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OpenGL 3.0 Released, Developers Furious 643

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the community-management-derailed dept.
ikol writes "After over a year of delays, the OpenGL ARB (part of the Khronos industry group) today released the long-awaited spec for OpenGL 3.0 as part of the SIGGRAPH 2008 proceedings. Unfortunately it turns out not to be the major rewrite that was promised to developers. The developer community is generally furious, with many game developers intending to jump ship to DX10. Is this the end of cross-platform 3d on the cutting edge?"
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OpenGL 3.0 Released, Developers Furious

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  • KDE? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PacketShaper (917017) on Monday August 11, 2008 @06:55PM (#24561465)
    Everyone knows x.0 releases are Beta anyway.

    OpenGL 3.1 will rock

    /ducks
  • Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narpak (961733) on Monday August 11, 2008 @06:56PM (#24561469)

    Is this the end of cross-platform 3d on the cutting edge?"

    Probably not. As long as DX remains solely in the hands of MicroSoft; there will be use for other forms of cross-platform 3D. More so as the "none-MS" OSes continue to grow in numbers.

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday August 11, 2008 @06:58PM (#24561485) Homepage Journal
      Yes and No. WINE has a very nice implementation of DirectX 9 that seems to run my games very bloody well. And no, I am not using real windows binaries.
      • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Narpak (961733) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:06PM (#24561559)
        Indeed. But preferably games should be possible to play without Wine. Hopefully as Linux, and other OSes, continue to get better and become more "newbie" friendly; it will become interesting for more companies to invest in Linux versions of their games.
        • by westlake (615356) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:52PM (#24561979)
          Hopefully as Linux...continue to get better and become more "newbie" friendly; it will become interesting for more companies to invest in Linux versions of their games.
          .

          Vista is approaching 20% of the market. Top Operating System Share Trend [hitslink.com] You can't expect expect Linux ports if entry level DX9l/DX10 outperforms OGL.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cheater512 (783349)

            How do you get 20% out of 16.9%?

            On some of my sites (very generic, non-tech orientated) Linux is hitting a very respectable 5.6% of all traffic.
            So Vista is doing appallingly considering its on all new computers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MoogMan (442253)

          However, as Wine becomes better and better, it becomes more viable for companies to easily port their application across (using winelib etc.).

      • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:06PM (#24561563)

        WINE's Direct3D sits on top of native linux OpenGL.

        I don't think most developers are "furious". When OpenGL 3.0 was described as a backward-incompatible rewrite, they were a bit closer to furious. They spoke, and said they wanted backward compatibility retained a while longer. And lo, Khronos delivered, while providing a mechanism for migration to the new architectural constructs (buffer objects, shaders, moar buffer objects, moar shaders), and a way to build your code so that deprecated constructs fail.

        Seriously, most people in the OpenGL community are fairly happy (though there's some grumbling over the still-wide OpenGL / OpenGL ES split).

        • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hr.wien (986516) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:31PM (#24561799)

          That certainly isn't my experience. Most people on the OGL discussion boards were very much looking forward to the changes to the API. The previews Khronos posted in the Pipeline newsletter looked bloody amazing.

          But when those previews are followed by almost a year of complete silence and then finally an API which is nothing at all like the one they promised, but rather some more spit and polish on the mess that is OGL 2.1 (much like OGL 2.0 was really just 1.6 with a new name), people got pissed off. And rightfully so.

          The only ones pleased with this change as far as I've been able to gather are the CAD people wanting to continue to run their old, stale OpenGL bases code until the end of time. For new development, using OpenGL is a pain in the back side, which is why I just began bringing my renderer up in D3D10.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "The CAD people" are the bread and butter of OpenGL. It's incredibly important to keep those high-margin dudes happy. Direct3D totally fails at addressing CAD + grownups' visualisation needs, so killing OpenGL's core and basically captive market to keep low-margin gamer devs happy would be superdumb.

            But wait, legacy-free OpenGL ES also exists, catering specifically to gaming+embedded markets! How about that!

          • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ameline (771895) <ian...ameline@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @09:16PM (#24562595) Homepage Journal

            Imagine you were the owner of a CAD or Animation software company. I suppose that when you have multiple OpenGL apps each with 10s of millions of lines of code, it's pretty hard to justify a rewrite from a business standpoint. Those "old stale" code bases each generate 100s of millions of dollars each year, and they're orders of magnitude larger and more complex than games. It would take millions of $$ to port one of the major OpenGl apps to another API, and from a business standpoint, those $$ would be wasted -- they wouldn't be doing anything other than chasing someone else's aims and objectives -- not doing anything that would generate a decent return on the investment.

            Your customers don't care what the underlying API is that you use -- what they care is that you solve their problems in a cost effective way. If OpenGL3.x was a complete and incompatible break -- these companies would think "well if those a$$h0les are going to make us rewrite the software, we might as well jump to DX instead and be done with it" (At least if you don't have to support mac and linux).

            It's not too hard for people to figure out who I work for so let me add that these are my opinions only -- my employer may share them, or they may not -- I certainly make no representations in this -- but these opinions are mine.

            • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

              by hr.wien (986516) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:28PM (#24563113)

              Their code will require a huge architectural rewrite no matter what the API looks like. Hardware just doesn't work like these programs are using the APIs anymore, and hasn't for a long time. Keeping this legacy stuff around in the new API won't change that. It'll still be a complete mismatch with the hardware.

              If they want to take advantage of GL3 (either the promised or the delivered version) they will have to rewrite large parts of their code, so why not just drop all this backwards compatibility nonsense and make GL3 actually good, while still keeping GL2 around for legacy? With the original plan for interoperability between the two they could still switch to GL3 one piece at the time while they rewrote their codebase to modern standards. This would have been much simpler for everyone involved. These companies included.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by ameline (771895)

                You are correct that code needs to be rewritten and even rearchitected -- the old way of doing things in GL is often a very poor match for today's hardware, and GL is pretty crufty these days -- but it would be nice to be able to do the rewrites incrementally over several releases as opposed to all at once (incrementally with multiple contexts is not so nice either). That said, I think it would have been better had GL3.0 been what we had been expecting as opposed to GL2.2, which is what we got.

                Barthold Lich

            • Re:Question (Score:5, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:51PM (#24563267)

              It's not too hard for people to figure out who I work for so let me add that these are my opinions only -- my employer may share them, or they may not -- I certainly make no representations in this -- but these opinions are mine.

              Jesus Christ, why don't you just change your last name to match your company's and be done with it? Do they own you? Do you feel the need to make a similar disclaimer every time you take a dump?

              Excuse me, folks! I just wanted to let everyone else in the bathroom know that this stink is not the fault of my employer! My employer does not necessarily have as much gas as I do!

              Are you worried that your masters will punish you? If so, I suggest that you reconsider your loyalties.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Malevolyn (776946)
        I considered that as well, but I think these game developers are just overreactiing and throwing a collective temper tantrum. So they didn't rewrite OpenGL (quite a feat), big deal. They still released a new version. Then again I'm one to prefer that something exist and not be quite as good, as opposed to it not existing at all.
        • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:43PM (#24561897)

          That's most of the problem though... they did rewrite OpenGL, then they scrapped it. So in the process, we got a few years of the new version not existing. And a year of communication (from ARB/Khronos) not existing, particularly frustrating after they'd spent the previous year saying they were going to work on communications and transparency.

          Even better, GL2 was supposed to be a cleaned up API, so this was the second time they promised a rewrite and scrapped it.

          So either they were completely wrong about the justification for the rewrite both times (which doesn't bode well for the group in charge of the API) or we are missing out on the benefits the rewritten API would have provided.

          Probably the biggest problem was the communications though, if they'd admitted the problems as they happened, there probably would have been less backlash. As it is, everyone was still pretty much expecting the original 3.0 design, so not getting that, on top of a year's worth of promised status updated, on top of the previous poor communication the promised status updates were supposed to fix, on top of the promised-then-scrapped 2.0 update, etc. leads to unhappy community.

