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Comment Re:Port it away from Java... (Score 1) 56

I mainly use the direwolf20 pack...I also used to play the TolkenCraft pack

Hmm...default configs for those packs on a system with your specs should have it running as smooth as butter.

As for my world age, it was generated this year

Sounds like a halfway decent world, but nothing that should be killing your computer. AE shouldn't be a problem.

upon generating a new world I see similar results

Now, *this* is abnormal. Once the world loads (eg you have a charactor ingame, you're not looking at the "generating world" screen anymore) there will be a few seconds of lag as chunks get generated at the edge of the load distance. This should disappear within the first 20-30 seconds max, for me it's normally less than 5.

Back in the 1.2.5 days and Tekkit, I recall seeing insane FPS rates

I used to get over 1k FPS when I'd turn down the view distance to the minimum. Since then, the Mojang team has worked to equalize some things...I think by default they cap it at 75FPS, but it's much less likely to drop down into the teens...at least in theory.

NO, of course I don't have any Java clues...I can't really be expected to customize my Java settings...So I naturally left everything default

I made a couple of assumptions here. They were possibly incorrect, and if so, I owe you an apology for being that abrupt. You stated that you were allocating 6+ gb of RAM to the game, so I assumed you'd messed with the defaults. I have a special dislike for people who mess with the defaults without educating themselves about what those defaults actually mean.

As a sidenote, if you're running with the defaults, how are you setting 6+ gb of RAM? Genuinely confused, wondering if we're saying different things here, as "changing the RAM" is part of the configs...

64 bit Java JRE

This...might actually be something to check on. Minecraft for Windows comes with its own internally packaged version of Java. Modded Minecraft doesn't use this though, and you need Java 7. It might be worth it to remove Java completely, then re-install just the latest Java 7 64 bit version using the full installer from the Oracle download page.

(snip rant about FUD)

I said FUD is an option. If I had a buck for every time someone has done similar, with intent of spreading disinformation about a specific Minecraft mod or Minecraft itself, I could replace my desktop with a really really shiny one. I said that I saw two options, one of which involved you spreading misinformation. In hindsight, probably not my best closing point.

not that I'm trying to force you to help me

No need for that, I'm actually genuinely interested in helping. With a rig like what you've described, you should be able to run pretty much any modpack in buttery smooth FPS with max graphics settings.

I don't thing the slashdot comments section is the best way to get you some help. The easiest thing for me would be if you hopped on EsperNet IRC and poked me in the #minechem channel. If you're not IRC savvy, I have a web-based IRC interface on my website that should work. If IRC isn't an option, I'm also on Twitter, the Minecraft Forums, and CurseForge as this same username, you could drop me a private message and we can see if this can be sorted.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 56

Ah, now I see how you got to the link.

I also see an example much better suited to a game like Minecraft...Mathematics.

Minecraft lends itself well to maths, science, logic, and "community" type skills, eg people management or planning.

It is a complete and utter waste of school time.

Eh, that's your opinion. I have a different one. I've seen Minecraft used pretty effectively. I get that you haven't seen that. I believe that a case can be made for using Minecraft in specific, interesting, engaging ways in a classroom (eg Computercraft for a programming 101 class), but that it's also not easily applicable to all subjects.

Comment Re:Port it away from Java... (Score 1) 56

I've got to call bullshit on this.
Disclaimer, I'm a part time Minecraft mod developer. My understanding of this topic may have been unfairly tainted with unpalatable things like experience and and actual test cases.

modded minecraft takes 6+ gigs of ram to load in 15 minutes

I was able to load up the Monster modpack from Feed the Beast in about 6 minutes...and that included download the launcher, setting up authentication, and letting the launcher download all the mod files. Second run took 57 seconds to get to the main game screen.

I'm running with the default 2gb of RAM. Per the wiki, FTB Monster "currently also holds the record of being the overall largest Feed The Beast modpack, with over 200 mods included."

To put that in context, most "lite" modpacks end up with around 40-60 mods, and a "middle of the road" modpack has 100-150ish mods.

