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d3dx9_28.dll not found!

Do you like these nice dll-not-found surprises as much as me, when running your self created games on other PCs? Like
The application could not be started, because d3dx9_28.dll
was not found. Reinstalling could remove the problem.
Of course, reinstalling won't change anything. The reason for this is that in 2005, Microsoft has moved the D3DX library from a static linked lib to a dynamic linked dll. Every time they release a new version (almost every two months), they increase the version number and the name of the dll is different (d3dx9_24.dll, d3dx9_25.dll, d3dx9_26.dll, d3dx9_27.dll, ...). The problem now is that end users usually don't update their DirectX version every 2 months. Totally understandable. But usually, developers do, and so the program won't run on the end users system without a DirectX update. Ok, Dlls do have a lot of advantages but in my opinion, Microsoft really made a bad decision here. For example, just search for d3dx9_26.dll and see how many users have a problem with that. Most applications or their installers could provide this dll too, but in fact, most don't do this, and IMO it should also not be their buisness to do that.
Maybe you also have noticed that Irrlicht doesn't suffer from this problem. Why? Because I simply compile Irrlicht with an old SDK version which still has a staticly linkable D3DX version. But this isn't a good solution if you want to use newer versions of the DirectX SDK. How do other 3D engines solve this? Most engines simply don't. They simply won't run without all dlls installed and produce that nice senseless 'resinstall might solve the problem' message box. Others use a plugin-approach: They implement each renderer in an own dll and load it when needed. If for example the d3d renderer doesn't load because the dependency to a d3dx9_xx.dll could not be resolved, they simply don't run with the d3d renderer. But both approaches are not an option for Irrlicht. First because I want Irrlicht to start up always, independent of what the user has installed on his system, and second because I don't want Irrlicht to use plugins, everything should be compiled into one single, small dll.
But this morning, I checked in an Irrlicht version with runs with every version of D3D and independent of what the user has installed on its system. How do I achieve this? Irrlicht now simply tries to load all external dlls manually, like it did this with the standard d3d dlls before too. If you are missing the expected d3dx9_xx.dll, it simply disables the features needed from there, which in this case only is shader support, everything else like mipmap generation is implemented in Irrlicht itself and doesn't rely on D3DX. This also has some other advantages: Irrlicht won't load these unecessary dlls if you don't use their features in your program, increasing startup time a bit. Yay, I really like it now.

Excellent RPG package

I'm currently wasting a huge percentage of my free time playing Gothic. I tried it out because I already played Gothic II of which I got a free copy from my employer then (because he is publisher of the game) and I liked the game very much. I didn't know that Gothic, its precedessor was that good too, looks like Gothic II simply had some better marketing.


I didn't find a shop with the single game so to be able to play it I had to buy the Gothic Collectors Edition, containing 6(!) CDs full of RPG game data. It contains Gothic, Gothic II and the extension pack to Gothic II. If you are looking for a perfect tool to minimize your free time, just buy it.

Big changes

If you take a look at the front page of the Irrlicht engine webpage, you'll read that there are some big changes going on. We've now got cvs and I'm no more the only one working on the engine. Has hell frozen over?

No :)
The reason for doing this is simple: Irrlicht is has become so popular that I'm simply not able to do everything on my own. Hell, it takes ages only to answer all the mails I get. :) This is also a good possibility to add long requested features to Irrlicht which I am not able to do because simply of missing hardware. (Mac, pocketpc, for example).
And btw: How do you like the new team page? I wasn't sure If I should put photos of us there, but I think it's funny this way. :)

Must.. blog...

When people periodically post new blog entries, and suddenly stop doing this, they usually have a lot to do in their real, private life. I stopped blogging last week, because of another reason - don't think that I've got a private life! :)
The reason is that - I think maybe because of the holidays - I'm currently getting flooded by Irrlicht releated mails. I can understand it, in winter, especially before Xmas, I'm usually playing more games and then get a bit inspired by their graphics, and tempted to write a small game or 3D app for myself. So it looks like other people do this too, and the result is masses of mails coming to my inbox. And I am unable to answer them all and getting a guilty conscience when I am creating a new blog entry but haven't answered all mails yet. But prior to not blogging anything and wishing you happy holidays - I'm going to be in the deep deep internetless and snowy mountains of Austria for some days - I'm simply not answering all. So sorry if you are reading this, but didn't get an answer yet.
Happy holidays.

irrlicht xmas

The picture is a logo I created 2 or 3 years ago, when I whished happy holidays on irrlicht.sf.net. :)

for nothing

Maybe you remember, I created the tickets for a Kabarett event using svg. But now, it looks like no one will ever see them. Not because they are too ugly, fortunately. Yesterday, they burned down the University of Economics of Vienna, and this is where the event should take place tomorrow. Thanks, arsonists.

