What's happening with Huckster?

A bunch of people have been downloading Huckster and joining the community. The question I keep getting is "why hasn't anything new been checked in recently". It's a combination of factors: one is that (sadly) I have a day job. The big one is that I got this goofy idea: could I do something cool by integrating 3D (JOGL+Xith) into Huckster? The answer was yes, but there was a problem: I needed to go between the 3D world, and 2D. I wanted to render 2D into texture maps, and then get them to fly around on the screen. This actually works fine on my OSX machine. With one big problem: performance. OpenGL/JOGL/Xith are quite particular about how their pixels are laid out. Java2D has these great ColorModel objects that allow it to handle any pixel layout you might want to use, so it's possible to specify the OpenGL preferred pixel layout -- but only a few of them are optimized, and the one OpenGL likes doesn't have an optimized rendering pipeline. I've tried lots of combinations: mostly variations on either rendering directly to texture maps or rendering to a {Volatile,Buffered}Image then drawImageing it into a texture map. I still havn't found one with performance that makes me happy. I did do an experiment with Java3D and got much better performance for 2D->3D, but I'd like to stick with JOGL. So now I'm off, in my copious spare time, trying to figure out how to accelerate JOGL imaging.

One of the annoying side problems is that OpenGL requires that texture maps have power-of-two sizes, which forces me into all sorts of contortions, since slides and slide fragments don't fit well into power-of-two sizes. I was really happy when the OpenGL 2.0 spec got rid of this restriction. I can hardly wait for this to percolate out into deployed OpenGL implementations.

September 15, 2004