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OpenGL 4.1 Specification Announced

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the gentlemen-start-your-coders dept.

Graphics 167

WesternActor writes "The Khronos Group has announced full details for the OpenGL 4.1 specification. Among the new features of the spec, which comes just five months after the release of the 4.0 specification, is full support for OpenGL ES, which simplifies porting between mobile and desktop platforms. It'll be interesting to see what effect, if any, this new spec has on the graphics industry — more compatibility could change the way many embedded systems are designed. There are lots of other changes and additions in the spec, as well." Reader suraj.sun contributes insight from Ars, which brings OpenGL's competition into focus: "OpenGL 4.0 brought feature parity with Direct3D 11's new features — in particular, compute shaders and tessellation — and with 4.1, the Khronos Group claims that it is surpassing the functionality offered in Microsoft's 3D API. ... Whether this truly constitutes a leapfrogging of Direct3D 11 is not obvious."

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That's all great (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039316)

But, how does this benefit porn viewing?

Re:That's all great (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039334)

3-D man! Pay attention.

Re:That's all great (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 4 years ago | (#33039532)

But unless they can fully simulate boob physics proper, it's all for nothing.

Re:That's all great (5, Informative)

pinkeen (1804300) | about 4 years ago | (#33039568)

Check out Illusion's [wikipedia.org] games, boob physics as good as it gets

Re:That's all great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039736)

You sick bastard. Know where I can get a copy?

Re:That's all great (4, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 years ago | (#33040700)

Yes, for slashdotters, it may actually be as good as it gets...

Re:That's all great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040026)

Like you've ever seen a boob in real life. Well, aside from the one you see in the mirror.

Re:That's all great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041534)

Do moms tits count?

Re:That's all great (2, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33041138)

But unless they can fully simulate boob physics proper, it's all for nothing.

You're applying way higher standards to hypothetical 3d porn than you are the porn sitting on your hard drive right now.

Re:That's all great (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 4 years ago | (#33039716)

porn is horrifying enough in 2d. if they find more than a handful of attractive girls to eat cum from 50 men, then, MAYBE, 3d will be a benefit

Announced, but (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | about 4 years ago | (#33039372)

how long until we get drivers that support it, and how long until games that take advantage of it?

Wednesday (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 4 years ago | (#33039510)

Or so Ars reports [arstechnica.com] .

But games? Is anyone still doing games in OpenGL these days, apart from the rare port to Mac or Linux?

Re:Wednesday (4, Informative)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about 4 years ago | (#33039612)

You are aware of Valve and Blizzard, right?

Re:Wednesday (2, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | about 4 years ago | (#33039738)

Source Engine is DirectX on Windows.

Re:Wednesday (4, Informative)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039852)

But they've ported it to Mac, and that version does use Open GL. Same for WoW, but Blizzard actually let's you enable OpenGL in windows by a config file. Although the last time I tried it, it didn't seem as stable as the DX client.

Re:Wednesday (1)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | about 4 years ago | (#33041202)

According to Netkas (http://netkas.org/?paged=2) it still uses directx to opengl translation. It has not been ported to OpenGL.

Re:Wednesday (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | about 4 years ago | (#33041736)

And as far as graphics goes, WoW is a great example of OpenGL showing off the best that 2004 graphics technology can provide. I mean, you can't exactly call it visually stunning.

Not that this is the fault of OpenGL... just it's a very bad to use WoW as its torchbearer when Direct3D sports the CryEngine, for example.

Re:Wednesday (1)

bheekling (976077) | about 4 years ago | (#33039952)

Source Engine has had an OGL backend for a very long time (HL2-release times). Mostly for the inevitable PS port I suppose. I distinctly remember using it to play HL2 on Wine.

Re:Wednesday (2, Interesting)

chammy (1096007) | about 4 years ago | (#33040720)

Wine is capable of translating DirectX to OpenGL in realtime, which is how you're able to play that in Linux.

Re:Wednesday (1)

bheekling (976077) | about 4 years ago | (#33041054)

Wine is capable of translating DirectX to OpenGL in realtime, which is how you're able to play that in Linux.

