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Release Notes

Fastgraph (tm) V3.0

July 31, 1993



Ted Gruber Software
PO Box 13408
Las Vegas, NV 89112

(702) 735-1980 voice
(702) 735-4603 FAX
(702) 796-7134 BBS
72000,1642 CIS

Copyright (c) 1991-1993 Ted Gruber Software.
All Rights Reserved.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Introduction
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Fastgraph 3.0 release notes describe the new features added in Fastgraph
3.00 through 3.02 (hereafter collectively referred to as Fastgraph 3.0). The
release notes will be of interest to customers who are already familiar with
Fastgraph so they can get an overview of the new version. Among the many new
features in Fastgraph 3.0 are:

* SVGA support for 19 chipsets plus VESA in resolutions of 640x400x256,
640x480x256, 800x600x256, 1024x768x256, 800x600x16, and 1024x768x16.
* Routines for displaying and creating GIF files (not in Fastgraph/Light).
* Routines for FAST filling of convex polygons, with clipping.
* Low-level keyboard handler, ideal for game development.
* User-definable image buffer (up to 64K) for faster creation and display
of GIF, PCX, and pixel run files.
* Additional graphics primitives, including XOR points/lines/boxes in all
graphics modes, filled circles and ellipses, and clipped region fill.
* Bit maps that don't include transparent colors.
* Block transfers between RAM and video memory instead of just video memory
to video memory.
* Improved ROM text support, including three font sizes (VGA/SVGA) and the
ability to display strings relative to any graphics position.
* Ability to access up to 1MB video RAM in non-SVGA modes with certain SVGA
chipsets (see the READ.ME file for more information about this).
* Ability to display PCX images at the position defined in the PCX header
instead of only relative to the current graphics position.
* Total of 47 new functions.
* Support for additional compilers.

The release notes provide an overview of most of these new features. For
details, refer to the Fastgraph User's Guide and Reference Manual.

Please be sure to see the last section of this document, which discusses two
important compatibility considerations when migrating Fastgraph 2.xx programs
to version 3.0.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary of New Routines in Fastgraph 3.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following routines are new to Fastgraph 3.0. Please see the Fastgraph
Reference Manual for full descriptions, including their parameters, return
values, and restrictions.

FG_BOXW World space version of FG_BOX
FG_BOXX Draw hollow rectangle in XOR mode
FG_BOXXW World space version of FG_BOXX
FG_CIRCLEF Draw a filled circle
FG_CIRCLEFW World space version of FG_CIRCLEF
FG_DEFPAGES Define extended video pages when using block transfer routines
FG_DRAWRELX Draw line in XOR mode relative to graphics position
FG_DRAWRXW World space version of FG_DRAWRELX
FG_DRAWX Draw line in XOR mode
FG_DRAWXW World space version of FG_DRAWX
FG_ELLIPSEF Draw a filled ellipse
FG_ELLIPSFW World space version of FG_ELLIPSEF
FG_FILLPAGE Fill active video page with the current color
FG_FLOOD Like FG_PAINT but observes the clipping limits
FG_FLOODW World space version of FG_FLOOD
FG_FONTSIZE Enable 8x8, 8x14, or 8x16 ROM font (VGA/SVGA only)
FG_GETBLOCK Transfer rectangular region from video memory to RAM
FG_GETENTRY Get address and type of a physical, virtual, or logical page
FG_IMAGEBUF Define address and size of Fastgraph's GIF/PCX file buffer
FG_INSIDE Check if a specified point is inside a convex polygon
FG_JUSTIFY Define justification settings for FG_PRINT
FG_KBINIT Enable or disable the Fastgraph low-level keyboard handler
FG_KBTEST Determine if a key is now pressed or released
FG_MAKEGIF Create GIF file from rectangular region of active video page
FG_MAKEPPR Create PPR file from rectangular region of active video page
FG_MAKESPR Create SPR file from rectangular region of active video page
FG_MEMORY Return amount of video memory present in kilobytes
FG_MOUSEFIN Unhook Fastgraph's XVGA or SVGA mouse handler
FG_PAGESIZE Return video page size in bytes
FG_POINTX Draw point in XOR mode
FG_POINTXW World space version of FG_POINTX
FG_POLYFILL Draw filled convex polygon
FG_POLYLINE Draw unfilled polygon from one vertex array
FG_POLYOFF Define polygon offsets for FG_POLYFILL and FG_POLYLINE
FG_PRINT Display hardware characters in screen space
FG_PUTBLOCK Transfer rectangular region from RAM to video memory
FG_PUTIMAGE Like FG_DRWIMAGE but doesn't check for transparent pixels
FG_SETENTRY Set address and type of a physical, virtual, or logical page
FG_SHOWGIF Display GIF file
FG_SHOWPCX Display PCX file (formerly FG_DISPPCX)
FG_SHOWPPR Display packed pixel run (PPR) file
FG_SHOWSPR Display standard pixel run (SPR) file
FG_SVGAINIT Initialize Fastgraph's SVGA kernel
FG_SVGASTAT Return information about the active SVGA chipset
FG_SVGAVER Return Fastgraph SVGA kernel version number
FG_TCDEFINE Define transparent color number for FG_TCXFER
FG_WAITVR Specify if functions wait internally for vertical retrace

