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Next DirectX leaving pre-XP unsupported

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What do people think about the next version of DirectX not supporting Windows 2k (I assume that this means Windows 95 or 98 won't be supported either)? I read this in the December SDK readme I think. I still use a ~7-year old 333Mhz computer with a 'new' NVidia FX 5200 graphics card running Windows 2000, so I'm sure other people will be. I suppose I will have to do a survey to see what my target market use, but I am a bity concerned with this news.

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There is no next version of DirectX. MS is creating a new graphics API. DirectX will still be included for older games but new games being developed should use the new API.

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I disagree. DirectX will always be available, but features of new videocards will not be accessible on old OSes. In my opinion, that's the saddest thing, because if you think about it, OpenGL will be updated through extensions on the older OSes.
But I don't actually think Microsoft will leave this problem open, they'll find a way.

And it's a fact, if you're not using XP, you're not using Windows (anymore). [rolleyes]

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The next SDK release won't official support Win2K. It might work, but they're not going to test it. *THIS ONLY MEANS THE SDK* The runtimes, and thus your games, will still support Win2K (and possibly older OSes).

This is Microsoft's way of forcing developers to upgrade. Just developers. Eventually you'll start using the new features and end users will have to upgrade.

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I was a little disappointed to hear that since I exclusively use Windows 2000. Has anyone compared developing for DirectX using Windows 2k and WIndows XP?

I am a little biased against XP since it sems like Microsoft is making their product more and more similar to the crappy and useless Apple interface. I would rather cut my wrists than touch a Mac again.

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Quote:
Original post by Namethatnobodyelsetook
The next SDK release won't official support Win2K. It might work, but they're not going to test it. *THIS ONLY MEANS THE SDK* The runtimes, and thus your games, will still support Win2K (and possibly older OSes).

This is Microsoft's way of forcing developers to upgrade. Just developers. Eventually you'll start using the new features and end users will have to upgrade.


Thanks for pointing that out!

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Quote:
Original post by Namethatnobodyelsetook
This is Microsoft's way of forcing developers to upgrade. Just developers. Eventually you'll start using the new features and end users will have to upgrade.


Actually it would have more to do with cost. While the overall market cannot be expected to be running the lastest software (or rather, not running a half decade old version of an operating system), forcing the company to spend money to ensure compatiblity through QA, with smaller performance segments it can (along the same lines Windows server line doesn't need to have the broad hardware support of the consumer line, allowing resources to be spent hardening it under a small number of possible configurations, rather then trying to make it work under all possible configurations)

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Quote:
Original post by yzzid
I was a little disappointed to hear that since I exclusively use Windows 2000. Has anyone compared developing for DirectX using Windows 2k and WIndows XP?

XP is more stable and performs better than 2k (providing the required resources are there). I haven't touched 2k in quite some time.

Quote:

I am a little biased against XP since it sems like Microsoft is making their product more and more similar to the crappy and useless Apple interface.

You can turn off all the GUI extras that were introduced in XP so it looks identical to 2k.

Quote:
I would rather cut my wrists than touch a Mac again.

Have you considered therapy?

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Quote:
Original post by yzzid
I was a little disappointed to hear that since I exclusively use Windows 2000. Has anyone compared developing for DirectX using Windows 2k and WIndows XP?

I am a little biased against XP since it sems like Microsoft is making their product more and more similar to the crappy and useless Apple interface. I would rather cut my wrists than touch a Mac again.

I have developed on both, and I never really noticed any difference at all, from a developer's standpoint. Also, how does a more attractive UI make it more similar to Apples? I for one am tired at looking at the completely square, grey, and ugly UI, especially when I see other OS's that are very attractive (and not just Apple - many Linux distros are very sleek and easy on the eyes, as well).

If you don't like the default styles that come with XP, install your own. There are literally hundreds of thousands out there on the web. It's just a matter of personal preference.

Quote:
There is no next version of DirectX. MS is creating a new graphics API. DirectX will still be included for older games but new games being developed should use the new API.

Where did you hear this from? The next version of DirectX (called DX10/DirectXNext/Whatever-is-catchy-this-week) will ship after Longhorn is released. This is because Avalon is being developed on an enhanced DX9 (they need something stable to build it on - building betas on other betas doesn't work [lol])

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Original post by circlesoft
Where did you hear this from? The next version of DirectX (called DX10/DirectXNext/Whatever-is-catchy-this-week) will ship after Longhorn is released. This is because Avalon is being developed on an enhanced DX9 (they need something stable to build it on - building betas on other betas doesn't work [lol])


It's now called the WGF (Windows Graphics Foundation)... aka, DirectX 10!

Really, as if MS is going to completely ditch all the work they've done on DX and start from scratch. It's just being rebranded and most likely reorganized and refactored to remove all the crud they've probably been wanting to remove but couldn't for compatibility reasons, and most likely adding better 2D support since it'll also replace GDI as the workhorse. But I imagine most of the underlaying code will be the same.

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Hmm i was under the impression that window grafick foundation was win32 api as but enhanced and that XNA was thair new crossplatform Gameprogramming api.

But if xna aint new DX what is XNA then?

just wondering.

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Original post by nuvem
It's now called the WGF (Windows Graphics Foundation)... aka, DirectX 10!

No, WGF is the new graphics-component of DirectX. Many people refer to DirectX, when they really mean D3D. DX is a collection of multimedia components, one of them being Direct3D (and in the future, WGF).