You (and our omniscient mods) seem to have grossly misinterpreted my statement. I am well-aware of how Wine works.

Back when HL2 was released, Wine had horrid/non-existent support for Direct3D 8. So the two options to play HL2 via Wine was either play it in Dx7 mode (-dxlevel 70), or GL mode (-gl). I played it in GL mode since dxlevel 70 caused a crasher in Wine.

The source leak for HL2 also had a GL renderer in it, so they probably had it from the very beginning. However, it seems that Valve has since removed that command line option, since I can no longer find any references to it (only hints in old google caches of pages).

Re:Wednesday (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041498)

Actually, Id Software is the most prominent user of OpenGL technology. Doom 3, Quake, Rage (new game) are all OpenGL.

Re:Wednesday (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33039618)

Any 3D iDevice game is being done in OpenGL ES, which counts for a fair few(albeit mostly small and casual) games. Android likely accounts for fewer; but doesn't exactly do directx either.

Re:Wednesday (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33039768)

If only Apple could get this generation of faster, cheaper, cooler running gpu's ... and then have fast frame rates.
All the effort seems to be in the locked down idevices.
Then games could not just be produced with the help of Macs but also played on them.
Yes Apple now has more uptodate games but the forums are filled with frame rate issues. Apple needs basic backend quality gpu code.

Re:Wednesday (4, Interesting)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 4 years ago | (#33040000)

The flight simulator Il-2 has the choice of switching between OpenGL or Direct X. In fact, it is also written mostly in Java with much of the graphics in C++. This allowed it to be ported to the console in the form of Wings of Prey. The flexibility of OpenGL allowed this company to port easily, and made them money.

The flight simulator X-Plane (now taking the crown for civilian flight simulators since Microsoft has shut down the studio that produced the Flight Simulator line) uses OpenGL. It's creator says in an interview that the choice of OpenGL was the correct one since he was able to port his product to the iPhone in a matter of weeks. This meant he personally got around 3.5 million US dollars in revenue in around a month. OpenGL made sound business sense to him. Here's the interview with him if you are interested: http://techhaze.com/2010/03/interview-with-x-plane-creator-austin-meyer/ [techhaze.com]

If you want to make money on the iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix workstation visualization, embedded electronics such as FAA approved in-cockpit instruments etc then OpenGL is the correct choice. If OpenGL didn't run on Windows then clearly it would be a bad choice, but the fact is OpenGL works well on Windows *and* just about every other platform too. This includes games.

DirectX may be just as good technically but the fact that it is not portable means it is a non-starter for many applications for both technical and commercial reasons.

Re:Wednesday (1, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | about 4 years ago | (#33040400)

OpenGL works well... for the features it provides. Direct3D still has a larger feature set, as well as the added bonus of the other DirectX APIs.

There are cases where OpenGL makes sense, but if your target is Windows and you want features like Tesselation, it doesn't make any sense to cripple yourself for the sake of possible ports down the road.

Re:Wednesday (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33040942)

Ever heared of SDL?

Re:Wednesday (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041156)

Direct3D still has a larger feature set

No, it does not.

features like Tesselation

ATI cards have supported tessellation through an OpenGL extension for a number of years, and tessellation is a core OGL feature as of version 4.0.

Re:Wednesday (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | about 4 years ago | (#33041714)

X-Plane is a fantastic piece of software, but I don't know how well it defends OpenGL's honour. The flight model implemented by Austin Meyer is the best ever created for a desktop flight simulator and his overall commitment to accuracy makes it a fantastic simulator. But it's not the prettiest in the world; by modern standards the graphics engine is quite dated. Blizzard is also widely credited for their use of OpenGL in WoW, but again, WoW's graphics are pathetic by modern standards.

For whatever reason the prime examples of OpenGL are always game engines which, while portable, are primitive by modern standards. This doesn't do much for the argument that it's a competent replacement for DirectX.

Re:Wednesday (2, Informative)

bonch (38532) | about 4 years ago | (#33040298)

Um, yes? OpenGL ES is the standard 3D API on mobile devices as well as the PS3. Even the Wii has an OpenGL-like API.