Note that FG_MAKEGIF, FG_SHOWGIF, and the world space functions are not in
Fastgraph/Light.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New SVGA Video Modes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Six new video modes have been introduced for Fastgraph's SVGA support. These
are summarized below:

640x400x256 mode 24 1024x768x256 mode 27
640x480x256 mode 25 800x600x16 mode 28
800x600x256 mode 26 1024x768x16 mode 29

Before you establish an SVGA graphics mode with FG_SETMODE, you must call the
FG_SVGAINIT function. This new function initializes Fastgraph's SVGA kernel
for a specific SVGA chipset (see the list of supported chipsets in the next
section). You can use FG_SVGAINIT to automatically detect the system's SVGA
chipset, or you can use a specific chipset.

More information about the new SVGA video modes, Fastgraph's SVGA kernel, and
the FG_SVGAINIT routine appears in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Fastgraph User's
Guide.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Supported SVGA Chipsets
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As different manufacturers developed SVGA cards, they implemented the SVGA
features according to their own specifications (each unique implementation is
called a "chipset"). This situation arose because of the lack of an SVGA
standard. Fastgraph 3.0 will directly support the SVGA chipsets listed in
the table below. A "Y" entry means the chipset supports the video mode, and
an "N" means it doesn't. The last row of the table shows the amount of video
memory required to support each mode.

----------- 256 colors ------------ --- 16 colors ---
SVGA chipset 640x400 640x480 800x600 1024x768 800x600 1024x768
==============================================================================
Ahead "A" type Y Y Y N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ahead "B" type Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ATI 18800 Y Y Y N Y N
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ATI 18800-1 Y Y Y N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ATI 28800 Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chips & Tech 82c451 Y N N N Y N
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chips & Tech 82c452 Y Y N N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chips & Tech 82c453 Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genoa 6000 series Y Y Y N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oak OTI-067 N Y Y N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paradise PVGA1a Y Y N N Y N
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paradise WD90C00/10 Y Y N N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paradise WD90C11/30/31 Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
S3 N Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trident 8800 Y Y N N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trident 8900/8900B/8900C Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tseng ET3000 N Y Y N Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tseng ET4000 Y Y Y Y Y Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Video7 Y Y Y Y Y Y
==============================================================================
minimum video RAM needed 256 512 512 1MB 256 512
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VESA-compatible SVGA Cards
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has assumed the complex
task of improving the compatibility of SVGA cards from different companies.
Most SVGA cards sold today include VESA compatibility, either directly in ROM
or through software drivers. Fastgraph 3.0 provides support for any SVGA
card with VESA compatibility.

