TextureMind Framework – Progress #20 – GUI is complete!

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It's done! Taking advantage of the extra time I have now, I finished the GUI associated with my TextureMind framework. Compared to the previous update, I added Frame Windows, Tree Views, Tab Strips, Tool Bars and Docking Layouts.  I fixed lot of bugs, improved the management of resources and events, optimized the algorithms to draw on screen and so on. One of the big improvements is in the menagement of resources. I introduced the concept of resources package. A project and its internal components may have a resources package associated on them which contains materials, textures and templates. The resources in the project is considered the main package of resources, but a single component may store an independent package of resources used for rendering itself. When the component is exported, it may save internally only the resources used for its rendering. When the component is imported, the internal resources are merged in the resources of the main project: if the GUIDs are the same, the component's resoures are recycled, otherwise the component's resources are added into the main project.

I implemented also a totally dynamic model for the loading and initialization of the resources. Previously, all the resources were loaded, stored in memory and converted into GPU memory at once. Now, only the resources used for the rendering between a number of consecutive frames is loaded, stored and converted. Additionally, you can specify a number of preloaded resources associated to a component: the resources will be kept alive only for lifespan of the component. In this way, it's virtually possible to explore terabytes of data stored somewhere, as it is in modern engines like Unreal Engine, or optimize for hardwares where the RAM is limited. Now I started to work on the GUI editor, which is at good point of development as well. The GUI editor will be used to design new interfaces and also to create new skins, with any kind of appearance. The entire GUI system is designed for applications and video games, so it must be robust for a wide range of use cases.

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