Re:Wednesday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041004)

The PS3 has two graphics APIs: one is LibCGM which is a lot like OpenGL. The other is OpenGL.

Re:Announced, but (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33039546)

According to these guys [electronista.com] Nvidia will have test drivers sometime this week. Since that is also when the spec becomes generally available, it seems safe to assume that the spec was written in fairly close consultation with at least the big graphics players.

I assume AMD's graphics drivers have also been in development, in concert with the spec, for some time, and will be available soonish, albeit with the usual lag after Nvidia. As for the various embedded guys, hard for me to say. I'm sure that having OpenGL ES made a proper subset, as opposed to a somewhat different near-subset, will be attractive for mobile developers, since it will make desktop to phone/console/embedded and back portability easier; but I don't know whether the embedded graphics hardware that is out there now can be updated with just drivers, or whether some 4.0 features will require an upcoming generation of silicon.

As for games, the first tech demo/fanboy wank publicity stunt will probably be available about 15 minutes after the Nvidia drivers. Widespread use might be a while.

Re:Announced, but (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33040952)

AMD was faster with OpenGL 4.0, but lol.

Is opengl relevant anymore? (1, Flamebait)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33039444)

This is not meant as a troll, it's an honest question.

I mean, with the fiasco that happened with opengl3, I had thought pretty much everybody who was holding out hope for opengl gave up at that point and declared directx's 3d facilities the unequivocal victor.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Informative)

cosm (1072588) | about 4 years ago | (#33039472)

Linux is still a large OpenGL platform, and although you can use wine to get DirectX functionality, I would say OpenGL is still relevant, especially in the OSS side of things.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039798)

Now if we could only convince some of the top development studios to believe this. It's pretty sad that Linux had more support from companies back when it wasn't quite ready for prime time. These days Linux kicks ass, and yet we see less games being released for it. Even companies that used to release Linux ports aren't doing it anymore (epic i'm looking at you).

Sound (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33039920)

Now if we could only convince some of the top development studios to believe this.

DirectX is not just graphics; it's also sound and input. Programs that use OpenGL have to use something else for sound and input. One popular choice for these is SDL; another is Allegro. But since the introduction of PulseAudio, sound in Linux games has been a cluster[intercourse]. Specifically anything using the Allegro library lost sound, and Allegro games are still silent in (for example) Ubuntu 10.04.

Re:Sound (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039960)

Yeah I hadn't thought about the Pulse Audio debacle... I'm happily running Arch Linux atm and didn't even bother putting Pulse on this machine.

Re:Sound (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040538)

Khronos defines a complete ecosystem of APIs that provide the functionality of DX beyond just graphics
- OpenMAX IL for close to the metal sound, video and image processing
- OpenSL ES for advanced audio - including 3D positional audio - that can be accelerated over OpenMAX IL
- OpenKODE for IO and cross -platform access to other OS resources

Plus - EGL links OpenGL ES and OpenMAX IL for tighter video/graphics integration on mobile than most desktop systems - and EGL is coming to the desktop I hear..

Most of these have open source implementations underway - the Linux community should consider adopting them for a mobile/desktop flexible, fully-integrated,contemporary graphics/media stack.

Re:Sound (1)

chammy (1096007) | about 4 years ago | (#33040706)

A lot of games in both Windows and Linux use OpenAL [wikipedia.org] (including modern games from id and Epic)

Re:Sound (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 4 years ago | (#33041036)

Actually DirectSound is deprecated and OpenAL is recommended (IRCC, by Microsoft no less). That means you are in the same boat with OpenGL as DirectX. OpenAL is a good portable choice in the same way OpenGL is, and OpenAL has been very widely used. Input is something DirectX is good at - although the input interface has changed over the years, so you've had as much work as with OpenGL (which can also be used with the myriad of libraries SDL/JoGL etc).

Re:Sound (1)

Nagrom (1233532) | about 4 years ago | (#33041568)

While I'd also disagree with the grandparent, some corrections to this:

Actually DirectSound is deprecated and OpenAL is recommended (IRCC, by Microsoft no less).

I suspect Microsoft recommend XAudio [wikipedia.org] rather than OpenAL, what with that being their intended replacement for DirectSound.