When using VESA compatibility, the VESA BIOS handles all chipset-specific
functions such as bank switching. The overhead imposed by the BIOS usually
makes the VESA modes slightly slower than using chipset-specific functions
directly. For this reason, the FG_SVGAINIT routine lets you specify if you
want to give precedence to the chipset-specific SVGA code or to the VESA
BIOS. Chipset-specific precedence means FG_SVGAINIT will only use the VESA
BIOS if no supported SVGA chipset is found. Conversely, VESA precedence
means FG_SVGAINIT will only use the chipset-specific functions if no VESA
BIOS is found.

VESA implementations for some video cards are more VESA-compatible than
others, especially in areas of page flipping and panning. Fastgraph has no
way to determine the degree of compatibility for any VESA function. If an
SVGA program will include VESA support, we recommend also including a method
to select chipset-specific SVGA code. Problematic VESA drivers are beyond
the control of Fastgraph, of application programmers, and perhaps most
importantly, beyond the control of your program's end users.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SVGA Read and Write Banks
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accessing video memory on an SVGA is controlled through a banking scheme that
maps contiguous 64KB blocks of video memory into a segmented address space.
In other words, referencing a specific byte in video RAM requires a bank
number and an address offset within that bank. Some SVGA cards provide dual
read and write bank registers, while others perform both operations through
the same bank register.

Fastgraph's FG_COPYPAGE, FG_RESTORE, FG_SAVE, FG_TCXFER, and FG_TRANSFER
functions copy rectangular blocks from one part of video memory to another.
If an SVGA card provides separate read and write banks, these functions can
copy the source region directly to the destination region. However, SVGA
cards that employ a single bank register require that these functions copy
the source region to an intermediate buffer and then copy the buffer contents
to the destination. This makes the block transfer operation slower,
especially in 16-color SVGA modes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SVGA Display Pages
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Most of the SVGA graphics modes include additional video pages if your SVGA
card has enough video RAM. The following table shows the number of video
pages available in each mode.

Mode Number of pages with....
Number Resolution 256KB 512KB 768KB 1MB

24 640x400x256 1 2 3 4
25 640x480x256 0 1 1 2
26 800x600x256 0 1 1 2
27 1024x768x256 0 0 1 1
28 800x600x16 1 2 3 4
29 1024x768x16 0 1 1 2

Some SVGA chipsets restrict what you can do with video pages beyond page 0.
Certain chipsets let you access the additional pages but do not let you make
them the visual page, while others completely disable some or all of the
extra memory in some video modes. A few older chipsets have limitations on
page flipping and panning. These items are discussed in the READ.ME file.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SVGA Chipset Limitations and Problems
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This section summarizes the known limitations and problems of the supported
SVGA chipsets.

The ATI 18800 chipset restricts horizontal panning to four-pixel increments
in 256-color SVGA modes. In these modes, FG_PAN will reduce the x position
to a multiple of four pixels.

The Genoa 6000 series chipsets do not include the ability to set the display
start address beyond the 16-bit capability provided by the CRT Controller.
This means FG_SETVPAGE is not meaningful in SVGA graphics modes. Further,
the FG_PAN screen origin is restricted to the first 64K bytes of video memory
in 256-color SVGA modes, and to the first 256K bytes in 16-color SVGA modes.

The Genoa 6000 series chipsets restrict horizontal panning to even addresses
in video memory in the 1024x768x16 mode (mode 29). This means you can pan
only to x coordinates where x modulo 16 is less than 8.

The Oak OTI-067 chipset apparently does not include the ability to set the
display start address beyond the 16-bit capability provided by the CRT
Controller. This means FG_SETVPAGE is not meaningful in SVGA graphics modes.
Further, the FG_PAN screen origin is restricted to the first 64K bytes of
video memory in 256-color SVGA modes, and to the first 256K bytes in 16-color
SVGA modes.

The Oak OTI-067 chipset has paging problems in 16-color SVGA modes. Because
this chipset supports a maximum of 512K video memory, mode 28 is the only
16-color SVGA mode that is a candidate for additional pages. However, video
memory beyond 256K is apparently disabled in this mode.

All Paradise chipsets restrict horizontal panning to four-pixel increments in
256-color SVGA modes. In these modes, FG_PAN will reduce the x position to a
multiple of four pixels.

