GLSL usage in the industry


I keep hearing from various places (driver developers mostly) that ARB_fragment_program and ARB_vertex_program are used by ID and other major OpenGL users as the shading language. Based on what I heard, there would be no major OpenGL development using GLSL.

This troubles me because as we all know, if nobody uses a feature, it is more likely to be buggy and less efficient. On the one hand, the “OpenGL standard” shading language is GLSL, but real world usage shows otherwise.

So my question is : is anybody using GLSL for major/commercial development? (i.e. other than hobbies or hacked demos) Or are you using vertex/fragment programs? If possible, a description of your project and target platform would be very helpful as well.


ARB_fragment_program and ARB_vertex_program are used by ID
-> for Doom3 … this begins to date a bit. GLSL was not available on all plateforms when D3 was out.

We use GLSL in our application extensively. It is a photogrammetric-based application, targeted to build true ortophotos and 3D reconstructions of photographied objects. Our platform is currently Windows, but we are coding with portability on mind (just in case…)

By the way, we are very happy with GLSL and we dont miss any CG or HLSL feature

Doesn’t Enemy Territory use GLSL? Or was it Cg ?

GLSL…but primarily asm programs. Looks like they didn’t trust the picky compilers.

Or they started with ASM (since they started with the Doom 3 engine), added GLSL support later and didn’t want to convert all the shaders.

Looking at the data files in Enemy Territory:QW, it seems to be purely ASM with some Cg thrown in some areas.

Thanks for the replies so far.

According to one driver developer, the next ID engine (RAGE) is also using fragment/vertex program instead of GLSL.

One of the benefits of this choice is that pixel and vertex shaders are separable, therefore reducing the total number of shaders.

At my company, we chose GLSL since we expected better support going forward than with the aging fragment/vertex program extensions. GLSL is after all part of the core. But apparently, in practice the biggest OpenGL development is not using GLSL…

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