Thursday, November 17, 2011

Project Visual: Report 1

So, my first report is a couple of days late, but apart from that Im off to a pretty good start.

Have done some research into the tech we might need for the visualizer, and apart from that I've been giving a little thought to code design and...fighting the visual studio 2010 installer...

Last week
The interesting stuff first. My research covered two areas, namely what tech to use for the graphics themselves, and how dynamic load works in C#.
The original plan was to use openGL for the graphics, since it is a well supported and platform independent library. The only problem is that it did not have C# bindings, and solving that problem on our own is something i think we might do best to avoid if possible.
Looking for an easy solution for this, i found openTK, and open source C# library that wraps openGL, openAL and openCL. Just what the doctor ordered, and more.
So this seems to be our choice for now (until maby we find some big dealbreaking issue with it or until we find something better).

This bring me to the (rather short for now) point of code design. The idea is to not have the the graphics library tightly integrated directly into the plugin system, but rather to have a class in between so that we may more easily replace openTK should the need arise.

I have just touched the subject of dynamic load, but it seems really easy to do.

Challenges
Lastly i have been setting up the development environment. This meant getting a copy of visual studio 2010. After several failed attempts at installing (a perfectly legitimate copy) as well as some digging around in developer forums to find a solution to the problem it turned out i had to download a trial version and then unlock it with the version i had...fun times.

This week
Getting to know the Stoffi code and brushing up on my C# a bit. Reading up on how to do dynamic load a bit more. If i have time i will start doing some experimentation and I will at least get a little coding started (in fact, the first lines have already been written, though it doesn't do anything yet).

Challenges
The biggest hurdle for me is likely going to be C#, as it has been at least three years or so since i last used it. Not at all worried though, and i expect to be running at full speed ahead in no more than a week or two.