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The End Of DirectX As We Know It 285

Posted by Hemos
from the and-i-feel-fine dept.
socram writes "Speaking with ATI and NVIDIA at ECTS allowed us to confirm that after DX9.0, DirectX Graphics is no more. In name only. Microsoft's next set of core presentation and 3D APIs are now under the umbrella of Windows Graphics Foundation and Avalon. Microsoft will still rely on DirectX in name for the rest of the core components, but the graphics API is now under a new name. Look out for WGF 1.0 compatibility on the back of that next generation graphics card's box. Some WGF 1.0 Info!" Update: 09/06 22:27 GMT by T : David Ross of hexus.net points out that this text comes straight from hexus, and should have been credited as such.
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The End Of DirectX As We Know It

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  • by scheuri (655355) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:50AM (#10168268)
    ...where developers have a glance at the new OpenGL?

    such changes are perfect to look around instead of hurrying to the next "standard"-MS-stuff....with some luck game devs might see, that OpenGL is neither dead nor old-fashioned!

    well, there is hope...even if it is just a little!
  • DirectX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pommiekiwifruit (570416) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:52AM (#10168281)
    What is this DirectX? On most games today it says "runs on either Nvidia card xxx or ATI card yyy". Portability doesn't exist. I bought a new PC and new games won't run on it. Heck, old games won't run on it either:

    "Requires Nvidia TNT2 or better. Must be running as admin. Don't press alt-tab." (ok the last bit is in the readme not on the box). So my non-nvidia card won't help me even though DirectX 9.0c claims to be running fine.

    (old coot) I remember when Windows 95 came out and Microsoft claimed that this would let games run on more than a couple of graphics cards. It seems they've given up on that recently (/old coot).

  • by Dogers (446369) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:54AM (#10168296)
    Seeing as Avalon probably isnt going to make it to LongHorn, which is due out, oooh, some time 2007!?
  • So many changes... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JoeShmoe950 (605274) <CrazyNorman@gmail.com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:59AM (#10168333) Homepage
    I hope that by the 2006 Longhorn release, either most game companies also release their games for Linux, cause Wine is in for a really hard time.
  • by pVoid (607584) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:13AM (#10168420)
    Man, today, it doesn't matter what API you use... The days of backward archane APIs are gone. Every API is just as good, and you know why? Because every API has the goal of allowing access to the underlying structure of the GPU.

    Besides, developers today aren't 1 man teams pent up in their basements working against Big Brother, they are billion dollar industries (EA, id, whatever...) who have top of the line programmers who could make *any* API work regardless (because they have the budget to do so), who only really care about the performance and capabilities afforded by the API. Microsoft - like any other big company tending a big market - tries to please them, not piss them off!

    IMHO, the time of the underdog syndrome is past... Let people use whatever friggin API they want. It's not like the gaming industry is in the middle of a standards battle.

    On a different note, the really amazing thing about Avalon, and you gotta commend Moft for this, is that they're actually moving the graphics driver to User-mode. Just imagine what a gi-nourmous task that is... Let's you appreciate how they can have so much programming going on in there.

  • mixed feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andr0meda (167375) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:16AM (#10168442) Homepage Journal

    It's not a good idea to replace an API when that API is one of the major libraries people use to display fast graphics.

    It is however a good idea to force people to use a new standard when the old one has limitations that start to pop up. Sometimes it's necessary to cut the cables and start over.

    Personally I think Dx9 is still all valid and good, it has no issues concerning shader support or other. I would not have replaced this API at this point, because I would consider the WGF as a surplus, something extra alongside DX. I guess doubling up the internal library is too cumbersome for the ones writing the video card drivers, which is why they replaced everything at once.

  • Vaguely on-topic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bairy (755347) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:19PM (#10169290) Homepage
    Does anyone happen to know how DirectX got it's name?
  • Re:I don't think so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:56PM (#10169545) Journal
    Perhaps you misunderstood what was explained at the conference, or they did a poor job of explaining it. Either way, GDI and DX should never, ever be used to access the same screen realestate. The same app can use them at the same time, but never in the same screen area. Now with that said, the avalon interface will support the basic 2D/3D stuff as a superset of what GDI does currently for 90% of the apps out there. If you want to get fancy and use vertex/pixel shaders (or common shaders as they will be called), then you will need to fall back to the DX api... completely... you won't call Avalon for some rendering and DX for the rest, it's either all avalon or all DX, if you try and mix the two, you will have serious issues, probably similiar to the ones you run into with GDI and DX currently.

