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Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the so-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.

Graphics 256

mikejuk writes "It is reported that Microsoft has sent an email to DirectX/XNA MVPs which informs them that they are no longer needed because XNA and DirectX are no longer evolving. What does this mean? If you don't need MVPs then presumably you anticipate nothing to support in the future."

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256 comments

first feburary post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758819)

enjoy your fleshlights on valentine's !!!

Re:first feburary post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758847)

Anyone who uses Windows is Microsoft's fleshlight.

Re:first feburary post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758951)

Back Orifice for ballmer fuck with syphilis dick. New windows make rectum bleed and brain rot. Ignant cunt think good buy upgrade 2.0 shitpacker edition 40% more syphilus. tech support stretch opening with baseball bat. clippy watching make sure use big end. everybody happy hole press start button for maximum pleasure. you pay now you pay later you pay.

Huh? (2)

simplexion (1142447) | about a year ago | (#42758825)

Something was said in that article but I am not sure what...

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758869)

I think everyone is just as confused. Its really unlikely that MS is ditching D3D. The standard joke is "embrace extend extinguish" but... extinguish makes no business sense here. It's more likely they are trying to collect everything under their "apps store" like Apple has. Presumably steam understood this better (and earlier) than everyone else, and that's why they're making another basket for their eggs.

Re:Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758959)

micorsoft make big confuse so fuck customer think smart but never work only bluescreen sometimes brown stain.

Re:Huh? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42759035)

My head hurts, your post makes as much sense as a soviet number station.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#42759457)

Its actually quite simple, Steve Ballmer is burning the company to the ground because he has it in his big fat head that he has a "brand" like Prada and Nike when in reality he has a replaceable good, like Coke or Pepsi.

You see Steve Ballmer thinks if you click your heels three times and say "There is no place like Cupertino" why you can just turn the company into Apple, of course those of us in the trenches know there ain't enough dope in the world to make it so, but old fathead doesn't see any value in anything that isn't just aping Apple, hence why he shit on the desktop, he's shitting on the OEMs, and now he's shitting all over DirectX which frankly is the only thing that keeps many on windows.

My only question is will Gates get tired of seeing everything he spent so many years building being burnt to the ground and step in, or will he kick back with his big piles o' cash and just watch the whole thing burn?

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759533)

If MS is killing DX it's actually very good news! DX is the thing keeping gaming in windows world. IF games go OpenGL route we will see a lot more linux ports.

captcha: rejoice

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

jmauro (32523) | about a year ago | (#42759885)

From the article all that's dying is likely the name. The same technologies will still exist and be limited to Xbox and Windows only. No OpenGL.

Re:Huh? (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42759667)

Or at the most possible extreme, they could just be switching to GLES to help push developers towards Windows8 RT (since it's pretty obvious they're in catch up mode at the moment).

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758829)

There's nothing much left to add to the hardware for polygon rasterization. Therefore there isn't much left to do inside DirectX.

Another fad ends (0)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#42758831)

Glad I stayed with OpenGL for my 3D work.

Re:Another fad ends (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42758973)

Thank god!!

Re:Another fad ends (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42759123)

What a mess of extensions that thing devolved into...

Why they didn't want OpenGL ES on the desktop is beyond me - it was the chance to start over cleanly, they should have pushed it as hard as possible but nooooo....too little, too late.

Re:Another fad ends (3)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#42759605)

Because Microsoft had to justify their purchase of RenderMorphics in 1995 -- the company that made the Reality Lab API that was renamed Direct3D.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX [wikipedia.org]

Of course Microsoft didn't get it right until version 3. DX1, DX2, DX5. :-/ (DX4 was never publically available.)

At the time there was a petition of game developers telling Microsoft to support OpenGL - but typically Microsoft didn't give a dam -- they have always just wanted vendor lock in with all their technologies.
http://www.graphicsgroups.com/6-opengl/c476ebf66db4600a.htm [graphicsgroups.com]

Re:Another fad ends (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42759707)

OpenGL ES 2.0 might be suitable for running a desktop framework, but it probably isn't suitable for the apps running on top of it. It's too cut to the bone e.g. it only supports triangles, lines and points as primitives, lacks geometry and tesselation shaders and has various other restrictions which might be necessary in a phone but should not be when running against a PC GPU.

