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CopperCube 4.3 and CopperLicht 1.7 released

Although I had some troubles with Internet Explorer 11's WebGL support - and I think it still has some bugs but I reported them to Microsoft - most of the features in CopperCube and CopperLicht now work nicely in that browser. That means WebGL is now a real, useful thing, it works in all major browsers.

Apart from this great news, I'm a bit proud of one tiny new feature in CopperCube, which probably won't even get noticed too much: I added an integrated web server into the editor. When you click "test as WebGL" or "test as Flash", the website and files generated by the editor are still opened in the local browser, but not served directly from the disk (via file:://), but through the CopperCube application (via http://), which acts as local web server. This way, it is much easier to develop WebGL and Flash content with Chrome and IE, which are blocking local file access by default. Also, JavaScript extensions will run in the Flash target that way.
Most people probably won't even notice this change - apart from the fact that now all WebGL runs without hassle - but it's amazing what functionality now is hidden behind a single click in order to run a WebGL scene from the editor.



BattleField 4 - nice, but

More then ten years ago, I played the first version of Battlefield. Last week, I bought the latest edition, Battlefield 4. The game basically is still the same, and is fun to play. It now looks much better, has an incredible high demand for hardware resources and forces you to use some ugly Steam clone named 'Origin'. Those are basically the major changes I noticed.

Although the game is very fun and looks great, I'm still kind of disappointed by the technical defects. It started with the installer not working properly - I had to install the game twice: The first time, Origin seemly installed the game to /dev/null (or whereever, the game couldn't be started and wasn't to be found anywhere on the disk), which is a bit frustrating since the installation needed about one full hour. The sound engine in the game decides to stop working from time to time, simply shutting down sound for one or two minutes. Sometimes, the game stops to recognize mouse click events. And the game crashes about once an hour for me. Also, there are mandatory patches, promising fixed bugs (didn't fix them for me), which are one GB in size. WTF? How can you justify patches - which are likely only fixing some parts of your executables or maybe even some of your data files - to be that huge? Diffs anyone?

You would think that a team of programmers developing a product with such a big budget, and based on software which already had all those major features even ten years ago would be able to deliver a product which doesn't have such major defects. But I guess they focused on other stuff.
But apart from that, it's a nice game, I like it.



IE11 and WebGL - broken?

I just recently read that Microsoft is praising its Internet Explorer 11 for its speed and feature completeness. Unfortunately, somehow I cannot agree, specifically when it comes to WebGL, which is now also supported in this latest browser version, which you get when you update to Windows 8.1.
In short: Somehow, on all my test systems, nearly all WebGL demos I try in IE11 are comparably slow, and look completely buggy. In contrast to when run in Google Chrome or Firefox. Here is an example:

This is from the CopperCube Dynamic Light demo, a very small, simple scene demonstrating dynamic light and normal maps. Another example:

This is from the Backyard demo, an a bit bigger scene. Obviously, some shaders are not running correctly at all. I get a similar behavior from other demos around the web. In some cases, even some parts of the 3D scenes where completely missing, or displaying garbage.

I tried this on three different systems, all with NVidia hardware unfortunately (would like to try IE11 on some AMD device). On two of my systems, most demos look broken. On one of them, IE isn't even able to compile the necessary shaders for the demos and fails running it completely.

I wonder if I am very unlucky, and this only happens for me, or if other people also discovered similar problems. Maybe not many people have upgraded to Windows 8.1 yet, who knows.
Since I'm the author of CopperLicht, I'll try to take a deeper look into the problems causing this very soon.

Update: After seeing this blog post, Microsoft contacted me and told me they will look into this issue and try to improve the situation. Let's see. :)