The importance of static code analysis is already a well known thing in the domain of software development. There are plenty of useful and less useful tools for the purpose, especially in the case of C++. However, even if in general the quality of these softwares is adequate they usually suffer from the inability for extending or customizing behavior. Also, a usual problem arises from the fact that the C++ language syntax is overwhelmingly complex and it makes the code parser of any static analysis tool a nightmare. In this article I would like to present a tool called CppDepend that gracefully solves the aforementioned problems primarily focusing on providing an interface that enables 100% adaptability and extensibility for creating customized metrics that are relevant or applicable in a particular domain.
Nowadays comprehensive testing is a must for any software product. However, it isn’t such a general rule when it comes to graphics applications. Many developers face difficulties when they have to test their rendering codes. Manual tests and visual feedback is sometimes satisfactory but if one would like to have automated regression tests usual approaches seem to fail. Even if at first sight unit testing of rendering code doesn’t look really straightforward, in fact it is. OpenGL is not an exception from this rule as well. In this article I would like to briefly present a few methods how to unit test OpenGL rendering code and also present my choice and the reasons behind the decision.
Those who worked enough with C or other procedure oriented languages know how much flexibility callbacks provide. The simplest example is the qsort function of the C standard library. It is also not unintentional that many libraries, windowing system APIs and operating system APIs also highly rely on callbacks to pass a particular task over to another program module and it is one of the fundamental tools needed to implement an event-driven application. At the same time, object oriented languages does not directly support the concept of callbacks as they don’t really fit into the paradigms used by these languages. Fortunately, even if not as a language feature, all object oriented languages support a similar facility like callbacks in the form of delegates.
Since the appearance of Shader Model 4.0 people wonder how to take advantage of the newly introduced programmable pipeline stage. The most important feature enabled by geometry shaders is that one can change the amount of emitted primitives inside the pipeline. The first thing that a naive developer would try to do with it is geometry tesselation. However, the new shader performs very bad when used for tesselation in a real life scenario even though there are demos show casting this possibility. If we take a closer look at the new feature we observe that the most revolutionary in it is not that it can raise the number of emitted primitives but that it can discard them. This article would like to present a rendering technique that takes advantage of this aspect of geometry shaders to enable the GPU accelerated culling of higher order primitives.
Previously I talked about how one can easily take advantage of multiprocessing using OpenMP. Even if the C pragmas introduced by the parallel programming API standard is very straightforward for simple programs, it simply doesn’t fit nicely in a complex C++ application that is built from the ground with the OOP in mind. To smoothly introduce OpenMP into such projects one need higher level constructs that hide the actual implementation details. This is the first article of a series that will try to provide reference implementations of such an abstraction. First, we will start with synchronizable primitives that try to reflect the functionality provided by the “synchronized” statement of Java.
There was always big need for libraries that provide an abstract interface towards the basic platform specific facilities that are necessary for setting up an execution environment for a particular application. In the OpenGL world one of the first such libraries was GLUT. After a while more and more functionalities were put into these libraries that reflect more or less the requirements of application developers. One such framework is SDL. It seems that SDL is still the most respected one of these and it is preferred by the developer community. However, in this topic I will present an alternative that proved its superiority to me in the last few months…
As far as I can tell people still prefer using python for scripting in their Delphi projects. This is probably because python scripting in Delphi has a long history and it is a proven method with easy integration. What if I would tell you that there is a free solution which enables you to write also your scripts in pascal? A few years ago I discovered an alternative that makes this possible. This highly influenced my vision about the importance of scripting. Since that I accompanied all my hobby projects with full scripting support.
Multiprocessing has been there for decades as a premium feature for enterprise applications but adopting this technology still brings huge burden to software companies that still maintain and develop legacy code. Nowadays, as most commodity hardware already have highly parallelized architectures, a modern application is almost unimaginable without proper multi-threading capabilities even if we talk about text editor or a multimedia application. The transition from traditional software development to multiprocessing is not an easy and painless task. Fortunately we have such tools in our hand like OpenMP.
OpenGL 3.1 introduced two new sources from where shaders can retrieve their data, namely uniform buffers and texture buffers. These can be used to accelerate rendering when heavy usage of application provided data happens like in case of skeletal animation, especially when combined with geometry instancing. However, even if the functionality is in the core specification for about a year now, there are few demos out there to show their usage, as so, there is a big confusion around when to use them and which one is more suitable for a particular use case.
Many people are looking for information about which particular C++ unit testing framework they should use for their project and there are also many articles discuss the topic but few articles talk about mock frameworks which are even more important factor when applying unit testing in practice and they have much greater effect on the productivity when doing test-driven development.