01 September, 2010

Moving on to gtkmm

I have spent the last weeks trying to improve some parts of GHangtux. One of the improvements (the more obvious and complicated one), came with the code restructuring.

BEFORE, all the code was divided in three different files:
- main.c: all code for the program except for the keyboard widget.
- keyboard.c/.h: keyboard widget code.

This structure made the code easy to read at the very beginning, but was obviously a bad idea for the long term. Actually, you should always divide your program in small modules although you think is going to be a very tiny one. It might be now, but who knows what is going to happen in the future. Also, you help to make this code reusable for other programs or programmers. So, mental note: always use modular code from the beginning!.

NOW, the code is divided in ten different files:
- ghangtux.c/.h: main program and definition of main structures.
- ghangtux_ui.c/.h: user interface.
- ghangtux_management.c/.h: functions for game management.
- ghangtux_utils.c/.h: auxiliary functions.
- ghangtux_keyboard.c/.h: keyboard widget.

After all the new code structure was ready, I decided to set up GTK-Doc to document GHangtux in a proper way (still need to finish commenting the functions), which brought me to the eternal discussion "recursive or non recursive Makefiles?". GTK-Doc documentation gave me the impression that I HAD to use recursive make with no explanation and no other chance. After some research and discussing about it with Dave, we found the way to do it "my way", that means: non recursive. You can read Peter Miller's excellent paper to learn why recursive make invocations are both slow and error-prone.

Happy with the results so far, I moved on to "convert GHangtux" to gtkmm, so now I am busy reading "Accelerated C++" and "Effective C++". Let's wait for the magic to happen soon ;).

Take care!