          (For those not following the situation, advertised benefits included:

          simpler api = simpler drivers = better conformance + fewer driver bugs

          new object model = less need for consistency checking in drivers = faster drivers with fewer bugs

          getting rid of outdated code paths = easier to understand the api, easier to tell what will be fast

          probably some more I forgot)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alex Belits (437) *

        What is funny, this DirectX implementation runs on top of -- guess what? -- OpenGL. And often outperforms actual Microsoft DirectX implementation. ... and I just told guys from /b/ to keep their memes out of Slashdot [slashdot.org], so I can't use "lulz" and "epic fail" without sounding like a hypocrite. Damn.

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by qbwiz (87077) * <john@baumanfamily. c o m> on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:02PM (#24561531) Homepage

      Cross-platform 3D is useful, but OpenGL stopped being cutting-edge many years ago. The model that it uses is falling farther and farther from the model that the hardware supports, and many new extensions and features are not supported on many platforms (particularly ATI). It has become increasingly difficult to write cutting-edge graphics software, and OpenGL 3 does little to fix that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985)

        Question is, what does OSX currently have handy that would replace it? (it's been way too long, my memory sucks, so let me take a stab here... Quartz, Core Graphics, whatever-it's-called-nowadays?)

        Either way, any developer having to keep two separate code branches for two separate library sets is (okay, just IMHO) begging for pain.

        /P

        • No it doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:29PM (#24561783)

          Part of the reason for DX's success is that nobody else seems interested in developing anything to compete with it. OpenGL is the only cross platform 3D API I'm aware of and it and DX are all that there is these days. GLs problem is that it isn't keeping up with the hardware. The "just use vendor specific extensions" isn't a realistic solution in most cases. Thus GL is suffering and DX is winning by default.

          If someone like Apple did develop a good 3D API, it might do well. However nobody seems interested.

          • Re:No it doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

            by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:29PM (#24562293)

            If someone like Apple did develop a good 3D API, it might do well. However nobody seems interested.

            Sadly, won't ever happen. Apple's "commitment" to gaming on their platform doesn't extend far beyond 3D chess and Tetris clones. Hell, having a working Flash client is probably Apple's idea of supporting "gaming" for their users.

            Apple appears to be quite content with OpenGL in its current state, and haven't even gotten close to pushing its limits.

            Have you installed the DirectX SDK lately? It's sad how wide the divide is. On the DirectX side you get a *massive* library of documentation, sample code snippets, entire sample projects, and more guides than you can shake a stick at. Compare this with the new-hotness that is Apple's iPhone SDK. Worlds apart. The iPhone SDK documentation is absolute trash. There are almost no tutorials, "sample code" is hardly ever commented. No code snippets to accompany tricky API calls, and the entire thing uses so much Objective-C-speak that I'm quite surprised anybody but a hardened Mac developer can even begin to comprehend it.

            One company is very good at fostering a developer community and making sure it's easy to get on board their API. The other seems like it goes out of their way to torture devs.

            Disclaimer: I am a hobbyist iPhone developer, Mac user, Xbox owner, and DirectX developer.

      • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JohnyDog (129809) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:43PM (#24561889)

        This has however everything to with ATI and nothing really with OpenGL, as it is the hardware manufacturer who ultimately decides which capabilities will they expose in the drivers. ATI's OpenGL drivers was *always* bad, buggy, and badly performing (go on, search for some old benchmarks, you will see that ATI cards that easily outperform their NVidia counterparts in DirectX falls heavily behind when it comes to OpenGL apps and games).

        The developers' expectations here was that if OpenGL 3.0 will include all the newest stuff in core spec, ATI (and Intel and others) will be forced to support them (so they can pass the certification and be able to call their products compliant), however the same expectation for improved OpenGL drivers was there when ATI was bought by AMD, and that too never really materialized. ATI simply doesn't care enough about OpenGL, their main focus was always DirectX, and i don't see that changing in nearby future.

