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

Antonio SJ Musumeci asm3072 at njit.edu
Fri Sep 23 10:08:27 PDT 2005

I think he was asking not stating. Either way I would agree with Bob. I 
prefer a query system... but with SDL i code around it, hard code things 
per platform, or simulate querying with try and see.

Bob Pendleton wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-09-21 at 08:39 +0200, Olof Bjarnason wrote:
>>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?
> Do you have any evidence to back that up?
> There are lots of reasons not to use SDL. The lack of a query system
> isn't something I have ever heard mentioned. Poor support for random
> Joysticks and the latest sound hardware along with poor vendor (MS)
> support for OpenGL *are* reasons I have heard.
> 		Bob Pendleton
>>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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>>>SDL at libsdl.org
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