All S3 chipsets restrict horizontal panning to four-pixel increments in 256-
color SVGA modes. In these modes, FG_PAN will reduce the x position to a
multiple of four pixels.

The Trident 8800 chipsets use a unique pixel doubling technique in the 256-
color SVGA modes. For example, the 640 x 400 mode (mode 24) actually uses a
1280 x 400 video frame. This means a multisync monitor is required to use
the two available 256-color modes (24 and 25). Note that this "feature" only
applies to the Trident 8800 and NOT the 8900 family.

Video cards based on the Trident 8900, 8900B, and 8900C chipsets all have
problems accessing video memory beyond 512K in 16-color SVGA modes. This
means a 1MB Trident card has two pages instead of four in mode 28, and one
page instead of two in mode 29.

At least one video card based on the Trident 8900C chipset has problems
accessing video memory beyond 512K in the 640x400 and 640x480 256-color SVGA
modes (in addition to the similar problem in the 16-color SVGA modes for all
Trident chipsets). Such cards would have two video pages instead of four in
modes 24 and 28, and one page instead of two in modes 25 and 29. Note that
this problem does not apply to all Trident 8900C cards; the problem has only
been reported on one 8900C-based video card.

Video cards based on the Video7 HT208 chipset (i.e., the Video7 VGA 1024i)
have panning problems in all SVGA modes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
XVGA and SVGA Mouse Support
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This release offers mouse support for the extended VGA (XVGA) graphics video
modes (modes 20 to 23) and SVGA graphics modes (24 to 29). In these modes,
Fastgraph displays the mouse cursor through an interrupt handler that is
activated whenever the mouse moves. The handler is installed when you call
FG_MOUSEINI in modes 20 to 29.

If you do not disable this handler before your program exits, strange things
will happen. More specifically, characters may be invisible, or your system
may hang upon attempting a disk access. Obviously, these are problems to
avoid. The FG_MOUSEFIN routine removes Fastgraph's mouse interrupt handler
previously installed with FG_MOUSEINI. You should call FG_MOUSEFIN just
before restoring the original video mode, as illustrated below:

fg_mousefin();
fg_setmode(old_mode);
fg_reset();
/* now exit to DOS */

Note that calling FG_MOUSEFIN is required only in XVGA and SVGA graphics
modes. Calling it in other video modes is not applicable, though it causes
no problems.

In the standard VGA/MCGA 256-color mode (mode 19), white pixels in the mouse
cursor are displayed in color 15. This is inconsistent with other graphics
modes, where the white pixels are displayed in the highest-numbered color
value available in that mode. Fastgraph corrects this inconsistency in modes
20 to 27 by displaying white mouse cursor pixels in color 255. Like color 15,
color 255 is white by default. This allows you to redefine color 15 in your
256-color applications without interfering with the mouse cursor colors.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low-Level Keyboard Handler
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fastgraph 3.0 includes a new low-level keyboard handler that replaces the
BIOS keyboard handler. Fastgraph's keyboard handler intercepts keystrokes
ahead of the BIOS and thus eliminates the annoying beep that sounds upon
filling the BIOS keyboard buffer. The low-level keyboard handler should be
especially well-suited to game development because it increases keyboard
responsiveness in high-speed action games. However, when the low-level
keyboard handler is enabled, it is not possible to use FG_GETKEY, FG_INTKEY,
or any third party functions that use BIOS or DOS services to access the
keyboard. For this reason, a program that enables the low-level keyboard
handler must disable it before exiting to DOS.

The low-level keyboard handler can be enabled and disabled at any time. The
FG_KBINIT routine is provided for this purpose. When it is enabled, you can
use the FG_KBTEST routine to check if keys are currently pressed or released.
FG_KBTEST provides the only mechanism for accessing the keyboard when the
low-level handler is enabled.

