FX Composer 2.5 is a powerful integrated development environment for shader authoring.
At NVIDIA, I wrote a prototype shader IDE called FXComposer. It became a bigger project with many folks working on it. Eventually, when shader tools from other companies came on line, the project was finished.
We wrote many interesting shaders and effects, and with a big team behind it, there were lots of features for experimenting with shaders, including ways to measure instruction cycles & performance.
There were many interesting things I learned working on this project, such as:
I wrote a couple chapters about FXComposer in GPU Gems, you can find them Here and Here
FXComposer is still available for download Here
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