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Alpha_ProgDes

Microsoft says, "DX is not an evolving technology". What the hell does that mean?

20 posts in this topic

XNA axed (duh) and DX tech not evolving.

 

What exactly does that mean? According to the article, neither XNA nor DX MVPs will be given in the future. Does this mean that DX as an API and hardware standard is dying or dead? Is MS going to embrace OGL? Will neither of those APIs be available anymore?

 

DX MVPs or gurus especially, just what is going on?

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Click through to their linked source blog, which is Promit BTW, and he explains:

 

I think some of it is poorly worded. The most stunning part of it was this: “DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology.” That is a phrase I did not expect to hear from Microsoft. Before going to “the sky is falling” proclamations, I don’t think this is a death sentence for DirectX, per se. It conveys two things. Number one, DirectX outside of Direct3D is completely dead. I hope this is not a shock to you. Number two, it’s a reminder that Direct3D has been absorbed into Windows core, and thus is no more a “technology” than GDI or Winsock.

 
Like I said, poorly worded.
Edited by Hodgman
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I think "poorly worded" sums it up.

It certainly doesn't mean DX is "going away" or suddenly become unavaliable thats for sure, if anything it means the reverse as the core APIs (3D/2D) basically form the basis of the OS's rendering ability at this point so need to remain stable so that in the future they can be relied upon (much how Win32 has been around 'forever').

As Promit says in a follow up blog to this it doesn't mean we should all 'jump ship' to OpenGL; while OpenGL is getting better it still uses the pants-on-head retarded bind-to-edit model which needed to die in a fire some time ago and would have done if the ARB hadn't bungled OGL3/Longs Peak 5 years back. In fact events like that (and the whole 'OpenCL can be our compute language!' garbage) mean that even after this news has come out I STILL have more trust in MS to do the right thing than I do the ARB with regards to 3D tech.

Of course, and this is purely speculation you understand, the fact that 'DX is no longer evolving' could mean that there are other things going on behind the scenes. Recently the spotlight was pointed at D3D and the Windows driver model with regards to how much overhead there is per draw call so maybe there are plans afoot for a new API which mitigates some or all of those problems in conjuntion with AMD/NV/Intel?
( I admit this is basically wishful thinking on my part but I can dream right? ;) )
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I am quite certain there is going to be something to replace XNA for new Microsoft console, but maybe under different name. My understanding is that XNA served as a tool to get indie developers to get in multi platform development and xbox 360 platform.

 

Is Microsoft going to embrace OpenGL? Probably not, why would they? They already have directx quite fur in advancement since it begin. Xbox 360 is going to be replaced with new console so entire XBLA thing and old XBOX related stuff is going to naturally be replaced and die out.

 

While it is true that only D3D stuff is still valid there is nothing preventing microsoft to update stuff like DirectInput, DirectSound and the other parts and release it as next version of DirectX. 'DX is no longer evolving' is crap, I would classify this as FUD rumor.

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I'm glad there's finally an article with references that I can point people to and say "Yes, XNA is dead (as in no longer being developed or maintained by MS)" (which we all knew, and there are things suggesting this (like some posts on Promit's blog), but I like that I can finally link to something that says it clearly, concisely, and bluntly)
 
The interesting thing about that article? It has the following:
 

However, a Microsoft spokesperson said that there are no plans to discontinue the DirectX for its Windows and Xbox platforms.
 
“Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms, including Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone,” the spokesperson said.
 
“DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.”

 
I'm not entirely sure how to reconcile that with the earlier statement "DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology." I didn't think they'd completely axe DirectX (or more specifically, I didn't think they'd axe D3D), but there seems to be some conflicting statements about whether or not it's evolving. Perhaps what they're really trying to say is "DirectX (as a whole) is not evolving, but D3D (a specific part of DirectX) is, so we're going to trim the stagnant limbs (the 'dead' parts of DirectX) and focus on evolving the healthy heart (D3D)." I think that's a sensible interpretation, given the Microsoft spokespwerson said "...DirectX as the unified graphics foundation..." (sounds like only D3D is really the important part to me, the other parts are not (at least not explicitly stated in the quote) being actively invested in). Or perhaps the first statement was just piss-poor wording and misleading.