Please see Chapter 14 of the Fastgraph User's Guide for a full description of
the low-level keyboard handler.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some Notes About Polygons
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fastgraph's new polygon fill function (FG_POLYFILL) fills convex polygons. A
polygon is convex if any horizontal line drawn through the polygon crosses the
left edge exactly once and the right edge exactly once (excluding horizontal
and zero-length edge segments). Note that this definition includes shapes
that are not convex in the traditional sense. In addition, any non-convex
polygon can be decomposed into two or more convex polygons.

The filled convex polygon is a fundamental tool of three-dimensional computer
graphics. A common practice is to build an image or object from several
adjacent or connecting polygons. Such polygons typically overlap at one or
more edges. For instance, the coordinates defining the right edge of one
polygon may also define the left edge of another polygon immediately to its
right. For an overall image to appear correct, its component polygons must
fit together correctly. Fastgraph's FG_POLYFILL function applies the
following rules to handle overlapping polygon edges:

1) Points located exactly on non-horizontal edges are drawn only if the
polygon's interior is directly to the right.

2) Points located exactly on horizontal edges are drawn only if the
polygon's interior is directly below them.

3) A vertex is drawn only if all lines ending at that point meet the above
two conditions.

These three rules ensure that no pixel is drawn more than once when filling
adjacent polygons. However, they may not be suitable for displaying polygons
that are not adjacent because some of the pixels on the polygon's edge will
not be included. If this is an issue, first draw the filled polygon with
FG_POLYFILL, then draw an unfilled polygon having the same vertices with the
FG_POLYLINE function. Both FG_POLYFILL and FG_POLYLINE honor the current
clipping limits.

Refer to Chapter 6 of the Fastgraph User's Guide for more information about
Fastgraph's new polygon routines.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Extended Video Pages
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the more frequent technical support questions we receive is "I have
one megabyte of memory on my video card, why can I only use the first 256K?".
The answer is simple: the standard EGA and VGA modes have no way to address
video memory beyond 256K. Accessing this memory requires SVGA bank switching
techniques. This is analogous to the fact that you might have four megabytes
of RAM on your system, but without an EMS/XMS memory manager, a DOS extender,
or the like, all that memory won't do much good.

Unfortunately, not all SVGA chipsets allow bank switching in non-SVGA video
modes. For those that do, however, Fastgraph 3.0 includes a last-minute
addition called EXTENDED VIDEO PAGES that provide access to all memory on the
video card in modes 13 to 23 instead of restricting access to the first
256K. This means, for example, that a 1MB SVGA card will allow 32 physical
pages in mode 13 rather than the usual 8 pages. At this time, extended pages
are available with the following SVGA chipsets:

Ahead B (except in mode 19)
ATI 28800 (except in mode 19)
Paradise WD90C11/WD90C30/WD90C31
Tseng ET4000

Although extended pages are used in non-SVGA graphics modes, the method of
accessing video memory above 256K is specific to each SVGA chipset. Thus,
you must initialize Fastgraph's SVGA kernel (with FG_SVGAINIT) before you can
use extended pages.

When writing applications that use extended video pages, you should make sure
they are available on the active SVGA chipset and that there is enough video
memory for the number of pages required. First, verify that FG_SVGAINIT
successfully initializes the SVGA kernel. If so, use the FG_SVGASTAT routine
to see if the SVGA chipset supports extended pages. Finally, use FG_MEMORY
to insure that enough video memory is available for the number of video pages
needed.

The following table shows the number of video pages available in modes 13 to
23.

Number of Pages With...
Mode 256K 512K 1MB

13 8 16 32
14 4 8 16
15 2 4 8
16 2 4 8
17 2 4 8
18 2 4 8
19 4 8 16
20 4 8 16
21 2 4 8
22 4 8 16
23 2 4 8

Note that when extended pages are not enabled, the video mode has the number
of physical video pages listed in the 256K column. The exception to this is
mode 19, which has only one physical page unless extended pages are enabled.

