flat assembler
Message board for the users of flat assembler.

flat assembler > Heap > ASM scene dead?

Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author
Thread Post new topic Reply to topic
comrade



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 1118
Location: Russian Federation
Is it just me or has the whole asm scene died in the last 7-12 years? I recall with great joy the multitude of forums back in early 2000s (win32asmcommunity aka askcommunity, masmforum aka movsd aka hutch--'s forum, various reverse engineering forums). This, exetools and woodmann forums are all that remain from the 'old days'. I come in once a few times a month to check out the threads here but rarely see anything remotely interesting. Though still, it is reassuring to see some life here.

I am curious what the young tech-minded generation does these days? Is it all on Hacker News and github? Doing JS and web programming? What are everyone's views on this?

All things in life must come to an end, and sadly this community is no different.

Before I sign-off, does anyone remember the handle of that Russian guy on the win32asmcommunity forums that always optimized code? To help your memory, he wrote the program that helped you figure out the right multiplication constants to achieve division (I forget the trick). [EDIT: I think his handle was TheSvin, any knowledge of his present condition and whereabouts?]

_________________
comrade (comrade64@live.com; http://comrade.ownz.com/)
Post 07 Apr 2015, 10:21
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number Reply with quote
revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 16128
Location: Hyperborea
It seems to me that the only people to blame for the "scene" dying is ourselves. We would need to look at why we are not contributing as much. There is no sense in expecting everyone else to carry the "scene" for us.

However, even so, I don't really think it is dying as such. More likely it has matured to the point where many of the common questions/tasks/ideas are searchable and available to others without having to make new postings. A lot of the problems have already been solved and have been posted by people for everyone to use.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 10:46
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Reply with quote
FordenFreeman



Joined: 31 Mar 2015
Posts: 2
I am new here. As I'm in my 20s, I suppose I am one of the young tech-minded types.

I'm a sys admin who enjoys programming, and not a programmer per se (despite that being what my formal education was). I just feel that software bloats faster than hardware improves, and I code with the hope of making some leaner more efficient software for myself, and because I enjoy it. I am also just interested in learning as much as possible. Most younger people are writing software in Ruby, Python, JS, and Go. They all use Github. They're all fairly arrogant IME. There is some ASM stuff in the Internet of Things world, and there's a little bit in the mobile world. That is, people need drivers written. Otherwise, I think that writing real software is dead unless you work on the Linux kernel, systemd, or Windows. Everything is becoming a MySQL wrapper.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 12:19
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
Yes, revolution is right. Assembly programmers are those guilty for scene dying. Probably most of us are busy working for money. Some are probably decided they like HLL programming more.

Another cause is maybe because there is no common assembly place anymore, since all sub-communities created their own forums - FASM, NASM, MASM etc. AsmCommunity of course was a noisy place, full of flame wars, but at least the asm programmers was able to communicate in one common place.

The computers changed as well. Most of the projects are now web based - a domain where the most asm programmers have no interest. (I am probably the only one creating web applications in assembly language).

Anyway, we must do something about this problem. The assembly programming needs new followers and more popularity, new great projects. More propaganda. More noise.

Any suggestions?
Post 07 Apr 2015, 13:50
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
comrade wrote:

I am curious what the young tech-minded generation does these days? Is it all on Hacker News and github? Doing JS and web programming? What are everyone's views on this?


Mostly on web & mobile programming I think. Like mentioned before, Ruby and Python are among the mature choices for doing web projects.

JS is pretty much one of the requirements for doing web programming, and thanks to Node.js, now it's possible to write the entire web app (back-end and front-end) mostly in JS. Crazy? Smile

Go, which is backed up by Google, now is also trending for doing web.

Github is awesome for collaborating, and if you are looking for a coding job, showing your github repo might gain you a favour.

And for mobile programming, well it's pretty much iOS & Android. Symbian is already dead. Blackberry and Windows Phone don't attract much users anymore. Ubuntu Touch, Tizen, Sailfish etc *could be* interesting in the future, but not much at this time.

C++ is probably limited to game development, while C/asm is for microcontroller/kernel development.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 15:33
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
JohnFound wrote:

Anyway, we must do something about this problem. The assembly programming needs new followers and more popularity, new great projects. More propaganda. More noise.

Any suggestions?


Tools/libraries/frameworks for writing desktop/web/mobile apps practically?
By "practical", I mean something like short learning curve and short development time.