Input is something DirectX is good at - although the input interface has changed over the years

The API has certainly changed, yes - in the sense that DirectInput has been deprecated since, IIRC, DX8. Microsoft recommend a combination of XInput and WM_INPUT these days.

Re:Sound (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041524)

I am a Linux fan (not boy.. I am a man dam it ;) ) through and through. I sit here wearing my Slackware tshirt with 3 computers all with slack on them.

But lets be honest. Sound in Linux has always been a cluster fornication. Pulse Audio is just another piece of the cluster... I guess it has just never really been a big priority with the Linux core team, at least early on.

Another reason i love Slackware, is that its the *only* distribution that has ALSA working out of the box on every box I have put it on.

Right now however I have been using openAL. This seems to work really well across platforms.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 years ago | (#33039484)

Hey, if you get your act together, you can always make a comeback. Apple did it; Linux helped make Unix relevant again outside of big iron.
But, you have to be able to sell it and to deliver.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (4, Interesting)

grantek (979387) | about 4 years ago | (#33039506)

Simply put, yes, OpenGL is awesome. The fuss over OpenGL 3.0 was because it wasn't as awesome as it could have been at that time.

It's also available on many more platforms than D3D.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33039556)

That fuss, as I understand it, culminated in a lot of former opengl developers giving up on opengl and moving to directx, even though it meant being windows only... I was asking because with that mass exodus, does opengl still have a critical mass to sustain itself in the mainstream?

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039756)

Is this modded troll because someone doesn't like the truth? What he stated here is a fact. Xbox360's success has ensured that most mainstream developers are using DirectX. You and I may not like it, but it's a fact.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (3, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 4 years ago | (#33039792)

Is this modded troll because someone doesn't like the truth? What he stated here is a fact. Xbox360's success has ensured that most mainstream developers are using DirectX. You and I may not like it, but it's a fact.

Yeah, and then you can just port it straight to the PS3! Oh, wait...

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0, Troll)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039864)

And if you've followed gaming much at all you'd know that a lot of studios don't put out PS3 versions of their games for this very reason.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (4, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 4 years ago | (#33039992)

I work in video games. That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard. This is obvious trolling, so I won't bother with a deep response, but porting from D3D to OpenGL (or vice versa), is fairly straightforward. A much bigger problem is different CPU and memory architecture that makes porting a pain in the ass, as well as different first party requirements.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33040076)

Not trying to troll at all, and I concede your point. I know Valve has even stated that the reason Source isn't on the PS3 (it will be for portal 2) was because of the cell processor in the PS3. It wasn't because of OpenGL. I stand corrected on this point.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 4 years ago | (#33041668)

Source isn't on the PS3? So this Orange Box for the PS3 I have is NOT the Source engine that runs HL2? Huh?

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041504)

Most games on the PS3 actually don't even use OpenGL on it. Thay actually use GCM which is very low level API for the PS3 GPU.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 4 years ago | (#33039774)

It's all you get on many embedded platforms, such as the iPhone, Android, and friends, plus it's all you get on Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. etc. So long as there are 3d applications on those platforms (and others), and no new spec is created, OpenGL will have a critical mass to survive. Whether it will ever take over the Windows game development market again remains to be seen, however.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039892)

The embedded platforms you mentioned run opengl ES, which is not the same thing. Unix type platforms have wine. Mobile platforms running windows 7 mobile have XNA, which runs a managed version of directx. I just don't see why opengl is still relevant or required for anything these days.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039908)

Have you ever tried playing modern games in Wine? It's a crap-shoot on weather or not they look correct. OpenGL is still very relevant for Linux and Mac gaming. Besides, how do you think Wine accelerates games? It's still using OpenGL even if it's a Direct X game.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | about 4 years ago | (#33040206)

"The embedded platforms you mentioned run opengl ES, which is not the same thing."

