Ogre 3D doesn’t have native functionality to display debug text. So I spent a half day adding a layer to their overlay system to make it easier to use. You can now do the exact same thing with half the lines of code, no loss of functionality, and with greater safety, including automatic memory handling. This is essentially free in terms of speed.
I now got text showing up and fading out over time. But then I found out Ogre3D also doesn’t have the ability to do automatic line wraps… Or positioning of multiple lines of text.
It looks like the way to go if you want debug text in ogre 3D is to use CEGUI. It already handles line wrapping and I’m pretty sure it also handles multiple lines of text. If it doesn’t do what I need I can write my own text positioning system in a day or so.