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Chapter 5. DirectX Fundamentals and the Dreaded COM

"Louie, Louie, Louie… I've had to listen to that for centuries!"

Lestat, Interview With the Vampire

In this chapter, we're going to get a gargoyle's-eye view of DirectX and all the underlying components that make up this incredible technology. In addition, we're going to take a detailed look at COM (Component Object Model), which all the DirectX components are made of. If you're a straight C programmer, you should pay close attention. But not to worry, I'll keep it chill.

However, a word of warning on this material—read the whole chapter before you decide you don't get it. DirectX and COM are circularly related, so it's hard to explain one without the other. As an example, try to think how you would explain the concept of zero without using the word itself in the definition. If you think it's easy, it's not!

Here's a list of the main topics we'll touch upon:

  • An introduction to DirectX

  • The Component Object Model (COM)

  • A working example of a COM implementation

  • How DirectX and COM fit together

  • The future of COM

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