It is now. You need to work on reading comprehension.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040576)

You are aware that WINE uses OpenGL right?? And that some of the main features of DX11 (tesslation for example) where ports from OpenGL extensions that are years old ... OpenGL is good because its open. It doesnt take much to get a valid extension approved, infact you can write one yourself. It's not geared for gaming, nor does it have any features that a Graphics API shouldn't have. But its good and I dont want to see it gone anytime soon.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039894)

Few people bother with a high level language for shaders anymore. It might be convenient but using low level programming for rendering can guarantee compatibility with whatever platform you're targeting.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Interesting)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041540)

The fuss over OpenGL 3.0 was because it wasn't as awesome as it could have been at that time.

I got the impression that lots of DX coders just jump into forums and flamed away. Most of the pro opengl devs I know where not too unhappy with it. Now looking back I can say quite a few of them think it was a great idea not to push the object model too early... for the simple reason that vendors still were working out what is easy to put in drivers/hardware.

Even on this thread its pretty clear that quite a few comments about what opengl is not, has been made by folks that clearly don't code opengl.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039518)

How do you use DirectX without Windows? Well? See, OpenGL is still relevant.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039780)

Open GL is definitely still relevent, but you can't ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room. (Xbox360)... That's where the money is, and that's why game developers have migrated to DirectX. I only wish OpenGL had kept up with DX in those critical years when the 360 was gaining steam. Even if OpenGL surpassess DX in this cycle, it won't meanmuch to mainstream game development.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33039824)

PS3/Wii/DS/3DS/PSP/iPhone/Android/Linux/MacOS all use OpenGL variants. I think it's safe to say that the 800lb gorilla has to share the room with another ape.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039888)

And yet the 360 is still dominating the living room. The Xbox is the most evil thing MS has ever done. They snuck Direct X into everyone's living room, and now we're stuck with it.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | about 4 years ago | (#33040080)

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars#Worldwide_sales_figures_5 [wikipedia.org] , total worldwide sales are 41.7 million for the Xbox 360 and 70.9 million for the Wii. (And the Wii figure is almost four months older than the Xbox figure, so the real difference is even larger.) Then add in 35.7 million PS3s. I don't think it's at all accurate to say the Xbox is "dominating the living room". It accounts for well under a third of current generation consoles.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33040088)

What about games sales? Just because Nintendo moved more machines than MS doesn't mean people are actually playing it more.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about 4 years ago | (#33040614)

Also consistently dominated by Nintendo.

NPD software sales for the top 10 for the first half of 2010.

http://www.next-gen.biz/news/npd-reveals-first-half-2010-bestsellers [next-gen.biz]

Looks like a lot of people are actually buying games for the Wii and probably playing them.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040012)

Open GL is definitely still relevent, but you can't ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room. (Xbox360)

That's just because it's on fire.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040228)

Open GL is definitely still relevent, but you can't ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room.

Ballmer?

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040362)

Open GL is definitely still relevent, but you can't ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room. (Xbox360)...

Yea because once a console wins a generation it will win every generation afterwards.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33040772)

That's actually sort of what I figured (and apparently got modded as flamebait for).

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (2, Informative)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 4 years ago | (#33041564)

A huge amount of the 3d computer market is not games. We have all nivida/linux machines in the lab (about 200 machine in the department) for protein structure visualizations. Another company i worked with had a huge investment for CAD/CAD hardware. Its all opengl.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (4, Interesting)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33041012)

Absolutely true and not flamebait: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenGL#Longs_Peak_and_OpenGL_3.0_controversy [wikipedia.org]

OpenGL 3.0 was a disaster because it should have been revolutionary but instead it was an extended 2.1 to maintain compatibility with workstation apps (as in graphical workstations).

Today however OpenGL is way ahead of Direct3D. One of its killer features is OpenCL compatibility. GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) is now at version 4.00 and since OpenGL 3.2 supported geometry shaders.

Now is it relevant? Are you kidding me? In this day and age of all these platforms it is _THE_ library. Direct3D is only viable on Micrsoft platforms.

Android, Playstation3, Mac OS X, iOS, Linux, Windows. They all have OpenGL support and thus anyone is now porting, if they haven't already and newcommers all use OpenGL. In fact all the CAD apps have been using OpenGL solely! All the big players and studios are using OpenGL now.

Now the real question is; What is Microsofts next move to stay in the game?

