Direct3D Programming Tip #2: Use the Documentation

This is a programming tip? Well yeah, I’m sorry to report that often times its obvious from the questions people post that they either don’t know the documentation exists or they don’t use it. Personally, I don’t know how they can get anything done without the documentation. 3D graphics is hard! I put the shortcut to the documentation in my Quick Launch toolbar on the task bar:

  1. Click Start / Programs… and find the entry for the DirectX SDK.
  2. With the cursor over the DirectX SDK entry, right click to display the context menu and select Open
  3. While holding the Ctrl key, drag and drop the shortcut for the DirectX Documentation on the Quick Launch toolbar. A plus (+) sign should appear as you drop the shortcut to let you know that you’re making a copy of the shortcut and not moving it.

OK, now you’ve got the documentation at your fingertips ready to consult at any time. When I’m writing code that is talking directly to Direct3D interfaces, I usually leave the help browser open and just minimize it when I’m not using it. That way its only a quick Alt+TAB away while I’m coding.

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Refactoring: Finding Dead Code

There’s a “dead code” code smell mentioned in Refactoring. The refactoring is to delete the code. OK, easy enough to do. Over the years, I’ve identified a few handy ways of identifying the dead code laying around in your code base. That way you can ferret it all out at once and get rid of it. This specific example is for C++, but you can apply the techniques to any language.

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Application Installation and Patching Survey for Windows