author Sam Lantinga <>
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 04:43:36 +0000
changeset 4167 a6f635e5eaa6
parent 4052 b004c6c24a98
child 2207 d63e9f5944ae
child 5893 f3adae5e12cd
permissions -rw-r--r--
Fixed bug #611

From Tim Angus 2008-08-12 11:18:06

I'm one of the maintainers of, an updated version of the
Quake 3 engine. Relatively recently, we moved ioq3 to use SDL as a
replacement for 95% of the platform specific code that was there. On the
whole it's doing a great job but unfortunately since the move we've been
getting complaints about the quality of the mouse input on the Windows
platform to the point where for many the game is unplayable. Put in
other terms, the current stable SDL 1.2 is basically not fit for purpose
if you need high quality mouse input as you do in a first person shooter.

Over the weekend I decided to pull my finger out and actually figure out
what's going on. There are basically two major problems. Firstly, when
using the "windib" driver, mouse input is gathered via the WM_MOUSEMOVE
message. Googling for this indicates that often this is known to result
in "spurious" and/or "missing" mouse movement events; this is the
primary cause of the poor mouse input. The second problem is that the
"directx" driver does not work at all in combination with OpenGL meaning
that you can't use DirectInput if your application also uses OpenGL. In
other words you're locked into using the "windib" driver and its poor
mouse input.

In order to address these problems I've done the following:

* Remove WM_MOUSEMOVE based motion event generation and replace with
calls to GetCursorPos which seems much more reliable. In order to
achieve this I've moved mouse motion out into a separate function that
is called once per DIB_PumpEvents.

* Remove the restriction on the "directx" driver being inoperable in
combination with OpenGL. There is a bug for this issues that I've
hijacked to a certain extent
( I'm the first to admit
I don't really understand why this restriction is there in the first
place. The commit message for the bug fix that introduced this
restriction (r581) isn't very elaborate and I couldn't see any other bug
tracking the issue. If anyone has more information on the bug that was
avoided by r581 it would be helpful as I/someone could then look into
addressing the problem without disabling the "directx" driver.

* I've also removed the restriction on not being allowed to use
DirectInput in windowed mode. I couldn't see any reason for this, at
least not from our perspective. I have my suspicions that it'll be
something like matching up the cursor with the mouse coordinates...

