Editorial: Can't they just copy it from the PC?

"They already have it on PC, can't they just copy it from the PC?"


This is probably the biggest question I receive in the Powered by Redstone mailbox, next to when 0.9.0 is coming out. It usually comes from younger people who visit our site. We get asked constantly, "when are all the mobs coming to Pocket Edition, can't they just copy the code from the PC?" or "when is all the biomes coming to xbox, can't they just copy and paste it from the PC?

The answer is a resounding no. No they cannot. But to someone completely unfamiliar with the basics of programming, this usually doesn't help. So let's explain why.

You probably know what programs are (they are also called applications, usually on iOS and Mac). You probably think of Chrome, or Firefox, or a game as a program. Which it is. A program is just a set of instructions that your electronic device reads and follows. Those instructions can do anything from load our website on your phone to displaying a game.

Programs are written in more than one language, and a program can even use multiple languages at once. Popular programming languages include C++, C#, Java, C, Objective-C, and more. Every edition of Minecraft is written in a different language, to take advantage of whatever platform it's running on.

Minecraft PC is written in Java, which even though is extremely resource inefficient and not exactly designed to power video games, Mojang has decided to not change it because it would make modding more difficult (and also because it would take a very long time).

Minecraft Pocket Edition is written in C++, the console editions of Minecraft are written in C#. So as you can see, every Minecraft edition is written in a different programming language.

So we come back to our original point, why can't Mojang just copy features from one platform to another? Because in addition to converting it to another programming language, most of it has to be re-written anyways. For example, dimensions can't be copied from PC to Pocket Edition because Pocket Edition handles world files and multiplayer differently.

There are so many other examples, but you get the point. So no, Mojang can't just copy and paste stuff from the PC Edition to other platforms. Although many parts can certainly be re-used (like textures, and some other elements), most of it has to be re-written for each edition of Minecraft.

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17 comments

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#1 Mcpe News Source!
April 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM delete

I understood this before you put this up. But thanks for explaining to the young peeps of the community that it's not as easy as Just copying a pasting.

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Ghgore
April 26, 2014 at 2:25 PM delete

I'm pretty sure Mojang found a way to convert Java to C++, but the stuff from PC was just to intensive for mobile devices.

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Icyendercat
April 28, 2014 at 6:50 AM delete

Oooooh i didn't get that... thanks!

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Dr0.idninja
April 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM delete

This will never happen while I'm alive (I'm only twelve), but a code converter would be pretty sweet.

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April 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM delete

Programming language converters already exist.

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Dr0.idninja
April 28, 2014 at 12:05 PM delete

Mojang should use one that converts Java to C++. Unfortuneately right now I only know a little bit of C++, so this might be unpossible

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enderman872
April 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM delete

jeb mentioned tht on the livestream
how xbox is c+(etc) and as we all know
pc is java and i pretty sure pe is c

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enderman872
April 28, 2014 at 3:06 PM delete

try cutting and pasting those all 2gether

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enderman872
April 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM delete

when is a pi update coming out?
plz tell me

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April 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM delete

They haven't said anything about it for months :/

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Eragon1216
April 30, 2014 at 7:53 AM delete

This post is really funny to someone who learned how to program stuff 2 years ago

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Eragon1216
May 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM delete

I just find it amusing how 2 years ago I too would have wondered if you could copy code.

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Your Anti-Evil Twin
May 6, 2014 at 12:30 PM delete

U hate people and you will die someday evil clone I will GET YOU!!!

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kevin2314
May 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM delete

Same question isn't the iOS version written in objective-c, and wouldn't the android version be written in Java, seeing android apps are written in Java? I know iOS can handle c++ but it's more common to see iOS apps written in objective-c.

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Metaflyer
May 9, 2014 at 3:25 PM delete

PE is in C++

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Metaflyer
May 9, 2014 at 3:26 PM delete

And all console editions are C# (as said above)

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