Author Topic: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan  (Read 1499 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lance.ewing

Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« on: October 24, 2016, 05:51:16 AM »
Does anyone happen to know who Dr Zoltan, the author of the following AGI Interpreter, was?

https://sourceforge.net/projects/agi/

It seems like Dr Zoltan did a lot of work on this project back in 2001, but then nothing since. I first noticed it many years ago, but hadn't really taken much of a look until yesterday evening, when I fixed it to compile with Java 8. I then loaded up KQ1 and KQ2 to try them out. There were clearly a lot of bugs still outstanding, but it seems like it wasn't too far off being usable.

I'd hate to see something like this left to gather dust. So given that Java is my language of choice these days,  I'm going to see if I can add my Apple II AGIv1 disk decoder utils/tools as a package to this project. I'm not too keen to add to sourceforge though. Would rather use github. Thus the reason I was wondering who Dr Zoltan was. I'm keen to make contact with him and see if he doesn't mind me adding the project to github. I might even see if I can fix some of the bugs. We have a lot more information these days on how AGI worked, thanks to the original documentation and interpreter source code fragments, and thanks too to scummvm's code base.



Offline Collector

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 01:03:33 PM »
It looks like he was also part of the old Sarien project. You could ask on the ScummVM forums to see if there are any other Sarien people that might have contact info.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 03:01:07 PM »
I'd love to be able to do that, but I seem to have been locked out of the scummvm forums. Not idea why. If I try to log in, it says I'm using an inactive user. If I try to use the forgotten password feature, the link that it emails me doesn't work. It displays a page saying Not Authorised. If I try to use the password that it generated and included in the email, I'm back to it telling me that the user account is inactive. So I can't see any way of resolving that. I don't think this is deliberate, its probably just a combination of me not having logged in for a while, and there being some sort of bug in the forgotten password functionality at present.

Update:

I'm back in to scummvm forums, thanks to Omer and sev. Message now posted on scummvm forums.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 06:50:07 PM by lance.ewing »

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 11:31:55 AM »
No one has replied to the scummvm forums message yet. I guess we give it some time and perhaps someone will see it eventually and can shed some light.

It occurred to me today that the old AGI message board forums might have contained discussions about this AGI interpreter. Does anyone know if a backup of those forums did eventually turn up? Or are we sure now that it was lost forever?

Offline Collector

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 12:37:32 PM »
It is probably lost forever. I talked to Chris Cromer and he said there was no database backup. Some of the threads are accessible via the Wayback.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2016, 12:53:26 PM »
Okay, I've pinged Stuart George to see if he has some backups from the older forums. He says he'll check what he has when he gets home from work. He might have something from some point.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2016, 05:51:03 AM »
I'm going to see if I can add my Apple II AGIv1 disk decoder utils/tools as a package to this project.

I've started doing this and it is working out quite well. The author of the Java AGI interpreter has designed it in quite a modular way. I can plug my own implementations of various things in. So, for example, there is a ResourceProvider interface, the methods of which take care of loading the data for specified resource types. I've written an implementation that knows how to read those resource types from the KQ2 disk image files. What this means that I can now do is use the Java AGI project's existing resource viewer tools to browse and view the resources from the Apple II KQ2 dsk. The PICTUREs are working great. The VIEWs are the wrong colour. The sounds are crashing and burning, but I was expecting that, as I haven't done any conversion for them. The LOGICs are also crashing, but I knew that would happen, as I haven't yet started to implement a mapping of command number to command yet. But when I've implemented that mapping, it will in theory display the source code for the LOGIC in a text window. That's what it does for AGI v2 games.

The Java AGI project has a LogicProvider interface that I think is where I'll need to somehow handle the cross wiring of commands. I'm hoping it won't be too difficult.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 04:55:26 PM »
The post has been up on the scummvm forums for three days now. There have been 57 views. No one seems to know. At some point in the next few days, I'm going to make the call on whether to just go ahead and add the code in to github or not. I guess I could add it and seek forgiveness later. I notice that he's mentioned my name in the javadocs a few times, where he has copied sections of the AGI specs to use as the basis of the javadoc for certain classes. So perhaps I might get away with taking over the project.   :)

Offline Collector

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 02:28:07 AM »
Isn't it GPL anyway?
KQII Remake Pic

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2016, 05:01:55 AM »
Yeah, looks like it is. It says "GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPLv2)", and the project page describes it as an open source project. I thought it would be good etiquette to check first though. For example, I wouldn't want people to think that the github repo was the new official place for the code, unless Dr Zoltan was happy with that. So maybe I can describe it as a "fork" of the sourceforge project.

Interesting point about GPL that relates to github. I think that by putting your code in to a free github account, you are agreeing to this: " "By setting your repositories to be viewed publicly, you agree to allow others to view and fork your repositories". Apparently it doesn't require your project to meet the definition of open source, but you do need to agree to that bit in quotes. If you want to use a particular type of open source license, then you are advised to put it in a file called LICENSE or something like that. So I guess I add such a file with the GPLv2 license in it.

Offline Collector

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2016, 01:15:20 PM »
I understand about the good etiquette, but you did make a good faith effort to locate him.

One thing that I am intrigued by this is if this could be ported to C# that it might be of use to Visual AGI. I don't know how hard it is to port Java to C#, but the syntax looks very similar.
KQII Remake Pic

Online Kawa

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2016, 01:21:00 PM »
Fun fact: I was considering writing an AGI interpreter in C# just yesterday.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2016, 01:51:47 PM »
Sounds like Collector needs your help then! I've never written a line of C# in my life. I have it on my todo list to see if I can contribute to Visual AGI, so my first few lines of C# might end up being for that project.

I think the code that Martin Kool used to convert AGI games in to Javascript for sarien.net was written in C#. So it might be that you could rip some code from there for the loading and parsing of the data. It might give you a good head start. I've never looked at that code though, so not sure how suitable it would be.

Offline Collector

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2016, 10:31:48 PM »
I grabbed the source for sarien.net at one time, but never looked at it.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Java AGI Interpreter by Dr Zoltan
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2016, 12:02:30 PM »
If anyone has downloaded the source for the Java AGI interpreter from Dr Zoltan's sourceforce project, please note that the ZIPs provided for download are quite a bit out of date from the code in the CVS repository. He clearly did a lot of work in 2002 between about August to November that year. Classes have been moved around a bit, things refactored, new code added, new tools, etc. There is a lot missing from the 2001 ZIPs. Luckily I grabbed the code from the CVS repo before I started out...   otherwise I'd be kicking myself right about now.

It looks like he was working on a full LOGIC script debugger, with the ability to step through the code line by line. I think it was a work in progress though, as the variable and flag values don't show up in the section of the debugger where they are meant to show. It was certainly a very ambitious AGI project and obviously had some big long term goals. It had to be someone that was involved in the AGI community and message forums back in 2001/2.


SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Simple Audio Video Embedder

Page created in 0.164 seconds with 22 queries.