Anyway the full blown OpenGL with 4.x is somewhat getting its shit together and is a superset of ES 2.0 and 3.0. Just avoid the fixed function stuff and it should be fine.

Now... I just wish the documentation, tools and quality of drivers were all up to snuff for development. It's not uncommon to write a shader which works just fine on one driver but refuses to even compile on another. OpenGL needs a canonical, driver neutral set of compilers and tools which integrate into IDEs like Eclipse and reduce the hassle of development.

Re:Another fad ends (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42759973)

It's too cut to the bone e.g. it only supports triangles, lines and points as primitives,

Show me any hardware or software that actually does something different at the core. You can't. EVERYTHING users triangles, lines and points for a reason.

Use OpenGL instead (5, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#42758851)

All the growing platforms use OpenGL. Even Windows can use OpenGL (although it is not tyhe favored child). If you have an eye on the future, it makes far sense to develop with OpenGL. That way you can develop shaders that will work on: Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, Unix, embedded devices (eg. commercial avionics), the PS3. What you miss out on is XBox 360 and Windows Phone. Compare the combined size of the coverage of OpenGL platforms to the Direct3D-only platforms. There is simply no contest anymore in terms of units shipping and growth rate.

OpenGL is the future of hardware accelerated graphics. The nice thing is that no matter what changes in the hardware/platform space you investment in OpenGL is never lost, it comes across as you migrate.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42758883)

OpenGL is the future of hardware accelerated graphics.

And the past, and the present, just to round out the hat trick.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42758891)

It's worth mentioning that the entire article is based entirely on speculation on a rumor, but:

Unless you absolutely need to lock yourself into a limited, closed platform (for example, you want to develop XNA on xbox and there is no other choice), why would you ever want to do so? There is no good reason.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758905)

(for example, you want to develop XNA on xbox and there is no other choice)

Well, that is one of the most used gaming platforms on earth... it's not a small reason.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759445)

But with OpenGL you get all of the other most used gaming platforms put together. That's much larger than locking yourself to the Xbox.

(Windows runs either, so if you wish to include it, it counts on both sides, thus not changing the outcome).

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759849)

(for example, you want to develop XNA on xbox and there is no other choice)

Well, that is one of the most used gaming platforms on earth... it's not a small reason.

One among several of the most-used gaming platforms on Earth. The question still stands.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759127)

Because XNA is actually a pretty good framework embedded in a really good toolset and there's really nothing that matches it in terms of ease, speed, and quality of development without also losing much real flexibility and power to do what you want to.

I agree with you for the most part, I'm using OpenGL now because XNA at least does have an awful lot of uncertainty under it with the fact Microsoft have chosen not to support it in RT and Visual Studio 2012, suggesting there is indeed no future for it, but if you just want to make games as say, a hobbyist, and don't really care about sales figures or market reach then XNA is your best bet, especially if you work a full time job - XNA can mean the difference between having time to embark on such a project alongside work, and not. A lot of this comes down to OpenGL's inconsistency of support meaning more bug hunting, more time and effort to setup, and the fact the API design is dated and often painful to work with and that the only language it was really developed hand in hand with - C, isn't exactly a productive language (unless you have to use it, for performance concerns). XNA being developed hand in hand with C# is partly what made it excellent to work with because it was a modern framework design melded with a modern language.

But for what it's worth I think there's another point in OpenGL's favour, Microsoft have a long history of failing to provide graphics API stability, GDI, GDI+, WPF 2D/3D, DX, MDX, XNA, and so on - so many APIs over the years have come and gone with support disappearing to a large extent or even completely. It's one of Microsoft's developer weak points.

I've always been a fan of Microsoft's graphics APIs and have always defended them over OpenGL because they haven't had most the headaches OpenGL causes, but even I'm fed up now of the fact that each graphics API has a lifespan of a few years, that if you upgrade Visual Studio you can likely no longer use the integrated tools for that API for years afterwards, if at all. It's just gotten stupid at this point and has become such an overriding concern due to the frequency of the problem that all the benefits are now irrelevant.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759573)

'Because XNA is actually a pretty good framework embedded in a really good toolset and there's really nothing that matches it in terms of ease, speed, and quality of development without also losing much real flexibility and power to do what you want to.'

Bullshit, doesn't work anywhere else, but XBOX, what flexibility are you talking about?

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42759925)

Bullshit, doesn't work anywhere else, but XBOX, what flexibility are you talking about?