Most of them are not interested in compiler/OS/kernel development, stuffs on which assembly programmers are naturally attracted to.

If those issues can be addressed, then I think assembly will gain more popularity. Smile
Post 07 Apr 2015, 15:44
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
TmX wrote:
Tools/libraries/frameworks for writing desktop/web/mobile apps practically?
By "practical", I mean something like short learning curve and short development time.


Well, I am trying my best in developing FreshLib which is portable, easy for use library and framework for rapid application development. But you understand, that working alone, the progress is very slow. And except Fresh IDE project, no one seems to use it. Wink

Another my project, that was intended (besides its immediate goal) to provoke the community is MiniMagAsm - assembly written content management system for web sites. But I am afraid the community ignored this provocation. Laughing

I suspect that most of assembly programmers really are persuaded that assembly language is suitable only for small highly optimized routines in the HLL programs. And this is the main reason why assembly programming dies these days.

_________________
Tox ID: 48C0321ADDB2FE5F644BB5E3D58B0D58C35E5BCBC81D7CD333633FEDF1047914A534256478D9
Post 07 Apr 2015, 16:31
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
HaHaAnonymous



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 1174
Location: Unknown
Quote:

The assembly programming needs new followers and more popularity, new great projects. More propaganda. More noise.

There are many negative propaganda about programming in assembly, and many other programming languages alone. They really scare potential new users away from it.

If they said: Assembly is great, it is better, has many advantages, a must try for anyone starting to program. But if you want to succeed in the ordinary market you will have to choose something like C++/JAVA/D/Python/etc... Preferably all of them. That would be acceptable. D:

But people are led to believe they are not programmers and will not create useful things if they do not know or program in languages like C++/JAVA/D/Python and even "Windows only languages" like C# + .Net (Microsoft's attempt trying to increase its monopoly).

As a result, new comers to the programming world (including hobbyists) are practically forced to choose one of the main stream languages. I can say this because when I started to get interested about programming I was tired to see "ads" like this.

And a common thing that happens is if you are in a circle of mainstream programmers and if you are asked what programming languages you use for work they will laugh hard at you if you do not mention any of the mainstream languages and they will think: "Haha, not a programmer at all. Waste your time stupid! A loser, as I thought".

But I am not sure, it is all speculations as I am not socially active. D:

And there is another thing: Development time/amount of work. Developers are seeking for easier and easier, faster and faster ways for making programs, especially new comers... When you have Object Pascal/Python/.Net and they still want something easier and faster to program on you get an idea to what all of this is going to... Assembly being more and more rare, in a few years assembly will be so rare that only authorized people will have access to it. D:

Plus, the real programmers nowadays are not someone who creates great software in assembly or an isolated programming language. The real programmers nowadays, write code that works in many, many programming languages and technologies such as LISP, Python, Ruby, Cobol, C, C++, Objective C, D, JAVA, HTML, XML, CSS, MySQL, PHP, JavaScript, Visual Basic, C# + .Net + Microsoft Certification Seal Of Approval. Wondering why Pascal is not mentioned? It is because it is considered trash in today's programming world. Wonder why Assembly is not mentioned? It is because it takes a lot of work, people who are programming in "fast, easy and high" programming languages for money want and need speed to compete in the market assembly for them is waste of time.

Again, all speculations.

Quote:

And except Fresh IDE project, no one seems to use it.

Do not worry, I have a huge pile of programs that is only used by myself. When I share them, I receive laughs instead of "Thank you!". But while they are being useful to myself at least, they are not being completely useless.

I am sure this does not happen with your Fresh IDE and MiniMagAsm, those are great programs!


--
Those are just my opinions based on my observations of the world around me.

I apologize for any inconveniences I may have caused.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 18:56
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
@HaHaAnonymous: So, we need some kind of positive advertising campaign?

Hey, is there someone with expert skills in advertisement techniques and strategies?
Some tips are highly needed. Smile

I propose to open "The big assembly assault action". (BAAA)
Post 07 Apr 2015, 19:06
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
HaHaAnonymous



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 1174
Location: Unknown
Quote:

So, we need some kind of positive advertising campaign?

I always saw the "ASM Scene" like this: A group of assembly enthusiasts who were obsessive with the minimal things, releasing "crackme" and "hackme", they often make some programs intended to show their skills, what they are capable to do, the smallest the fastest possible, and competing with each other. The problem is that most of things they made was useless in practice, those programs had no applications to the every day tasks. It is a thing I consider people or do for fun or because they are addicted to that particular task, while being useless in practice they still get pleasure in doing so they do not stop. In other words, too much fun and little to no real work.