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33041158)

Android, Playstation3, Mac OS X, iOS, Linux, Windows. They all have OpenGL support and thus anyone is now porting, if they haven't already and newcommers all use OpenGL. In fact all the CAD apps have been using OpenGL solely! All the big players and studios are using OpenGL now.

Now the real question is; What is Microsofts next move to stay in the game?

With the exception of the words 'iOS' and 'Android', this exact point has been made repeatedly over the last few years. Microsoft is already making its next move right now and humming right along.

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33041546)

While true that this point has always been made, it is only recently other platforms are breaking through.

Welcome to todays world ;)

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Verunks (1000826) | about 4 years ago | (#33041628)

Now is it relevant? Are you kidding me? In this day and age of all these platforms it is _THE_ library. Direct3D is only viable on Micrsoft platforms.

Android, Playstation3, Mac OS X, iOS, Linux, Windows. They all have OpenGL support and thus anyone is now porting, if they haven't already and newcommers all use OpenGL. In fact all the CAD apps have been using OpenGL solely! All the big players and studios are using OpenGL now.

Now the real question is; What is Microsofts next move to stay in the game?

Microsoft doesn't have to do anything, how many opengl games came out in the last years? I can think of wolfenstein, some indie games and then what? every other games is running on directx
opengl may be available on a lot of platforms but who cares it's not like you can port crysis from pc to an iphone in a day just because it's in opengl(I know it's not in opengl, it's just an example)
I'm not a game developer but I think that directx/opengl can easily be abstracted by the engine to use whatever is best on the platform it runs, something like Qt, and I think valve is doing that with the source engine right now

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

Nagrom (1233532) | about 4 years ago | (#33041662)

PlayStation 3 having OpenGL support is scarcely relevant considering the performance relative to the other available APIs. No-one uses it there. Any game studios targeting a subset of the 3 major HD gaming platforms - ie. Windows, 360, PS3 - are almost certainly not going anywhere near OpenGL. Though you do have a point with regards to anyone doing mobile, Wii, or a game targeting both Windows and MacOS (which is presumably a growing area since Steam's arrival on the latter).

Re:Is opengl relevant anymore? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 years ago | (#33041364)

Yes.

In the past it's suffered from poor support in Windows. (The drivers are great but Microsoft did nothing). But openGL - especially the Embedded Systems variants - is used on Android and iphone. OpenGL is also useful for multiplatform development. This is typically used for niche applications but there are a lot of niches.

Buzz-speak (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 4 years ago | (#33039488)

Why use pseudo-words like "leapfrogging" when real words like "surpassing" or "overtaking" work just fine?

Re:Buzz-speak (4, Informative)

Speare (84249) | about 4 years ago | (#33039538)

Why use pseudo-words like "leapfrogging" when real words like "surpassing" or "overtaking" work just fine?

Leapfrog is a very old and well-known children's game which involves people continually taking the lead by surpassing (jumping over) their playmate. It has a connotation of an endless arms race or continual exchange of leadership in the marketplace. I think the use of the word "leapfrogging" here is perfectly apt. Idiom is a part of the language, and when properly used, gives another layer of nuance to the communication.

Re:Buzz-speak (4, Insightful)

cas2000 (148703) | about 4 years ago | (#33040148)

why use the made up word "pseudo-words" when the real phrase "made up words" works just fine?

and why use the word "fine" when there are dozens of synonyms or near-synonyms that work just as well?

Re:Buzz-speak (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 years ago | (#33040712)

Or even "pwning".

Anyone got patent info? (2, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#33039496)

Anyone following this enough to know if attempts were made to resolve the patent issues?

* http://en.swpat.org/wiki/OpenGL [swpat.org]

Or did new issues surface? Any pointers would be appreciated, thanks.

Re:Anyone got patent info? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#33040166)

0x08764356889997754322345678890

Sure it's only 32 bit but you should be able to get by.

