This is really a collection of notes on various Radiance software
engineering issues that I've gathered up into one message...
I think that who decisions about what code goes into mainline Radiance
is very important. I, at least, want very much to see the physical accuracy
of the simulation maintained; in my view it's the engagement with
the physical behavior of light that makes Radiance so very valuable in
architectural design. (I bow in the general direction of Greg Ward.)
Speaking more generally, I'd like to put in a strong vote for
ansifying Radiance completely. Even though this might look like a
highly tedious task (and probably is), I'd expect it to uncover
and eliminate at least a one or two dozen subtle bugs throughout
the code. In the long run, it would make all future development a
Do I understand that you are thinking of using function prototypes
throughout? Then I agree it's an excellent idea--in fact, I would
like to see clean compilation with strict prototype warnings. The gcc
tool "protoize" might be useful in approaching the problem, but I say
that without experience with the tool. I also agree with Greg Ward
Larsen about the problems of conditional compilation (and so do the
Bell Labs developers of C, see
<http://plan9.bell-labs.com/sys/doc/comp.html>), and hope that whoever
handles the development avoids cluttering the code with conditionals
and their associated reliability problems.
positively a good idea. IMHO a full rewrite would be a better
investment, timewise, than an ANSIfication, at least for the existing
I agree with Greg Ward that this would be lot of work with no
guarantee of improvement at the end. The core of Radiance works
fairly well; I think we could get bogged down trying to perfect it.
Personally, I'd rather see effort spent on new facilities, perhaps on
better support of current graphics technologies, and updating some of
the associated scripts.
Also, tendered very cautiously, it might be worth removing some of the
older system components that are not much used, or at least relegating
them to unsupported status. I think, for instance, we could do
without Imagewriter support.<g>
That said, I will admit that I have had a very rough quarter at
school, and am unlikely to have much time to spend on this until the
fall of 2003, at least.