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

Elden Armbrust earmbrust at xero-soft.com
Tue Sep 27 21:14:59 PDT 2005

I don't think Ryan's intentions were to upset you, or anyone else, over 
this matter.  The beauty of OSS is that you can change, enhance, or just 
generally recreate any piece of the package/library and offer it back to 
the main development branch in the form of a patch.  I know not everyone 
has the time to give back every little thing they think up, but we have 
to remember that the core SDL developers aren't really any different 
than us.  There are two options that I can see to your problem:
1) Create a configuration file and let the user set up the display 
options in the program or via an external program.  This requires a fair 
amount of coding, but nothing so grave as to cause anyone grey hairs.
2) Modify the main SDL library to be able to query for the specifics of 
switching between windowed or fullscreen.  This requires knowledge of 
the codebase, submitting it to CVS, and awaiting for it to be verified 
as usable on more than just one platform.

Personally, I use the first method (as do most commercial games) and 
feel it works quite well for what I need it to do.  Not only are your 
users able to have some more control over the display, but you have the 
ability to reuse the code for selecting the modes in other 
applications.  I did see a project a little while back titled 
SDL_config, and it may well serve your purpose without requiring 
modifications to the core library, though I haven't looked into it very 

I think the most important thing to remember is that we're all working 
toward the same goal: making a piece of software more usable, be it a 
game, library, or something completely different. 


Antonio SJ Musumeci wrote:

> Or maybe we wish to get the most out of the system without doing 
> platform specific or bootleg things which need not be so. It seems to 
> me that it is a "personal issue" to assume that everyone wishes to use 
> a given library the same way you do. Just because you have no use or 
> see the need does not mean others don't. Not everyone believes black 
> box magic is the best solution. And not all of SDL is written that 
> way. If a library is not going to offer consistent operation across 
> platforms... there must be a way to accommodate. SDL does not offer 
> accommodations in all cases and therefore deficient. And not offering 
> the ability to see which choices are were made within the library and 
> change them is simply laziness. Not having a way to query 
> SDL_WM_ToggleFullScreen to see if it's supported... knowing it's not 
> on all but a few platforms is laziness.
> I fail to see how making this personal and placing it in the realm of 
> a flame war is constructive.
> Ryan C. Gordon wrote:
>>> And sometimes I simply don't want my
>>> game to run in a "zoomed out" mode as is SDLs basic behaviour given a
>>> non-existent resolution
>> Then perhaps you should use SDL_ListModes() with the SDL_FULLSCREEN flag
>> to figure out if the resolution you want is available?
>> I couldn't help but notice that everyone really begging for a
>> generalized capabilities system has referred to themselves as a "control
>> freak" or something similar. In those cases, I would suggest that this
>> is a personal issue and not an API deficiency.
>> --ryan.
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