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This is pretty fun! Game porter Ryan "Icculus" Gordon has announced that they've picked back up an older project called sdl12-compat, which provides SDL2 compatibility for older software stuck on SDL1.2.

Recently I started back up on an ancient project I never got too far with before, called sdl12-compat. The idea is to provide a binary that looks like SDL 1.2 to the legacy app, but behind the scenes, it loads a real build of SDL2 and lets that do all the hard work, just translating between what the app and SDL2 need.

There's plenty more to the post but that above seemed like a good intro…

An interesting project, one that could take some pain away from old games and applications that are no longer supported or updated. As Gordon notes, it would enable things like Wayland support without an X11 fallback, support other platforms due to the zlib license and so on. One bit that does sound quite exciting, is that it would get older games and applications that were software-rendered over onto the GPU and getting better performance, as well as better fullscreen support and more.

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Love the Half-Life 3 folder there, blink and you will miss it.

While the use of it will obviously be quite limited, since most things are made with SDL2 now and you would be mad to use SDL1.2 it's still great to have projects like this so nothing is left behind.

See the full post on Patreon.

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24 comments
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Vortex_Acherontic 12 March 2019 at 10:08 pm UTC
stan
Vortex_AcheronticWhy is there any need for a compat tool?
SDL 1.2 has very bad fullscreen support, which will probably change your resolution and move all your windows, and block all keyboard shortcuts (so you can’t change your volume, alt-f4 or alt-tab).
Also SDL2 has much better gamepad support (although I’m not sure if that can be imported into the SDL 1 API…).
liamdawe
Vortex_AcheronticI'm a bit confused most likely because I'm very uneducated if it comes to SDL ^^"
Why is there any need for a compat tool? If I look up my package manager (YaST - Software Management) I can still install SLD 1.2 for older applications.
SDL1.2 hasn't been actively maintained for a long time, eventually with the switch over to Wayland and so on software using SDL1.2 might not even work.

Everything moves on, SDL2 for example has vastly better multi-monitor support, which is incredibly painful on SDL1.2 (and yes, some games do still use it - One Hour One Life for example).

Thank you very much this clarify the thing.
Now I'm also hyped by this project
I do remember the old days where Alt+Tab not working in games (Open Arena for example) Very annoying indeed.
Or applications moving my desktop containers/widgets when changing resolution. Never knew this was caused by SLD
sub 12 March 2019 at 10:36 pm UTC
Guest
dubigrasuA "Half Life 3" folder on his desktop
That little 2-second reveal was just a little bit too convenient if you ask me.

1) middle of video
2) "Oopsie!" (as if R.G. would mess that up before recording...)
2.1) obvious misdirection with icons
2.2) folder matches background color


I can't think of anyone considering this being more than a nice joke.
Liam Dawe 12 March 2019 at 10:39 pm UTC
Guest
dubigrasuA "Half Life 3" folder on his desktop
That little 2-second reveal was just a little bit too convenient if you ask me.
Well, yeah
Purple Library Guy 12 March 2019 at 10:49 pm UTC
I wonder also if there's anything out there to do similar compatibility tricks with old Linux sound stuff, you know like OSS and Alsa and whatever.
rea987 12 March 2019 at 11:01 pm UTC
Well, there's already SDLCL that's exactly do it.

https://github.com/MrAlert/sdlcl

I'm using it daily to force ETQW, Prey (2006) and UT2k4 to use SDL2.
rea987 12 March 2019 at 11:01 pm UTC
Purple Library GuyI wonder also if there's anything out there to do similar compatibility tricks with old Linux sound stuff, you know like OSS and Alsa and whatever.

osspd, padsp, alsa-oss (aoss)?
Liam Dawe 12 March 2019 at 11:02 pm UTC
rea987Well, there's already SDLCL that's exactly do it.

https://github.com/MrAlert/sdlcl

I'm using it daily to force ETQW, Prey (2006) and UT2k4 to use SDL2.
I've no doubt Mr Gordon is aware of this, there will likely be enough differences to warrant a new project. After all, Mr Gordon is one of the main SDL people...
mirv 12 March 2019 at 11:44 pm UTC
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liamdawe
rea987Well, there's already SDLCL that's exactly do it.

https://github.com/MrAlert/sdlcl

I'm using it daily to force ETQW, Prey (2006) and UT2k4 to use SDL2.
I've no doubt Mr Gordon is aware of this, there will likely be enough differences to warrant a new project. After all, Mr Gordon is one of the main SDL people...

I suspect that sdlcl is mainly aimed at GNU/Linux (at least based on the X11 references in there), whereas R. Gordon will likely be wanting it across every platform SDL1.2 runs (ran?) against. I wouldn't doubt that he'll be browsing through sdlcl as well though, because open source is awesome that way.
rea987 12 March 2019 at 11:58 pm UTC
liamdaweI've no doubt Mr Gordon is aware of this, there will likely be enough differences to warrant a new project. After all, Mr Gordon is one of the main SDL people...

Yeah, surely. Besides, SDLCL isn't perfect; it tends to crash on much older games like UT99, Rune; and has unsolved bugs which are recognized by dev but it has been a looong time since the last update. Having a more widely recognized and more actively supported library would be much much better.

mirvI wouldn't doubt that he'll be browsing through sdlcl as well though, because open source is awesome that way.

Indeed it is. :-D
M@GOid 13 March 2019 at 1:23 am UTC
Unreal Tournament 2004 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars were among the very few titles that I had to play on Linux before Valve came. Too bad there is no Linux support on the available version on GOG or Steam. And ETQW is completely MIA.
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