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Author Topic: Are installation strategies, as demonstrated by Sonar Systems, advised?  (Read 4767 times)

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AshleyF

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Dear Laurent and Associates,

Having watched Sonar Systems' installation strategy on YouTube for both Mac and PC, I was wondering if what was demonstrated, was advised? (Search on YouTube for 'SFML 2.4.x Tutorial Series').

On the SFML webpage, why not embed a YouTube video for each respective SFML platform giving step-by-step instructions? I'm sure everybody would find that to be very helpful.

Kind regards,

AshleyF

jamesL

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I think that would be a pain in the butt to maintain

are they supposed to do an installation for
Visual Studio 2015
and
Visual Studio 2017   ?

static and dynamic set up ?

debug and release ?

and also codeblocks on windows ?
and codeblocks on linux ?



AshleyF

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Dear jamesL,

To make SFML as popular as possible, and get everybody to realise how great it is, I think it would be in everybody's interests to do this, in particular as I have seen a YouTube video on someone attempting to install the Mac edition, and fail. Then they gave up on trying to program with it. And that's not in anybody's interest.

AshleyF

Rosme

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There is already a detailed explanation on how to setup SFML on different platforms, with screenshots. They are, in my opinion, very clear. Plus, the setup of SFML is far from being complex. This is something that shouldn't be too hard.

However, if you find that the tutorial page lacks information, you are welcomed to do a pull request and add what you think is missing. 

But a YouTube video is in my opinion a bad way. It is hard to maintain. What if the person hosting the video removes it? Sure, the SFML Team could create an account and host it, but you're still depending on an external service. I know also that personnaly, I prefer something I can read. A video is never fast enough, if I misunderstood something the person said, I have to go back in the video a bit to understand correctly. And what if the setup changes a lot for some reason(like 2.2 with the static setup). The videos are not good anymore, you need to redo them all. And doing a video takes much more time than a webpage with a few screenshots. Finally, you'll end up with a lot of small videos for all the flavour(dynamic, static, IDE/Compiler versions) or one big video that will just be hard to find your way through it.

As for the the videos from Sonar Systems, they are old now(I will not comment on the quality, because I did not take a look at it more than the bare minimum). SFML 2.1 was 3 years ago. The setup shown is good, but it's only dynamic. And the setup for static changed between 2.1 and 2.2, so if the setup was static, it wouldn't be valid anymore. See the issue?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 03:32:57 pm by Rosme »
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K.F

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I have seen a YouTube video on someone attempting to install the Mac edition, and fail. Then they gave up on trying to program with it. And that's not in anybody's interest.

This is a c/c++ problem, not an sfml one, manual micro-managing libraries and linking crap for both debug and release is a needless pain that other languages fixed ages ago.

Regardless, there is already an sfml template for visual studio ready to use:

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=JonnyPaton.SFMLTemplateproject

Never used it since I already made an sfml project before I found about it, and I just copy it now.

Hiura

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Reasons why we don't have official tutorial video were rightly mentioned: it's a huge burden to maintain. The ratio cost/effect is really bad too: it doesn't bring more than a good text, and is actually way more tedious and hard to do it right. Managing to find the right pace in the video for all audiences is pretty much impossible. Additionally, we need in any case to provide a text version so that people can copy/paste the source codes and play with them. Moreover, as Rosme said, if something can be improved the community can chip in very easily by creating PRs. Editing videos is not something many people, me included, can do efficiently.

I understand that many people like videos to learn from, but for our open source project it's an investment that would require all of our time dedicated to SFML and reduce progress in other area to zero, I'm afraid.

As for the video by Sonar Systems you mentioned, specifically the one to setup SFML on Mac, is really bad: it offers a one time solution that you need to repeat for every projects (instead one could install SFML system-wide once, and then use regular Xcode templates to create new projects) but more importantly, the produced application will not run on other machine as the project is badly configured to export dependencies (which the templates deal with as we detail in our official text tutorial). Overall, the video gives you drastically less information about SFML and how to use it within your environment than the official tutorial.

I haven't watch other of Sonar Systems videos, but based on that I wouldn't expect good quality there. Sadly, this is not an issue with Sonar only; many of the video I've seen on on how to setup SFML are plain and simple awful.
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DeathRay2K

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Isn't the poor quality of video tutorials out there indicative of people struggling to make sense of the official documentation?
Surely if they understood well the best way to set SFML up, they wouldn't be putting out tutorials that instruct in poor practices.

I think there is a real issue with the initial set up instructions. I personally don't like video instructions for all the previously mentioned reasons (They're slow, difficult to retrace steps, etc), but I think there is a strong case for the need to improve what documentation is provided.

eXpl0it3r

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Isn't the poor quality of video tutorials out there indicative of people struggling to make sense of the official documentation?
Surely if they understood well the best way to set SFML up, they wouldn't be putting out tutorials that instruct in poor practices.
Not necessarily. I've seen many videos where people just used the trial-and-error "method" until they found a "solution" and then thought their way was the best possible, so they had to share it with everyone.
If those people (and other video creators) actually read and understood what they were reading, there wouldn't be the need to promote their own solutions.

I think there is a real issue with the initial set up instructions. I personally don't like video instructions for all the previously mentioned reasons (They're slow, difficult to retrace steps, etc), but I think there is a strong case for the need to improve what documentation is provided.
Without proper feedback on what could be improved, it can't be improved. The current state is what we as a team think is as good as it can get. Since you think there's an issue, can you provide some points as to what you find problematic, confusing, unclear?
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Laurent

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There's a strong misunderstanding from beginners about "setting up C++ libraries". This is a standard task that everyone should learn from a generic point of view (ie. not related to a specific library), because basically, every library will require the same basic setup, and once you understand how the compiler and the linker work, you don't need any more instructions, you can figure out yourself the 2 or 3 steps required to use the library in your project.

There are some libraries that require special configuration, and in this case, yes, users need clear documentation. But SFML is standard in this regard, it is not harder to configure than any other library. Set the include path, the library path, and add the libraries that you use. That's it, and this is the exact same thing you'll have to do for any other C++ library. Then, how to do it depends on your tools and has nothing to do with the library itself -- learning how to use your IDE is also something that everyone should do.

So, if a tutorial had to be made, in my opinion it would be about how the compiler and linker work, and generic steps about how to include & link a C++ library.
Laurent Gomila - SFML developer

 

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