Metro apps are an important addition to Microsoft Windows 8, providing the cornerstone for a single, consistent
programming and interaction model across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The Metro app user experience
is very different from previous generations of Windows applications: Metro-style apps are full-screen and favor a
usability style that is simple, direct, and free from distractions.
Metro apps represent a complete departure from previous versions of Windows.
IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT SIR ISAAC NEWTON was the last person to know everything. He was an
accomplished physicist (his three laws of motion were the basis of classical mechanics, which defi ned
astrophysics for three centuries), mathematician (he was one of the inventors of calculus and
developed Newton’s Method for fi nding roots of equations), astronomer, natural philosopher,
and alchemist (okay, maybe the last one was a mistake). He invented the refl ecting telescope, a theory
of color, and a law of cooling, and he studied the speed of sound.
It seems an obvious question to ask at the beginning of an HLSL and shader book; what
exactly is a shader? It’s a small program or algorithm written explicitly to run on a
computer Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). It provides a way for developers to extend
the rendering capabilities of the GPU. Any program that works closely with graphics will
benefit from using shaders. The video game industry spins off custom shaders by the
thousands, they are as vital to game projects as business entity classes are to line of