Some video modes do not provide the listed number of full video pages. For
example, modes 17 and 18 normally have two video pages -- one full 640x480
page (page 0) and one partial 640x320 page (page 1). For extended pages,
Fastgraph uses a page numbering scheme that maintains consistency with its
standard page numbering. That is, when extended pages are available and mode
17 or 18 is used on a 1MB video card, the page numbers will range from 0 to
7, with the even-numbered pages being full pages and the odd-numbered pages
being partial 640x320 pages. Similarly, in mode 22 pages 3, 7, 11, and 15
are partial (320x80); in mode 23 odd-numbered pages are partial (320x320).
See the Fastgraph User's Guide for more information on partial video pages.

When you use Fastgraph's block transfer routines (FG_COPYPAGE, FG_RESTORE,
FG_SAVE, FG_TCXFER, and FG_TRANSFER) with extended pages, you must also use
the new FG_DEFPAGES routine to define the source and destination video pages.
This is needed because the two pages may reside in different SVGA banks, and
bank switching is not performed in Fastgraph's non-SVGA code. The additional
overhead of having the block transfer routines determine the bank numbers is
not necessary in all cases (see below), and it would also impact the block
transfer routines when extended pages are not being used.

Before you use one of the block transfer routines, you must call FG_DEFPAGES,
passing it the source and destination page numbers. FG_DEFPAGES determines
the SVGA bank numbers in which the source and destination pages reside and
then enables the corresponding banks for reading and writing, respectively.
These banks remain in effect until you define new ones with FG_DEFPAGES or
FG_SETPAGE, so you may not need to call FG_DEFPAGES before every call to a
block transfer routine. The following table shows the bank numbers for each
video page in each 16-color mode that supports extended pages.

---------- Pages in ----------
Mode Bank 0 Bank 1 Bank 2 Bank 3

13 0-7 8-15 16-23 24-31
14 0-3 4-7 8-11 12-15
15 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7
16 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7
17 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7
18 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7
20 0-3 4-7 8-11 12-15
21 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7
22 0-3 4-7 8-11 12-15
23 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-7

In mode 19, each of the 16 possible pages is in its own SVGA bank. That is,
page 0 is in bank 0, page 1 is in bank 1, and so forth.

The following code calls FG_DEFPAGES only when needed in mode 13, where each
group of 8 pages resides in its own SVGA bank. FG_SETMODE enables bank 0
for reading and writing, so we don't need to call FG_DEFPAGES until we
reference a page in one of the other banks (page 10 in this example).

fg_svgainit(0);
fg_setmode(13); /* enables bank 0 for reading and writing */
fg_copypage(0,1);
fg_copypage(0,2);
fg_defpages(0,1); /* page 10 is in bank 1 */
fg_copypage(2,10);
fg_defpages(1,1); /* page 15 is in bank 1 */
fg_copypage(10,15);
fg_setpage(0); /* enables bank 0 for reading and writing */
fg_erase();
fg_copypage(0,3);
fg_defpages(1,0); /* page 15 is in bank 1 */
fg_copypage(15,4);

FG_DEFPAGES has no effect unless extended pages are enabled.

Most mouse drivers know nothing about SVGA bank switching and non-standard
video modes (that's why Fastgraph must hook its own mouse cursor control
handlers into the mouse driver in XVGA and SVGA modes). As Fastgraph still
programs the mouse driver for cursor control in modes 13 to 19, it is only
possible to display the mouse cursor on video pages in the first SVGA bank
(bank 0) in these modes. Note that this does not apply to modes 20 to 23,
where Fastgraph controls the mouse cursor through its own handlers.

Some SVGA chipsets do not reset the read and write bank numbers back to zero
when establishing a non-SVGA video mode. When a mode set operation clears
video memory, such chipsets will clear the first video page in whatever write
bank was last selected. While FG_SETMODE does set the read and write banks
to zero when extended pages are available, it cannot do this before setting
the video mode, which is what normally would clear the screen. This may
result in artifacts on page 0 after calling FG_SETMODE. The easiest way
around this problem is to call FG_DEFPAGES(0,0) before restoring the original
video mode in programs that use extended pages. Even this, however, does not
clear video memory after a mode set when using extended pages with some SVGA
chipsets. We therefore recommend calling FG_ERASE immediately after calling
FG_SETMODE when using extended pages.

