Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ is sorted topically in a tree-fashion: its root node is this document, which focuses on general informations about OSDL. Each edge starting from that root will emphasize on more specific topics.

If a question is lacking, ask us, and we will add a FAQ entry.

General and basic informations

What is OSDL ?
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OSDL is a free cross-platform open-source library for multimedia and game programming. OSDL is a C++ portable framework, built notably on top of Sam Lantinga's SDL.
What does OSDL mean ?
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OSDL stands for Objet oriented Simple DirectMedia Library, as a reference to SDL, which means Simple DirectMedia Library.
Why may I use a multimedia library ?
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If you want to develop a multimedia application, like a game for example, the easy way is to use a dedicated library such as the ones spotted in the [multimedia libraries section]. Those libraries offer simultaneously: A good idea would be to choose a library which is open source, since they are often free, well documented, and you can rely on strong and warm communities to help you.
Why may I choose my multimedia library to be OSDL ?
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There exists many game libraries, which already are stable and offer many features, two points that OSDL, which is still in beta, only partially provides [see the multimedia libraries section].

Nevertheless, one might consider of interest to develop such kind of library, just for having the fun of designing by himself what others use. In that case, he may join OSDL's team, and enjoy the experience of the settler trying to build a new city ! That reason stands as long as OSDL is not fully mature.

Afterwards, when the authors themselves will have shown that something beautiful and fast can be built thanks to OSDL, third parties might try themselves to get the best of OSDL. In a few words, we expect a continuous evolution of OSDL's members from library developers to game developers.

What are the rules (ex: license) in order to use OSDL ?
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There are not so many, except the respect of the license and the recommended use of GNU/Linux, Windows or the Nintendo DS, and some kind of patience and/or coffee.

We advise users to get OSDL's installed thanks to LOANI, which should facilitate their work.

Where can I get OSDL a.k.a. where can I download latest sources ?
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Please jump to the download area, where the available methods are explained.
What is LOANI ?
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LOANI is an automatic installer for OSDL, please go to LOANI's corner for a full documentation.
What are the links between OSDL and SDL ?
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OSDL uses SDL on most platforms, as a dwarf might stand on a giant's shoulder.
What are the links between OSDL (this project) and OSDL (Open Source Development Lab) ?
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There are none. Those two projects share nothing, except their acronym and some belief about the interest of open source. As far as I know, the Open Source Development Lab is interested in having data-centers and e-Business facilities running under Linux.
What is OSDL's mission ?
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OSDL has no mission nor particular goal, except to harvest some pleasure while working on it.
What are the possible futures for OSDL ?
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Knowing that very few projects of this kind succeed to complete their initial goals, probabilities are against us. Nevertheless, if ever we end up with a stable library offering useful features, and at least a non trivial game using it, we would be very glad.

Of course, they are numerous dreams that come included with OSDL, such as the developing of a real good game with a large number of players (maybe a small MMORPG), or the use of OSDL as a software for a video chip of a full open source video game console (Once Sol project), but let's first achieve realistic objectives before !

How can I have more informations ?
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If a careful reading of the FAQ and the other available documentation does not suffice, we would suggest the OSDL's mailing list.
Does OSDL call for contributors ?
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Well, everyone is welcome, and be sure that, whatever you want and you know, you can participate to the project and have fun with us. If nevertheless you cannot find out something relevant, look at the next FAQ entry, and, if still lost, send us a mail.
What can I do for OSDL ?
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The project (i.e. the OSDL library, our club, CRI, and our first game) has many needs that can be fulfilled thanks to your help: extensions to be written, new platforms to be supported, bugs to be fixed, performance to be improved, content to be added, documentation to be written, test coverage to be increased, etc.
Are there games planning to use OSDL ?
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Yes, of course, our famous game Thor & Factions (In French) and, hopefully, in the future, many others ! (including DARM, on the Nintendo DS, more on that soon).
If OSDL helps providing code, algorithms and various implementations, how can I have content (pictures, animations, rules, etc.) to feed my game ?
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Please consult our Resource section.
How can I report a bug ?
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Please consult our bug-dedicated section.
What's that club for game creation you belong to ? [english version]
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We all gathered to form a small club for game creation (as a hobby) in Paris. It is open to everybody, even though you are not located in Paris, even if you do not speak French ! (however next link is in French) [More infos].
Qu'est-ce que c'est que cette histoire de club de création de jeu vidéo ? [french version]
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Nous avons formé un petit club de création de jeux vidéo sur Paris, une association de fait, ouverte à tous, gratuite, pour développer des jeux en tant qu'amateurs. Tout le monde est le bienvenu, quel que soit le degré d'implication voulu, vos connaissances, ou l'endroit où vous vivez (nous avons aussi des membres seulement sur Internet) [Plus d'infos].
What are OSDL's supported platforms ?
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Mostly GNU/Linux, Windows and the Nintendo DS. For more informations, see our porting informations.
What is Ceylan ?
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Ceylan is our generic (not specifically game-related) library, and OSDL is built on top of it. For more informations, see Ceylan's official website.
What is current OSDL's development status ?
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OSDL as a whole is in undergoing development. It is in beta stage, and can be used to develop small cross-platform applications. The current stable is the 0.4 version, the 0.5 version is lurking around for a while now.

Most common bugs have been fixed, notably on GNU/Linux.

The Windows build is often broken, due to syntactic minor mistakes, but is globally almost as stable as the Linux version.

The Nintendo DS port works well, on the subset of OSDL that could be implemented (some concepts will never match, like the way sound or graphics is managed).

Other platforms, like *BSD, are not maintained specifically, although the effort to have them up and running again should be minimal.

Where can I found OSDL's Sourceforge project ?
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See our Sourceforge project.
Where can I found OSDL's SVN ?
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See our SVN informations.
Where do I send questions, bug reports or feedback ?
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See our contact informations.
Is there a mailing list ?
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The short answer: yes, ragondinsforever@yahoogroups.com. The long one: see contact informations.
Is there a newsgroup ?
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No, not really, see our contact informations for the other media.
Is there an IRC channel ?
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Yes, from time to time and on request, see our contact informations.
Where can I find OSDL's API ?
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See the documentation of the latest OSDL API.

If the answer is not here, ask, and it will be added...

Please react !

If you have information more detailed or more recent than those presented in this document, if you noticed errors, neglects or points insufficiently discussed, drop us a line!


Last update: Tuesday, March 4, 2008