* I bumped up the DirectInput API used to version 7 in order to get
access to mouse buttons 4-7. I've had to inject a little bit of the DX7
headers into SDL there as the MinGW ones aren't up to date in this respect.
     1 <HTML>
     2 	<HEAD>
     3 		<TITLE>Using SDL with Microsoft Visual C++</TITLE>
     4 	</HEAD>
     5 	<BODY>
     6 		<H1>
     7 			Using SDL with Microsoft Visual C++ 5,6&nbsp;and 7
     8 		</H1>
     9 		<H3>
    10 			by <A HREF="">Lion Kimbro </A>and additions by <A HREF="">
    11 				James Turk</A>
    12 		</H3>
    13 		<p>
    14 			You can either use the precompiled libraries from <A HREF="">
    15 				the SDL Download web site </A>, or you can build SDL yourself.
    16 		</p>
    17 		<H3>
    18 			Building SDL
    19 		</H3>
    20 		<P>
    21 			Unzip the <CODE></CODE> file into the directory that contains this 
    22 			file (<CODE>VisualC.html</CODE>).
    23 		</P>
    24 		<P>
    25 			Be certain that you unzip the zip file for your compiler into <strong>this</strong>
    26 			directory and not any other directory. If you are using WinZip, be careful to 
    27 			make sure that it extracts to <strong>this</strong> folder, because it's 
    28 			convenient feature of unzipping to a folder with the name of the file currently 
    29 			being unzipped will get you in trouble if you use it right now. And that's all 
    30 			I have to say about that.
    31 		</P>
    32 		<P>
    33 			Now that it's unzipped, go into the VisualC 
    34 			directory that is created, and double-click on the VC++ file "<CODE>SDL.dsw</CODE>"<STRONG><FONT color="#009900">
    35 					("<CODE>SDL.sln</CODE>").</FONT></STRONG> This should open up the IDE.
    36 		</P>
    37 		<P>
    38 			You may be prompted at this point to upgrade the workspace, should you be using 
    39 			a more recent version of Visual C++. If so, allow the workspace to be upgraded.
    40 		</P>
    41 		<P>
    42 			Build the <CODE>.dll</CODE> and <CODE>.lib</CODE> files.
    43 		</P>
    44 		<P>
    45 			This is done by right clicking on each project in turn (Projects are listed in 
    46 			the Workspace panel in the FileView tab), and selecting "Build".
    47 		</P>
    48 		<P>
    49 			If you get an error about SDL_config.h being missing, you should
    50 			copy include/SDL_config.h.default to include/SDL_config.h and try again.
    51 		</P>
    52 		<P>
    53 			You may get a few warnings, but you should not get any errors. You do have to 
    54 			have at least the DirectX 5 SDK installed, however. The latest 
    55 			version of DirectX can be downloaded or purchased on a cheap CD (my 
    56 			recommendation) from <A HREF="">Microsoft </A>.
    57 		</P>
    58 		<P>
    59 			Later, we will refer to the following .lib and .dll files that have just been 
    60 			generated:
    61 		</P>
    62 		<ul>
    63     <li> SDL.dll</li>
    64     <li> SDL.lib</li>
    65     <li> SDLmain.lib</li>
    66     </ul>
    67 		<P>
    68 			Search for these using the Windows Find (Windows-F) utility, if you don't 
    69 			already know where they should be. For those of you with a clue, look inside 
    70 			the Debug or Release directories of the subdirectories of the Project folder. 
    71 			(It might be easier to just use Windows Find if this sounds confusing. And 
    72 			don't worry about needing a clue; we all need visits from the clue fairy 
    73 			frequently.)
    74 		</P>
    75 		<H3>
    76 			Creating a Project with SDL
    77 		</H3>
    78 		<P>
    79 			Create a project as a Win32 Application.
    80 		</P>
    81 		<P>
    82 			Create a C++ file for your project.
    83 		</P>
    84 		<P>
    85 			Set the C runtime to "Multi-threaded DLL" in the menu: <CODE>Project|Settings|C/C++ 
    86 				tab|Code Generation|Runtime Library </CODE>.
    87 		</P>
    88 		<P>
    89 			Add the SDL <CODE>include</CODE> directory to your list of includes in the 
    90 			menu: <CODE>Project|Settings|C/C++ tab|Preprocessor|Additional include directories </CODE>
    91 			.
    92 			<br>
    93 			<STRONG><FONT color="#009900">VC7 Specific: Instead of doing this I find it easier to 
    94 					add the include and library directories to the list that VC7 keeps. Do this by 
    95 					selecting Tools|Options|Projects|VC++ Directories and under the "Show 
    96 					Directories For:" dropbox select "Include Files", and click the "New Directory 
    97 					Icon" and add the [SDLROOT]\include directory (ex. If you installed to 
    98 					c:\SDL-1.2.5\ add c:\SDL-1.2.5\include).&nbsp;Proceed to&nbsp;change the 
    99 					dropbox selection to "Library Files" and add [SDLROOT]\lib.</FONT></STRONG>
   100 		</P>
   101 			<P>
   102 				The "include directory" I am referring to is the <CODE>include</CODE> folder 
   103 				within the main SDL directory (the one that this HTML file located within).
   104 			</P>
   105 			<P>
   106 				Now we're going to use the files that we had created earlier in the Build SDL 
   107 				step.
   108 			</P>
   109 			<P>
   110 				Copy the following files into your Project directory:
   111 			</P>
   112 			<ul>
   113      <li> SDL.dll</li>
   114      </ul>
   115 			<P>
   116 				Add the following files to your project (It is not necessary to copy them to 
   117 				your project directory):
   118 			</P>
   119 			<ul>
   120      <li> SDL.lib </li>
   121      <li> SDLmain.lib</li>
   122      </ul>
   123 			<P>
   124 				(To add them to your project, right click on your project, and select "Add 
   125 				files to project")
   126 			</P>
   127 		<P><STRONG><FONT color="#009900">Instead of adding the files to your project it is more 
   128 					desireable to add them to the linker options: Project|Properties|Linker|Command 
   129 					Line and type the names of the libraries to link with in the "Additional 
   130 					Options:" box.&nbsp; Note: This must be done&nbsp;for&nbsp;each&nbsp;build 
   131 					configuration (eg. Release,Debug).</FONT></STRONG></P>
   132 		<H3>
   133 			SDL 101, First Day of Class
   134 		</H3>
   135 		<P>
   136 			Now create the basic body of your project. The body of your program should take 
   137 			the following form: <CODE>
   138 				<PRE>
   139 #include "SDL.h"
   141 int main( int argc, char* argv[] )
   142 {
   143   // Body of the program goes here.
   144   return 0;
   145 }
   146 </PRE>
   147 			</CODE>
   148 		<P></P>
   149 		<H3>
   150 			That's it!
   151 		</H3>
   152 		<P>
   153 			I hope that this document has helped you get through the most difficult part of 
   154 			using the SDL: installing it. Suggestions for improvements to this document 
   155 			should be sent to the writers of this document.
   156 		</P>
   157 		<P>
   158 			Thanks to Paulus Esterhazy (, for the work on VC++ port.
   159 		</P>
   160 		<P>
   161 			This document was originally called "VisualC.txt", and was written by <A HREF="">
   162 				Sam Lantinga</A>.
   163 		</P>
   164 		<P>
   165 			Later, it was converted to HTML and expanded into the document that you see 
   166 			today by <A HREF="">Lion Kimbro</A>.
   167 		</P>
   168 		<P>Minor Fixes and Visual C++ 7 Information (In Green) was added by <A HREF="">James Turk</A>
   169 		</P>
   170 	</BODY>
   171 </HTML>