Extended pages may be resized (with FG_RESIZE) just as the standard video
pages may in modes 13-18 and 20-23. However, the resulting pages must not
cross SVGA bank boundaries. In mode 20, for instance, you normally have four
320x200 pages in each bank. You could change the video page size to 640x400,
thereby having four larger pages, one in each bank. You could not, however,
resize video memory to two 640x800 pages, as each page would span two banks.

Again, we developed extended pages as a last-minute addition to Fastgraph
because we've had so many requests for this feature. Please bear in mind
that the implementation of extended pages in Fastgraph 3.0 is the first
attempt at a solution to our customer's needs. In the future, we hope to
find ways to support more SVGA chipsets and remove some of the limitations,
especially the restriction on displaying the mouse cursor beyond bank zero.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimizations, Improvements, and Corrections to Existing Routines
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The performance of several existing Fastgraph functions has been improved in
version 3.0. The most notable of these are FG_DRWIMAGE (in 16-color modes)
and FG_PAINT, both of which provide a performance improvement on the order of
20% to 25%.

The FG_TEXT routine no longer uses the BIOS in modes 13 to 18. This change
greatly improves the speed of FG_TEXT in these modes. It also eliminates
the problem where characters were displayed in the wrong colors when a
character's background cell contained pixels of different colors.

The FG_PAN routine now supports one-pixel horizontal panning in modes 19 to
23. Previously panning was restricted to four-pixel increments in these
video modes.

Fastgraph's mouse support routines no longer require the presence of the
mouse driver's EGA Register Interface Library (RIL) when using the mouse in
modes 17 and 18. Fastgraph will still use the RIL if it is present, as many
mouse drivers rely on the RIL for proper operation. For mouse drivers such
as the OS/2 mouse driver that do not use the RIL in these modes, Fastgraph
now programs the VGA registers directly, just as when the mouse isn't used.

In modes 20 and 21, the video page offsets were changed to prevent the mouse
cursor save area from conflicting with displayable video memory. This would
cause problems if the last video page (page 3 in mode 20, page 1 in mode 21)
was the visual page and you moved the mouse into the lower right corner of
the screen. If your code relies on specific page offsets in these modes, the
new page sizes are 3E80 hex for mode 20 and 7D00 hex for mode 21. The values
in Fastgraph 2.xx were 4000 and 8000 hex respectively.

The FG_BESTMODE routine will now propose mode 20 instead of mode 19 when
checking for a 320 x 200 graphics mode on VGA systems.

The order of the two FG_BOXDEPTH parameters has been corrected (they were
transposed in Fastgraph 2.xx).

The masking map routines (FG_CLIPMASK, FG_DRAWMASK, FG_FLIPMASK, and
FG_REVMASK) now work in all video modes.

The CLIP utility no longer requires two video pages, which means it now
supports modes 17, 18, and 23.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Turbo Pascal Unit Files
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fastgraph 2.xx uses two unit files, FGTP.TPU and FGTPX.TPU. FGTP.TPU is the
primary Fastgraph unit, while FGTPX.TPU contains the extended Fastgraph
routines listed in Appendix D of the Fastgraph User's Guide.

Borland Pascal and Turbo Pascal restrict the total size of all code segments
in a unit file 65,520 bytes. With the introduction of the SVGA support and
other new features in Fastgraph 3.0, the size of the FGTP.TPU unit file would
have exceeded this limit. For this reason, the FGTP.TPU file has been split
into several unit files.

