Friday, January 18, 2013

WhirlyGlobe Component 2.1 (beta1)

The beta for WhirlyGlobe 2.1 is now officially out.  I'm tracking the Component and the API versions the same now, mostly because I'm using the Component on client projects.

Can you name all the features?  There will be a quiz.

Where to Get It

How about github?  Develop branch, v2.1_beta1 tag.

Or you could download the binary distribution if you want to skip all that compiling stuff.

What's In It

Tons of new stuff.  Just giant piles of it.  Read the last few blog posts for details.

The biggest internal change is OpenGL ES 2.0 support and that is now turned on by default.  If you want to go back to the older renderer, you can, but I don't think you'll need to.  There's a lot of optimization in the 2.0 renderer and more coming.

I've also switched to an off/on mode for the z-buffer.  It goes like this:
  • Z buffer is off when rendering the globe tiles
  • Still off when rendering 3D markers, stickers, labels, which are priority sorted.
  • Z buffer is turned on to render vectors
  • Still on to render 3D shapes and anything that needs occlusion culling.
  • Still on to render tile skirts.  This is why we don't see crawly black lines all over the place.
The best thing about that approach is we can use priority sorting for most things, then use the z-buffer for really big or weird things like those ballistic lines above.

How Stable Is It

Pretty stable.  I'm using it in several client projects.  Well, variants of it anyway.  Hey, the test app is working fine.