        As for OpenGL 3.0, the rage is that Khronos group promised us moisty delicious cake (whole new API, yay!), but after long long wait delivered only small biscuit. I didn't expect much so i'm not disappointed and overall the spec is good step (deprecation model for lots of old stuff, FBO finally promoted to core, direct access extension), but just like KDE 4.0, it is only first step, and it *really* depends on where it will go from now.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:01PM (#24561517) Journal

    Jumping ship to DX10 would be nice, if it were cross-platform. (No, Xbox + PC does not count as "cross-platform".)

    Unfortunately for those of us on Linux/Mac, a lot of Windows developers don't care.

    Unfortunately for those of you who think you don't care about this, consider that porting an app generally improves it, and can shake out bugs which aren't as apparent on the other platform -- which means potentially less reliable games, even if you're only on Windows.

    And unfortunately for those of us who hate Vista, that's kind of a requirement for DirectX 10. At least with OpenGL, those in charge have no agenda to push Vista -- so an OpenGL 3.0 game should run on XP, if it runs on anything.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)

      Even with a cross-platform graphics layer, we're not seeing a lot high-performance games that run on all of Windows, Linux, and Mac. The problems of developing and debugging this kind of software are big enough to discourage people doing it for multiple platforms in any case.

  • Is this the end? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:10PM (#24561603)

    jump ship to DX10

    And when they do they wander into Direct/Input/Sound/Video/Play/etc. OpenGL does 3D rendering. The rest? Cobble it together from whatever other obsolete scraps are available.

    The non-Microsoft "stacks" suck. Bottom line.

    The concept of a 2D "layer" still hasn't impinged on the basic SDL API. Couldn't believe it when I learned that.

    I guess professional game developers don't care that Microsoft owns the machinery of their livelihoods. They sure aren't contributing to their own independence in any noticeable way.

    • Re:Is this the end? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:41PM (#24561871)

      Sorry my anonymous brethren, but you're exaggerating a bit. First off, DirectDraw (DirectX 2d API), DirectInput, and DirectPlay are all deprecated for other APIs. Granted, the other APIs are Microsoft but even they aren't always consistent across MS platforms. For example, DirectInput [wikipedia.org] is replaced by one API on the 360 and a different one for the PC.

      SDL handles cross-platform input and some basic platform functionality on the open side. Not that you could expect it to run on a console, but it should run on a Mac, Linux, or Windows.

      The open equivalent of DirectSound is OpenAL, which looks a lot like OpenGL in usage. Of course, that's more of a negative, since they both need an overhaul. It *is* cross-platform and supports 3d sound though.

      The other APIs aren't nearly as important for game development.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eskarel (565631)
      Well I'm not sure if even Microsoft would agree with you on that since Vista uses OpenAL for its audio library.

      As for professional game developers not caring that Microsoft owns the machinery of their livelihoods. Of course they don't, why should they, and even if they did what would they do about it? Game developers don't write Operating Systems so someone else will always hold their livelihoods, and so long as Microsoft offers them a decent platform to write games for(which it does) and so long as Microso

  • Err, yeah. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:11PM (#24561617) Journal

    Heh - Games developers may have that luxury, but 3D/GC vendors certainly don't. So unless someone decides to port DX10 to OSX (*snort*) or Linux (sing it with me now: "render farms!"), OpenGL will continue to have a decently-sized userbase for a very long time.

    IMHO, anyone making the claim that they're going to suddenly jump to DX10 is only making noise; nobody is dumb enough to cut off the fastest-growing consumer market sectors.

    (...besides, doesn't the PS3 use OGL, or do they use some other home-brewed library set? Not sure there...)

    /P

    • Re:Err, yeah. (Score:5, Informative)

      by n dot l (1099033) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:39PM (#24561849)

      The PS3 uses OpenGL ES for basic rendering (GL with all the ancient cruft ripped out) and NVIDIA's Cg for the actual shaders.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        OpenGL ES (PSGL) is provided, but I don't think anyone is seriously using it except to do initial porting efforts.

