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BZFlag 3.0 = vaporware

As most of you know, I'm a developer for the online game BZFlag. I recently had a conversation with one of the project managers that went something like this:

When is bzflag 3.0 going to be released?
When it's finished, tested, and bug-free.
Ok, when do you estimate that will happen?
When it happens.
Right, but could you give me an estimate as to when it will probably happen?
When the developers have time.
--- At this point, I start to get a bit frustrated. ---
Ok. Based on how much time the developers have had so far, when would you estimate it will be out?
When it's done.
--- I'm so close to spamming the guy until he bans me or something ---
So could you estimate to the nearest number of years when it will be out?
Yes. Within the next 100 years.

I've asked and asked, and no-one has an estimate as to when it will be out. The last release that changed a lot of stuff was over 4 years ago, and people are sick of waiting. To the BZFlag developers: Please, for the sake of the players that want to see the improvements made in 3.0, fix up the few major bugs that are there and release a beta version of 3.0. That way, people can actually download and try it, and I won't have to put up with people pestering me to find out when it will be out.

Until this happens, I'm going to regard 3.0 as vaporware. The really cool new version that would improve everything. The really cool new version that wasn't actually going to be released.

GWT and reflection

I've decided to use GWT in some of my more recent projects. It's been an awesome tool to have, except for one thing. It doesn't support java reflection. This makes coding pluggable applications really hard.

Google's excuse is that it would be too hard to do reflection, what with trying to find the .js file that holds the class. In my opinion, this is a wimpy excuse. Why not allow reflection for classes within the module itself? I can definitely see the issue with accessing classes not compiled with the module, which is what their excuse covers, but I really can't see any issues with accessing classes compiled with the module.

Granted, the code is currently obfuscated. That throws a wrench in the works, but it's only a minor one. A module could be compiled with support for reflection, which could build a list that maps real class names to obfuscated class names. This would cut down on security, assuming that a developer is using obfuscation to protect intellectual property, but then at least reflection would work.

GWT developers, please add reflection. I know there are libraries out there that can help with it, but it would be really nice to have it just built in to GWT.