Sunday, December 09, 2007

The power of an old Linux box

After years of Windows development with Visual Studio and mingw32, I had almost forgotten that Linux was the king of OS for developpers. Too bad, the only decent text editors comes from the eighties... I really miss pspad when I'm working on Linux. But if the recent versions of Visual Studio are not bad at dealing with memory corruption and buffer overflows, the gdb port that comes with mingw32 really sucks. Anyway, the gdb/Electric Fence association under Linux is unbeatable. I've found something like 20 or 30 memory corrupting bugs just by playing a fews times with Electric Fence enabled. It's amazing what a C++ program can tolerate without budging... Electric Fence dates back to 1987 and I can't understand why all compilers don't apply automatically the same principle in debug mode nowadays. It would make the life of C/C++ developpers so easier...

The other asset of an old Celeron 466 is that the performance issues are blattant. The framerate is ok as long as you stay is the starting region. The game is unplayable as soon as you enter another one. On a recent computer, this becomes visible only after 10 regions. Working on an old barrow saved me a gprof session :D.

Next week planning : more Electric Fence debugging, especially on high XP level gameplay (skills), and make the game run smoothly on the Celeron 466. Oh, and keep adding tutorial tips.