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vanka78bg

UWP DirectX wrapper component - WRL, C++/CX, or C++/WinRT

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Hello!

 

I need to implement a simple DirectX wrapper component for an UWP app similar to how Win2D is implemented, but it should be used for rendering and animating 3D models instead. Since I do not have much experience with universal apps, I need guidance about picking the right technology for the task.

 

After a bit of research, I have found my options are: WRL, C++/CX, and C++/WinRT. To my understanding, WRL is a very low level C++ template library, and implementing even a simple UWP component with it would require a lot of repetitive boilerplate code - something that can be very error-prone, especially for someone with little C++ experience. The C++/CX option seems more tempting at first glance, for someone with mostly C# and Java background, requiring seemingly less boilerplate code, which is more readable and maintainable at the same time. Unfortunately, C++/CX is not strictly C++, but a custom language extension introduced by Microsoft, so my fears are it is less likely to get adequate help from the community when I get stuck with something. Then it comes the fresh new C++/WinRT, which is basically a template library implemented in standard C++, but using certain C++11 and C++14 features to achieve a friendlier API and reduce the boilerplate code needed, in comparison to plain WRL. C++/WinRT is also advertised to generate more efficient code than C++/CX in some cases. Unfortunately, being a preview technology, I am not certain how capable it is of generating complex UWP components.

 

There is another option - to ditch C++ entirely and go with C# instead, using a wrapper library like SharpDX. The SharpDX option seems tempting as well, considering my C# background and my previous positive experience using it in some desktop applications. The only problem is I am not certain how well SharpDX runs with UWP. The author of the library does not have enough time to fix bugs, so if something goes wrong, I am basically on my own there.

 

Any advice from someone more experienced in this would be greatly appreciated.

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