So, this week is about catching up with a lot of fragmented things before I pick off something more meaty next week. Mostly that means fixing bugs and addressing small enhancements. Those pesky artists found another bug in the XSI exporter, the little tykes, so I fixed that yesterday - in this case negative bind scalings on bones were throwing out the export. None of my test cases had that before so it slipped through. Turned out to be a 1-line fix, but when you’re presented with a model that’s animating just fine except for one arm going totally bonkers, it’s locating the problem which is the hard part, rather than necessarily fixing it 😀
Other things include documentation fixes, more tangent binding options on tools, respecting manually specified (rather than the recommended highest) refresh rates in D3D which were getting ignored, fixing a depth bias state leak issue in the CEGui renderer, and now making the load routines a little more tolerant of serious screw ups in shader authoring. That kind of thing - nothing headline making particularly, but all things that need to be done.
One thing I’ve noted about software development, and this applies to Ogre too, is that it’s the weight of all the little things, the unexciting everyday things, that tend to make the most difference in terms of long-term resilience and popularity of a software product. It’s important to deal with the mundane just as much as it is to add the next headline whiz-bang feature, because it’s vitally important that the features that do exist are robust, easy to use, fault-tolerant, properly documented, and actually deliver on the promise of that flashy headline. That’s actually a pretty unglamorous job, but it’s a crucial one. So this week, I’m doing yet another shift as that guy in the boiler suit cleaning out the drains, metaphorically speaking. 😀
The other thing I have to do is write a foreword for Greg’s book. I’ve never done this before, my writing credits including only a magazine article (which I finally got paid for recently, only 18 months after I wrote it!), this blog, and about 14,000 Ogre forum posts (no, that’s not an exaggeration), so I’m currently searching for inspiration.