        Sony supply an alternative low level api called libGcm.

        • Mod parent up, maybe (Score:4, Informative)

          by n dot l (1099033) on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:42PM (#24562395)

          All I've really seen of the PS3 dev kit is what was on display at GDC. The Sony guys talked about GL ES and NVIDIA's Cg toolchain for shaders, so that's what I posted. This, however, sounds a lot more like what I expected from Sony and is right in line with the PS2 dev kit (emphasis mine):

          Sony supply an alternative low level api called libGcm.

          If libGcm is what I think it is (macro'd constants to build push buffers + raw DMA access) then pretty much nobody will be using the GL stuff. Coding right to the hardware is what PlayStation development is all about.

    • Re:Err, yeah. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:04PM (#24562091)

      Render farms don't use OpenGL or DX for rendering in programs such as Lightwave/Maya/blender, the frames are rendered by the CPU not GPU. (there are a couple exceptions to this).

      The only place the video comes into play is when you are running the 3D app and modelling of huge poly objects. I can slow Blender down to a crawl in big scenes on my older powerbook with only 64MB of video ram, but it runs smooth in my old G4 tower with 256MB of video ram, yet the render times on the same frame are about the same. (1.5Ghz vs. 2x1Ghz G4 CPU's., both with 1.25GB of Ram).

  • by One Louder (595430) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:15PM (#24561665)
    What do you means DirectX10 isn't cross platform? It runs in all six versions of Windows Vista!
  • by mysidia (191772) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:18PM (#24561689)

    Not much unlike the one XFree86 fell down.

    It needs to be forked. We need a fork of the 3D library, much like Xorg was forked.

    The fork/rewrite should be more like DX10 than like OpenGL.

    The library needs to be able to interoperate with current and future video hardware, so that all hardware acceleration features will be available to applications using the 3D library...

    That means providing an underlying interface compatible with both the OpenGL and DX10 ABIs and conventional hardware drivers.

    • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:38PM (#24561839)

      "The library needs to be able to interoperate with current and future video hardware, so that all hardware acceleration features will be available to applications using the 3D library..."

      Now, I know next to nothing about the nitty-gritty details of OpenGL or DirectX,
      but I really thought they were pretty much equal (in terms of being able to fully utilise the hardware)

      I was under the impression that MS wrote the DirectX API, and graphics hardware was expected to provide in interface to GPU operations as per MS's API spec

      On the flip side, OpenGL being less centrally controlled,
      instead graphics hardware provide their own API calls for new GPU operations, and provide this new API call to OpenGL via it's "extension" interface
      and every so often, the OpenGL spec would be updated, with new GPU functions (currently using seperate, per-vendor extensions) would be standardised into a single implementation

      Are developers really saying that OpenGL cannot do things DirectX can?
      I thought as long as (say) Nvidia kept provided drivers, and software kept querying for the hardware's capabilities, DirectX & OpenGL were pretty much on a par with each other....

      Can anyone provide a semi-layman's explanation?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by niteice (793961)

        I thought as long as (say) Nvidia kept provided drivers, and software kept querying for the hardware's capabilities, DirectX & OpenGL were pretty much on a par with each other....

        That's the entire problem. nVidia would have functionality available in both DX and GL drivers on release day and would frequently submit it to the ARB for ratification as an extension, which often would become a core feature in the future.

        Unfortunately, nobody else took their lead. In good scenarios, you'd have separate im

    • by Zygfryd (856098) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:40PM (#24561857)

      If you're talking about forking OpenGL... how do you convince Nvidia, AMD, Intel, PowerVR, Apple, Microsoft and who knows how many other companies to implement your incompatible version of the API in their OpenGL stacks?

      However if you're simply talking about GLX/Mesa then you'll be happy to know that it's being reimplemented in the Gallium3D project.

    • by hr.wien (986516) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:42PM (#24561885)

      You don't fork a spec. You create a new one and try to get it accepted by the industry (ATI, Nvidia and Intel in this case).

