keeping up with the Industry

when I decided I was going to be foolish enough to try 3d programming, I asked around to see what API was the best. The answer was definately OpenGL. Id and the rest of the world new that DirectX was evil and should die.

But we are now nearing DirectX 8, and Microsoft have learnt there lesson. If it hasn’t happened already then direct3d is fast approaching the standard of opengl. The reason is that microsoft or all their evilness have learnt what is needed, improved their system, and are willing to add features that developers want.

Now SGI created an excellent API that when it was first released blew the socks off everything else out there. But it is not going to stay like that. So it is important that when a group of developers see a feature that they think would be good that it is added and major updates are made frequently to keep up to date.

An example of this is when the Unreal team asked for an extension it what refused because it would be unsuitable for business type applications. But the reality is that if it wasn’t for quake then most people wouldn’t have cared about opengl, and games are the only reason why most PC users buy grpahics cards with OpenGL support.

I am already seeing posts where people ask “which API” and the replies are “well directx used to suck but they are adding more and more features, so stick to directx.” (admittedly microsoft have given up on their side of opengl for some strange reason )

Don’t let this amazing API fall apart because you didn’t listen to people who ARE in the driving seat.


Yes, you’re right!
It is important to keep the API clean, but OpenGL has to follow the evolution of graphic hardware if it’s gonna remain the preferred API. This is the fastest moving computer technology, and OpenGL must keep up with it, else OpenGL might end up lagging behind.

Yeah, I’m a Linux newbie and have been disappointed with the game support. There’s also a lot of talk (on slashdot, linuxnewbie, and other forums) about how OpenGL is seriously falling behind DirectX 8. This is definitely something that alarms me, so I sought out this forum, in the hopes that the OpenGL developers would listen to an [sarcasm] insignificant, petty end-user [/sarcasm] like myself… ADD NEW FEATURES TO KEEP UP WITH DIRECTX PLEASE!!!

Well, OpenGL is a lot easier to learn and use and DirectX is awful - yep. it should die ;-).

Well, I work for a games company and I can definitely say that it took a lot to get them to agree to a port to OpenGL (it hasn’t happened yet!).

They are very closed minded like a lot of other companies and now that DirectX 8 is on it’s way - with a completely different API BTW - we will be reworking a lot of code to fit that.

We need OpenGL1.3 or OpenGL2 NOW! The games industry is the major pushing force of graphics hardware/software and OpenGL is lagging behind by a long way. One area is Vertex blending in hardware; when I first started there my boss told me that “they weren’t interested in OpenGL” because of that!


Exactly were is OpenGL falling behind? People keep saying this but never give concrete examples. There is an OpenGL vertex blending extension.

Just because Microsoft keeps upping there version numbers and adding features doesn’t mean OpenGL is falling behind. It mostly means Microsoft is playing catch-up.

Extensions are great but more vendors need to support them, not only like NVIDIA. Moreover games must support more extensions in the future. What’s the point of adding a lot of extensions to OpenGL if only a couple of vendors & games support them. Add them to OpenGL itself and make them standard.

I think we really need OpenGL1.3/2.0 with big improvements not like from 1.1 to 1.2 (almost no improvement).

One should never underestimate the power of Microsoft. Many people say that they are unable of making DirectX as popular as OpenGL, but think a while… They got money and lots if it. So they can hire experts in computer graphics. Already many great computer scientists work for Microsoft. Some of them are worldleading in their reserch topics.

OpenGL has an advantage having multi-platform support. Unfortunatelly that’s not a big advantage, OpenGL needs to get better, and really fast indeed.

You may think I’m a big fan of Microsoft, NO. I was anti-Microsoft, til I realized, Hey they are actully producing quality software nowdays!

I don’t care who’s taking my money, I only care for quality products.

I’m using OpenGL for 3 years now and seen actually no major improvement. Sad to say it, but that’s the fact. I think many of us wants big improvements on the standardization of the fortcoming OpenGL version.

Otherwise OpenGL as a 3D game API is probably doomed…

[This message has been edited by synergy (edited 06-14-2000).]

[This message has been edited by synergy (edited 06-14-2000).]

