VolatileImage : Java Glossary

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VolatileImage
A type of Image object stored in the off-screen part of the hardware REGEN (Regenerate) buffer that can be blasted onto the visible region extremely quickly. The advantage is speed since the data have already passed the barrier between RAM (Random Access Memory) and REGEN RAM, and because the video controller card is specialised for moving bits around.

VolalileImage is an advanced technique similar to double buffering available in JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.1.4+. You build up the Image piece by piece off screen but inside the video card’s private memory already in the video card’s internal proprietary format. From there is can be blasted at blinding speed to the screen, since the data are already inside the video card and since it is already in the hardware format. I used this technique to implement smooth scrolling for the giant displays at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. It scrolls just by copying bits around inside the video card. Ironically, the blinding speed gives the illusion of majestic smoothness. Coding is tricky, because at any time the video card might steal back the RAM you had inside the video card. It is a bit of a black art getting these VolatileImage apps to work without glitches. I am available on a contract basis.

Learning More

Oracle’s Javadoc on VolatileImage class : available:

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