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.