It also works on WinPhone (even WP8) and Widnows XP onwards, with the ability to share 95%+ of the code between them. So it covers the two largest segments of the videogame market, platform-wise.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42759945)

Microsoft have a long history of failing to provide graphics API stability, GDI, GDI+, WPF 2D/3D, DX, MDX, XNA

Failing? Hardly.

GDI and GDI+ still work on Windows 8 - this is what WinForms is built on. These have been stable for years now.

WPF was recently updated for .NET 4.5 [wikipedia.org], so obviously that's dead in the water.

DirectX is alive and kicking on the PC, as is XNA on PC and XBox.

The only one MS don't want you using at all is MDX, which is why they created XNA.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#42759783)

Unless you absolutely need to lock yourself into a limited, closed platform (for example, you want to develop XNA on xbox and there is no other choice), why would you ever want to do so? There is no good reason.

Right, but developing for it doesn't mean you would lock yourself into it, no developer in their right mind would build a game engine relying solely on one particular platform-specific API. This goes all the way back to the days where we had to support S3D, Glide, CIF and others side-by-side. Obviously guys like the Limbo developers weren't 'locked in', it's available on XBLA, PS3, Windows and OSX.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (2)

cnettel (836611) | about a year ago | (#42758895)

OpenGL has been far more fragmented in terms of the numer of vendor extensions you needed to use for a long time to get access to recent functionality. However, I think that the theory in the article, that this actually refers to DirectSound/DirectInput/DirectDraw etc, is quite credible. Direct3D has changed quite a bit in recent years, including grafting Direct2D onto the 3D-style framework.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#42759433)

OpenGL has been far more fragmented in terms of the numer of vendor extensions you needed to use for a long time to get access to recent functionality.

Your OpenGL knowledge is clearly out-of-date. The extension mechanism still exists, of course, but is not needed to get GLSL shaders that have advanced functionality.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

cnettel (836611) | about a year ago | (#42759505)

Note "has been". Since this is more due to the way the API is managed and developed, I would expect it to happen again whenever serious new functionality is introduced. I would also believe that this will happen. The ever increasing performance, with different constraints on computation power versus bandwidth versus expected quality makes it hard to believe that either current OpenGL or current Direct3D are fully mature and will now not change.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42759977)

I'm actively developing OpenGL ES 2.0 for android and one constant source of frustration is the quality of tools, documentation and examples. The tools are really bad since the nearest thing to syntax hilighting is the standard C editor and there is no way of telling if a shader will work or not without trial and error. The problem with documentation and examples is of another issue - there are so many different versions, bindings and implementations of OpenGL that it is very hard to find what you want in all the noise. You might come across a seemingly good example and discover it's no use because it's fixed function or uses the wrong version of GL.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (-1, Offtopic)

Gwala (309968) | about a year ago | (#42758901)

It's a shame OpenGL is a broken API comparatively.

It's still based on a 1980's Finite State Machine / Stack based renderer - which has almost zero correlation with modern graphics hardware.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759003)

What was the last spec you used? Did it involve hitting one stone against the other? Fixed path is obsolete.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Molt (116343) | about a year ago | (#42759501)

They didn't say fixed-path, they said finite state machine and stack. The stack-based part is the pushing and popping of matrices, and the finite state machine is the general approach where you change OpenGL's internal state using the API and that applies to everything you draw from then on.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759901)

Oh advanced one, enlighten us with your wisdom.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42759985)

All the fixed function stuff is essentially deprecated and has been for a while. OpenGL ES 2.0 cuts it completely so it's unlikely that many game devs even pay it a passing glance any more.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758903)

I have some difficulties imagining a software, that uses shaders, that is equally running on a PS3 and commercial avionics.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758927)

As much as I would like this to be true, there are so many versions of OpenGL (desktop, ES, ES2) that if you want to support old hardware (OpenGL 2.1 which is not that old since I have some customers with graphic cards from 2006 that does not support anything more recent) and new stuffs you'd better rewrite the whole rendering engine for each one. Hell, even the shader syntax is not consistant. On the top of that each shader compiler does things differently. A few of them have no default gl_PixelSize value so when you draw point clouds you see nothing by default. Others act strangely when you cast float values to int to use as table index. I even found an old piece of intel hardware for which the compiler forget to execute loops when only one iteration will be done...

