A cornucopia of topics!

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, but a few other posts today have gotten me to change that now.  First David Weller tries answering the question “Does Managed DirectX discriminate against VB.NET Developers”..  Since he put me on the spot to answer it, i’ll do that first.

In short, no, of course not.  He hits the nail on the head that it’s mainly about time, and given my busy schedule, it’s quite difficult to get the stuff out that I do end up releasing.  It’s also at least partially about maintenance.  Considering in the past when we had VB.NET and C# version of the samples, the VB.NET versions were simply mirrors of the C# version.  Which means not only do you need to ‘write’ two versions of the same code (3 if you count the original unmanaged version), whenever any one of them changes, all of them must be updated..  It can become quite a bit of work when the samples are changing daily.

I’d also disagree with David’s assertion that you can’t possibly master DX without knowing C++, but the fact is the *majority* of our customers (the game developers) do know c++, C# is a more logical language to use as the starting block for the managed samples.  We will have a VB.NET sample in this upcoming release though.  Oh, and the original post that David quotes is using a bug that shipped in the summer 2004 release as the reason for the discrimination question..  It is just that, a bug.  One that has now been fixed and will be released soon.  We would *never* intentionally ‘break’ something out of spite or whatever the case may be.

So, to summarize, we have no intentional ‘discrimination’ against vb developers in the least.  In a perfect world, where I had infinite time, we would have thousands of samples, in all the languages available, but the fact is, it’s not a perfect world.  We’re trying to add new stuff (including VB samples) as we’re progressing.

David also mentioned Andy Dunn’s new web site on Managed DirectX.  It includes an interview with the lead developer on the first retail MDX game i posted about last time.  In his ‘disadvantages’ section, he lists a few problems he had with MDX, which were all based on the Summer 2003 version.  I believe that I addressed all of those in the latest version, but by all means, if people are seeing bugs and/or issues in the assemblies, please let me know.

Since i’m on a writing roll, let’s continue on to books..  The second book should be hitting store shelves ‘soon’ (it’s definitely already been sent to printing, i’m just not exactly sure when it’ll arrive on shelves).  However, the third book is a different story.  At this point in time, I simply do not have the time required to dedicate myself to writing that book.  I think it’s an important book that is written though, so I’m glad that one of my coworkers has picked up the project.  While it may be not be me writing the book or the code directly, I will be at least tangentally involved (he’s right down the hall from me after all).  The project has been left in good hands, and i’m excited to see the end result.

Oh, and unlike David, I haven’t found Half Life 2 to be all that great.  Sure, the graphics engine is *amazing*, but in reality, I’m so burnt out on first person shooters, I just get annoyed with the gameplay half the time..  I fully expect to get flamed for those last two sentences. =)  It would be hard to disagree with the statement on World of Warcraft though.  I find myself playing that way too often..  (Even though I was sad when they deleted my level 60 warlock from the closed beta)

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