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Journal #8

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Howdy GameDev.net! Welcome to 2017!

It's been tough finding time over the last month, December is a tough month to carve out personal time. That's not to say I didn't get anything done, just not a whole lot in my hobby code. I was hoping to have some more time during my Christmas vacation but instead spent most of it sightseeing Seattle with my girlfriend. And I seem to have picked up a bit of a bug on our way back and writing code while sick and/or medicated is tough.

The thing that I did get accomplished was a small refactor of my input code. When I had originally written it, I had included an API for working with keybindings. But since I wasn't actually using it anywhere it wasn't really battle-tested as it were. My input library included an enumeration for identifying the actions to be bound to, but that wasn't really extensible or flexible enough to be used in multiple projects without hard-coding game-specific references into the library. So I rewrote that API so that instead of mapping an enumeration to keys, I map strings to key combinations. Well not arbitrary key combinations, just a key plus some combination of alt, control and shift.

As with all things programming, this worked pretty well except for one tiny detail. It turned out that (given the way I wanted to be able to write the client code) if I had two bindings, one bound to and one bound to + , then pressing the + would trigger both bindings! Imagine pressing ctrl+c to copy some text and it also added a 'c' to the document. That wouldn't do.

My current solution is a priority system based on the number of modifiers. The potential downside is that when checking a particular keybinding, I also need to check all other keybindings associated with the same key and more associated modifiers. 'Potential' downside, at worst there are currently only 8 possible combinations of keys possible for any given key with modifiers. It's currently only 8 because I don't make any distinction between the left & right versions of the modifier keys. I don't expect anyone would every possibly bind all eight combinations of a key to a game command, but even in the worst case checking 8 combinations shouldn't be a big deal. Anyway, the priority mechanism means that if there is a key-binding for + and it's down, then anything bound to just won't be triggered. Similarly if ++ is down, then + won't be triggered. And this is just for active keybindings, so if the only thing bound to is without any modifiers, holding down one of the modifier keys will have zero effect on the input reporting.

Here's looking forward to much new code in 2017!

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December is a minefield. Happy to hear you made it thru and 2017 looks promising.

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