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Milestone 6 and 7
Alright, Its too close to 12 am and I figured it would be easier just to type a long description out for you guys. A nice 10 page long story about how we used Wonderland and how we got around its really slow nature. But then I thought, No one is going to read it. The first thing they will do is scroll to the bottom of the page and then hit back. So here is a short and sweet little case for Wonderland. I hope the following will prove helpful to you.
Wonderland is excrutiatingly slow. If you get a project that is even remotely the size of the project we got (size being measured in the number of actors you have to create), I would recommend starting really early. This is what typically happened on M6. We modified a particular piece of code and initialized everything. Everything seemed to go right for about 5 minutes when all of a sudden we would get an error in the initialisation phase. In the beginning it was not such a big problem, but then having to wait 5 minutes for an error to show up and tell you that you did not even initialize everything was just getting very annoying. Hence start early and avoid being annoyed to the level of pulling out your hair.
Some tips to make wonderland more usable
- Garbage Collection is your friend. We noticed a considerable increase in performance if we forced squeak to garbage collect after a cycle of running wonderland.
- This is more of a make your computer more usable thing that make squeak usable issue. If you are using Squeak under Windows 2000, NT or XP, open up the task manager and change the priority on squeak to the lowest possible value. This way you will at least be able to switch windows. In Linux, changing the nice value will do it I think.
- If at all you are not using Wonderland at a given time, don't leave it open. For some reason just the bare minimum graphics (the ground and the sky) take up almost 100% of the processor.
- If you think that just hiding unused actors and redisplaying them when you need it will help speed up things you are wrong. If an object is hidden its still using up memory and a lot of it I may add. So if you are going to zone your wonderland enviornment(divide into sections), destroy the actors and not just hide them.
- Zoning is your friend. It will take some load off squeak and your system in turn.
Wonderland in general
Wonderland in general is pretty easy and straight forward to use. Just look up the quick reference. Also, the actor info tab is very very helpful. Use it as much as you. Sometimes if you get something placed right just the way you want it will be a matter of trial and error. If you get it right though and have no idea how just look up the actor info. It will not just give you the positioning but also info about the pitch and the roll of the object.
I must say that I started off hating squeak with a passion but then towards the end I realised its really easy to use. And you can do a lot with just very little code, especially in wonderland. I hope you leave the class with the same feeling. Good luck.
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- a.out last edited on 29 April 2002 at 11:24 pm by r70h57.res.gatech.edu