Please give concrete examples. A conversation like the following (which is what is happening right now) is useless.

person A: “OpenGL is falling behind”
person B: “In what way!”
A: “Direct3D is getting way ahead”
B: “In what way is Direct3D ahead?”
A: “Where’s OpenGL 2.0”
B: “OpenGL 2.0? Why do you need it? Exactly what features do you want?”
A: “Ugh! Why do people keep denying that OpenGL is falling behind!”
B: “What SPECIFICALLY do you want?”

etc… etc…

My feelings exactly.

I do get the impression that a lot of the comparisons being made are bogus. People seem to forget that the D3D API specifies the MAXIMUM possible feature set a driver supports, whereas the OpenGL API specifies the MINIMUM. Comparing the two feature sets is therefore a little silly.

If you think that the moment $NEW_D3D_VERSION ships every D3D driver out there will support $SPANGLY_NEW_FEATURE, wake up.

My point is that if more extensions would be standardized. Meaning being standard feature of the OpenGL API then companies would be forced to add in their hardware support. I don’t see any point of adding a lot of extensions if only a few supports it.

I don’t want to add a bunch of examples, but hey pic up any great book in computer graphics and see for your self. There is a lot of stuff not supported by OpenGL. I’m not saying now that Direct3D is supporting everything and it’s a such a great API. Still lot remains to be done. What I’m saying is that OpenGL needs to be revided as time goes by. Or maybe you think you can do fine with GL1.2 in about 2-5 years. I don’t think so.

[This message has been edited by synergy (edited 06-14-2000).]

Pick a great book in computer graphics???

I don’t see OpenGL as being the ultimate kitchen sink graphics utility that needs to have everything possible in computer graphics somewhere in openGL. My argument follows along the lines of the old VAX architecture (I think??) where the engineers added obscure opcodes to do really weird things that were very specialised, and consequently were largely unused.

In this respect, I don’t see OpenGL as being an API to automagically solve every conceicvable problem just by doing glEnable(GL_SOME_COOL_GRAPHICS_DEMO); rather, I see it as a set of tools so competent programemrs can put together the primitives to make the effects they’re after.

If hardware can support feature X, then I agree that feature X would ideally be modelled in OpenGL, since OpenGL IS the s/w interface to the graphics h/w. I DON"T see opengl as an extension of cool demos seen in a graphics book. SUch books, for example, talk about shadow volumes… but since there isn’t specific shadow volume support in graphics h/w (ie. no magical pipe dedicated to shadows…) then there SHOULDN"T be a glEnable(GL_SHADOWS) because it’s an algorithmic s/w problem and NOT yet a h/w mapped one.



We need OpenGL1.2 first.
Don’t forget M$ windows9x supports only OpenGL1.1 this is why so many extensions existed today, to reach OpenGL1.2 features.

To my knowledge only pixel shaders and per pixel lighting are missing in OpenGL1.2 compared to Direct3D8.

The point is that OpenGL is rock stable and doesn’t need a rewrite of 50% code when the version change, DirectX certainly can’t say that.

To me Multiplatform support is intersting with MacOS X coming to the PC, BeOS5 available for free, QNX coming this summer and Linux growing, I see cross platfrom developement as something required.

About game dev firms : Many are made from clueless people that only think to one thing : MONEY.
For such a people their no greater gold than begin rich and MONEY IS GOD…

Those people are those who are a danger.
(to tired to explain everything sorry)

I’m not talking about


John… I’m talking about e.g. having total control on the texture coordinates when rendering stripes, fans. I’m talking of basic things here that are NOT supported by OpenGL and creates a pain in the a… for people like me every day.

Moreover don’t take me wrong, I’m not using OpenGL only for games, I develop applications too and used GL in my studies/researches before.

We already have OpenGL 1.2 in latest nVidia drivers - it even features the built-in 3D texturing ( though slow, coz no hw support ).
Though OpenGL 1.3 should incorporate all existing ARB and NV extensions and some of the EXT ones ( like compiled_vertex_array ).
This will push hardware developers to make card which do not miss some features, and developers will be able to every feature, without checking for standard now extensions and writing workaround code or even skipping the effect or feature from teh engine.