Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fall back behaviour

I found an odd bug (?) when adding texturing support to glChess.

If you use a texture with dimensions of not 2^N the performance is complete crap. Now OpenGL requires textures with these dimensions but what I assume happens is if you don't provide them in that form it falls back to a software mode (maybe Mesa). Seems like good behaviour at a glance.

But it got me thinking - Is it always good to fall back like this? Yes it gives you maximum feature support (hopefully replacing the fall back functions with optimised ones) but it does make things confusing for the user/developer. I could not work out why things were so bad (and was trying all sorts of tricks to work out what it was) and it was only on a hunch that I found it. (I think I have found this issue perviously when developing).

What would have been nice is some sort of warning that this was occuring (not that I can think of a way to fit a warning like this into OpenGL).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Again Windows reminds me of its crapness

Every day I keep from using Windows the more I think "It's not _that_ bad, right?".

Well it never fails to suprise me.

So tonight I go into Windows and my wireless networking no longer works. Ok a bit of a pain but I'll delve in and fix it. So the windows wireless tool helpfully tells me it cannot configure my card and to use the configuration tool from the supplier. Ok why? Well you wouldn't actually want any useful pointers such as "I cannot configure it because this thing X has locked it". And none of the other tools seem to give any pointers (such as device manager, ipconfig). Eventually I found the Intel config tool (which had resumed control after I told it to piss off when I got the laptop) and got things working again. It's just so f**king frustrating how hard it is to find simple problems like this. And I have no confidence that the problem wont occur again.

Slick interfaces never cover up shoddy foundations.

As a side note there is an interesting bug - sometimes the display tool gets into a state where it says it is not connected to a network when it is. When you notice you do have a connection and ignore the feedback its fine but after a few minutes the connection times out and the tool disconnects itself. grr

I'm using an early version of NetworkManager in Linux and it looks really good. (I'll upgrade when the next Ubuntu comes out - I can't be bothered compiling the latest one).