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758967)

I miss the days where Slashdot was populated by actual developers. I'm a Direct3D developer and this, if true, makes me very happy. It means that DirectX is now a stable API, which makes it much more attractive. I was hoping they'd announce it some day.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3)

Molt (116343) | about a year ago | (#42759597)

I don't think Microsoft cancelling the entire DirectX MVP program can be a good thing for Direct3D unless they then do start a Direct3D-specific MVP program. For one thing I don't think DirectX will become that much more stable as GPUs are still changing dramatically and I would prefer to see the API reflect these changes, but more importantly a good amount of the MVP awards go to people who consistently provide good answers to questions of forums and suchlike. Even when a technology is 100% fixed there will still be people learning it from scratch and those who want to strengthen their skills, and these people will have questions.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42759647)

For one thing I don't think DirectX will become that much more stable as GPUs are still changing dramatically

Are they still changing dramatically? Aside from tessellation (which is debatable as far as 'dramatic'), what other 'dramatic' changes has their really been once the fixed function pipeline was dropped? Once the fully programmable pipeline took over, the bulk of what the Direct3D API still does for the developer is now simply asset management.

Hell, even the last update to the shader standard only dealt with general purpose computing on the gpu.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (4, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#42759619)

> I miss the days where Slashdot was populated by actual developers.

We're still here. It is just that the signal (developers) is probably buried under the noise (fanboys) half (most?) of the time.

It is harder to stick to the facts then to go all emo over speculation which sadly /. is becoming more and more.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (4, Interesting)

qbel (1792064) | about a year ago | (#42759653)

Yeah we are here.. I'm a developer here too who rarely posts. The thing is, I come here for the sometimes interesting, informative and well-vetted news article summaries, but it's the informed comments from other devs that I stay for. UnknownSoldier is dead on about the facts and speculation.. it's easier to speculate than to talk truth, and reading nothing but spec gets old, fast.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | about a year ago | (#42759065)

I'd rather see an open DirectX spec ported to other platforms than see OpenGL take over everything.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (4, Interesting)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#42759137)

I'd rather we scrap both and start anew. Both of these abstraction layers are wholly inadequate for modern GPU architectures. Just the fact that both of these APIs are architected on the idea of single-threaded CPU cores building out a single, final command buffer is completely antiquated (even with DX's addition for parallel command buffer building).

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42759359)

I think the abstraction works quite well for most cases.

Is it worth re-architecting for the handful of cases where it doesn't? It seems unlikely.

There might be a case to be made for delayed rendering and more frame-buffer composition, but even they'd still use the "single-threaded CPU cores building out a single, final command buffer" paradigm.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42759363)

....wholly inadequate for modern GPU architectures.

The GPU architectures are designed around the APIs so it's not like existing GPUs would work a lot better if driven differently.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42760013)

There is barely any abstraction at all in OpenGL ES 2.0. You load the GPU with shaders and tell it to render from buffers. There is no fixed function pipeline at all which undoubtedly comes as a "pleasant" surprise for anybody trying to port code to 2.0 from 1.1.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759141)

DirectX=Microsoft=portwilnothapen or portwillbepatented

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42759185)

Yep. DirectX 11 is quite well finished (and it only took them eleven iterations to get things figured out...!), but I doubt Microsoft will let Apple or Linux license it anytime soon.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42759171)

All the growing platforms use OpenGL.

No, they Use OpenGL ES.

Even Windows can use OpenGL

...just not OpenGL ES.

OpenGL is the future of hardware accelerated graphics.

It might be. If they finish OpenGL ES (make it support missing desktop graphics card features), then actually allow people to use it on the desktop.

Unfortunately most of today's graphics cards will never have a working OpenGL ES driver so we're looking at five or ten years before it's worth trying to use OpenGL ES on the desktop, if ever. It's too little, and far too late.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759293)

Most cards supported by mesa have OpenGL ES 1.0 and 2.0 implemented with gallium.

http://www.mesa3d.org/opengles.html

Also kwin (kde window manager) can use opengl es (was added in kde a year ago) instead of Open GL. http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2011/07/running-kwin-with-opengl-es-2-0/

You may be right about windows drivers, but on GNU/linux it's really easier to support APIs (hell there's even a directx11 tracker for gallium to accelerate wine apps)

Re:Use OpenGL instead (3, Informative)

Molt (116343) | about a year ago | (#42759629)

OpenGL ES is essentially OpenGL with the parts which embedded hardware can't handle removed, and so adding the functionality to support the missing desktop graphics card features would either result in the normal OpenGL again, or an oddly forked version based on where embedded hardware is today. Also it's not that hard to run an implementation of OpenGL ES on the desktop today, it's the basis of WebGL and Chrome and Firefox both happily run it, the render loop is changed to accommodate the fact it's running in a browser but other than that it's pretty much the same OpenGL ES you'll find elsewhere.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#42759265)

What you miss out on is [...] Windows Phone.

