I think after merging the forums. What do you think?
Posted on 2008-11-21 09:01:46 by XCHG
I didn't like the merge of the forums, which imho made threads and search less accessible and organized.
But also, there's the thing that we've all understood asm and how to use Win32. For people like that, questions in the form of forum-threads are the slower way to solve a problem; searching here+google and personally trying/experimenting things-out is a much quicker way to solve problems. The board's database contains solutions to almost all building-blocks, tips and tricks one can ever need. A way to optimize some proc - your processor, its docs and benchmarking are enough.

There are also a bunch of users that went exclusively to another forum, in a fashion that the word "racist" fits perfectly. "Oh they moderated my (unfriendly) post here", and went to a place, where dog-eat-dog is fine.
Posted on 2008-11-21 13:30:32 by Ultrano
Critical mass.

More problems have been solved and questions answered than you can shake a stick at.

The forum and web logs show that we get plenty of visitors, excluding search engines.

I actually heard more complaints about the complexity of having so many forums as opposed to just having a main forum with a few "unique" supporting forums.

The Wiki was an attempt at efficiently organizing things, but in the end, there is no "perfect" way to organize all of this data. Being able to search what you want seems sufficient for most.

As for the others, there will always be prima donnas that post more to the tune of their ego than for sharing knowledge. I am more than happy to send these types packing, post-haste ;)

To me, the question isn't "when did this community become so quiet?", it is "what can/should we do to get more discussions going". Homer is doing a great job with his postings; little feedback but I am sure people are reading and enjoying... and scratching their heads :P

So, what can be discussed that hasn't already been through the cycle of question, discussion, resolution, burial, revival?
Posted on 2008-11-21 22:25:31 by SpooK
Heh, in some ways, I treat this space as a personal blog, sharing not just my code but also my ideas and theories.
I believe that education is for life - there's always more to learn, because human knowledge itself is constantly growing, new fields of exploration are always opening, there simply is no zenith, no terminus.
If you are the curious explorer that I am, and enjoy challenging yourself by wading in waters beyond your depth, then you will never be bored, or for that matter, boring. I'm glad I can contribute something to this forum, and programming in general.
Posted on 2008-11-21 23:15:16 by Homer
I've been more or less MIA for a while but I still pop in at least twice a week for a few seconds to read the latest posts in the event someone asks about NASMX or there are questions/requests about the sites design that I might be able to help out on. Honestly, I've not been able to get any coding in myself which has always been sort of a source of discussion for me (my current projects) and my work has turned more towards administration/tech support so that doesn't give me the random bursts of inspiration either. The majority of my time now is spent in trying to complete my core classes. I've upped my number of classes to attempt to complete two assoc. degrees simultaneously rather than just one. This has totally killed any chance of me having a life/hobbies for quite a while. :p

On that note, the summer rewrite of NASMX I promised is canceled, I couldn't ever get around to finishing it... although I'm sure some of you figured that by now (it being November and all). lol
Posted on 2008-11-23 03:25:49 by Synfire
From my past experience with this board (which I have been a member of for some time now) I would say that this board has always been and will continue to be very cyclic in its quantity of posts.  With that said; however, while I may not post that much (being of the type that likes to try and figure things out on his own and being guilty of mainly posting on those subjects that really spark my interest) I do show up here almost every day and scan through all of the latest posts.

Besides, as Ultrano said:

The board's database contains solutions to almost all building-blocks, tips and tricks one can ever need. A way to optimize some proc - your processor, its docs and benchmarking are enough.

Which 9 out of 10 times translates to with a little research first (as it should always be) you can find the solution to your question before you even ask it.

Posted on 2008-11-23 10:52:26 by madprgmr

I feel that there are many reasons for the quietness but I wouldn't blame it on the merging of forums. I first joined this forum way back in 2002 (wow that would be 6 years ago) and things were quite noisy back then.

1) Our machines are now capable of using 64bit assembly. We should be coding in 64 bit. But the problem with assembly is that the code you code has a particular CPU that you are targetting. To be able to target multiple cpus and outdated processors, you need to add a lot of codes. But does this mean we should get stuck with 32 bit assembly codes? I hate various software vendors for not being able to produce 64 bit version of their codes. One good example would be bloody Adobe and their 32bit flash. Hell shockwave is not even supported on non-windows machine

2) Looking back into history, we have great many separations in the community and forming their own sub community. Such moves are counterproductive (but I'm sure those people who led the split-away are too egoistic to realise that) as for one to search for assembly related issues, there is no centralised database to search. It would have been much better, if we were able to happily live under the same roof and not have information spread over the internet. The split-away also caused a number of good assembly programmers to be disillusioned or they joined the other subcommunity...

