BRender Technical Reference Manual:2 Organisation of this Manual
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2 Organisation of this Manual

Objective
Audience
Coverage
Organisation
Using this Manual
Typographic conventions

Objective

The BRender Technical Reference Manual is designed to provide a reference for the developer who has started working with BRender, and to answer as many questions about the technical details of the BRender API as possible.

Audience

This manual is for all users of BRender that require detailed technical information. It is not intended as a 3D graphics tutorial or C programming tutorial. 3D application developers and programmers will need to be fully conversant with contemporary 3D graphics technology (ideally also having an appreciation of the lower level aspects) and considerably experienced at C programming.

Coverage

This manual only covers the BRender API, it does not cover platform specific support libraries, hardware or performance issues, nor does it provide introductory or tutorial material. Although it may provide some background, or suggestions for use, the manual is primarily concerned with providing reference documentation.

Organisation

Given that this manual is likely to be used from beginner as much as expert or intermediate, there is inevitably a compromise that has to be made in how the manual is organised. While the beginner might appreciate a step by step, procedural oriented manual (getting gradually more sophisticated through the pages), an expert might prefer everything arranged alphabetically as a pure reference. The compromise we have made is to have an initial section which describes the API in a structured way, with each aspect described in context, followed by a section with data structures in alphabetical order and the set of functions relevant to them. This is suitable for the intermediate to advanced developer, who has got up to speed with BRender, but doesn't yet know it inside out. Thus, a more structured organisation (than purely alphabetical) is required, but not so structured as to impede location. There is always going to be a steep learning curve for such a complex product as BRender, so introductory and tutorial material has been supplied separately.

Note that while the installation guides cover some technical material associated with particular platforms, the BRender API is covered in a single volume and includes all the inevitable platform variations. This is useful for giving an appreciation of the differences between function and performance across platforms, and should encourage developers to cater for such variation at the design stage.

The API Function

Each BRender function is described in a structured way using the following sub-headings:


The Data Structure

Each BRender data structure is described in a structured way using the following sub-headings:


Using this Manual

It is a good idea to skim through the entire manual first, just to familiarise yourself with the API. If you have a particular question concerning an aspect of the API, try to locate relevant documentation in the manual using the contents, function index, full index, or by leafing through appropriate sections. All functions and data structures have a subscript cross-reference to the page number on which they are described.

Typographic conventions

Throughout this manual, syntax, arguments, definitions and example code are in a typewriter-like font, to distinguish them from normal text. For example:

void BrTransformToTransform(br_transform *dest, const br_transform *src);
or

BR_ACTOR_CAMERA

Most public BRender functions have names of the form BrFunctionName(), i.e. with a prefix `Br' and a case-separated name*1. Most public BRender data structures have names of the form br_structure_name, i.e. with a prefix br_ and an underscore separated name.


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