Also, WGF 1.0 is the super-set of DX9 that will ship with Longhorn. It is being used for the Avalon presentation model, and will have inhanced 3D-rendering capability for the new GUI. WGF 2.0 is the graphics component that will ship with DX10.

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Quote:
Original post by nuvem
It's now called the WGF (Windows Graphics Foundation)... aka, DirectX 10!

Really, as if MS is going to completely ditch all the work they've done on DX and start from scratch. It's just being rebranded and most likely reorganized and refactored to remove all the crud they've probably been wanting to remove but couldn't for compatibility reasons, and most likely adding better 2D support since it'll also replace GDI as the workhorse. But I imagine most of the underlaying code will be the same.

There are big changes in the driver model which will affect a lot of the code. I'm sure they haven't thrown everything out and started from scratch but it is more of a major overhaul than just a rebranding. It's probably the biggest change at the driver / OS level in Direct3D's history.

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D'ya think that they meant only WGF will be supported on XP, not the new SDK updates, which come out every 2 months. I assume they will continue to come out until 2006?

Would it be a massive overhaul to convert D3D code to use WGF? Do you think M$ will be nice enough to give us a converter or something?

Side note: how do you get shader debugging to install - yes I have got the Dec SDK installed but there was no option. Please don't tell me I need VS professional instead of standard!

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Hi,
I used Windows98 for my first fame Engine. And I was comfortable and didn't want to change. But then I had to install my engine in a NT environment and it was a disaster. Many memory errors appeared.

So, I decided to switch to Win2K and I loved it. I debbuged lots of memory bugs that never appeared with Win98. I got so used to W2K than when XP came out I didn't wanted to install it. Even when a friend had tested it (he used 3DStudioMax a lot) and had a very high opinion on it I simply refused to install it.

One day I has a Lan Party and my W2K collapsed. There was no W2K install disc available so a friend told me to install a XP just for that night. So I did so and... I used and used it and now theres no way I get back to W2K.

Same with Visual Studio. I used VC6.0. About the time I switched to XP I won a contest and the prize was a new VStudio.Net. I installed it just to test. And I wanted to uninstall it after an hour of testing (really hated it), but don't know why I kept it. I recently installed a VC6 at work just to fix a DLL... and now I hate VC6. Leave me with my .Net.

So whats my point? I have learned that old tech is that... old. So no point sticking with it. When Longhorn comes out... I'll run and but a copy, and a copy of the net VStudio, and install any new SDK and adapt my engine to it. I won't look back to XP.

And about XNA. Its not DX. XNA is a standard and tools to support that standars. Microsoft is trying to create a standard that may be adopted by all hardware and software manufacturers. Say... all joysticks/joypads use a USB interface so they can be used in XBox or in a PC or in PS2 or in Gamecube so the player can use his/her preferred control.

Same in software. All physics engines should expose the same functions with the same names and parameters that will do the same calculations. All math libraries should expose exactly the same functions. But the standard wont tell HOW to program or optimize it, so each developer can decide the internal way to handle everything.

The idea is not new. Sun has the so called Reference Documents that describe each new java API and which functions it should expose. Each document is discussed by many people for a long time in order to define an architecture able to handle each task. That way anyone can develop that library but it should comply with the reference document. As a developer, I think this would be a great idea if applied to game development.

The idea behind XNA is that engines can work as plugins. So, if I need a physics engine in my game, I can switch from Havoc to Newton Game Dynamics because they both will have the same interface. I can switch from the FarCry engine to the Doom3 engine and my game will still keep running. I can recompile my code in an engine specific to GameCube and then in an engine specific for PS2 and my game will run.

Unfortunately other houses haven't answered to the MS call (and that has logic as I don't think MS will propose a standar without some way to control it legally) and thats why now we have GLSL and HLSL and game programmers have to create shaders for each API instead of working on the same standar (even the nVidia CG initiative has freezed on this point).

I think this unification requires a lot of investmentin time ans resources, but MS isn't called M$ for nothing.

Luck!
Guimo

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Quote:
Original post by DrGUI
D'ya think that they meant only WGF will be supported on XP, not the new SDK updates, which come out every 2 months. I assume they will continue to come out until 2006?

Would it be a massive overhaul to convert D3D code to use WGF? Do you think M$ will be nice enough to give us a converter or something?

Side note: how do you get shader debugging to install - yes I have got the Dec SDK installed but there was no option. Please don't tell me I need VS professional instead of standard!


WGF will most likely only be supported from XP and up, it is just an educated guess.

I believe DX will be supported until the release of WGF, after which support will be dropped just like previous versions of DX and Windows Game SDK before that. Only serious bugs or security issues may be dealt with I think.

I don't think MS will release a converter so you will probably have to deal with the new API yourself. If you have planned for a API independent path from the beginning it will be easier to deal with. If not, well ...
I believe it will not be too hard to convert to the new API.

Shader debug

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Cool discussion, thanks guys/(girls?)

Esp MichaelT: as long as the device is similar and has reset, lost and destroy I don't think I'll have too much trouble converting ;-} Also, I have looked at the docs, but that option just isn't on VC# 2003 Standard :-[

I don't care about the user interface too much as long as it's easy to use. I find massive icons and simplified control panel annoying - am I a geek?! (yeah I know you can turn them off, but I still deride them!)

I'm only 15.5 and doing my GCSEs - so I'm not rich and successful like you ppl! (well - a few A*s, As and top-of-classes in my mock results so far)Hopefully my parents with buy me a new computer soon!

Thanks for the interesting discussion - I've learnt some new stuff.

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