[SDL] Feature Query System (Was: Some multithreaded improvement to the event queue...)

Olof Bjarnason olof.bjarnason at gmail.com
Tue Sep 20 23:39:15 PDT 2005

May I hazard that the lack of a robust query / control system is a
prime reason for AAA titles not using SDL on the PC platform? I mean
SDL is a lot easier to code than DirectX, so why wouldn't developers
use it?


On 9/21/05, Antonio SJ Musumeci <asm3072 at njit.edu> wrote:
> You give up control but that does not mean that the library can't offer
> the developer control over it's actions. SDL has several layers which
> could allow the user to override functionally at runtime... but simply
> does not provide the mechanism to do so. As for "try and see"... if a
> query system existed to begin with and a platform did not support
> probing... try and see can be used to simulate probing. Save state, try
> and see, restore state. Anything which isnt consistent document and
> offer the ability to query the feature. The whole
> SDL_WM_ToggleFullScreen in Linux vs everywhere else thing. Instead of
> just having it fail (which tells you practically nothing) when not
> supported... offer the ability to find out. You may not want to try
> it... but simply offer the ability later on or not depending of it's
> availability. Similarly with drivers... you currently cant just offer
> the user a choice of drivers to pick from... nor can you simply add your
> own at run time.
> Steven Johnson wrote:
> >
> > This sounds like a conflict between embedded development mind sets
> > and PC development mind sets.
> >
> > I think the problem is that with a library like SDL, a certain
> > measure of control (in the nature of what you discuss) is lost.  This
> > is because it is an abstraction library, which hides the details of
> > the underlying mechanisms.  By using the library you are "giving up
> > control" to the library.  If you want to have "total control" you
> > need to do things directly (ie, with the hardware, or with target
> > specific libraries), and not worry about a library that attempts to
> > have your code write once, compile everywhere,  Where each and every
> > target will have different control issues, that the library has been
> > designed to hide.
> >
> > This problem sounds more like a conflict of philosophy.  I can see
> > nothing wrong with a "try and see" approach.  This is ultimately what
> >  you do when you probe hardware anyway.  The difference here is that
> > the activating of the code, and the probing of its
> > functionality/existence, is combined into a single operation.
> >
> > My 2c. Steven
> >
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