Now, those people who were led to believe they cannot create serious things in assembly, a software that is used in everyday life will start a search about programs in assembly at the same level of programs created in C++/JAVA/Python or whatever... They will just find mostly "for fun" things written in assembly, or piece optimization or those competitions about the smaller program written in DOS and bla-bla-bla... They will automatically think all of that is true, no one uses that for serious applications, it is a thing used in drivers and/or obscure hardware related things, or just for fun.

In my opinion, the positive "advertising campaign" is to make real, useful program that has a determined goal and application. Great examples are "MiniMagAsm, Fresh IDE, Flat Assembler, HeavyThing, RWASA" and I do not know more about any that is still under development... D:

But the idea is to have real things developed in assembly others can compare, as an example FASM vs NASM. A fun comparison between an Assembler written in assembly which can assemble itself and an Assembler written in a macro language the translates its code to assembly language that will assemble to a program that will be used to assemble assembly language sources. D:



--
Those are just my opinions based on my observations of the world around me.

I apologize for any inconveniences I may have caused.


Last edited by HaHaAnonymous on 07 Apr 2015, 22:35; edited 1 time in total
Post 07 Apr 2015, 20:07
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Australia
HaHaAnonymous wrote:
In my opinion, the positive "advertising campaign" is to make real, useful program that has a determined goal and application. Great examples are "MiniMagAsm, Fresh IDE, Flat Assembler" and I do not know more about any that is still under development... D:
This is basically what I am actively attempting to do with 2 Ton Digital, by building useful (IMO) Linux x86_64 server software. There are a decent number (now) using my "rwasa" webserver that outperforms nginx, and thanks to the upcoming HTTP/2 adoption this year, I hope to gain a strong foothold in the web server market.

A good percentage of the feedback I have received so far can be best described as "whoa, it is written in assembler?!" This is a good thing, IMO.

When I sat down to build my library, and its "showcase" useful programs, there was not a collection of (just a few examples) x64 epoll (that goes as fast or faster than libevent, etc), proper UTF32/UTF16 <-> double handling (meaning, WYSIWYG conversion back and forth without loss/rounding issues), the list goes on and on.

Are my routines "as fast" or "as small" as they can possibly be? Certainly not, but they are faster than all of the equivalent C functionality, and I think if there were more collections of the "patchwork" that is required to do real useful work, in a non-bloated way, assembly language adoption wouldn't be nearly as frightful for the otherwise HLL clubs.

The last programming positions I advertised for received over 1000 applications all from India university graduates, which I was later told was a direct result of the government in India highly subsidising IT degrees there, and as a result the market is literally flooded with university-educated IT people, none of whom are interested in assembler or C for that matter.

Fact is, "cookie-cutter" programming houses are the norm, and it does not make good business sense to have one or two very highly skilled people who produce work that no one else can navigate or modify.

IMO, to effect a "big assembly assault action" (BAAA), hehe, we all need to address the real reason no one wants to touch it, and that is a direct result of the perceived difficulty to accomplish simple/normal tasks that are "inbuilt" to HLL environments (even simple things like string replacement, etc).

I'm doing my best to pull my weight as are a decent handful of others around here. Maybe a mutual heave-ho BAAA is in order to bridge the gap and make assembly language less of a learning curve/reinventing the wheel exercise for "normal folk".
Post 07 Apr 2015, 20:50
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
HaHaAnonymous



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 1174
Location: Unknown
Quote:

This is basically what I am actively attempting to do with 2 Ton Digital, by building useful (IMO) Linux x86_64 server software.

I do not know how I could forget it, I remembered it as soon as I saw your nickname listed in online users... It is a very great piece of software with actually "tons" of useful applications.

Thank you!
Post 07 Apr 2015, 21:01
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
HaHaAnonymous wrote:
In my opinion, the positive "advertising campaign" is to make real, useful program that has a determined goal and application.


Well, I am fully agree with this. So, now we need an advertising campaign that to persuade the existing assembly programmers to write useful programs. Very Happy It might sounds funny or even paradoxical, but actually is IMHO one possible strategy.

Now about the tactics:

Step 1: How to persuade revolution to write some open source program that to be:
A. In assembly language.
B. For wide use
C. Real, useful program

Step 2: The same for l_inc

Step3: Who else? Your suggestion here...

