Sometimes an application may want direct access to the custom screen's bitmap to use with low-level graphics library calls. This may be useful if the application needs to do custom manipulation of the display but also needs Intuition functionality. For instance, an application may want to use the graphics library primitives to perform double buffering then, when detecting user input, switch to Intuition control of the screen so that windows, gadgets and menus may be used to process the user input. If an application chooses to combine these techniques, it must take special care to avoid conflicts with Intuition rendered graphics. An example of how to do this is listed in the next section, "Advanced Screen Programming". Application programs that open custom screens may use the screen's display memory in any way they choose. However, this memory is also used by Intuition for windows and other high level display components on the screen. Writing directly to the screen memory, whether through direct access or through graphics library calls that access the screen's RastPort, is not compatible with many Intuition constructs such as windows and menus. Techniques such as this require great care and understanding of the Amiga. If possible, the application should avoid these techniques and only use standard Intuition display and input processing. Directly accessing the screen's bitmap, while possible, is not recommended. A better way to access the screen display is through windows. Windows provide access to the screen through layers which perform clipping and arbitration between multiple drawing areas. Alternatives to writing directly to a screen, such as using a backdrop window, greatly limit the number of cases where an application must access screen memory. The ShowTitle() function allows the screen's title bar layer to be positioned in front of or behind any backdrop windows that are opened on the screen. Hence, a backdrop window may be created that uses the entire visible area of the monitor. Application programs that use existing public screens do not have the same freedom to access the screen's display memory as they do with custom screens. In general, public screens must be shared through the use of windows and menus rather than directly accessing the screen's display memory. Use Direct Access Only On Screens You Own. ------------------------------------------ An application may not steal the bitmap of a screen that it does not own. Stealing the Workbench screen's bitmap, or that of any other public screen, is strictly illegal. Accessing the underlying graphics structures of a screen may only be done on custom screens opened by the application itself. Do Not Perform Layers Operations Directly. ------------------------------------------ While layers are not part of the graphics library, it is appropriate to mention them here. Certain types of layers operations are not allowed with Intuition. You may not, for example, call SizeLayer() on a window (use SizeWindow() instead). To access layers library features with screens, use Intuition windows! A custom screen may be created to allow for modification of the screen's Copper list. The Copper is the display synchronized co-processor that handles the actual video display by directly affecting the hardware registers. See the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual or the graphics library chapters for more information on programming the Copper.
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