I’ve been away from my computer for a few days working on a house renovation project and didn’t notice that my latest Windows with C++ column came out until the mail man delivered a copy of the June 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine.
In this issue I introduce a new technology that I’m very excited about. I’ve been waiting for Direct2D for some time. When Microsoft started pushing WPF as the “one true path” (TM) I just couldn’t persuade myself to buy the sales pitch. If you felt the same way then read on. This just might make your day.
Windows with C++: Introducing Direct2D
With the introduction of Windows Vista a few years ago, it was clear that the era of the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) was coming to an end. GDI, even with the help of GDI+, had been showing its age especially when compared to the superior graphics capabilities of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). As if that weren't enough, GDI lost its hardware acceleration while WPF took advantage of Direct3D's abundance of hardware acceleration.
However, if you want to develop high-performance and high-quality commercial applications, you'll still look to C++ and native code to deliver that power. That's why few things excite me more about Windows 7 than the introduction of Direct2D and DirectWrite. Direct2D is a brand new 2D graphics API designed to support the most demanding and visually rich desktop applications with the best possible performance. DirectWrite is also a brand-new API that complements Direct2D and provides hardware-accelerated text, when used with Direct2D, and high-quality text layout and rendering with advanced support for OpenType typography and ClearType text rendering.
In this article, I will explore these new technologies and give you an idea of why it matters and how you can start using them today.
Big thanks to Mark Lawrence and Ben Constable, from the Direct2D team, for their feedback on the article as well as for providing a side bar discussing rendering performance.
Stay tuned for more Direct2D articles in my upcoming Windows with C++ columns.
If you’re looking for one of my previous articles here is a complete list of them for you to browse through.
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