    There are early versions of the API's floating around if you know where to look... trust me when I say this isn't the revolutionary be all and end all of windows graphics API's... It's just a minor evolution of DX, and a wrapper ontop of DX (think d3dx functions currently) that simply makes UI tasks easier. Perhaps that Eurographics '04 talk you attended was a lot of hype with little substance? Did they back up any of their claims?
  • by hedge_death_shootout (681628) <(gro.liamxunil) (ta) (nilats)> on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:40PM (#10170205)
    Seeing as Avalon probably isnt going to make it to LongHorn, which is due out, oooh, some time 2007!?

    I see this is modded 'interesting'.
    Interesting, I have to presume, in the way that the statement "spider monkeys built the Great Wall of China" might be regarded as interesting.
  • by rd_syringe (793064) on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:57PM (#10170687) Journal
    even though it was based on Quake1/2

    Just pointing out, this is a common mistake. Half-Life was based on a heavily modified Quake 1 engine. Not 2.
  • by Stevyn (691306) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:24PM (#10170873)
    DirectX is a bunch of APIs that are intended to make game development easier for developers. While microsoft fiddles around with the name and marketing brochures on this for a while, would this be a good time to develop a set of standards for running games on linux? A combination of graphics, sound, controllers, and network handling might sound good for a developer trying to get games to run on linux, but is worried about the costs of trying to find each component and hope it works on most people's computer.

    Then again, if wineX can fit the bill for now, maybe developers should just try to make sure their products work with that. It's cheaper and probably not the best for linux in the long run, but it takes care of the need now and at lower costs.

    Any set of standards would have to work then with windows or else developers probably wouldn't be interested. Does anyone know of any projects that aimed to do this with some success?
  • by pVoid (607584) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:39PM (#10171425)
    My source would be what the Microsoft PR guy is stated to say in the article:

    One of the first orders of business is to "fix busted stuff," as Blythe put it. These items include no more blue-screens (hard crashes) caused by the graphics driver, and moving more processing into what's known as user mode. [...]

    To that end, Microsoft is investing considerable development resources into ensuring that crashes will be very rare, and that when they do occur (and they will), the graphics subsystem can do a snap-reset so that the user will hopefully not be aware that the subsystem even had a problem.

    It's in the article man. One of the most important points made actually. I don't know how much of a divergance there can be from such a statement. If they say "no more graphics driver related BSODs", the *only* possibility is that the driver now sits on ring 3...

  • by psetzer (714543) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:50PM (#10172902)
    That is more of IBM's fault for choosing the chips that they did than Microsoft's fault for not writing a virtual machine on top of IBM's choice. Because of the choice of processor and associated chips, Microsoft's hands were tied. Yeah, in retrospect, having more than one maskable interrupt level would be nice, but that would have meant more pins into the CPU and a redo of the bus controller. The I/O was for the most part memory mapped, so they had to sacrifice memory to be able to interact with the outside world. When Gates talked about 640k, it was because he had to shove all the other stuff into the upper 384k of his address space.

    Yes, we can go through the whole damn mess and find all sorts of ways to save a bit of space. There's easily 128k of crap that in retrospect wasn't needed, but Bill Gates didn't have any Slashdotters around who would kindly look into the future for him, so he made a decision and went with it. You'd still mock him if he said that 768k is enough for anybody. Blame Intel's 20 bits of address space should be enough for anyone attitude instead.

    Game programmers really did their best not to play nice with the OS, and since there wasn't any memory protection, DOS couldn't do anything about it. In order to save a couple of instructions, game programmers simply redid OS services and just made sure to not let the OS do anything while they had the memory nice and mangled. Put in multiprogramming, and of course, all of the old games won't work anymore.

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