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Re: Best API?

On 21 Oct, Gareth Noyce wrote:
> Quick question.
> I've got a project designed, strictly 2D sprite based with the need for fast
> blitting and frame buffering. Think of Pang and you'd be close enough (bar
> sprite numbers) to my needs. I'd also like some color layering (transluscent
> sprite overlays) and preferably the automatic masking of sprites (say
> dropping of color #0 ala the Amiga - cos I can't be arsed to write it
> myself! ;-)
> I have no real desire for cross platform. I'm not planning to release on
> anyhing other than x86 Linux. I also /don't/ want it running in X. This is
> gonna be strictly console based (cos X games annoy the hell out of me)...
> Now Svgalib looks like it could do the job (and it can handle the masking
> requirements) but I understand the suid of processes is a pain for the end
> user, and during development can lead to some hairy crashes (but hey - I'm
> ex windoze...)
> GGI also looks easy from the setup and frame buffer side of things, but from
> what I've seen doesn't have any masking built in?!
> I'd like opinions on the best API. I've seen four or five, all have pros and
> cons, but I'd like to hear from people that have actually done some code.
> What do you guys prefer? Whats the quickest IYHO? What has the most inbuilt
> sprite functionality?!
> Thanks for your time and contributions
> Gareth Noyce
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I've only started coding in it for the last few days but I decided to
give Clanlib a spin.  So far its been pretty easy to load tga files with
alpha channels (created by me poorly abusing the gimp).  Other image
formats were supported, but PNG in particular wasn't quite working with
alpha.  It has a layer manager class which can track and move multiple
layers of images. (useful for my tile based world map) and its in C++
(my lang preference).  It also seems to contain sprite classes which I
haven't played with yet.  This was version 0.1.19 of the lib that I've
been playing with.  I guess they're just starting to wring out a 0.3.n
version of the lib which might have a scripting language interface
built in (Lua IIRC)  All this is at least double buffered (I don't know
if triple buffering is availiable offhand).  

Features I haven't played with yet are that it draws to X and fbcon. 
Well, I haven't used the fbcon part. Supposedly plays alright with
openGL and can render to GGI.

So far I'm pretty happy with Clanlib.  It seems to have the basic
features I want to use with extra features like sound and networking
classes that I can grow into.  Coding has been pretty simple with a
decent mix of control and convenience.

Hope this helps a little,

Alan Chen
Aerospace Simulation Engineer and Recovering Linux Newbie
Now Running: Redhat 6.0 + Tweaks