Thursday, May 16, 2013

Plans for porting Java to JavaScript

When I heard that Oracle is changing their Java numbering convention because all the bug-fixes in Java are causing them problems with their existing scheme, the idea of porting my older Java games to HTML5 gained a lot higher of a priority. While the Canvas is simply not quite there yet, for the games that need to be ported it is more than adequate. I started porting the Ultimate Retro Project as a bit of a test project. Right now my results are mixed. I am using the CreateJS library instead of writing my own low-level library. This gives me the advantage of a class library that is similar to the Flash class library that I am familiar with but the disadvantage of a library that is a work-in-progress.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few old Java games that will need to be ported, so this project will take quite a while. At the same time, I am starting to port my GameJam library to HTML5/createJS and will hopefully start working exclusively in HTML 5 for my web games. I am going to be adding quite a bit of functionality to my GameJam library as I port my older games as there are many classes that can be broadened and added to the library.

In addition to playing around with createJS, I am also starting to look into WebGL. Rumours of Microsoft caving in and supporting the standard would be nice if they turn out to be true, but I have a functional canvas ray-caster that I can always fall back on so a certain series of games will yet again be revisited and hopefully this time I will get around to actually finishing the 5th and 6th instalments.

while I still think that ActionScript3 (Flash) is superior to HTML5, it is clear what direction things are heading in so I am thinking that now is the time to start focusing on HTML5. I am not sure how long JavaScript will last as the dominant web language. If the comities in charge of the language get their act together and create a better version of the language for the next iteration then it could last a while.

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