D user Namespace has been working on Dgame. It sits on top of SDL and OpenGL, providing an object-oriented 2D game framework with an API inspired by PyGame and SFML. I’m always happy to hear of more game-related projects in D Land.
It seems some people have had some difficulty in getting the GLFW3 shared library compiled to use with their Derelict-based apps. Rather than post a writeup in my forums, where very few would see it, I figure it’s a good candidate for a blog post. Of course, the steps given here aren’t just for D developers. Anyone wanting to use GLFW3 as a shared library can follow along. And while most of the info is Windows-centric, users on other platforms will likely already have the required tools installed and simply need to follow the steps in the Compiling section below.
D users are likely going to have git installed already. Those who don’t, really should. It’s not an absolute requirement, as you can download the source for both Derelict and GLFW as a zip archive, but it will certainly make your life a bit easier. So if you’re a Windows user who doesn’t have git already, I recommend Git for Windows. Download it, install it, and make sure the install directory is on your path. This is a command line tool, though, so if you’re a total rube when it comes to git or have a strong aversion to command line tools, you might be more comfortable with GitHub for Windows, a GUI interface that handles most of the icky command line stuff for you behind the scenes. I’ll be focusing on the former, as that’s what I use and am familiar with. Besides, you’ll need to use the command line to build anyway.
Next up is cmake. This is an important tool to have in your toolbox these days if you are working with C or C++ libraries. A number of projects use cmake to manage build configurations. It comes with both a command line tool (cmake.exe) and a GUI interface (cmake-gui.exe). My instructions will be for the command line tool, as that’s all I ever use. And if you can’t figure out the GUI via the interface itself and the documentation, then maybe you ought to give up on this programming thing and find another hobby. You’ll also want this one on your system path.
Of course, no building of C libraries is going to get done without a C compiler. I haven’t touched Visual Studio in years, but if you’ve got it or another compiler other than DMC already installed, you can go to the next step. I don’t know if cmake works with DMC, or if GLFW will compile with it and as I’m typing this on the POS at my hot dog shop (slow day) am neither able nor inclined to find out. Instead, I’ll tell you to go off and download the latest version of mingw-get. When you run the installer, you’ll be given a choice of packages to install. At a minimum, you’ll want the gcc and msys packages. Technically, you can get by without MSYS, but in my experience you’ll be much happier using it rather than the Windows command prompt in the long run, particularly if you want to start compiling libraries that aren’t set up to use CMake.
Now that everything’s installed, open up MSYS and execute this command:
Remember, MSYS is a unlix-style command line interface. The C:\ drive you’re used to is configured as /c instead. cd into a directory somewhere to clone the glfw3 repository. For this guide, let’s assume you create a directory off of C drive called ‘libs’.
mkdir libs cd libs
Now grab the glfw3 source and navigate to the new directory.
git clone https://github.com/elmindreda/glfw.git cd glfw
Now it’s time for CMake. We need to tell it two things. First, we are running in MSYS, so we need to tell it to give us “MSYS Makefiles”. MSYS has support for shell scripting in makefiles, whereas “MinGW Makefiles”, which is what you want for the Windows command prompt if you aren’t using MSYS, does no such thing. Second, you need to tell cmake that you want a shared library. glfw is configured by default to build static libs, the recommended way to use it these days. However, for Derelict we need the shared lib. So the cmake command needs 2 switches, like so:
cmake -G"MSYS Makefiles" -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=1
If you are using Visual Studio, run cmake with no arguments to determine the string you need to pass to -G.
After cmake has done its work, you should have a properly configured Makefile in your glfw directory. If instead you happened to get errors, don’t ask me about them, please. I always ask Google and he usually has the answer. If Google is clueless, your next course of action should be to head to #glfw on freenode.net where glfw support is handled.
So with your freshly minted Makefile sitting there in the glfw directory, we’ve come to the final step.
Done. Once compilation completes, you should find the glfw DLL in the src subdirectory. Drop that into a directory with your D app that uses Derelict, call DerelictGLFW3.load() in your code, and away you go.
Now not only do you have glfw compiled, but you are also ready to compile other C libraries you may need for current or future programs, like SDL2 or SFML2. And don’t look at me. That’s an exercise for the reader.
There’s been a sudden burst of announcements regarding D libraries — one native lib and three bindings. So I’ve collected them all here for your benefit. Thank me later.
First up, long-time D user Stewart Gordon, a D1 stalwart, has finally made the move to D2. That’s news in and of itself, but the reason I’m posting about it here is that it has resulted in his utility library being updated to D2. I’ve never used it, but you might find something useful there.
Daniel Kolesa has put together a binding to the Open Dynamics Engine, a rigid-body physics engine for games. Actually, he’s made two bindings. One, a static binding (meaning you can link statically or dynamically to ODE), has been created for the Deimos project. The second, a dynamic binding (meaning ODE must be loaded manually and static linking is not possible) has been ported from Derelict 2 and merged into Derelict 3.
Artur Skawina has announced an update for the native GTK bindings for D. I think the best place to send you is to the announcement itself, so you can get all the information you need before visiting the repository.
Finally, dnewbie has put together a binding for ocilib so that you can use Oracle databases from D. In my memory, this may be the first Oracle binding I’ve seen for D.
kith-sa has announced a virtual file system aimed at D game developers. D:GameVFS isn’t fully featured (can’t delete directories, lacks security), doesn’t support archives, and has an unstable API. But it’s licensed under the Boost Software License and is available for you to snatch at github for you to use and/or improve upon. For details of what it can and can’t do, see the intro page at github.