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bdcroteau

Member Since 23 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Feb 14 2013 01:17 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: saving arrays to a database

11 November 2011 - 01:09 PM

When I was doing SQL-type work last year I was serializing datasets and sending them over a network. The serialization used something called XSLT (I think) to translate the serialized XML into a more readable format, and back. The actual output xml was used in conjunction with a Visual Studio tool called XSD to generate a schema file and then C# classes. I think I used:

xsd Data.xml
xsd /classes /namespace:YourNamespaceHere Data.xsd

This type of technique could be automated with a shell script I am sure and maybe generated/executed at runtime. I am not a very experienced developer so I can't say for sure. But if you are interested it might be an idea to look into the xsd.exe documentation on MSDN.

Either way, it was for a business application and I am not sure if it is efficient enough to use in a real game.

In Topic: About Face

09 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

If concerned about interaction design, then asking whether a token field is a suitable solution would be a better question. How it's implemented is a technical detail and not something that ID or UX does.

true object oriented design often takes a back seat to the demands of the implementation


OOD is said to be sound if it suitably models the target domain. Current frameworks, such as WinAPI, WinForms or similar model the WIMP paradigm, which is essentially unchanged since it was invented in 1960s. That one in turn was influenced by interfaces of the time - boards of switches and dials.

Once upon a time, there was VisiCalc. It wasn't great, it ran on 8-bit hardware on 40x25 screen, in monochrome. Yet it was an instant hit among population that never saw a computer before. Why? Because people got it. They didn't need training, they knew what a spreadsheet was, they used them every day and now it was on screen. Between many radical and improved approaches to spreadsheet software, Lotus 1-2-3 eventually took over, despite being the "poorest" of alternatives. Again - users just got it. It didn't try to pretend to be something different, it simply was a spreadsheet.

Today's APIs arose around such expectations. We still have windows, icons and pointers.

Web changed a few things. Despite having probably the most broken development model and lacks any kind of standardization, it iterated into usable and familiar from. Single, two or 3 column layouts, expectations on navigation, content density as well other details about how documents are presented and navigated, it eventually built upon the newspaper layout. It can be argued that it's not the best we could do and better alternatives exist, but it's familiar to users.

Of more radical changes, Apple is the clear winner. They are first to successfully break the WIMP concept through introduction of touch and gestures, completely redesigning what users expect from applications, yet managed to deliver it in, again, familiar form.


Note that in none of these cases the APIs matter. Computers still do the same basic things. They read inputs, then render either shapes, text or blit squares. So the fundamental APIs are perfectly fine.


An important aspect of usability is also in details. Controls provided by frameworks today do a lot. Stuff many never heard about and wouldn't unless they try to implement them. How is a font defined, the impact of kerning, line breaks, word wrap. When to overflow, when to truncate. What about other languages, BiDi, top down, symbol selections, various IMEs, the proper scaling depending on DPI setting of desktop synchronized to mouse or other input DPI, proper alpha blending based on monitor gamma profile, lcd/led specific aliasing, .... the list goes on and on - and to make use of all of this, the combined effort of decades of experience provided by hundreds of millions of users, all you have to do is type "new TextBox()".


It's a big but mostly "soft" field. There are no absolutes, emotions and impressions matter as much as marketing and price and depend on each other.

Simplified and approachable forms of interaction design are present in progressive web development today in forms of designer templates and metrics analysis. Desktop has been somewhat stagnant, but at least it offers vast array of pre-packaged controls out-of-box, which offer a familiar experience to typical users.

What are your thoughts/opinions and have you applied any of the techniques described in the book?


I listened to a presentation given by people from a company that specializes on these topics as part of marketing efforts on web. One of the points they raised was that a requirement is to be lacking hair. Or - it's a field for seasoned veterans with 15+ years of cross-disciplinary experience. It's simply not something you walk into, write a few lines of code and call it a day.

I don't remember which site exactly, might be NYT, might be some other similar site has 50+ department dedicated to nothing but UX. Some companies have hundreds employed in similar roles and they aren't even classified under IT or programming, despite being concerned primarily with web design.


A very well-written and intriguing response. I suppose it's what they call "standing on the shoulders if giants."

And VReality, is that a complement? :o

In Topic: Mana++: A RPG Spell Creation Language

07 November 2011 - 06:33 PM

What about function pointers, lambda expressions and closures?

In Topic: Full Screen/Post Processing PS On SDK CubeMap Example

25 October 2011 - 10:57 AM

I think you guys are completely misunderstanding what I originally asked for. All I am trying to do IS render a quad to the screen and apply a pixel shader to it.

Seriously guys, I learned HLSL in like 5 minutes doing the tutorials included inside Shazzam. I spent weeks trying to learn Joomla with absolutely no web experience whatsoever, I even asked on their forums for tutorials that give instructions, and I got similar responses. I told them: I don't need implementation specific details, all that stuff should be abstracted far beyond what is seen by the user." It was only after I found some videos with step by step instructions on what to DO that I began to understand how it worked internally. And I was using some pretty nifty features after just watching about an hour of tutorials.

I understand that you guys think the introductions are widely available, but as I said they are not good enough because they lack a key element: interaction. http://www.rastertek.com/dx11tut01.html contains a "To do list" at the bottom, and while there is only one, I'll have to give it the benefit of the doubt for now. In the end that's the kind of guided experience I am looking for. And while I think Zern is a troll I have to thank him for posting this. It was not one of the tutorials I found while searching by myself.

In Topic: Full Screen/Post Processing PS On SDK CubeMap Example

24 October 2011 - 08:34 PM

Basically what everyone is saying is that there is wisdom in not trying to be a good teacher and not trying to improve the learning process because the status quo has the advantage of teaching people how to learn without teachers. To me this seems absurd.

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