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Forum Guidelines, Best Practices, Advice and FAQ (*updated 14/08/06*)

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Content updated on 14th August 2006 Same URL as before. Changes: 1) I've linked up most of the document. You can now click on a heading in the Table of Contents and jump straight to the entry. 2) At circlesoft's request, I've added Gen #3: How to solve a problem yourself. 3) As mentioned by jamesw, I've added codesampler.com to the web resources section. 4) I've added D3D #24: A perfect Direct3D9 application structure (includes handling lost devices) based on WanMaster's suggestion. Known issues 1. Some formatting using HE_TERMINAL needs fixing 2. Still need to cross-link with SDK documentation 3. Splitting into multiple pages 4. Making a PDF version 5. Some D3D10/MDX stuff to work on Think that's it for now. Comments are appreciated.
Cheers, Jack [Edited by - jollyjeffers on August 14, 2006 9:53:58 AM]

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Wow, nice work. It looks tons better than the current one! Just a few things I noticed:

(1) For the code segments, you use that one font I sent you some time ago. What will happen if a user doesn't have this font on their machine?

(2) One of my biggest issues with the FAQ all along was that it was all one page. Ideally, it could at least be broken down into API for easy browsing. However, I suppose that as long as the table at the top is readable, it can work.

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Very nice! I can see that you've put a lot of work into this, and it will help out a ton of people.

Codesampler.com should be listed under the tutorials section

Still reading...

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Quote:
Original post by circlesoft
Wow, nice work. It looks tons better than the current one!
Thanks [grin]

Quote:
Original post by circlesoft
(1) For the code segments, you use that one font I sent you some time ago. What will happen if a user doesn't have this font on their machine?
They'll end up being wrapped in [source]...[/source] tags. What you're currently seeing is probably something to do with copy-n-pasting from VS to Word and then Word exporting to HTML [smile]

Quote:
Original post by circlesoft
(2) One of my biggest issues with the FAQ all along was that it was all one page. Ideally, it could at least be broken down into API for easy browsing. However, I suppose that as long as the table at the top is readable, it can work.
Agreed, I'd like to see it split into multiple pages but I'm limited by the forum software. The FAQ is, as far as I can tell, just a specially displayed forum post - I can't drop in any additional pages or formatting.

Quote:
Codesampler.com should be listed under the tutorials section
Okay, I'll get that one added when I next update it. Thanks!

Cheers,
Jack

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Quote:
Original post by jollyjeffers
The FAQ is, as far as I can tell, just a specially displayed forum post - I can't drop in any additional pages or formatting.

What if the index of the FAQ was the only thing on the forum FAQ page? Then all the links on that were to some external site, like your journal webspace or some other server. Then we could do all of the formatting and organization that we wanted.

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It seems that we need to push the whole 'use the debug runtimes' thing a bit, as they can solve a lot of posts that we see here. You have enumerated very well how people should go about posting here, but I think it would be helpful to have an entry like:

HELP! I have a problem! What do I do?

(1) Use the debug runtimes!
(2) Use google!
(3) Use past posts!
...

We are saying this kind of thing a little bit right now (mixed into the Forum best practices section), but I think it may help to be a little more up front with it.

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Good job, very thorough explanation!
Perhaps the issue of lost devices and resources and the way to handle these situations deserve a section of their own?


By the way, I never knew the entire internet is hosted on your G: drive. [grin]

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Quote:
Original post by circlesoft
What if the index of the FAQ was the only thing on the forum FAQ page? Then all the links on that were to some external site, like your journal webspace or some other server. Then we could do all of the formatting and organization that we wanted.
Yeah, that could work quite nicely actually. Might even be able to do some JScript magic to filter which languages are shown - e.g. show only MDX1.1 content...

Quote:
It seems that we need to push the whole 'use the debug runtimes' thing a bit, as they can solve a lot of posts that we see here.
Agreed, I'll see about pushing it up the list.

A whole FAQ entry including links to that classic "how to ask a question" article might be a good idea. I personally get a little tired of replying to threads with "we need more info" [smile]

Quote:
Perhaps the issue of lost devices and resources and the way to handle these situations deserve a section of their own?
I suppose an entry summarising the details of this would be useful. I was wanting to write out a pseudo-code "perfect D3D application" to show what things should be done where/when...

