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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

One of the earlier XNA samples I tried converting from C# to VB.NET was the Bloom PostProcessing sample (original sample here.)

After converting the code, I fought with it nearly every night (after work) for several weeks trying to debug it and get it to perform properly. It seemed I was plagued with problems and eventually shelved it, writing it off as one of those things you just can't do in VB.NET.

After I knocked out several more samples, and learning a lot more about what works and what doesn't, I revisited the bloom sample this morning. After a couple hours of recreating the solution, fiddling with build targets, stepping through code, etc... I was no closer than when I started.

So I decided to write a letter to Shawn Hargreaves. In this letter, I carefully described the work I had done so far, and the problem I was having. As I was writing the letter, it occurred to me that I better have my facts really straight if I wanted him to take me seriously.  There are few things more embarrassing than asking for help and having someone point out the blatant flaw in something that you've been wrestling with for weeks.

So I double checked EVERYTHING again... and of course, while doing this, I found something that was wrong. So I fixed it, and debugged some more. Having solved one problem, but stumbled upon another, I adjusted the letter and debugged some more... Fixing that problem led me to adjust the letter some more, debug some more, etc...

Before long, the darn thing was working, and not just halfway. It was working PERFECTLY. 

So I never had to send Shawn the letter. Still, I feel like I couldn't have gotten it fixed without him. Even if he didn't know he was helping me.

So... if you're reading this, Thank You Shawn!!

Posted on Monday, December 24, 2007 10:12 PM Game Development , General Interest | Back to top

Comments on this post: Thank You Shawn Hargreaves

# re: Thank You Shawn Hargreaves
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LOL. I can't count the number of times that's happened to me.

Whether someone has come to me for help, or I've gone to discuss a troublesome tech issue with a colleague, there's just something about having to explain a problem that gets you to look at it from a new angle. And more often than not, that small shift in perspective is enough to get you to the next hurdle.

I love that aspect of programming. You actually feel like you've accomplished something. It doesn't matter than a gazillion folks have done the same thing before you. You're still proud of that shiny new tool. :P
Left by groundh0g on Dec 25, 2007 9:27 AM

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