That's a simple story but it illustrates something important. jrpg is an SNES RPG style game which helps the player learn Japanese writing system. It is written in Python with PyGame. Well, data preprocessing is done mostly in Perl, and the build system is in Ruby rake, but the game code is pure Python. Unfortunately that means users needed Python and PyGame installed to play jrpg. No problem for Linuxers, but Windows users were really confused by that.
Then I found py2exe - an awesome tool which turned Python programs into standalone Windows executables. Thanks to py2exe and some "marketing" jrpg downloads went into thousands. There was only one problem - py2exe doesn't run on Linux.
rake package; rake update_website into a long and painful task. If I changed anything in jrpg, I had to copy jrpg package onto a pendrive, go to some Windows box (hopefully with Python, PyGame, and py2exe already installed), build the Windows package, copy it back to the pendrive, go back to the Linux box, put it in the right directory, and only then I could upload the package. Knowing that I have to go to such lengths every time I change one line of code in jrpg completely killed the joy of coding.
What could I do ? I couldn't make myself stop updating the Windows package and loss 80% of the users. I tried running py2exe under wine and Cedega (it failed), porting it to Linux (unfortunately py2exe uses too many Windows-specific APIs I don't have a slightiest idea about, and low-level C coding is not a fun thing to do), even hacking the produced exe file. Nothing worked.
I guess I might get back to coding jrpg. Maybe someone will hack a crosscompiler onto py2exe, maybe someone will create easily installable dosbox-alike with Windows on which I'll be able to run py2exe, maybe my desire to hack it will temporarily overcome my disgust.
The moral of the story - hacking must be fun, or people will go hack something else.
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