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New versions of Direct X

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Whenever a new version of DirectX comes out, how do you update your knowledge? For example, when DirectDraw and Direct3D were mixed together, how can you learn the new code required?

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Most of the time, the changes aren''t that great.

There''s only really been two *big* changes over the years:

1) The introduction of DrawPrimitive instead of Execute Buffers in DirectX 5

2) The API clean up, merging of DD & D3D and introduction of shaders in DirectX 8

The other changes have been pretty minor in comparison.

For those I usually start with the "What''s New" section of the docs and the Readme file. Just to get an overview of what''s likely to affect me or my code.

From there I look closely at the docs for the individual changes to see how things differ between versions - what new features I get, why the change makes sense etc.

After that it''s on to the sample code. For major API/setup changes, the Tutorial samples are a good place to get the hang of things. Then move on to the samples.

Finally I try retrofitting an old application of my own or creating a simple application from scratch.

Real knowledge of caveats, tricks etc only comes from actually using those features - and will take time!.

Simon O''Connor
ex -Creative Asylum
Programmer &
Microsoft MVP

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Most little changes probably won''t effect you anyway. I''m still using books for DirectX 8 because it tends to be the more advanced things that I haven''t got up to learning yet that gets changed. The basic things you need in all programs don''t tend to change at all because they had to get them right first.

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