Quote:
By the way, I never knew the entire internet is hosted on your G: drive
Yeah, I managed to find a way of compressing the whole internet onto my 20gb partition. Pi compression is the way forward [grin]

Cheers,
Jack

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No clue how hard this would be for you to do, but hey, no harm in asking... [grin]
A PDF version (Of course properly made with index and links to each section and such) would be handy, if you've got an easy way to convert your current document.

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I'm pretty sure I could do a PDF version. I had a freebie Word->PDF "printer" a while back that seemed to do the trick. From what I understand the new Word 2007 beta's have this functionality as standard, so I could always use those.

Cheers,
Jack

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Word 2007 indeed has a 'Save as PDF' option, but you could also use CutePDF which works quite nicely (like some people who completely missed that option in Word 2007 :p).

I had a quick read through the FAQ and it looks good to me, though it could use some more info on math. A link to Tripplebuffer's great math primer in the 'What should I learn first?' section might be useful, following the book link.

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Refer to the first post in this thread for a new update!

Quote:
[i]Original post by remigius[i]
I had a quick read through the FAQ and it looks good to me, though it could use some more info on math. A link to Tripplebuffer's great math primer in the 'What should I learn first?' section might be useful, following the book link.
That's a good idea, I'll see about getting that included. Thanks for the suggestion [smile]

Cheers,
Jack

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A link to this cool poster of the entire D3D9 pipeline could come in handy [smile].

Also, in the diagram you added, in the handling of a lost device should be calling OnDeviceLost and OnDeviceReset on ID3DXSprites/ID3DXFonts [smile]. Other than that, it really is looking great -- I can't wait to see it completed and in-place.

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Quote:
Original post by sirob
A link to this cool poster of the entire D3D9 pipeline could come in handy [smile].
Indeed - I'm surprised I forget about that one!

Quote:
Original post by sirob
in the handling of a lost device should be calling OnDeviceLost and OnDeviceReset on ID3DXSprites/ID3DXFonts [smile].
Whoops - I'll get that corrected ASAP.

Cheers,
Jack

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I'm a little nit-picky about this sort of thing, but you might consider enlisting an editor. I noticed some grammatical errors. ("that you as the application developer has available" — should be "have." "as the application developer" is a clause and doesn't affect verb conjugation.)

Other than that, it looks great! I had a question about managed resource performance that I was planning to post until I found the answer in your FAQ. I'd say that makes it fairly complete.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom
I'm a little nit-picky about this sort of thing, but you might consider enlisting an editor. I noticed some grammatical errors. ("that you as the application developer has available" — should be "have." "as the application developer" is a clause and doesn't affect verb conjugation.)
Despite having English as my native language I still have to rely on Word's spelling/grammar tools [embarrass]

Quote:
Original post by Tom
Other than that, it looks great! I had a question about managed resource performance that I was planning to post until I found the answer in your FAQ. I'd say that makes it fairly complete.
Excellent, thanks!

Cheers,
Jack

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I also have a suggestion.
I see that the FAQ contains picking section. Now I presume the reason for that is because we have a "How do I do geometry picking?" thread every week in various topics. But we also have a "Help with D3DSprite/D3DXFont!" topic every week or so. This seems to be a menace for the new guys. Might be a good idea to consider a brief explanation. I think it's common.
If FAQ mentions it and I just missed it I apologize.

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I'm not new to programming, but am to DirectX. I've done some reading on the web, and have gotten started with tutorials and such. But your FAQ was a really good read: it has a lot of detail in various areas of DirectX, some of which I had not read into before. A lot of sites and books listed there I'll have to take a look at. Good work!

I appreciated the pointer to the DirectX SDK samples and tutorials - I have started looking through those as well. Good stuff. I've got a starting point now, although I think it'll be a long time before I'm producing best-sellers!!

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Quote:
see that the FAQ contains picking section. Now I presume the reason for that is because we have a "How do I do geometry picking?" thread every week in various topics
Yeah, thats pretty much why it was added. I built the initial question list after crunching through a search of every topic started in 2006 [smile]

Quote:
But we also have a "Help with D3DSprite/D3DXFont!" topic every week or so
I agree that covering this could be useful. Sad truth is that I'm now even more limited for time and it could be a while before I get a chance to sit down and write about it.

If anyone would like to provide any information you'd like to see in a FAQ entry on sprites/fonts then feel free to post it here (or send me a PM).

Quote:
your FAQ was a really good read: it has a lot of detail in various areas of DirectX, some of which I had not read into before
Glad to hear you found it useful [grin]


Cheers,
Jack

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