Dear OpenGL Programmers,
I have skimmed the new spec and looked at some of the presentations and other material about 3.2. It seems to me that it is a good idea to get rid of all of the not-so hardware related stuff like matrix algebra and OpenGL state wich may or may not be needed in a shader. It makes the spec more compact and clear and gives GL a lighter foot print.
The unfortunate effect is that we will all need to write some code to do things that were previously handled by GL. Now, someone will probably tell me that it is much better to write it yourself and that nobody needs glFrustum or glRotate anyways …
True … in a way … but right now with old-style OpenGL, writing a hello OpenGL world using fixed function shading is extremely easy!! I would argue that that the learning curve is becoming much, much steeper, and saying hello to the post 3.0 OpenGL world is far less trivial.
The main idea in this posting is that we could deal with this by making GLU richer.
GLU already contains many of the functions that have no relation to hardware. It should simply absorb more stuff from OpenGL. glRotate -> gluRotate. Of course, since the default OpenGL state does not exist any more, we need to explicitly transfer the matrix as a uniform, but that could be solved in many ways. GLU could do much more - it might for instance contain some strings for simple default shaders, so that newbies could get started quickly. When parametric surfaces start showing up, GLU could also absorb that easily.
In short, it seems to me that the recent changes to OpenGL are brilliant, provided that GLU absorbs much of what we jettison from the core library. Otherwise, we are leaving many people behind. These will then rely on libraries written by various developers who like to put their stuff online, but that is not as good as an “anointed” utility library which is likely to have more widespread acceptance. GLU is everywhere as it is.
Unfortunately, it seems the GLU spec is from 98, and I cannot find anyone writing about how much it needs to be updated and soon too. Does that mean you guys don’t agree? have I overlooked something? Or is GLU something neglected that needs to be given more priority (as I think