Discontinued support


Updates to the site have been rare in recent times, not to mention any new tutorials. This is because we are very busy writing our master's theses and working on other projects. Besides, our interests somehow shifted away from rendering and graphics programming. In fact, neither of us even uses Windows anymore;-)

Therefore, our support regarding the website ends hereby. We will not be able to answer any questions. The site stays online, though, and hopefully still contains some useful information about DirectX and graphics programming for you.

Server problems


We want to apologise for the unavailability of the website throughout the week. On last Sunday, our webserver crashed and could not be easily restored. We took the opportunity and moved the entire site to a new server. This process is now finished and all should be as usual again. So have fun exploring our tutorials:-)

Code formatting improved


Eventually, we implemented a feature that was promised long ago, which is known by the name of code highlighting;-) This greatly improves the readability of the C++ source code. The underlying framework, i.e. Apache Cocoon, enables us to implement this in a generic way, that works (hopefully) for any of our C++ source code. Besides, we are still looking for tutorial writers to present some new, interesting content.

First Shader tutorial published


After the reconstruction of the website is nearly complete, we are happy to release a new tutorial. It was written by a new co-author, Rick Wong, and covers the introduction to vertex and pixel shaders. It contains just two simple shaders that are written in HLSL. A plane is drawn with a texture on it. For this tutorial, we slightly modified our code framework in order to make it more concise. Code formatting changed a bit and some luggage got removed (the config file and the settings window). These are actually not necessary since parameters can be changed directly in the code which is acceptable for a small tutorial. Previous tutorials are still based on the old framework since we cannot adjust all of them for time reasons;-)

Simple Vertex and Pixel Shaders

Furthermore, the links section received an update. We added some great community sites and other useful resources.

Apart from that, Microsoft has released a new version of the DirectX SDK (August 2005). Changes to the D3DX library, graphics samples, tools, and documentation updates have been made. The new file and a complete list of changes can be found at the Microsoft DirectX download site.

Large-scale changes


Today I am proud to announce the beginning of a new era, at any rate concerning our beloved site. Well, at least we can provide something to compensate for the total lack of news in the past six months. We used the time to accomplish several things.

First, the backend is now handled by the Cocoon web development framework. Cocoon is a project of the Apache Software Foundation and features a component-based approach using pipelines to connect different modules without any required programming. It enables us to strictly separate content and design with the help of XML, XSLT and Java. Publishing a new tutorial or news entry is now far easier than before.

Second, the old-fashioned, table-based HTML tag soup has been replaced by valid XHTML combined with CSS. This yields more structured source code which is even viewable without style sheets. There is an annoying drawback, however. The web developer's nightmare, Microsoft Internet Explorer only partially supports CSS and does not even know about XHTML at all because Microsoft does not care about standards and interoperability. Therefore, some parts concerning layout and encoding may be different or missing using IE; I strongly recommend to upgrade the browser in that case.

Third, the design has changed as well. The idea to develop a new, fresh design existed for quite some time. Now, it has been done and we hope that it will be even more appealing and reader-friendly. We highly appreciate any comments about the design and are open for suggestions or further enhancements.

Although we have managed to introduce so many changes, some things are still missing including code highlighting and explanations for acronyms. These are coming soon as time permits it. Besides, we are still looking for tutorial writers. Just contact us!