Detour into scripting and log history

It has been a busy week without much time for Doomsday. Sometimes after a break it is easier to return to the project by looking at a completely different topic than what I was working on before. This allows one to ease into the code again in a more comfortable way.

The log history widget was among the first that I wrote on the new UI framework. Since then, I’ve added a handy utility class called TextDrawable for drawing and laying out UI text. It has nice features like automatic background threading if there is a large amount of text. However, LogWidget being quite old, I had implemented a separate multithreaded text rendering mechanism there. I decided to replace this with TextDrawable so there wouldn’t be unnecessary redundancy in the code base.

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A tale of model definition bug hunting

After updating all code that deals with DED Model definitions to use the new Record based storage, I was slightly disappointed — although not surprised — to see that loading up a resource pack and trying to use it would result in a crash.

This is a pattern that I’ve come to accept as the norm: after working on a set of significant changes, my initial design and plan are shown to be valid, but I have to spend a couple of hours tracking down bugs that, in the end, prove to be trivial. In other words, one can’t expect to write bug free code.

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Easier native access to Record

While working on the Record based definitions, I noticed that there is a clear redundancy in the get*() methods: they pop up in Record, Config, and now I also needed them in a utility class that manipulates model definition data stored in a Record.

The solution was to add a new class called RecordAccessor that contains nothing but these get*() methods. This new class can then be inherited into any other class that benefits from providing native access to a Record.

While RecordAccessor is currently specific to Record instances, it could still be generalized into an IAccessor class that queries values from an abstract source where values are addressed using paths — this would make it possible to use it also with PathTree.

Mobile Doomsday

Speaking of mobile Doomsday, having played around with Qt 5.3 on iOS and Android, I now have a bit more concrete picture of what Doomsday will look like as a mobile build.

Supporting mobile platforms is something I think is very much necessary for the future. I see desktop computing becoming more of a niche thing, as most people’s needs will be met by various forms of phones and tablets. Still, DOOM was born in the age of desktop PC gaming and Doomsday will naturally respect this; not only will we continue to develop the project on desktop (or laptop) computers, that is the environment the game was originally designed for.

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SDL 2 vs. Qt

We’re switching to SDL 2.0 from the SDL 1.2 that has been in use for years in Doomsday. Sometimes I feel that minimalism would be the right way to go, and start considering if a switch back to SDL as the base framework would make sense. This scenario starts to look more enticing particularly with a switch to C++11 looming on the horizon — at least the crucial Qt components like threading and conveniences like foreach would be available via the programming language itself.

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Qt 5.3 and OS X display modes

After half an hour of confusion and tinkering, I learned that my problems were due to switching from a Qt 4.8 build to Qt 5.3, and not clearing the build directory completely. macdeployqt does not work properly if there is an app built with a different Qt version.

In the midst of wondering what is going on, I also ran into a number of display mode switch issues. It looks like I’ll finally have to drop the deprecated OS X display mode change API calls and just use the OS X fullscreen mode. This means the display mode is not configurable via Doomsday (which is what Apple recommends, I suppose). However, there might be a way to kludge around the glitches (black screen remains after mode switch) by adding some further delays and other tricks… Doesn’t seem like the right thing to do, though.