Monday, August 18, 2003

Dealing with Missing Assemblies

The other day, Sergey Vlasov asked me how to deal with the absence of the Managed DirectX assemblies on the target computer. It’s a great question, because – as more and more people work with Managed DirectX – applications are going to have to be prepared to run on machines that may have older versions of DirectX installed. Since Managed DirectX is new with DirectX 9.0 – and since it’s possible to install even DirectX 9 without the managed pieces – the absence of, say, Microsoft.DirectX.Direct3D.dll is a real possibility.

And this isn’t just a problem for DirectX assemblies. In general, it should be possible for applications to gracefully degrade when faced with a missing component. There are many definitions of “graceful degradation” – whether that’s throwing up a dialog box, emailing tech support automatically or downloading and installing the missing pieces depends on the application. But regardless, you have to know how to recover when your application tries to load an assembly and fails.

Anyway, as I was writing up this entry, it got a bit longer than I thought it would. So I decided to put it in with the rest of my articles. Read the article here.

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