Fastgraph routines in FGBITMAP.TPU:

FG_CLIPMASK FG_FLIPMASK FG_IMAGEBUF FG_REVIMAGE
FG_CLPIMAGE FG_FLPIMAGE FG_IMAGESIZ FG_REVMASK
FG_DRAWMASK FG_GETBLOCK FG_PUTBLOCK
FG_DRWIMAGE FG_GETIMAGE FG_PUTIMAGE

Fastgraph routines in FGGIF.TPU:

FG_MAKEGIF FG_SHOWGIF

Fastgraph routines in FGMISC.TPU:

FG_BUTTON FG_INTKEY FG_MOUSEPOS FG_SETCAPS
FG_CAPSLOCK FG_KBINIT FG_MOUSEPTR FG_SETNUM
FG_CURSOR FG_KBTEST FG_MOUSESPD FG_SOUND
FG_GETCLOCK FG_MEASURE FG_MOUSEVIS FG_SOUNDS
FG_GETKEY FG_MEMAVAIL FG_MUSIC FG_SUSPEND
FG_GETXJOY FG_MOUSEBUT FG_MUSICB FG_VOICE
FG_GETYJOY FG_MOUSECUR FG_NUMLOCK FG_VOICES
FG_HUSH FG_MOUSEFIN FG_PLAYING FG_WAITFOR
FG_HUSHNEXT FG_MOUSEINI FG_QUIET FG_WAITKEY
FG_INITJOY FG_MOUSELIM FG_RESUME
FG_INTJOY FG_MOUSEMOV FG_SCRLOCK

Fastgraph routines in FGPCX.TPU:

FG_MAKEPCX FG_PCXHEAD FG_PCXMODE FG_SHOWPCX

Fastgraph routines in FGPR.TPU:

FG_DISPFILE FG_DISPLAYP FG_MAKESPR FG_SHOWSPR
FG_DISPLAY FG_MAKEPPR FG_SHOWPPR

Fastgraph routines in FGSVGA.TPU:

FG_DEFPAGES FG_SVGAINIT FG_SVGASTAT FG_SVGAVER
FG_MEMORY

Any Fastgraph routine that uses the world space coordinate system is in the
file FGWORLD.TPU (this was formerly FGTPX.TPU). All other Fastgraph routines
are in the FGMAIN.TPU unit file.

The above lists appear in Appendix E of the Fastgraph User's Guide.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Converting Applications to Fastgraph 3.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Only two features in Fastgraph 2.xx are not upwardly compatible with version
3.0. The first applies only to Borland Pascal and Turbo Pascal, while the
second applies to all supported compilers.

As described in the previous section, it was necessary to split the FGTP.TPU
unit of Fastgraph 2.xx into several unit files. Additionally, the FGTPX.TPU
unit is now called FGWORLD.TPU. Pascal programmers must replace the FGTP and
FGTPX unit names in the USES statement with FGMAIN and FGWORLD, respectively.
If your programs call any of the routines in the other new units, you must
add the appropriate unit names to the USES statement as well. Please see the
preceding section of this document or Appendix E of the Fastgraph User's
Guide for lists of the Fastgraph routines in each unit file.

The other change pertains to the new FG_SHOWPCX function, which replaces the
FG_DISPPCX function of earlier versions (the function was renamed to avoid
confusion with the pixel run display routines, which all have names of the
form FG_DISPxxxx). In addition, a new bit (bit 2) has been defined in the
routine's flags argument to allow positioning the PCX image at the location
specified in the PCX file header (FG_DISPPCX always displayed PCX files
relative to the current graphics position). When the position bit is zero,
the PCX image will be displayed at the position defined in the PCX header.

PCX image positioning will generally not be an issue for full-screen PCX files
because the PCX header typically defines their upper left corner at the screen
origin, which is where you'd move to display a full-screen image anyway.
However, if a PCX file is smaller than the screen resolution and you want to
override the image positioning in the PCX header, you must define a new
FG_SHOWPCX flags argument in which bit two is set. That is, the Fastgraph
2.xx call FG_DISPPCX(filename,0) is equivalent to FG_SHOWPCX(filename,2).
Similarly, FG_DISPPCX(filename,1) is equivalent to FG_SHOWPCX(filename,3).
Note that C programmers can use the following preprocessor directive to make
an old FG_DISPPCX call compatible with the new FG_SHOWPCX function.

#define fg_disppcx(a,b) fg_showpcx(a,b|2)


  3 Responses to “Category : Miscellaneous Language Source Code
Archive   : FLG302A.ZIP
Filename : WHATS.NEW

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