Oh no! Save me!

Seriously, who really cares about that platform? It's just not got the market penetration. Now, the 360 has the penetration, but the hardware there is looking rather elderly; the visual quality of the platform is noticeably worse than its competitors and it's pretty clear it needs a platform-refresh or successor, which would be a reasonable time to ramp up support for OpenGL.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759327)

OpenGL portability is only (relatively) simple when dealing with Windows, Linux, and Mac. Android and iOS however use OpenGL ES which has a lot of similarities to OpenGL, but it is not OpenGL as we know it on PC platforms. The kind of code you wind up writing to support both OpenGL and OpenGL ES platforms is very similar to the kind of code you would write to support both DirectX and OpenGL platforms.

Honestly I'm glad Microsoft pulled the plug on XNA. All the way up to XNA 3.1 the API was going strong, each new version greatly improved what it was capable of. XNA 4.0 however is tailored toward Windows Phone so heavily that it sacrifices crucial Direct3D functionality on both the PC and Xbox360.

The big problem with OpenGL (5, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#42759503)

The big problem with OpenGL is that the shaders are not guaranteed to run in bounded time. DirectX doesn't have that problem, and the OpenGL emulation layer on top of DirectX unrolls the shaders, and for the ones which won't run in bounded time, just throws them away.

When Chrome implements OpenGL on Windows, it runs it through its own code which does the same thing and preflights it, then renders the OpenGL which will run linearly and in bounded time via DirectX.

The Linux and Mac OS X versions hand the OpenGL to the user space renderer or to the kernel-based renderer, respectively -- there are significant performance advantages to OpenGL on Mac OS X compared to Linux because of this; this ends up being most apparent on portable devices, which have a limited memory copy bandwidth (read: ARM devices), which is why Android doesn't directly use the Linux graphics model, apart from the inability to use binary drivers in kernel space due to EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL().

But both the Linux and Mac OS X OpenGL renderers take the shaders without preflighting them, as is done on Windows when converting to DirectX calls, and so it's possible to crash the user space driver on Linux, or crash the Mac OS X kernel, on Mac OS (the disadvantage you get in exchange for the reduced copy overhead relative to Linux).

I tried unsuccessfully for several months to try and convince the Chrome graphics guys to run the preflight portion of the Direct X converter on Linux and Mac OS to prevent these crashes on these platforms, to no avail. It'd be more processing, but no more than is already done on Windows, in exchange for a significant improvement in stability for OpenGL/OpenGL ES/WebGL/NaCl on both platforms, which is probably worth the additional processing cost, given that the bottleneck is copying, not processing, on the portable platforms. There are cycles to burn on the desktop systems, even if you'd prefer not to burn them, it's probably worth it for the stability.

In any case, a lot of game developers try for a lot of effects with shaders, and most of them are more concerned with the visual appeal, rather than in running in bounded time and not eventually crashing the system. DirectX protects them where OpenGL doesn't -- except on the Windows platforms they use for development, and that doesn't help get these games stable and running on Mac OS X or Linux, which is what you'd hoe the portability of OpenGL code would have bought you.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759525)

Just for completeness: OpenGL cannot be used on WindowsRT, as the new WinRT interface does not provide it and Win32 is inaccessible there.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42759743)

I expect most developers wishing to target DirectX and OpenGL would write their shaders in Cg which is NVidia's proprietary shading language. The tool spits out the equivalent shader script in GLSL or HLSL.

Doesn't help much the other geometry stuff but I would not be surprised if the two APIs are largely analogous such that most of the differences can be abstracted away behind some utilities or some other for of separation, e.g. by using a 3rd party development platform like Unity.

Re:Use OpenGL instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759753)

All the growing platforms use OpenGL.

You do realize XNA and DirectX are not Direct3D don't you?

nice date.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758853)

"As a result, effective April 1, 2014 ..."