When running a "test" modpack that I've put together, it loads up in about 20-30 seconds, depending on how much debugging stuff I've enabled.

after that gives you mainly 1 frame every 3 seconds lasting up to a half a minute, with spurts of 10 frames a second for a couple seconds

If you've been playing for hundreds of hours, and have fully automated the processing, assembly, sorting, and storage of every block, item, and resource in the game, I'm guessing there will be parts of your game world that are so computationally heavy that it'll bring almost any computer to its knees. Granted, I've never seen this, and I ran a top 5 server back when Tekkit was the end-all and be-all of Minecraft Modpacks (there have been some huge performance enhancements since then), but I'm willing to admit that this could happen, however...citation needed on this.

how about vanella minecraft?

Well, how about it? Loading up the currently-latest-version of 1.8.7 takes a whopping 6.45 seconds to load, and runs at a nice stable 75 FPS without any tweaking of the video settings.

with the occasional one second lock up every few minutes

...you have no clue how java garbage collection works, do you. Please go educate yourself and then fix your settings. Better yet, just re-create the default profile, because it's already optimized for most use cases. The default "profile" that Minecraft runs under gives you 1gb of RAM, which is about perfect.

the joke has become "But can it run modded minecraft?"

Not really. Minecraft does have some constraints, namely the lack of a multithreaded server and heavy dependence on your CPU, but it's nowhere near "the joke" that you'd like to present it as.

on an i7-5820k and Nvidia GTX 970 with 32GB ram

All the tests I did were on a laptop running an i7-4870HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz with 16gb of RAM. Fairly beefy as far as a laptop goes, but nowhere near the specs dissy is claiming. If I'm desperate (or on a long airplane trip) I can get modded Minecraft running on my netbook, which is running a 1.6ghz atom processor and rocking 1gb of RAM. It's not pretty, but it'll give me 15ish FPS.

My only conclusions are that you're either you're doing it (somehow) very, very wrong...or you're intentionally spreading FUD.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 56

Oh good, we agree. It's a good thing you actually read up on the subject and were able to provide an informed opinion. Ham-fisted force-feeding of knowledge is bad, and we need people building teaching tools that encourage rather than prod, and reward interest rather than punish boredom or disinterest.

If a game is built around mechanics that kids already love, and uses them to illustrate and expand on a balanced curriculum, you end up with kids excited about learning. You're free to disagree, but I've got a hundred thousand downloads that says I know what I'm talking about.

Comment Re:Blacksmiths (Score 1) 255

Lots of valid points here. And I agree with you on...some of them. Others, not so much.

This is either you associating with the wrong 'professional programmers' or you running into folks graduating from non-ACM accredited schools, or you mistaking information systems or information technology for computer science.

It actually has more to do with the sheer numbers of kids that play Minecraft. I totaled the statistics for one of the servers I manage...3176 unique players in a month of uptime. Obviously, not all of them are going to be super interested in the programming/logic side of Minecraft, but there's very few days where I don't have at least one or two people discussing relatively in-depth programming questions via ingame chat.

I see a LOT of inspiration and ambition, and a LOT of latent talent, and they will 'get there'.. but they're not there yet as far as *professional* code goes.

Oh, obviously. What Minecraft does is give kids an easily accessible programming interface with immediate, "real world" applications. It fosters that interest, the inspiration, and gives it an outlet while it matures. Minecraft offers a complexity level for any level of programmer.

At my level, I'd be using a central server to manage resource gathering with state-saving, set up just-in-time resource delivery to crafting systems, or create a centrally managed RFID identification network. At the entry level, someone else can dig a hole or place blocks. And everywhere in between, from setting up sorting systems to automating base defences...underneath it all, it's providing a constructive outlet for an interest that might someday become a career in computer programming.

My point: a lot of self-taught programmers, unless they've had formal education in another technical field, are going to have holes upon holes in their background, and no amount of Mindcraft API bs is going to rectify that.

I agree with your premise here, that enthusiasm and self-teaching needs to be complemented by structured learning of the stuff that the learner doesn't know they need to know. Personally, I think the structure of "formal education" has shifted dramatically since you were in school, and resources like Codecademy, Udacity, Coursera, and Khan Academy are allowing kids to self-learn in ways that rivals, if not exceeds the traditional classroom-based formal education, but that's a completely different conversation.

