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Graphics Software

On the Subject of OpenGL 2.0 126

zendal writes "The danger with pixel shaders and vertex shaders is that there is no standard for programmability of graphics hardware. A schism has formed within DirectX between the competing demands of GPU makers Nvidia and ATI. Noted analyst Jon Peddie gives THG an exclusive first look at a White Paper on how OpenGL 2.0 is trying to bring stability and open standards to programmable graphics and GPUs."
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On the Subject of OpenGL 2.0

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  • by gounthar ( 212393 ) on Friday February 22, 2002 @10:36AM (#3051062) Homepage
    In every emerging technology, there will always be a delay between the first appearance and the outcome of an almighty standard.
    It was the same with SuperVGA (took about 2 years), Internet Protocols (still on going, W3C is struggling for standards) and now OpenGL and DirectX.
    OpenGL 2.0 seems pretty much like the definitive solution...
  • by Dante'sPrayer ( 534726 ) on Friday February 22, 2002 @10:52AM (#3051151)

    A vertex processor, fragment, pack and unpack are going to be supported.

    • Vertex processing is targeted to replace lighting, materials and coordinate transformations, all on hardware level using a high-level API.
    • Fragment processing will let a better access to texture memory, surely allowing some nifty effects like texture animation or pseudo-refraction on hot air.
    • The pack and unpack processors will allow a faster transmission of vertex data through the buses, hopefully reducing the bandwith bottleneck.
    All of those can and are at the present being implemented on software, but will be nice to see them implemented on hardware.
  • by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Friday February 22, 2002 @11:03AM (#3051213) Homepage Journal
    I'd guess the hope is that once OpenGL 2.0 stablizes, then OpenGL 1.3 compatibility can be dropped and we're back to two standards.

    THEN, maybe Micorsoft and the OpenGL group can try come to terms and maybe bring DirectX compatibility closer to OpenGL (Or vs/vs) and have a single standard.

    It sounded like Microsoft wanted to come into compliance with OpenGL before, but dropped it because the OpenGL group moved too slowly. (Insert your own M$ conspiricy theory here, but I suspect they really honestly tried, and if a good opportunity arose, would come back and try again).

  • by Starship Trooper ( 523907 ) on Friday February 22, 2002 @12:13PM (#3051728) Homepage Journal
    As long as IDSoftware uses OpenGL, there will be life left for it on the games industry.

    Rarely do you see something on Slashdot that contains as much truth as that statement. Microsoft focuses their best development efforts into free products designed to crush other people's standards. OpenGL has been a continuing thorn in their side, and their ferocious work on Direct3D is aimed at obtaining the complete dominance they're used to in the gaming market. Jon Carmack has (almost singlehandedly) prevented them from doing this, and the ensuing competition has left consumers and game developers with... two really good standards. I could almost feel good about this, if it weren't for the fact that iD is competing with a monopoly, and is succeeding only because they remain privately owned and hold their market presence through sheer programming prowess.

    If only we had someone like Carmack to write Office software for Linux.
  • by Error27 ( 100234 ) <error27@gmai l . c om> on Friday February 22, 2002 @01:17PM (#3052340) Homepage Journal
    I was wonderring the same thing.

    I have heard bad things about nVidea on Linux. Part of the problem was a bug in certain AMD mother-boards that got fixed in the kernel two months ago. (AMD mother-boards in the sense that they worked with AMD cpus. AMD doesn't make mother boards itself). I think the problem was probably publicized more because people don't like the close source driver.

    I don't remember hearing bad things about nVidea on windows.
  • by Yngwarr ( 561129 ) on Friday February 22, 2002 @03:08PM (#3053329)
    First, OpenGl is far more stable than DX on NVidia cards. It is only outside that market that this is sometimes not true. However, you have to keep your drivers updated. Graphics programmers typically push the newest extensions and that will break old drivers. In practice, I virtually never lock up my computer using GL. However, it is trivial to lock up a system in DX. Of course, we won't even go into the compatibility of non-Windows systems with DX because that's, well, obvious, yes?

    Now don't take this as a diatribe against DX. I use it frequently, and for some projects it's the thing to use. It's easy to develop quick apps, prototypes in particular, and obviously with the Xbox it's the thing to do.

    As for whether a generic shader language should go into OpenGL 2, well, everyone has their opinion on that. Personally, I think it's a bad, bad, bad idea. Any pixel or vertex shader language that is implemented now will be out of date in short order. Anyone who has used these shader languages knows how crippled they are. Ergo, you'd implement these standards in OpenGl 2 and everyone would use the vendor supplied extensions instead anyway. How does that improve OpenGL?

    DX has made many mistakes with regard to implementing these kind of features. They're barely used in one version of D3D and become white elephants in subsequent versions.

    Fundamentally, the OpenGL standard is an API core. It only supports a minimal core level of functionality that can reasonably be expected to persist over time. Everything else should be an extension. It's not like it's hard to figure extensions out, after all. The vendors do supply documentation, and the Opengl repository maintains a list of all extension documentation. Then you can freely recognize which extensions are garbage and not use them, rather than be saddled with them for a decade.

    John Bible

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern