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Re: On state and sorting.

Steve Baker wrote:
> "Adam D. Moss" wrote:
> > even *redundant* changes
> > are very expensive, like binding the same texture twice
> > in a row or glEnable()ing GL_TEXTURE_2D when it's
> > already enabled.  Ugh.
> Yes - it's frighteningly bad.
> It's a hard call for an OpenGL implementor.  If he
> checks for redundant state changes then programs that
> are careful to avoid them actually run more slowly.

I understand and even support this approach in an API.  I
really wanted to expand upon something I read in an OpenGL FAQ
(paraphrased: "your opengl implementation will probably
optimize-away redundant state change, but you should try
to avoid such changes anyway because they've never good") as
a word of warning.

I've also been looking into the problem of context grouping
(rather than sorting).  It's really an interesting problem,
and I'm amazed that there seems to be no online literature
that I can find which documents algorithms for grouping
identical values while disregarding the relative positions
of these groups.  I can hash the values which will coarsely
group them (O(1) per insertion), but then I'd still need to sort
the bucket-chains (which will likely be shorter so the 'n'
will be lower which will be important if I'm using an exponential
O() function to sort them these buckets, but I may as
well just use a O(n) bucket-sort to begin with and in either
case I'm still back to the position where I'm using an
algorithm which does grouping as a side-effect of sorting,
rather than just getting the grouping effect which logically
surely has to be a cheaper effect).

Bleh, I say.

To re-state the problem, in context-sorting (texture ID
sorting, or whatever) the numerical position of a group
of equivilent contexts is unimportant, but their clumping
together is.

So, I'd like an algorithm that would know that this is
a good and finished state:
whereas an actual sorting algorithm would spend extra
effort re-arranging this already-good ordering to:

Well, I'm beginning to intuitively suspect that grouping
of an arbitrarily-sized range /has/ to be gotten as
a side-effect of sorting, or the algorithm won't know
how to find the group to put the value in, if you see
what I mean.  Unless someone has some great ideas I'll
stick with actual sorting.  But it IS an interesting
problem.  Or maybe it isn't!

Adam D. Moss    . ,,^^    adam@gimp.org    http://www.foxbox.org/   co:3

"all cake everywhere has died"