      Good luck with that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      OpenGL is forked. It's designed for forking. Every single vendor implements extensions. When two vendors have implemented their own extension then it can be proposed for inclusion in the standard.

      The community at large was unhappy with the slow speed of development around OpenGL 2.0, so they let Khronos take over development of the next version. It seems that this didn't work very well, in hindsight.

  • No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:36PM (#24561829) Homepage Journal

    Is this the end of cross-platform 3d on the cutting edge?

    it isnt. because OpenGL ARB is gonna play it nice, and revise their specs, therefore pleasing developers and therefore GAMERS as much as they can, and fix the matter, wont you now ? dont make us wait.

  • by Hortensia Patel (101296) on Monday August 11, 2008 @07:59PM (#24562047)

    ...and probably irrelevant in the longer term.

    This is not the first time this has happened. GL2 was also supposed to be a cleanup, but turned out to be anything but. This latest fiasco is more significant as a failure of governance than of technology. All the right ideas were there; they were published in some detail over a year ago in the Pipeline newsletters. But the ARB very obviously a) can't agree to get anything meaningful done, and b) now has subzero credibility with developers. It's not coming back from that.

    So yes, I think cutting-edge cross-platform 3D is dead for the next 2-3 years. Let's face it, it was never exactly healthy. It's not the end of the world. Linux share is currently growing mostly at the low end, netbooks etc, while the Mac seems to be thriving despite the fact that Apple doesn't give a flying fsck about gaming and never has.

    Fast forward a couple of years, though, and things like Larrabee will be hitting the market; embarrassingly parallel hardware that can be programmed with standard languages and tools. The API's role as gatekeeper of functionality will be gone. And suddenly, 3D rendering libs can be written by anyone with the time and expertise, without having to go through Microsoft or the ARB or NV or AMD/ATi or Intel or anyone. Experimentation, competition, cross-fertilization, evolution. Remember Outcast's [wikipedia.org] voxel engine? Seen things like Anti-Grain [antigrain.com]? This will happen.

    (Or, yes, people could just reimplement the DXwhatever API directly, but that would be a little disappointing.)

    Today was not a good day, by any stretch of the imagination. But it's not the end.

  • by janoc (699997) on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:19PM (#24562215)
    Folks, I do wonder when someone realizes that OpenGL is not only games. The only people really "furious" are some game developers in few posts on an OpenGL forum. However, please, do realize that games are typically sold for 6 months and supported for 1 year and 99% on a single platform (Win/XBox). Very few things are developed as cross-platform - and it is NOT because of OpenGL, more like commercial realities (cross-platform development is hard and doesn't make a lot of sense for ~2-3% of the market, especially for an app that will be sold for one season).

    Professional apps (CAD/simulators/visualizations...) make up the majority of the OpenGL market and they have to be supported for decades (no, military or airlines do not buy a new training system every two years ...)

    So breaking compatibility is deal breaker. This is exactly what OpenGL 3.0 is about. I am developing OpenGL applications for a decade now and all are still running and being used. How many 10 year old games can you actually get working today? God forbid - on Vista? That is the difference.

    Also, the "newest features not supported by OpenGL" - how many "newest features" are your typical games actually using? Perhaps one or two and they are optional, because the game must run even on not bleeding-edge hardware (how many games are DX10-only? - commercial suicide ...)

    So to wrap this up - the title is EXTREMELY misleading and making up a storm where one doesn't exist.

  • Marketshare (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @09:19PM (#24562613)

    While the gaming community is growing at an awesome rate, I doubt its the same size, and definitely not bigger than the hollywood industry. Coming from the special effects/render farm industry, I can tell you that every single movie that makes it to the big screen today, is in one way or many, made with products that use OpenGL. The gaming community/developers of course are frustrated that opengl is not dx10, but lets face it, hollywood has an endless budget, and a lot of say. This story does not surprise me, and opengl is still going to be the best cross-platform solution for many (and most) 3d technologies, less gaming.

