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Archive > Updates > 2009 > October

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v0.51: Binary | Source

Project Updates:
  • Optimizations:
    • Changed lots of signed numbers to unsigned for theoretical better resolution in the long run.
    • In the coloring algorithm, “Bailout Radius”, and “Power” are constants, so I removed (commented out) their variables and turned anything that used them (i.e. floating point functions) into constants. This removed a lot of unnecessary floating point calculations for each pixel.
    • Added some precalculations into the fractal drawing section to speed up pixel calculations.
  • Fixes:
    • The coordinates of the moused over pixel were being improperly calculated because I had forgotten the window was being drawn and calculated in a bottom to top fashion (Y=0 is at the bottom).

New Pixel Shader Implementation:

I have made a new sub project, available in the binary and source downloads, that might be eventually integrated into the main project. This proof of concept renders 100% of the fractal for each frame on the GPU. It is much faster and much smoother :-). See the Content Section for more information.

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v0.50: Binary | Source

Project Updates:
  • Much Better coloring: I played around with coloring algorithms and color scales a bit and finally came up with something I like. There is still a bad problem though where colors run together horribly when there isn’t good resolution on a section.
  • Added OpenGL Engine: The Win32 GDI engine didn’t look very good when animating, so I added an OpenGL render engine. They can be chosen through the Configuration Dialog. This also makes the project 1 step closer to a Linux port. :-)
  • Added configuration dialog with many options (Enter key)
    • Boundaries: Boundaries can now be seen and manually set. These are normally changed through mouse clicks and w/a/s/d keys.
    • Window Dimensions: Window dimensions can now be seen and manually set. These are normally changed by resizing the window.
    • Julia Fractal Config [NEW OPTION]: Configure what Julia Fractal is shown.
    • Detail Level: Detail level can now be seen and manually set. This is normally changed by the +/- keys.
    • Enable Animation [NEW OPTION]: Since animating can slow things down and is kind of unnecessary, I have added an option to bypass it.
    • Zoom: This displays the zoom level, which is determined by the X boundaries.
    • Current Pixel Information: Displays the information about the currently moused over pixel.
    • Render Engine [NEW OPTION]: Choose what render engine to use.

Other Update Information:
  • New screenshots in the content section and old screenshots are now hidden behind a link.
  • Version number has been updated to 0.50.
  • Rating has been raised from a 5 to a 7 since the project is a little further along.
  • Updated the Project Time span and Project Time to 10 hours, since I’ve spent about 5 more hours on it.
  • Updated content section and readme to reflect new updates.
  • I am including a binary version (NoOGL) that does not include OpenGL to remove the dependency if the person doesn’t have it.
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Section: Projects > HyNES

Since my website is finally at a state where I feel I can finally announce it to the public, like I’ve been planning on doing for 3 years, I felt I needed to get up a few final projects that I had promised to myself I would get done before that happened. Sooo... *drumroll*.... I finally got HyNES up here, yay!

I thought there were a few minor modifications I still needed to make to the HyNES project before I released it here, but I went back through it, and to my great relief and surprise, it was actually at a completed state with the minor bugs I wanted to crush already fixed some years ago. If I had known that, I might not have procrastinated on getting it up here for 3 years :-).

Unfortunately, the task of getting an initial version of a project released on my website isn’t just fixing up the release itself, but also organizing the content of the project. I’m happy to say I also got the entire content section (as well as miscellaneous info) of the HyNES project page completely flushed out, after spending 8 hours going through old notes, organizing them, and writing everything back up from scratch. Documentation is such a chore :-).

I am releasing all 3 versions of HyNES in this update, as described in the “History” section of the project page.
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Section: Website > Contact

I have added a very simple captcha to the contact page so spambots stop trying to use it. Hopefully I won’t need to get a better one up there.

I have also added links to the forums across the site where there are links to the contact page.

Section: Projects > Websites

Two new websites that I have been contracted to do in the last month have been added to the Websites Project page: The Woodland Wellness Center and Karim Boulos.

Section: Website > Search

I finally got around to adding search functionality to the site by using Google Search API. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as I was hoping, and it may have to be replaced in the future :-(. See more at my post Google Search API Failure.

Section: Website > Forums

I have updated the color theme and all the layout images for the forum, and I must say, wow, it looks so much better with the site integration now.

I have decided to give Updates their own forum, with threads for each Update.

The forum search option has been removed from the Search Page in lieu of linking to the actual forum search.

The Contact Page has had textual changes including warning the user to include their email, and suggesting to use the forum.

The Forum index on the Site Map has been moved from "Unfinished Sections" to "Other Pages". Yay!

Section: Website > Forums

I finally got around to adding a Forum, yay. I’ve been meaning to do that since I launched the site back in 2006 x.x; . The forum also doubles in functionality by allowing commenting for Posts and Projects (listed on their individual pages).

Unfortunately, for the moment, when displaying comments on Post and Project pages from the Forum, only a few of the bbcodes are supported :-\. Perhaps at some point I will also add a quick reply section into the Project/Post pages.

The forum software the site is using is Simple Machines Forums. I put it on its own subdomain for security reasons, but the forum software is supposedly pretty secure. I know I didn’t do the best job integrating it into my site theme; I may try to improve it later ^_^; .