Stargate quotes

I should be learning for the exam on Friday. This is also the reason for the lack of updates recently. Instead, I'm watching Stargate, for example. Grml. But at least I found the last quote quite funny: A standard 'loss of memory'-episode, the whole SG1-Team doesn't know who they are and what they are doing, but memory is coming up again. (Some additional info, if you don't know Stargate well: Their boss, the general is always wearing white shirts and doesn't have hair.) Quote, Jack:
I think.. there is a man who is quite important to me... 
he's got a bald head and wears white shirts...
I think his name is... Homer.
I had to laugh. Similar funny to the scene where Daniel gets together with some aliens and greets:
My name is Hans. Hans.. Olo.

Sometimes I'm evil

I just sent out this mail (names and adresses modified). Usually I won't post stuff like this, but I cannot resist as this is nearly the 200th mail of this type I got.

Dear President of DarkGoth-Games Entertainment,
to use Irrlicht, you must learn to code C++.

President of irrlicht.sf.net,

----- Original Message -----
From: DarkGoth@example.com
To: irrnoirrspam@users.sourceforge.net
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 5:01 PM
Subject: From DarkGoth-Games Entertainment

> I downloaded Irrlicht to try and make our game
> Queen of Regensburg, but after downloading I could not
> open the program. I read the ream-me file, and followed
> the 'how to start' section, but all that did was start
> the examples. What am I doing wrong,
> can you help me?
> President of DarkGoth-Games Entertainment
> John

The Chronicles of Narnia

Yesterday, I went to the cinema and watched the movie The Chronicles of Narnia. I had to watch it because I often saw the TV miniseries when I was a child. And of course, I didn't expect anything, because today I am really used to do this with movies with lots of CG animations. And of course because it was made by Disney.
And as expected, it wasn't an outstanding movie. The new The Chronicles of Narnia movie neither has an exciting told story, nor brilliant dialogs or actors. As always, it only lives of its nice pictures and computer generated graphics. Nevertheless, I really liked it, but maybe because I simply like fantasy stuff. My company for example didn't like the movie at all, she even meant that it totally sucked. And I can understand her, some details really were annoying. The white witch for example constantly named the Lion 'grosse Katze', which is an awful translation error, IMO (Big Cat = Raubkatze, not Große Katze!). Also, some things didn't fit together. Example: The 14 (whatever) year old boy transformed from a pupil into a fighting machine within one day, without explanation. In one scene he even killed a huge Minotaur nearly incidental with one short strike of his left hand. Ha.
To summarize: Nice pictures. If you like fantasy, get some beer, and go watch that movie, then it might be ok. :)

Open source development in action

Ever wanted to see what it is like to develop open source 3d software? Ing. Apfelbaum created a video showing this. It even features music. :)

Not to mention the cool new irrlicht supported platform.

People are just stupid

People are stupid. They'll continue using IE even when you tell them that it's a high security risk twice a week for one full year, even if you have installed Firefox and Opera as alternatives on their PC. They coninue spamming you with stupid questions about 3D programming, even if you have told them multiple times that you won't help them and pointed them to several helpful forums. They are polluting your appartement with their unsecured WLAN waves and are proud that they were able to name their access point 'Dr. SomeOtherTitles SomeName' but will likely sue you if they think you are accessing the web over their router.
Yes. Sorry for the rant. If you have read this blog from the beginning, when I started it nearly two years ago on my old domain code3d.com, you know that I originally created it for ranting, and to make me feel better this way ;-). And it's a bit better now. Hm, but maybe I can go on a bit. Ok:
Xmas sucks. I'm tired of worshipping the the book, media, and whatever industry every year just because everybody else is doing it too. I'm also tired going to my doctor's appointment where I have to wait for hours then. What's the point calling this 'appointment' ?? And yes: I'm also tired of being single, I think now for about half a year. It sucks. At least a bit.
Ok, that's it. Enough ranting for some time. :)

BerliOS Developer Project Denied

I wanted to register irrlicht at BerliOS to get a subversion server. Result:
Due to resource limitations we cannot support
more games or game frameworks.
The BerliOS Crew
*Gna*, I don't even complain anymore that nobondy seems to understand the difference between a 3D engine and a game engine. Reminds me on the fact that really lots of people think that game programmers are no real programmers. :( Looks like I'll have to wait for sourceforge to offer subversion or more likely: I'm going to suffer using cvs for that time.

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