  • by Prune (557140) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:56PM (#24563733)
    Take a look at this extension: http://www.opengl.org/registry/specs/EXT/direct_state_access.txt [opengl.org] This is actually quite significant. I think it could form the basis of the object system that was promised but not delivered.
  • by kmike (31752) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @02:19AM (#24564619)

    Basically they've got tangled in the implementation details and decided to play it safe with OpenGL 3.0 instead of starting from scratch.

    ========
    What happened to Longs Peak?

    In January 2008 the ARB decided to change directions. At that point it had become clear that doing Longs Peak, although a great effort, wasn't going to happen. We ran into details that we couldn't resolve cleanly in a timely manner. For example, state objects. The idea there is that of all state is immutable. But when we were deciding where to put some of the sample ops state, we ran into issues. If the alpha test is immutable, is the alpha ref value also? If we do so, what does this mean to a developer? How many (100s?) of objects does a developer need to manage? Should we split sample ops state into more than one object? Those kind of issues were taking a lot of time to decide.

    Furthermore, the "opt in" method in Longs Peak to move an existing application forward has its pros and cons. The model of creating another context to write Longs Peak code in is very clean. It'll work great for anyone who doesn't have a large code base that they want to move forward incrementally. I suspect that that is most of the developers that are active in this forum. However, there are a class of developers for which this would have been a, potentially very large, burden. This clearly is a controversial topic, and has its share of proponents and opponents.

    While we were discussing this, the clock didn't stop ticking. The OpenGL API *has to* provide access to the latest graphics hardware features. OpenGL wasn't doing that anymore in a timely manner. OpenGL was behind in features. All graphics hardware vendors have been shipping hardware with many more features available than OpenGL was exposing. Yes, vendor specific extensions were and are available to fill the gap, but that is not the same as having a core API including those new features. An API that does not expose hardware capabilities is a dead API.

    Thus, prioritization was needed, and we made several decisons.

    1) We set a goal of exposing hardware functionality of the latest generations of hardware by this Siggraph. Hence, the OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30 API you guys all seem to love ;\)

    2) We decided on a formal mechanism to remove functionality from the API. We fully realize that the existing API has been around for a long time, has cruft and is inconsistent with its treatment of objects (how many object models are in the OpenGL 3.0 spec? You count). In its shortest form, removing functionality is a two-step process. First, functionality will be marked "deprecated" in the specification. A long list of functionality is already marked deprecated in the OpenGL 3.0 spec. Second, a future revision of the core spec will actually remove the deprecated functionality. After that, the ARB has options. It can decide to do a third step, and fold some of the removed functionality into a profile. Profiles are optional to implement (more below) and its functionality might still be very important to a sub-set of the OpenGL market. Note that we also decided that new functionality does not have to, and will likely not work with, deprecated functionality. That will make the spec easier to write, read and understand, and drivers easier to implement.

    3) We decided to provide a way to create a forward-compatible context. That is an OpenGL 3.0 context with all deprecated features removed. Giving you, as a developer, a preview of what a next version of OpenGL might look like. Drivers can take advantage of this, and might be able to optimize certain code paths in the forward-compatible context only. This is described in the WGL_ARB_create_context extension spec.

    4) We decided to have a formal way of defining profiles. During the Longs Peak design phase, we ran into disagreement over what features to remove from the API. Longs Peak removed quite a lot of features as you might remember. Not coincidentally, most of those features are marked deprecated in OpenGL 3

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @07:16AM (#24565951) Homepage

    As a developer I'd like to see OpenGL ES given priority over OpenGL. OpenGL ES matches the hardware much better than OpenGL does.

    OpenGL itself could be implemented as a library on top of OpenGL ES. This would move all the legacy crud out of the main driver and make the jobs of driver writers a lot easier (an OpenGL ES driver is a lot smaller than an OpenGL driver).

    OpenGL ES could become the basis for Linux graphics drivers instead of OpenGL (why does a window manager need all those OpenGL functions? It doesn't...)

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