Tag Archives: directx

SharpDX: Managed DirectX for Metro from the community

One of the disappointments in Microsoft’s new Windows Runtime platform is lack of support for XNA, a gaming/fast graphics API which wraps DirectX and is supported on Windows, Windows Phone and on Xbox 360.

Developer Alexandre Mutel has stepped up to fill the gap with the open source SharpDX, which also provides access to the DirectX API from C#, supports both desktop and Windows Runtime development. One of the first games to use SharpDX, ARMED, has already arrived in the Windows Store.


In addition, Mutel says “it will certainly be possible to use ShardDX from Windows Phone 8”.

SharpDX was made possible by a custom tool called SharpGen which generates the .NET API automatically from the DirectX SDK.

The puzzle is why Microsoft did not make more effort to support XNA in Windows 8, or failing that to provide an alternative for .NET developers.

If you want to use SharpDX, be prepared for considerable effort learning the API, as there is little documentation so far. Still, it will likely be easier than learning C++, which is the official solution for DirectX on the Windows Runtime.

Firefox 4 as Psychedelic as IE9 with Direct2D enabled

IE9 is much faster than Firefox 4 beta at the Psychedelic test on the testdrive site, which demonstrates drawing fast graphics to the Canvas element. That said, a comment to an earlier post prompted me to try enabling Direct2D in Firefox 4.

As you would expect, the difference is dramatic. Here’s the before and after:

image image

How about IE9?


Really nothing in it. It’s all about hardware-accelerated graphics.

Direct2D is not enabled by default (currently), so it is not unreasonable for Microsoft to show the slower speed in its published comparison; but worth noting that the issue is easily fixed, presuming Firefox 4 is stable in this mode.

If you want to enable Direct2D in Firefox 4, the how-to is here.