It Means (5, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#42758855)

Too many people got too good at writing DirectX emulation layers. Obviously someone fell down on the job, or Valve wouldn't have managed a Linux port. Watch for new incompatible "standard", soon.

Cynical? This isn't my first rodeo. I watched them kill off OS/2, pretty much exactly the same way.

Re:It Means (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42758907)

it just means their public pr relations dev money is being targeted towards Metro so they're shutting down older pr programs.

however.. keeping the mvp system alive wouldn't cost them a damn thing if they didn't do anything with it... and obviously it's not assumed that sw with these techs would be removed from pipeline from all companies.

it's just a reshuffle of their developer PR though. hard to say what it really means.

Re:It Means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42758953)

It's the hardware that got too uniform. DirectX or OpenGL, both have the same feature set. It's like comparing Oranges and Oranges.

Re:It Means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759159)

Except one only fits in an "Orange" hole, while the other fits in any round hole.

Re:It Means (4, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#42759151)

True. Having said that, IBM did not really help. While OS/2 was in many ways a 'better DOS than DOS', as they promised, it fatally lacked support for non-IBM devices in the early days... I remember trying to install on a very-standard config beige box, and sixteen disettes later getting nowhere.

Called up an ex-colleague in IBM, who got me through to a senior dev in the OS/2 team. "Ah, we've never tested it on a non-IBM machine...better buy a PS/2..."

Re:It Means (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42759771)

it fatally lacked support for non-IBM devices in the early days...

Indeed. IBM viewed OS/2 as a way to promote PS/2 hardware, and in fact the /2 in each was not a coincidence. It was a common belief not just with IBM but many companies at that time that software was just a necessary feature for moving hardware out the door.

Apple never really gave up that theory and almost died because of it, and if it were not for the emerging portable market they'd still be just a bit player, and now we see again that Android is doing the same thing to them in the portable space that DOS/Windows did to them in the desktop space.

Re:It Means (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42760027)

OS/2 2.1 onwards were pretty easy to set up on non-IBM hardware. I didn't encounter a machine which didn't work with them. That said, OS/2 had so many other issues that hurt its own chances of success that someone could write an essay on the subject.

Re:It Means (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#42759645)

For THAT to be true MSFT would have to have a CEO with vision, evil vision but vision nonetheless, and what we have seen in Ballmer is just "What is Apple doing? Lets do that but poorly" so until I see some proof i'm gonna have to call bullshit. If Gates were running the show? then I'd be right there with ya but frankly Ballmer couldn't pull off the EEE maneuver if you drew it out in crayon and came up with a little song to go with it.

More likely they had trouble getting DirectX to run on his precious WinPhone and God fucking forbid that the whole shitty company isn't 110% behind WinPhone so anything that doesn't run on WinPhone? Probably gonna be getting shitcanned.

I'd say the only positive is when the WinPhones and Wintabs hit Woot! for dirt cheap those of us who missed out on a TouchPad might get a shot but knowing Ballmer's ego he'll probably bury them in NM next to the ET carts rather than admit his "brilliant" Windows 8 plan is a big giant failwhale. If this turns out to be true though Valve really ought to send Ballmer a nice moist delicious cake, after all he'll have done more to get the game devs to leave Windows than anybody as nobody is gonna want to develop for a dead end.

DirectX is fine (5, Informative)

TonTonKill (907928) | about a year ago | (#42758921)

Re:DirectX is fine (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42759013)

So, were they lying then, or are they lying now? Either way, we seem to be getting different story from anonymous PR bunnies in unspecified divisions.

Me, I get the vague impression that Uncle Fester is losing his grip, and that Microsoft's System Lords are preparing to carve mini-empires out of the wreckage when it comes off the rails.

Re:DirectX is fine (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#42759059)

So, were they lying then, or are they lying now? Either way, we seem to be getting different story from anonymous PR bunnies in unspecified divisions.

Me, I get the vague impression that Uncle Fester is losing his grip, and that Microsoft's System Lords are preparing to carve mini-empires out of the wreckage when it comes off the rails.

Is that PHBs?

Re:DirectX is fine (1)

rk (6314) | about a year ago | (#42759089)

If there were a "+1, SG-1 Reference" mod, you would've gotten it.

Nebulous spokestalk alert! (4, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#42759075)

One thing that the NBC Universal--Comcast thing taught me was that "inaccurate" != "false". (They said news about the merger was "inaccurate". They merged anyway.) Here we go again.

In short, I'm not convinced that either system will survive the axe, and you should probably just polish your HTML5-optimized-for-Metro-or-whatever-it's-called-now (or OpenGL?) skills if you still want to make games for Windows:

  1. They never reversed the actual decision to retire the two from the award program.
  2. They did not mention that XNA or its MVP award...status...program...thing would not be axed.
  3. "Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for our key platforms, including Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows. DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. For instance, right now we’re investing in some very cool graphics code authorizing [sic] technology in Visual Studio." - it's great that they're still developing it now, before April 1, 2014, but what about after?
  4. "We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX, and you can quote me on that." - this didn't start because we thought would somehow "[stop] innovation with DirectX" (a concept as nebulous as fuck, because they could be taking it to mean that, e.g., they'd try to actively prevent people from using a newly-deprecated API, instead of just deprecating it). No, we wondered whether they'd stop developing, supporting, and maintaining the platform after the stated date, aaaaand *crickets and a coquí or two*.

So will both die on April 2014? In the words of $got_talent_judge, "I vote Yes."

Re:Nebulous spokestalk alert! (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | about a year ago | (#42759379)

So, is DirectX "continu[ing] to evolve" or is it "DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology"? It sounds like Microsoft is speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

Re:Nebulous spokestalk alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759943)

Coquí?? R u Puertorrican?

Unlikely (5, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | about a year ago | (#42758931)

It's very unlikely that Microsoft will abandon DirectX. It is afterall the reason why most games for the PC are Windows-exclusive. If they OpenGL becomes king, porting to Linux will be a lot easier. Windows will be dumped by a lot of people whose only reason to keep a Windows desktop is gaming.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759953)

The problem was never porting to Linux. The problem was supporting Linux. Saying your game supports Linux is like saying your cute dog collar supports "dogs": people will be pissed because they can't put it on their enourmous St. Bernards. And some nerds are going to complain because they can't put the collar on their bear.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759991)

People tend to forget the DirectX is more than Direct3D. They will retain Direct3D but pretty much the entire rest of DirectX (e.g. DirectInput, DirectPlay, DirectSound) has already been deprecated in favor of APIs that are also used by the Xbox 360 (XInput, WinSock, XAudio2).

This actually only relates to XNA (4, Informative)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about a year ago | (#42758985)

As anyone who deals in this knows XNA is a dead end and DirectX most certainly is not. They are retiring the XNA part of the XNA/DirectX MVP.

Link [zdnet.com]

April Fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759211)

"As a result, effective April 1, 2014 XNA/DirectX will be fully retired from the MVP Award Program..."

Yeah right !

This is not relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759345)

http://ventspace.wordpress.com/ XNA is dead anyway ...

Good news for Linux (1)

luxifr (1194789) | about a year ago | (#42759487)

If MS eventually ditches DirectX completely and with Steam coming to Linux, in a few years Linux could improve on desktop market share substantially. I mean: Gaming is THE major reason so many people still use windows. I sure wouldn't use windows if it wasn't the os that runs all of my games.

Re:Good news for Linux (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42759789)

I use Linux, but a spend more time in Windows and its not just because of games. If Linux natively ran something as good as Visual Studio + C# + MSDN, I'd be running Linux far more often. I don't have the time or the patience to exhaustively sift through API references any longer.

Re:Good news for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759877)

What? Haven't your heard of Eclipse and Java?

may directX die screaming (1)

Kaitiff (167826) | about a year ago | (#42759747)

M$ derailed the graphics industry with their strongarm tactics a long time ago. There were already really good graphics api's when directx was shoved bodily down the throats of developers. The only way DX would have been acceptable is if it would have been available to all platforms, not just windows. OpenGL would have/will open gaming up across almost every platform available now. I keep mentioning games because that was where I was always most involved and interested, but having a fully developed and matured opengl would have sped up the adoption use of 3d acceleration on the desktop etc on multiple platforms as well. Put a stake in it's heart, chop off it's head and burn the body!

April 1, 2014 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42759955)

Look at the date included in the announcement. This was possibly posted just as a strange joke.

'Evolving' (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#42759999)

XNA and DirectX are no longer evolving

For these years, I had operated under the assumption that source code was edited & compiled.
Gosh, the stuff you learn on /.

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