Developers love to create utility tools. When you find that you want to simplify you programming life you look for a tool to solve the problem. If you can’t find one, you start dreaming how to build one yourself.
Whenever a new standard like SQL or XML is adopted the utility writers are immediately on the job creating useful tools. Before too long the community find the tools that work and starts spreading the news.
- .NET has Reflector
- XML as XML Spy
- SQL Server has Query Analyzer and Query Express
- WPF has Mole and Pistachio.
Today I’m happy to announce another WPF utility called Shazzam.
[Watch the video]
What does it do?
The goal of Shazzam is to make it simple to edit and test WPF Pixel Shader Effects.
Shader effects were added in .NET 3.5 SP and they are getting some good comments in the blog world. The steps for creating a shader are somewhat confusing, thus was born the idea to create a simple testing and viewing utility.
A user opens Shazzam, pastes a sample HLSL snippet into the editor and can instantly test the shader effect on a series of sample images. No fuss, no muss. No configuration of input parameters for each snippet. Shazzam figures out how many registers are defined in the code snippet and creates a testing harness.
Here are some of the highlights of the current build.
- Contains a HLSL editor.
- Open existing HLSL file. Save changes to file system if desired.
- Auto generates derived ShaderEffect class samples(VB and C#) for any valid HLSL snippet.
- Auto generates input controls to manipulate the shader registers.
- Contains sample images for instant viewing of shader effect.
- Supports importing custom user image.
- Rich color editing of C, C# and VB source.
I’ve created a CodePlex project so you will be able to see the source for Shazzam. The CodePlex project will be live soon. Naturally I have a few bugs to fix and some more features to add to Shazzam.
The link to the installer will be posted soon.
HLSL Code Editor
Generated C# and Visual Basic code
Auto Generated Testing controls