos. I tried to install some old classic versions of morphos on my 1200 before, but never success , and one of russian (it was AmiS), sold his pegasos2, which i just bought. And what surprise it was : once I buy it, about week or 2 later, Hyperion released version for Pegasos2. So, I finish diskmag for both oses, and was happy enough.

But, while I have worked on it, aos4 attract me, and somehow hold me still :) But I swear, I buy pegasos2 before only to finish diskmag port. Was already tired of all that amiga jambo at those times, but in end I still here and have x5000 :)

4. Tell us something more about your work? You are well know. You gave us new DOpus 5 and Odyssey for AmigaOS 4.
All I can tell, is that when anyone have motivation and strong vision of what he want to archieve, then there is absolutly everything possible. With Odyssey it was more like favor from Fab. Everyone from os4 camp screamed "morphos suck", everyone from mos camp scream "hyperionos suck", but I wasn't ever ever like this, for me both oses are interesting. And so I normally feel myself in any camp, and probably that was reason why Fab at all start to help me with porting of his code to os4. Probabably he wasn't sure it will be done at all, or was interested how it all will works/looks like, but well.. in end we have something that we can use :)
With dopus5 it was more or less easy, Olaf did all the work to get sources, we with Xenic start all initiall porting, Ikka also joined to make morphos port, BSzili joined at some stage and fix/add good bunch of things and so on. And code of dopus5 is much more elegant and "amiga way" in compare to Webkit mess of C++ and all that stuff which I never like :)

5. New DOpus 5 is also avaliabe for AmigaOS 3.x. Few months ago source code of AmigaOS 3.1 leaked. It is not legally to use. But theoretically it can help to develop some software? Should not AmigaOS 3.1 be free or open source?

Should be free for sure. It just make no sense, not to make it free. I mean distribution of os. Not that it anything important, as everyone 100 times pirates all those isos from torrents and everyone give a fuck :) But should it be opensource? Well, maybe for fan, with fat remark "NO OFFICIAL AMIGAOS POSSIBLE, ONLY CUSTOM BUILDS FOR FAN", just to avoid all that mambo when there will be 1 byte changed, recompiled, and called "amigaos3.12" or something. Probably it even better not opensource it officially, as it will start mess. It's leaked anyway, anyone can play with it as he wishes :)

6. Your biggest successes in development? Which plans do you have for a future?

I'm not so in programming in general, mostly little hacking, so calling anything I do as "development" its too much :) But if we say so, in what I was involved with others, that is: Odyssey and Dopus5. Also while I was working on Odyssey, I made a lot of bug reports to Thore about MUI bugs of this times, and at some point, Thore just start to porting what he have from Stunzi in terms of MUI4 (it was some beta of mui4, and he spend good times to add all what was missed). And now we have and MUI4 and Odyssey.:) I am sure Thore think about porting mui4 even without Odyssey porting work, but all those reports and questions we discuss with him for sure help him to start work on mui4.

I also made tons of ports (see os4depot) but they all mostly trivial. Nothing which takes lot of programming work.
Through for example "Cube" was quite fixed to make it works on our limited MiniGL back in times, as it miss some stuff about Z-buffering, but code wasn't done by me, I just wrote mail to authors on their forum "like hey, we have some obscure minigl, help me to make cube works", and they just post some code-changes which i copy+paste :)
Also I made some native amiga apps from scratch such as "clipo" (which give ability to send clipboards from PC to clipboard of amigaos, and in another way), that Vague diskmag on which I spend quite of time and attract some really skilled musicans and graphicans to help me with it, finished porting of UPROUGH's music disk engine to aos4 and morphos (that one probably was quite non-trivial and take some of my code from my own diskamg) and some little hacking tools and apps which i may not remember.

In future i think about:
  1. Finish my "old try to port" VPDF (fast, muibased, pdf viewer from morphos). Sad to say that I ported it already, just there was one little bug: it crashes when it opens pdf document, but everything else works fine, all the menus, mui elements, etc. It should be something easy to fix,
  2. Do some improvements in dopus5 , find out maybe something on payment basis who will help with something non-trivial and make new release,
  3. If anyone related to Webkit/Odyssey will fix those endian issues, or Fab will release new version and put sources, or whatever, I mean those endian bugs gone: then port new version of Odyssey. If not, then at least improve something about video player part in version we have now as well as some bug fixes not related to webkit itself.

I also think about making proper Putty port (it looks easy enough, just need to create decent amiga-api specific interface) and OpenVPN port.

7. I'm big fan of Hollywood. It is possible to make software in Hollywood not only for Amiga systems, but also other like: Windows or OS X? Can it be a future for our developers. In this way, they can get some money.

I know that Hollywood progressed very well today. It has MUI Royale plugin, it has all fancy stuff in. And even if someone may dislike Hollywood as "too much bloated and crossplatform", I can say that Andreas (author) is the one of few good examples: how skilled and motivated person may work. He do all right and professionally. No words, just deals. 

8. Our community is divided: AOS4, MOS, AROS and classic Amiga? This is not so good for Amiga future, can be something done? Can we reunite again?

Probably nope. Being amiga nerd today it's kind of strange already. Try to deal with strange ppls :) But if seriously, core developers already work on what they want, 3rd party devs already support all oses when it possible, some still have their hate and agendas, but they maybe have their reasons. Probably it is better as it is now. Any other "stresses" will not make our situation anything better. Our problem is time, which is changing fast :)

9. You have shown that collaboration between camps is possible. Your last release of Odyssey is made thanks to together work with deadwood from AROS team. Was it hard to make it together?

