I’m asking this question here directly because I haven’t seen a clear answer anywhere. Speculation aside, does anyone have any kind of concrete information they can share or direct me to which indicates what the future plans for the OpenGL specification are? I’m talking working group papers, timelines, roadmaps, etc. Anything published, presented at conferences, or insider knowledge from people “in the know”?
Some background for why I’m asking this. I’m not a beginner starting out. I work in a company with multiple large commercial 3D packages, and I’ve developed an API abstraction layer which gives me pluggable back-ends for OpenGL 3/4, Direct3D 11/12, Vulkan, and we could easily spin up a Metal one if we ever care to. I have no emotional attachment to OpenGL, and frankly I think it’s horrible to use when you start trying to build a real application beyond your comfortable “Hello World” level. At the same time, I’m trying to determine where to direct future efforts, and estimating how much work we need to invest in maintenance of what we’ve done to date. I have a current stake in OpenGL support, and it helps me to understand where it might be a year, two years, five years from now.
Now I can easily speculate. These are the facts I have at hand:
-Vulkan was developed to replace OpenGL (It was titled “glNext” afterall)
-Both OpenGL and Vulkan are maintained by Khronos, so they’re not really competing. Behind closed doors, there’s certainly a unified approach.
-OpenGL ES is will have no new versions, as stated in a 2017 Siggraph presentation from Khronos group. Vulkan is stated as the replacement.
-Apple has deprecated OpenGL support, and given their aggressive approach on issues like this will almost certainly remove it entirely in the near future.
-OpenGL has had only one release since 2014, which was OpenGL 4.6 in 2017. It really just promoted some extensions to core, of which the SPIR-V promotion in particular really seems to have been geared around making transitioning from OpenGL to Vulkan easier.
-Nvidia has stated it has no plans to expose its raytracing features to OpenGL
From all that, it seems fair to assume that OpenGL is basically dead, and that 4.6 might be the last release. Since my assumptions can be wrong however, does anyone else here have anything concrete they can share in terms of scraps of evidence I might have missed? Can anyone who’s connected to Khronos group, or has inside knowledge from someone who is, share anything about what is or is not happening around the OpenGL specification? If there’s an OpenGL 4.7 actually possible on the horizon, or perhaps even an OpenGL 5.0, that’s something I’d very much like to know.
So, does anyone here have any more information to share, or are we all guessing?