3) The issue about critical mass brought up by Spook made a hell lot of sense too. I'm quite glad that the search engine for this forum is working pretty well.

4) This would be my own defence. I must be frank that I have not coded in assembly for at least 2 years. Reasons are: lack of time, current OS: gentoo, lack of motivation to work on FAIM and so on. Also I got pretty much caught on with the learning of various algorithms and the concept of how to implement the correct algorithms for the particular problem. As such I end up using C/C++. (But I definitely like the fact that parts of GMP is optimized using assembly in criteria areas)

5) Oh one last thing. The epic flame wars are history.  ;)
Posted on 2008-11-23 21:46:21 by roticv
roticv, about point 4) , I'll restate the obvious: once you master asm and know what your compiler produces, it's usually OK to write whole projects in HLL. (if it's about Java, you just have to learn a bit about the vm opcodes and how a vm works). Misconceptions about expected performance are gone, you know how to trick the cpu to do your bidding. This way, you are one of the few that know which of the multiple solutions to choose for a given project, instead of pondering. And you know when to cut yourself some slack ;) .

Btw, about Flash 64-bit being unavailable, I doubt it's because of any asm code, for various reasons. And I bet shockwave is only available for win32 either for market reasons, or its code again uses the OS a bit too much. (iirc, the first several versions of Flash relied heavily on GDI and other win32-specific stuff).

I don't see myself coding in 64-bit asm in the near future. Register-renaming, strategic positioning of temp-vars and other features, that our 64-bit cpus provide in 32-bit mode, are enough fun/useful for optimizations that push the silicon to the limit (in my experience). Even as developing current-gen gaming stuff (in my free time), I cannot fathom using more than 2GB userspace sysram, if we gamers stay on HDDs (not in RAID). Btw, I stray from DBs (usage or development).
Posted on 2008-11-24 02:00:22 by Ultrano
The reason why I'm so into 64 bit codes is because I built a system with 8GB of RAM. I absolutely hate it when I have to run 32 bit codes which can't utilize the available RAM.  ;)

Someday we must all move to 64 bit. It is just like the transition from 16 bit to 32 bit. Maybe by then we all have given up on assembly.
Posted on 2008-11-24 08:27:21 by roticv
I, for one, have certainly been disillusioned by all the silly controversy (and yes, I realize I have my part of blame for it all). I even stopped reading ALA, "that certain person" along with "that other freak" pretty much ruined the group totally.

And as already mentioned, we have a large, searchable dataset here, plus most of us know the ins and outs of win32 development pretty well by now. If you look at a more active board like the FASM board, there's a fair amount of topics that aren't directly asm-related, and there are topics that simply wouldn't fly here (shellcode etc).

I'm also relatively caught up in real-life (work + education + socializing), and outside of schoolwork I don't get much programming done. And heck, even the HyperVisor project (that I've been neglecting :( ) only has "some assembly required".

As for the use of 64bit, ho humm. Haven't checked up on 32-vs-64bit benchmarks lately, but the memory space can be useful enough... if for nothing else, then intensive caching in case the user has enough RAM :)
Posted on 2008-11-24 18:07:57 by f0dder
    I do appreciate Homer's work that he posts here, even though my level of understanding is not up to
that level.
    I don't think it will ever be, but it still doesn't deter me from reading it, hoping that some of it will
sink in someday.
Posted on 2008-11-24 21:31:02 by rags
I appreciate the appreciation :)

You know what? A lot of the stuff I do, when I begin at least, is way beyond my grasp.
I only fumble around in the darkness until I find something that feels familiar, and then I go from there.
Just keep banging your skull against the wall and you will eventually make a hole in something (could be your skull, could be the wall). Standing around with your thumb up your proverbial achieves nothing.

Posted on 2008-11-25 06:20:45 by Homer
I believe that the forums reorganization discouraged many members. I remember that the forums structure changed two or three times and that really wasn't good idea.

Now I spend my time at FASM board and a bit at MASM board, mostly lurking.
Posted on 2008-12-17 11:37:26 by MazeGen