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Re: Tools

Erik wrote:

> > When XFree86 4.0 hits the street, many games and SDKs will experience an
> > instant boost in performance. XFree86 is more in the "drivers" category
> > for this. If SDL uses XCopyArea to do its blitting, SDL apps will double
> > or triple their performance instantly, and maybe get up to 10 times the
> > performance if the video card has enough memory to get the pixmaps all
> > in there! But there is a problem with this, which I'll talk about later,
> > in the "MS-DOS syndrome" part...
> >
> a lot of people have been saying "when X4 is out", myself included. Now I'm
> wondering how much is hype? :)

Well, we know that for OpenGL-based applications, the DRI stuff
will make a profound difference.  Voodoo-3 and Banshee cards will
be able to render in-a-window at full speed - and the nVidia and
Matrox cards will be able to run at full speed without being
crippled by the GLX protocol stuff.

Dunno about the other improvements - but being a 3D person, I'm
very excited about the next release.
> I'd rather have a card that runs 90% solid than a card that runs 110% and
> buggy.

Indeed - and so would the games developers.  With the performance of
3D hardware doubling about every 6 months, having to delay a game until
your target audience has (on average) 20% more performance is only
a wait of a month or so.  On the other hand, an ugly bug in a program
that can't be worked around because it's the fault of the driver can
quite easily delay a game's release by more than a month!

This is especially true for the smaller games companies who will
have a harder time getting the board developers attention when
something goes wrong.

> 3d is sexy :) what's wrong with joystick support? do ya mean the kernel
> interface, or the drivers?

Probably the lack of support for USB sticks, digital sticks and
force-feedback sticks.  USB is likely to get solved VERY soon because
USP support is supposedly in the next Kernel rev.  Non-USB digital
sticks - and especially the force-feedback ones are VERY problematic
because Microsoft has the largest market share with those devices
and you can guess how enthusiastic they are about supporting a Linux
driver for them  :-)
> a few years back I developed on borland, and before that msvc++. When I
> switched 100% to linux, I had a real hard time adjusting. "where's the ide?
> where do I click to compile? where's the gui constructor?" I learned joe, then
> vim, I learned man, I learned qt and gtk+ and svgalib, and a little xlib and
> esd's api and joysticks and a few kagillion other things, and it took quite a
> while. Now when I try to use msvc++ (6.0) I get pretty frustrated pretty quick.
> The problems is the familiarity I think. I would think the emphasis should be
> stepping stones, not emulating their way...


> > Hmm, InterfaceBuilder on NextStep... MFC simplicity meet Unix excellent
> > design tradition, titillating! :-)
> >
> ok, I've done a lot of those api's, and I get a lot of "we can't find our bug,
> help us" crap. My personal flamebait opinion is that those "advanced" tools and
> "wizards" are *BAD*. They promote bad code style, they promote ignorance of how
> it really works, they promote m$-like products. I use toys like that when I
> need to slap out a quick prototype or I want to see how something would work,
> but when I put together the real code, I avoid the "automagick" shit as much as
> possible. (though I've been doing a lot with gtk+/gnome...)

Yep - and in any case, we are talking **GAMES** here.  How many commercial
games use any of that GUI stuff from the OS anyway?   Since Xmas, I've installed
RailRoad Tycoon, Quake-3, Civ and Heretic II - not *ONE* of them uses the
GUI provided by the OS.  They all have custom written GUI's that are utterly
unique to that specific game.

Games hardly do anything other than sound and graphics that envolves the OS.
(...well - maybe networking...)

Even when they are doing their graphics stuff, they are using a small subset
of the relevent API's.  Quake-3 only draws textured triangle strips - there
is probably 90% of the OpenGL API that it never uses.  2D games blit LOTS
of rectangular or non-rectangular sprites - but they don't need fancy API
to do that...it just needs to be blindingly fast.

Steve Baker                  http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
sjbaker1@airmail.net (home)  http://www.woodsoup.org/~sbaker
sjbaker@hti.com      (work)