Re:Anyone got patent info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33041110)

I hate you. [xkcd.com]

Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

meteficha (1332195) | about 4 years ago | (#33039508)

Currently we still don't have OpenGL 3.0 support! It is a real shame to be so far behind proprietary drivers.
Okay, it's fine, I guess we can live with OpenGL 2.1, nobody needs OpenGL 4.1, right? ='(
I know, I know, patches welcome. ;)

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 4 years ago | (#33039654)

My nVidia video card supports OpenGL 3.1 in Linux. I don't have a 4.0 capable card unfortunately, but yes, the drivers are out there.

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

meteficha (1332195) | about 4 years ago | (#33039778)

Great! What *open source* nVidia driver do you use? =)

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 4 years ago | (#33040030)

Ah, yes. In that case then, I'm still waiting for proper 3D acceleration. (I used to use an ATi card with the open source ATi drivers. They weren't THAT terrible, but still really slow).

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | about 4 years ago | (#33039898)

Yes, and I've got OpenGL 3.2 support with the nvidia linux drivers, but those are obviously proprietary. The GP was most definitely referring to Mesa, the open source implementation, which still targets OpenGL 2.1.

I don't think it's much of a problem. No GL developer doing serious work is going to be using a software implementation anyway. It's nice that Mesa is there as a backup, but it's certainly not the end of the world if it is several versions behind. The software implementation just isn't up to the task of running anything but the most simple GL programs, even with a fast CPU, so anyone running GL apps are definitely going to be using their video cards' implementation which will definitely be newer than OpenGL 2.1.

Besides, I don't even think Microsoft's software implementation is as new as OpenGL 2.1, so it's not like that's necessarily a base configuration developers are using.

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (2, Insightful)

meteficha (1332195) | about 4 years ago | (#33039984)

Yes, Mesa has a software implementation, but Mesa is a *lot* more than that. Most, if not all, open source drivers use Mesa/Gallium3D infrastructure, including nvidia/ati/intel open source drivers.
So yes, it is a problem even if you got the best graphics card on the market unless you use proprietary software. But staying open means staying with OpenGL 2.1 right now.

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

Jahava (946858) | about 4 years ago | (#33041002)

Yes, Mesa has a software implementation, but Mesa is a *lot* more than that. Most, if not all, open source drivers use Mesa/Gallium3D infrastructure, including nvidia/ati/intel open source drivers. So yes, it is a problem even if you got the best graphics card on the market unless you use proprietary software. But staying open means staying with OpenGL 2.1 right now.

Honestly, if you're buying closed hardware, you might as well take the dive and download (for free) the closed software to support it. I don't see how, morally or ethically, one is any worse than the other. Drivers are just software glue to connect hardware to your OS. For all practical purposes, you should consider them to be an extension of the hardware, so long as the vendor maintains them responsibly (like NVidia does). FOSS has a very respectable value, but knowingly crippling your hardware for a deviant extension of that value is just a waste.

Re:Will we live to see open source catching up? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#33041616)

``Honestly, if you're buying closed hardware, you might as well take the dive and download (for free) the closed software to support it.''

I would be hesitant to paint hardware and software with the same brush. For one thing, software has practically zero marginal cost, whereas there is a real cost to producing another unit of hardware. For another, hardware is largely an isolated piece of the system, which only interacts with the rest of the system through well-defined interfaces (at the hardware level, that is).

``Drivers are just software glue to connect hardware to your OS.''

If only that were the case. Drivers, at least on Linux, basically have kernel-level access to the system, which makes them part of the trusted base. That does not combine well with not being able to inspect, much less modify the working of the driver. It could be full of (intentional or unintentional) security holes and other bugs you might never know. And even if you knew, you wouldn't be allowed to fix them. I am sure there are known cases of such security holes. And haven't Windows users been saying for a number of years now that the major cause of crashes on their OS is faulty drivers?

Even if a driver is just software glue to connect hardware to your OS, and it does not compromise the security and stability of your system, it would still be software glue between the hardware and _that_ OS. Experience shows that there are generally only a very limited number of operating systems that are supported by vendor-supplied drivers. Good luck if you ever want to use the hardware with another OS, or develop a new OS. Even a different version of the same OS can be, and often has been, problematic.

