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Any individual developer have success in getting a PC player for developers

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jbofctu
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Joined: 2009-10-05
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Are individual developers that are not part of companies just using the stack-trace and logging information provided by standard versions of WinDVD, PowerDVD or TotalMedia? If anyone has anything that is more elaborate and provides more information or capabilities to the developer can they list the details or any advice they may have.

I am an individual developer trying to learn bd-j. Since I am not part of an authoring house or studio, the 3 companies with developer PC players listed on the wiki denied an individual requests due to limited number of developer copies.

I have found it very difficult to try and learn bd-j as individual without company resources. Most studios/authoring houses want a minimum of 1 year experience with bd-j, so I wanted to teach myself for at least 6 months, but I am struggling to figure how to gain useful experience without a real debugger. There is only so much one can learn from looking at the hdcookbook code, or writing their own without solid testing on it.

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billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
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Speaking as an individual developer who's been part of two companies, I can tell you that the most elaborate debug information I've ever personally used is com.hdcookbook.grin.util.Debug.println(). Earlier on, I did use System.out.println() and developer versions of the PC players and a debug version of a hardware player, but once we got the cookbook build system to the point where we could reliably get code properly signed and running, that fell by the wayside quickly.

Nowadays, I pretty much always just burn a BD-RE disc, pop it in a player, and bring up the cookbook debug log screen (or telnet over to port 6000 on the player to get that same debug log). The profiling framework has a similar sort of workflow. If I didn't have a burner, it wouldn't be [i]that[/i] big a deal to use the VFS update disc, but since I do have a burner right there at my desk, I haven't set myself up to work that way. Anyway, a burner is maybe around $300 or so I guess. I'd really strongly suggest having a normal player in addition to a PS/3, so players set you back maybe another $500-$600. It's not completely free, but it's not a fortune either.

Back in my Sun days, I did get the Netbeans debugger hooked up to a software player once, but honestly speaking, I'm so used to using System.out.println() these days that it didn't do much for me, and I immediately reverted to old habits.

Of course, for debugging the [i]logic[/i] of an application, using GrinView and a desktop debugger can be a good option. I've done that a couple of times; that way, you have the full desktop developer tool set, like a debugger and heap profiling tools.

Still, though, one thing that you pretty much just have to accept about the embedded space is that you'll have fewer debugging tools. Sometimes that means Debug.println(), and sometimes that means trial-and-error and banging your head against the wall. That's just in the nature of embedded development, and not particularly unique to BD-J. You should have seen what real-time programming for industrial robots looked like in the late 80's! :-)

From experience, I'd say don't despair! There is a bit of a learning curve, and the Debug.println() mode of development takes a bit of getting used to, but it does work, and once you get the hang of it, you can be pretty productive this way. Just ask generations of programmers, going back to the 60's and before!

Cheers,

Bill

vinaykagarwal
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Joined: 2006-01-14
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I, as an individual developer, was never able to get developer version of any PC player.

Then again, it would not have mattered much for my development effort since the hardware players are so very different from PC players and from each other. Having something work on a PC player is nearly unimportant to having it work consistent across the hardware players. I suggest you get working on hardware players and use a PC player only for very basic debugging.

Good luck.
Vinay Agarwal