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Where does the WeiDU language come from?

AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
I'm learning the basics of IE modding, including some basics of the WeiDU language, and I'm quite curious about the origins of this language. Did Weimer create it from scratch or did he use another language as a starting point? I've heard that it's based on C, but it doesn't really look much like C. So where does it come from?



  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    Thanks, @CamDawg, that's very interesting. Did he ever mention whether he based WeiDU on some other language?

    And, by the way, is this our messiah?

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,394
    Yep, that's Wes--I actually just exchanged emails with him a few weeks ago. As for your actual question, I'm afraid I have no idea.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    Would Weimer be available for some chat about this?

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,394
    You could certainly try emailing him, but he hasn't actually been involved in the community for... geez, over a decade at this point.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    I might give it a shot.

    Anyway, how did things change with WeiDU? How did modders do their modding before the WeiDU language was available?

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,648
    With older, somewhat sloppy tools like DLTCEP and more ancient versions of other things like NearInfinity which did not have nearly the options available these days. For my very first attempts at editing things--way back in 2001--I would extract .itm or .spl files then use a hex editor. *That* was time consuming, let me assure you.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    Wow, this is so interesting, it's like a thriller movie! So how did all of this develop? How did WeiDU transform from a utility meant to help with a personal mod into the big thing it is today?

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,139
    jcompton posted reviews of this time but I can't seem to find the posts, what a shame.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,139
    Raduziel wrote: »
    I think that every modder should pay a beer to Wes.

    The poor man! And his poor liver. But yes, I understand and agree to the sentiment.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,455
    @CamDawg who are the three gibberlings?

    I imagine that they are you plus two other people.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    edited May 17
    All these stories highlight the difficulty of modding the Infinity engine and the talent required to do it well. It looks like it has been mainly a process of reverse engineering, unlike the modding of more modern game engines, which were designed with modders in mind from the beginning.

    My intuition, though, is that all the modding would be much easier if the source code of the game was available to modders. Is that correct? If so, what would be the forces acting for and against it?

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,139
    @Alonso If I know it right, Baldur's Gate is owned in parts by Atari, Wizards of the Coast, Bioware/EA, and somewhat also BeamDog.
    Good luck with trying to get access to the source code..

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,455
    edited May 17
    @CamDawg Thanks for the explanation :)

    @jastey I wish IWD2's source code was kept like this.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 172
    This is such interesting history, practically novel or script worthy.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    I never understood that determination to keep the source code secret (I'm talking about software in general). People who want to use software in illegal ways do it anyway, whether you release the source code or not. Specially in cases like this one I don't see how it would lead to a revenue loss. But then again I've never been good with economics.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    edited May 18
    I guess at this stage having the source code would not mean massive progress for modders, but according to @CamDawg it would still help modders to do a few neat things. And, you know, if there are no disadvantages... Why not? Maybe the only reason the source code is not released is that nobody has asked yet...

  • ckoeckoe Member Posts: 22
    edited May 18
    CamDawg wrote: »
    For the players, it could be that they don't know about it or find it too hard to use; I don't really know.

    From my rather limited experience from two years back it was still a bit rough to get GemRB to work as a normal player. Also, I does not officially support the EEs (yet) ?

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 699
    CamDawg wrote: »
    It wasn't really until you hit DLTCEP and Near Infinity that you started having tools that could handle everything.
    What's the story of DLTCEP and Near Infinity? Looks like they are the same kind of tool, but one of them became so successful while the other didn't receive so much love in the end...

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,128
    edited May 22
    Releasing the source code would enable unrestricted piracy and therefore deal a crippling blow to profits that a small company like Beamdog could not survive. It would put the company in serious financial jeopardy. Definitely never going to happen.

    I stopped using DLTCEP because of an issue with Windows Vista or Windows 7 and its inability to let DLTCEP modify anything unless I disabled a process that might well break my computer beyond repair, and because Near Infinity at the time had at least one important function (I forget which) that DLTCEP did not. Near Infinity loads up a little slower, but its search functionality is far superior, so even with Windows 10, I see no reason to switch back to DLTCEP.

    Plus, Near Infinity had a better name.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,455
    I prefer DLTCEP's interface. I think it is more user-friendly.

    But NI's resources goes above and beyond. It is way easier to navigate from a .spl to a .itm to a .pro to a .cre etc...

    And NI is way more stable. DLTCEP crashes 3 in 10 times I use it.

    My main issue with NI is that it doesn't display the name of things, just the code. So if I want to mod Belhifet I can't look for Belhifet's name, I have to previously know the name of its .cre file... and to find it look into DLTCEP what makes me end up editing things in there.

    The same thing happens with items and spells. I just get back to NI when I'm using some specific opcodes that aren't properly covered by DLTCEP yet.

    (Probably there's some config in NI to make the names appear but I wasn't able to find it so far).

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