As a sidenote, the bit about "Mindcraft API bs" is just...unnecessary. Most tools have their place. Minecraft is a very effective tool at fostering inspiration and talent into learning and understanding. Few ten year olds care about datatypes, objects, or the concept of a client/server architecture, but if you put those things into the context of making a mod for Minecraft, a solid percentage of them now care *a lot*. In my mind...that's a good thing.

Every 'real' software engineer I've run into has s switch in their thinking a couple years in at which point decision logic is not even second nature, but subconscious. You act like it's a skill, at the mature engineering level it's part of the autonomic nervous system of a computer scientist who writes software for a living.

That "subconcious level" understanding of programming has to start somewhere. By definition, a skill is the ability to do something well. To do something well, you have to start out by doing something poorly.

Obviously, someone in highschool encountering decision logic for the first time and going nuts with it in a virtual world isn't going to be working on the same level as a professional with years of experience under their belt. But given two applicants for an entry level position, one of whom has a degree, and the other has a degree and six or so years of "hobby programming" under their belt...guess which one I'm going to hire?

It's not you personally per se, but coders of your generation...

No. This isn't a question of generation. "My generation" is no more a single cohesive entity than "your generation" is. And just like your generation, each of us are individuals with different skills, weaknesses, and assumptions, just like you.

The kids who get interested in computer science, they start running into limits in their knowledge...like needing to store and fetch data. This prompts a search for ways of doing data management...which brings them to the concept of data structures. Giving kids a framework to explore the extent and limits of their knowledge (eg Minecraft modding) is a far better solution than brushing them off with "go write a real application". Responding to curiosity with a an intellectual put-down (instead of explaining *why* a concept is important) is precisely the reason many kids today think computer science is dry and boring.

Point of order, I was building application servers and prototyping electronics back before the Internet and cell phones were a thing. I just didn't jump into programming until the late '90s.

tl;dr: Encourage talent and inquisitiveness with knowledge and level-appropriate tools, don't stifle it with rhetoric.

Comment Re:Blacksmiths (Score 5, Informative) 255

Have to disagree with you here, as both a blacksmith and "one of today's kids".

Anvils are typically purchased, because "blacksmith" doesn't equate to "foundry".
Many kids today are just as, if not *more*, motivated to ask questions than the "older generation". This includes asking "how can I do something my IDE doesn't support".

Extra info on the blacksmith bit: most blacksmith shops are designed around the idea of forging metals, not smelting them. This is part of why a blacksmith's anvil was and is one of their most prized possessions...it used to be nearly irreplaceable. Current technology has made cheap anvils fairly available, but you can't just buy a 300 pound anvil at your local Home Depot.
The process of creating an anvil is one of the few things that you can't do with traditional blacksmith tools. If you have an anvil and a single hammer, all of your other tools can be made from bits of metal or bar/rod stock. Punches, tongs, other hammers...even the forge itself can be made by hand. But the anvil has to be a solid piece of metal, and the only way to do that is with a shop designed specifically for anvil making, or with modern metal casting equipment.

Moving on from the anvil bit to the "kids these days, gerrof mah lawn" bit...I would hazard that the typical distribution of interests has migrated outward in the bell curve. Technology today makes it easy for an unmotivated child to spend the majority of their day immersed in facebook/instagram/pinterest/twitter/etc. But it also makes it much easier for a motivated child to find knowledge.
An example from my personal experiences: I ran Minecraft servers for about 3 years, and had one of the more successful modded servers online in early to mid 2014. A lot of the players were in the 8-18 years old range. And quite a lot of them were interested in figuring out and using interesting game mechanics to their advantage. We're talking about kids in their early teens learning digital logic so that they can build a piston based elevator with floor selection buttons. I know more teenagers who have a solid grasp of programming decision logic because of ComputerCraft than I do professional programmers who learned via a 4 year computer science school.

Obviously, it's just my own personal experience. But I was one of the kids who started out with an IDE scratching out HTML, and now I'm a linux system administrator with four or so languages under my belt.

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller