OpenGL 3.0 - The End is near

So OpenGL 3.0 is out now, and it doesn't contain what they've been promising for a long time now: the rewrite of the API. Instead, it's basically an OpenGL 2.5. Game developers are in rage and feel cheated. I've never read so many words like 'unbelievable letdown', 'epic fail', 'fiasco' or 'disaster' in a single thread like in the one of the forum.

What happened is that it seems the khronos group wasn't capable to agree on the technical details of the redesign of the API and decided to release an update of OpenGL 2.x as OpenGL 3.0 now. And together with the non-existing communication of the group with the developers during the last year, game developers really have a reason to be angry. Lets face it: OpenGL today still is a collection of partially outdated, crappy documented extensions, not a solid, clean API like Direct3D. OpenGL 3.0 was supposed to fix this and because they failed, a lot of developers now will begin to support Direct3D instead of OpenGL. Simple as that.

OpenGL won't die though, if you are forced to write 3D applications on non-Windows machines, there is no alternative to OpenGL, unfortunately. But as PC game developer you can savely ignore this - 98% of all PC-gamers are using Windows, so why going through the pain of using this antiqued API just for maybe getting 2% more users instead of simply using a nice, clean Microsoft written API like D3D?

Nope, OpenGL won't die. But this just was a step into its grave at least.

sixteen comments, already:

I don’t know. I think we’ll be moving more and more away from windows centric computing. Examples are the success of cheap linux based umpcs, increasing mac market share, consoles like the ps3/wii, mobiles…

Adding it all together, I think it’s muuch larger than 2%. In addition to this, windows gaming is kind of saturated. I saw some interesting statistics from a smaller gaming company delivering cross platform games to windows, mac and linux (java based). I can’t recall its name, so no sources. But the percentage of mac/linux buyers (especially mac) was exceptionally high, despite only having like 2% of the market.
Imbro - 12 08 08 - 19:41

I cannot see any problems with this approach. I never favored the new “object oriented” radically changed API either, which might still come as OpenGL 4 then. But the new API is far more reduced to the necessary elements, is very near to OpenGL-ES 2.x, and backward compatible with only a few exceptions.
The advantages of OpenGL besides portability are availability of geometry shaders and SM4 even on Windows XP, early access to special settings which might never be available from the DX API, and continuity (of the API development and usage).
Don’t know if you already programmed with DX10/10.1, but neither support for it on many platforms, nor writing easily maintainable code for both DX9 and DX10 in at least similar ways seems possible. What adavantage do you get from an API which is only available for a very few systems out there and will change radically in the next few month again?
IMHO, the ARB did the best for OpenGL they could do. If only they would add a check for hardware acceleration of extensions, that would have avoided two erroneous releases of Irrlicht (which both suffered from low FPS due to software rendering…;)
hybrid - 12 08 08 - 20:32

This calls for an open-source implementation of the DirectX API.
trunks14 - 13 08 08 - 04:21

“Solid, clean API like Direct3D”? OMG, joke of the month.
ru - 13 08 08 - 04:55

i hate Direct3D, no offense.
chany - 13 08 08 - 08:45

aren’t we moving back to software rendering anyway? look at intel’s larrabee for example. opengl and directx won’t be needed anymore in a few years. i am really looking forward to this.
spock () - 13 08 08 - 11:11

english: “documentated”
german: “dokumentatiert”

You might wanna fix this ;)
Tazo - 13 08 08 - 12:28

thnx :)
niko - 13 08 08 - 16:26

This is just another example of the hype getting to somebody. Sure, there is a HUGE reason (and I mean HUGE) to be disappointed with Khronos, but at the same time, it’s not like it’s going to ‘die’.

And as far as a 2% market share thing (nice steal from somebody at GameDev), this has only become like this because for some reason, Linux has turned into that OS that is apparently ‘bad for gaming, good for geeks’, even though it would be a very viable OS for gaming. And it’s only become like this, because some developers didn’t develop for it (when they could have), and others followed.

Flawed, but nice catch-me-up.
FlyingIsFun1217 () (link) - 13 08 08 - 17:22

Though the managing of extensions is quite cumbersome. And hardware support and drivers are questionable or not as good on windows or as for DirectX. Still the advantages are numerous. For ex. OpenGL is available for all platforms except maybe XBox360 due to MS. But it is available on all windows. Just the user needs to have a high end card and hope Drivers released will be ok when developing. But still it is available on all platforms. Dx10 is only on Vista. What IF Dx 11 or 12 will be only on Windows 7, though it does not seem likely. Atleast OpenGL needs to be developed once for all platforms. And maybe it is not this bad, People have got more time for smooth transition from GL2 to GL4, if objects are introduced. It is just that extension problem is not going soon. Blame gfx chip companies for bad drivers, though they are not all that bad. Nvidia has decent GL drivers. Just it is that it locks us to hardware more. Development is caomparatively cumbersome but it is only other good alternative, for some people it is first choice. Complexity can be managed and Benefits are still higher. Windows has larger penetration doesnt mean it is going to be forever it may change. Though why mind since we already had the problems and nothing has got more worse. Let’s hope promised features come in GL4. Late it may be but their arrival is welcome still. Hope that all gets better. Still I like GL more. Directx may be less cumbersome, available on most Dominant platform but still GL has its benefits too and it surpass Dx.
Already Vista is not so great release.
Though I am liking 64-bit Vista sp1 more than Windows XP sp2. Not to mention that 64 bit OS is future. And actually if MS had touted nad focussed on marketing Vista as 64 bit OS it may have fared far better as it is best choice for 64 bit OS. Also it is good, less problemsome and fast since sp1.
just migrating from XP takes some time to grow familiar. Then it feels GOOD.
kinjel () (link) - 14 08 08 - 17:42

And Blame Nvidia for not ever releasing drivers for OpenGL, crap cheap chipset they manage to put in every retail computer, mislead customers, dont provide even Hardwre T and L today while having SM3.0, which still is crap. The crappiest cards are in majority. If majority had Nvidia cards it would have beeen a different story for Games on Windows and Linux. or say on PC.
You will be amzed to know that here people around me buy branded PC with Intel Chipset, still try FARCRY, It runs, bogs down the system, runs like slideshow, and people think games make PC s slow or damage them. Loads of negative publicity for PC gaming by loads of ignorant people spread by foolish peoples. Guess so It is a global phenomenon. Actually this is killing PC game. For ex. this same people buy PS2, see better graphics then Farcry on Intel chip in say Tekken3 and declare that Consoles are better.
kinjel () (link) - 14 08 08 - 17:56

NVidia announced today the availability of OpenGL 3.0 preview drivers. Accessible for SIGGRAPH visitors, and for all others after the conference has ended. That’s only SW rendering, though, but you can expect HW driver support in the near future.
hybrid - 15 08 08 - 00:39

Link to the Nvidia OpenGL3 Beta Driver, not that I’m gonna touch it with a 10’ pole, but have it if you want to!
Spintz - 15 08 08 - 14:30

Correct this to
And Blame Intel for not ever releasing drivers for OpenGL, crap cheap chipset they manage to put in every retail computer, mislead customers….,
In my previous post. Nvidia always release openGL drivers at time.
Sorry for typo and trouble
kinjel () - 16 08 08 - 18:07

The main reason Khronos failed is because they created a big hype with Mount Evans and Birds of Feather, they promised a clean OO API. Later with the delay and the silence every1 was “no worries, they are working in something that stand the past of time, good clean code” That was a year in and forums.

There wasnt even a single official post saying “we push back the whole stuff, we dont move from the gl2 desing”, and bang catch you in siggraph with the thing that nobody expected and still the press release of siggraph, khronos and was like “everthing when fine, ppl love the API just as it was 12 years ago” LIES.
jotatsu () (link) - 17 08 08 - 03:24

All those that do not want / or can use Windows machines will still use OpenGL. You really have no other alternative if you want to use a standardized 3D or even 2D API for embedded software, for example. So that maybe amount for 2% for game programming, but much much more in a lot other software areas, maybe less exciting I agree ;-)
Hervé () (link) - 27 08 08 - 20:57

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