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Re: a book or tutorial

On Tue, 27 Mar 2001, Achilles wrote:

> 	I had a talk today with a professor from the computer science division
> of my university and he told me that sometimes we may know a lot about
> some more advanced subjects, but at the same time loose some really
> practical knowledge about the really basic stuff. And that this
> knowledge proves very useful when we really get down and dirty with
> algorithms and techniques.

I can totally agree (in principle) about algorithms and knowing about the
basics. Read Folye and van Dam for that. Most of the stuff Mike Abrash do
is in there, although he implements and optimizes it wildly.

In practice, I would say that today you have very little reason to know
about how to scanconvert your own lines using only integer arithmics, etc.
If you are not (somehow) using hardware for this (even in 2d), you are
doing something wrong. (Exceptions are if you are writing a general
purpose library, like Mesa, or the GIMP or something similar).

I am not saying that it is not nice to know about CPU's (n'stuff). You
should know enough to be able to profile your program and lay out your
data structures in "cache-friendly" ways.

But, reading 500 pages about optimizing stuff for the intel 286, 386, 486
and pentium (I) is almost a waste of time these days. Doing assembler for
a linux game is quite silly, IMHO, unless you have very special
needs. Reading about abusing VGA hardware is just a complete waste of time

BTW: I have the greatest respect for Mike Abrash's work. I just don't
think its worth investigating it today. Unless you have a special interest
in these kind of things. The time spent reading about optimizing a texture
mapper for a 386 is just better spent profiling your own code, and making
sure you understand and use your graphics library as optimal as possible.


Mads Bondo Dydensborg.                               madsdyd@challenge.dk
I'd say that Microsoft has every right to expect a user to buy a license
for each computer that the software will be installed on. And I tend to get
especially annoyed by proponents of MS software who essentially bootleg a
great deal of it; it's like a person who will only drive Porsches, but
obtains them through theft.
                           -- DrCode

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