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Monday, February 28, 2005
I Am Such a C++ N00b
Posted: 4:59:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: RedHeat Sonic Soundscapes - Outer Circle (Vocal, Dance) (4:50)

It is true. I know little to nothing about C++. Visual Basic just works. C++ on the other hand requires all sorts of knowledge.

Granted, I could code a nice for loop in a matter of... well, however long it takes for me to look at the documentation. No, I don't know any syntax off the top of my head. God I suck!

Anyway, I'm playing with Crystal Space. For some reason I've been fascinated by the programming aspect of 3D engines. It's like the final frontier for me, 3D programming is one of the last aspects of programming I've yet to really get into. It's the closest thing I have to a hobby.

I've tried Irrlicht because it's got a .NET interface. Unfortunately, that interface is sadly lacking, simply because it gives the author double work. I can understand that, so I tried to fudge around with it in C++.

When I realized it didn't have the six degrees of freedom I'm looking for, I ditched it for Crystal Space instead, which has the 6DoF as one of its features. I've downloaded the package, got it all compiled (using VC++ 2005 Beta, you can't beat free dev tools) after a LOT of effort. Yah, I didn't have to use beta software to compile it, but I figured why not go with the latest and greatest.

Well, this all came to a head after I got it all working and started reading the tutorials. I tried to throw one together, and it didn't work. iEngine plug-in not found it would scream at me. Very well, did a Google search on it, and the common mistake is that a system environment variable's not set. No problem, set the variable, run it again.

No soup for me.

I probably spent an hour and a half researching the problem. The solutions were all the same, set your environment variable. I did. Eventually, I started zoning out, and recalled some of my recent Linux shell programming material, and how you had to export environment variables in Linux. I was thinking to myself how glad I was that I didn't have to do that.

Then I recalled a scene from Process Explorer by Sysinternals (yes, more great free software!), where a program that I launched off of the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar (not free, but it beats the pants off of the Start Menu IMHO) would appear underneith the Shortcut Bar.

I thought about this for a second, and then realized that the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar had absolutely no knowledge of my change to the environment variables, and thus any programs launched from it would exhibit the same problem. Including Visual C++ 2005 Beta.

Well dammit, sure enough, I close and reopen the Shortcut Bar, run VC++ again, and everything works 100%. I absolutely HATE when problems are so obscure, yet stupidly easy to fix.

And, yes, I'm listening to "Outer Circle" again. Redheat makes some fine music, and this one is no exception. It happens, I get stuck on a song, and have to listen to it for a week. Be glad my blog wasn't up when I was hooked on Dragostea Din Tei...

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