Note: IMHO, such projects is desirable to be open source. It is not mandatory, but how then to know the assembly language is used? In addition, the newcomers can use these programs as a design pattern and source of inspiration.

_________________
Tox ID: 48C0321ADDB2FE5F644BB5E3D58B0D58C35E5BCBC81D7CD333633FEDF1047914A534256478D9
Post 07 Apr 2015, 21:21
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
@redsock - your projects looks like masterpiece, but why they are so hard to be found in google? "assembly web server" returns only other projects. "rwasa" returns only some African politic and only "rwasa server" returns your web site. Also, the brand "2 ton digital" is already occupied by some web design studio.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 22:14
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Australia
JohnFound wrote:
@redsock - your projects looks like masterpiece, but why they are so hard to be found in google? "assembly web server" returns only other projects. "rwasa" returns only some African politic and only "rwasa server" returns your web site. Also, the brand "2 ton digital" is already occupied by some web design studio.
I gather some of that is locale-specific google returns. We legitimately own the 2 Ton Digital business name here in Australia. As for rwasa's name, for the most part I suck at naming things, so it received an acronym based one "Rapid Web Application Server in Assembler", despite a google search returning the African dude (heh). The target demographic for it is pretty narrow, so we decided that its obscure/weird name was okay.

Interestingly, if I search for 2 ton digital, I receive only myself and floor scales from alibaba, haha.

I assume given some more time and external links that my google presence will improve outside here and the states. The crypto competition has been going pretty well, a lot of people (relative to rwasa anyway) have been tearing into it.

Open to a "renaming" ceremony for rwasa if you have any cool names in your back pocket Razz
Post 07 Apr 2015, 22:23
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
HaHaAnonymous



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 1174
Location: Unknown
Quote:

Open to a "renaming" ceremony for rwasa if you have any cool names in your back pocket

I personally think "rwasa" is not bad. The problem of why it cannot be found easily is other, in my opinion. D:

Or you could try a name that returns no results in most search engines... Then searching for that name will find only your website as result. Such as: waquallispop, alpapirusASM, pureASMsrv :D
Post 07 Apr 2015, 22:42
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Australia
JohnFound wrote:
Now about the tactics:
I could argue that my toplip encryption utility would be a decent starting point, but because I restricted my efforts to x86_64 linux command-line only, its "mass-appeal" is significantly limited.

Anyone feel like doing an x64 windows interface on top of it? Not many syscalls involved in doing that particular one of my apps since there is no net, etc. Someone skilled in windows GUI/drag-drop/etc might be able to put a glue layer on top to dramatically increase mass-appeal for the community benefit (more so since I am already running an incentivised ad campaign re: same).

Just a thought anyway.
Post 07 Apr 2015, 23:07
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
JohnFound wrote:

Well, I am trying my best in developing FreshLib which is portable, easy for use library and framework for rapid application development. But you understand, that working alone, the progress is very slow. And except Fresh IDE project, no one seems to use it. Wink


That's a good start.
And of course, would be better to have more collaborators Smile
Post 08 Apr 2015, 00:08
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
JohnFound



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 3476
Location: Bulgaria
TmX wrote:
And of course, would be better to have more collaborators Smile


The project is fully open. Everyone can contribute code, even if it is not needed for the project Fresh. That is why it is library after all.

_________________
Tox ID: 48C0321ADDB2FE5F644BB5E3D58B0D58C35E5BCBC81D7CD333633FEDF1047914A534256478D9
Post 08 Apr 2015, 06:53
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number Reply with quote
revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 16128
Location: Hyperborea
JohnFound wrote:
Well, I am trying my best in developing FreshLib which is portable, easy for use library and framework for rapid application development. But you understand, that working alone, the progress is very slow. And except Fresh IDE project, no one seems to use it. Wink
For me, the reason I can't use such a library is because I have to buy-in to the entire library system in order to make it run. With the begin, overlapping local labels and other incompatibilities it means I would have to rewrite so much of my existing code that it is just too much effort. Whet you have developed is good for its purpose but just too different to work with existing code.
Post 08 Apr 2015, 07:13
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Reply with quote
Display posts from previous:
Post new topic Reply to topic

Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

< Last Thread | Next Thread >
Forum Rules:
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Copyright © 1999-2018, Tomasz Grysztar.

Powered by rwasa.