No it wasn't hard. When person is adequate, there is no difference in which camp he works. If there is no hate, no problems, then everyone work together with no problems and even didn't discuss choice of others. But if person have hate to some camp in whole, then it's about to scream Heil Hitler! :) Deadwood was always pleasant and friendly person, and before (when there wasn't any odyssey), and today.

10. In this divided situation how we should develop software? For example MUI is different for AmigaOS and MorphOS, AROS has Zune. Maybe we should have one core team for MUI/Odyssey etc., and then port software for three main systems?
I can say that MUI for morphos and amigaos4 is not so different. All who says it (I read that stuff about "frankenstain mui"), just doesn't know what he says. Yes, code related some parts of mui4 for amigaos and for morphos are different today, but that only internals. Roots are originals. For user and 3rd party developer, everything is the same 1:1. Classes, API, all the same. I know what I say, I helped to compare all the functionality and add missing bits. As for AROS, the choice imho is to port MUI4 to Aros, as all that Zune impovements can be taken forever. You may check, Thore even consider porting of mui4 to AROS, when and if time will come. And even if not, then Zune it's still mui, and better to make app for mui4 , test it on aos4 and morphos, and then adapt to Zune. By my expirience, I can say that not big adaptation will be need.

11. What do you think about PowerPC? Big Endian problems... This is main reason why we can not have modern web browser? Odyssey is one, but Firefox or others?

Our problems not Big Endian problems. Problems that time is going on and going on, things are changing. Big Endian, or not Big Endian, will make no differences to say truth. Evertyhing changes so much from "popular amiga times" to today. We are just people, which are somehow a little strange, and found something "interesting to play with".
But not switching to another architecture, not mac ports (see morphos stastic) will make it all any better. 

In case with Web browser: sure, if our cpu are little endian, then there is no big-endian problems in webkit. :)

12. AROS has the best Odyssey. Thanks to that, you have updated Odyssey for AmigaOS. But this not a perfect solution. What can be done? Are you in contact and have you support from Fab, author of Odyssey for MorphOS?
Fab have child since year or two, that for sure take all his time away. Once he (or anyone else) will deal with Endian problems, new amigaos4 version can be done with no problems.

13. A lot of Amiga user said: ports are not solution. Are you agree with that? Could be better to use QT and port modern browser instead of developing all from scratch?

For me, "native" is when interface is native (mui, reaction, old gadtools look and feel, whatever). Inside, half of what we have, can be called "port" (even in old os1.x/2.x/3.x times). Libraries, plugins, sobject, sdl1/2, allegro, graphics engines, opengl, all kind of popular apis, etc. But sure, native stuff
(and with interface, and with core) are interesting. Just we have not enough ppls to make big-good native programms. I for myself don't like anything which give us "alien guis", as they always sluggish (or most of time) and give us the same looks as on other oses, which make you think why need to use that os, and not another, where is same look but all is faster and bug free.

So to answer on, I can say that good ports are good. Bad ports are not :) For example Andy's Blender port - good. But his SketchBlock is even better :)

14. AmigaOS 4 under WinUAE is a great success. Instead of PPC hardware maybe better solution is powerful Intel with emulation?

Why not. For myself I use winuae with os4 on notebook together with real x5000

15. AmigaOne X5000 is not coming... What do you think about this delay? And what do you think about A1222 Tabor?

As I'm betatester of x5000, I can not say much, but I can say that work is going on 100%, and lately even faster, as a-eon understand that it takes longer than they hope before. It will be done soon or later, but when exactly only Trevor and Matt can say :) As for Tabor, I think it was just wrong spend of resources. Unlimited, small, slow, non fpu compatible mother board which we don't need at all, because we have sams, peg2, winuae and whatever else. Pure loosing of time. Imho of course.

16. It looks like Amiga NG is dying and Classic is back on the track. Or am I wrong?

Everything is dying , and we have no new blood. But as I'm involved in aos4 betatesting, and mostly read/test/use stuff related to it, I think opposite. I'm even in big surprise, that there are still paid workers. I'm even more surprised that there is new hardware. And that WinUAE can boots os4 now too :) Who could think about it before?

17. Vampier (FPGA) II for Amiga 600 is success. Do you think it make seans to port AmigaOS 4 on this? Do you think PowerPC is still future of Amiga?

I am sure no one will port it. Its time and resources. Only if someone will pay good to Hyperion to do that, and if it will be ppc based. Taking aside if it will be possible at all. As for future about powerpc, I do not think there is "future of Amiga" as we can hope about, but there is "future of old farts who find it interesting to play with something" :))

19. Maybe Amiga should switch for something else? Intel? Raspberry Pi?

That will make no differences. Times have changed.

20. Shouldn't be better to pepare new AmigaOS based on the linux kernel? Than we get all drivers, moder technologies like memory protection. Apple did it and they were much bigger than Amiga community.

It's hard to say. Maybe if that do 10-15 year ago. But now .. probably better as it is now. Just some fast ppc machine + winuae with more RAM options available. That will please everyone.

21. Which software would you like to have on the Amiga? What AmigaOS, MorphOS and AROS are missing from developer point of view?

I may think about Putty. In terms of others we have something (half of decent browsers, half of decent pdf vierwers and co).

22. Greetings.

To everyone !:)


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