Finally, I think even having the debate about open vs. closed drivers is the wrong discussion. By the time you are dependent on there being a driver, you have already lost the greater battle. There _should_ be a well-defined programming interface to the hardware, at least in so far as the hardware exposes functionality that is commonly provided by such hardware. I am thinking about things like ATAPI, VGA, USB device classes, serial port controllers, etc. When devices conform to these standards or de-facto standards, you can buy a device from any vendor and have it work by programming it the same way you would any other such device. For graphics cards, we have OpenGL. That means we know what the graphics card is expected to be able to do. Why isn't there a standard way to make it do that?

Even failing a vendor-neutral way of programming the hardware, there should at least be a specification of the interface to the hardware. It used to be the case that you got these: the printer communicates over the parallel port and here is a description of the command language it supports. For CPUs, as far as I know, this information is also generally available. It seems to me that AMD is now doing the same thing for their graphics cards, as well. They don't all work the same way, but at least you can get a document that explains how they do work. Without that, it's either there's a good driver, or you're simply out of luck. My experience is that this alone means, in practice, that the hardware vendors dictate what operating systems you can use and when you can or must upgrade - and I say "no, thanks" to that.

Re: (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | about 4 years ago | (#33039516)

I don't know why but back in the day when I used Windows games (suppose they were id games) which could switch between OpenGL and DirectX ran noticeably smoother on OpenGL and also the texture filtering looked better. I suppose there is no way to make such comparison now as almost nobody writes games which can run both.

Nostalgia aside, from what I've been hearing from devs who had contact with DX and then picked up OGL, OGL API seems way more elegant and easier to deal with...

I don't want to start a flame war but haven't OGL almost always surpass DX in terms of features by the means of extensions?

Just maybe... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 4 years ago | (#33039582)

Perhaps there would be better reception for all of these new OGL iterations if they saved up some worthwhile features before putting them into the spec, and just leave the new stuff as extensions until they have a nice upgrade to show.

If I'm not mistaken, they JUST updated to 3.3/4.0 in March or something at GDC, no? I can't imagine there's been too terribly much added in 6 months. I like OpenGL a hell of a lot better than DX but I couldn't give less of a rat's ass about this supposed "step up". Before trying to match DX11 you should see if there's anything in DX11 worth copying(there isn't).

Re:Just maybe... (2, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33039822)

Not totally true. Hardware tessellation is pretty sweet if you have a machine powerful enough to do it properly.

Re:Just maybe... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040638)

The fast iterations are all backwards compatible - so it does no harm to get them out quickly - developers can adopt new features at their own rate.

Plus some of the features like robustness against exploits (for WebGL), binary shaders, OpenGL ES 2.0 functionality and event sharing with OpenCL are worthwhile I would say

Re:Just maybe... (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#33041444)

``Perhaps there would be better reception for all of these new OGL iterations if they saved up some worthwhile features before putting them into the spec, and just leave the new stuff as extensions until they have a nice upgrade to show.''

My understanding is that they used to do that, but got overtaken by Direct3D because people thought OpenGL was stagnant.

I agree with you, though. As long as it can be put in extensions, that is a nice way of advancing the capabilities of your system without polluting the core standard with things that, perhaps, nobody will be using anymore 10 years from now. On the other hand, if a bump in version number makes the world happy, then why not? You can always cook up a new standard to get rid of the bloat (as exemplified by OpenGL ES).

ghd hair straightener on sale (-1, Offtopic)

chenhongjuan (1864770) | about 4 years ago | (#33039638)

You are aware of Valve and Blizzard, right? ghd hair straightener on sale [ukghdhair.com] the person

Blah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33040064)

And it fucking sucks. Get over it. Direct3D all the way.

Fusion of mobile and desktop platforms (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 years ago | (#33040190)

The blending of OGL and OGL ES is huge - it essentially underscores that smart phones are now a major 3D gaming platform. I'm really surprised that most poeple here are talking about PC support rather then note the fact that essentially any PC game built for OGL can be ported far more easily to moble platforms now.

Additionally with Nokia's Meego and Google's Android being essentially modified Linux and both likely offering support for this, this may give us a renaissance of linux gaming. And by this I mean proper linux gaming and not "wine" gaming.

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