They really just need to rip D3D out of DirectX and kill DirectX so we can stop pretending like DirectX is D3D and vice versa.

Edited by Cornstalks
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DX was tied to the PC, the PC has stopped evolving. The rise of DX from 2D->3D was heralded by the advent of affordable 3D chips ,etc.. the DX libraries just reflect their underlying hardware. If Microsoft is moving to a mutli-modal world where Windows runs on touch tablets, phones, set-top boxes, consoles and PC u would think they would more than ever invest in DX and it's evolution. Integrate touch gestures into DX, Kinect technology, voice commands etc.. there is so much there but I'm not holding out any hope for MS. Like with all MS they will come out with a half baked API for each and make it 10x more difficult than it needs to be. The DX tech was meant to be an umbrella technology to create a portable API which could both grow with the platform and provide backward compatibility and be performant, in that regards it succeeded but that was a different MS, a different time..

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They really just need to rip D3D out of DirectX and kill DirectX so we can stop pretending like DirectX is D3D and vice versa.

 

They've done that already. In the Windows 8 SDK, Direct3D and its hangers-on (Direct2D, DirectComposition, DirectCompute) are part of the platform SDK proper, XInput and XACT too. All the former DirectX technologies that aren't directly related to graphics hardware are either parted out to other frameworks (DirectShow), or are long-since forgotten (DirectDraw, DirectPlay, DirectSound, DirectMusic)--and the last dedicated "DirectX SDK shipped in June of 2010 AFAIK.

 

They couldn't kill "DirectX" any harder if they dumped another clip into it.

 

Direct3D and its friends are safe. DirectX is dead, long live DirectX.

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I'm glad there's finally an article with references that I can point people to and say "Yes, XNA is dead (as in no longer being developed or maintained by MS)" (which we all knew, and there are things suggesting this (like some posts on Promit's blog), but I like that I can finally link to something that says it clearly, concisely, and bluntly)
 
The interesting thing about that article? It has the following:
 

However, a Microsoft spokesperson said that there are no plans to discontinue the DirectX for its Windows and Xbox platforms.
 
“Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms, including Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone,” the spokesperson said.
 
“DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.”

 
I'm not entirely sure how to reconcile that with the earlier statement "DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology."

 

The actual statement was "Presently ... DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology" (my emphasis).  It's interesting that so many have missed (or chosen to ignore) the "presently" part.

 

Here's my take on it.

 

We are now entering a period of consolidation.  What great GPU capabilities are coming up that would require a new D3D version?  Aside from syntactic sugar, what has a new D3D version actually got to offer that we currently don't have?  We've got programmable shaders, we've got floating point thoughout the pipeline, we've got good multithreaded support, we've got GPGPU.  What else is missing in the current rendering paradigms?

 

On the other hand, MS have been in a position where they've had 3 3D APIs on the go - PC D3D, 360 whatever-it-is and XNA.  That's quite a bit of unnecessary overhead and duplication, and with a new console generation coming up, now seems a good time to call a halt to independent (and potentially divergent) evolutions and begin the process of rolling everything together.  This fits quite nicely with the statement that "Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms".

 

I may be wrong but I think I'm right.

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On the other hand, MS have been in a position where they've had 3 3D APIs on the go - PC D3D, 360 whatever-it-is and XNA.  That's quite a bit of unnecessary overhead and duplication, and with a new console generation coming up, now seems a good time to call a halt to independent (and potentially divergent) evolutions and begin the process of rolling everything together.  This fits quite nicely with the statement that "Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms".

 

I may be wrong but I think I'm right.

But ain't that pretty okay? I mean wouldn't that make everything more easy for small game developers? It would seem like we do not need to spend so much time porting games to consoles then... Or am I wrong here?

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You gents posted the link to the first article, but not Promit's second article where Microsoft responded to him and where Promit posted his final thoughts on the matter before he was executed.

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Isnt that all just useless requoting of a rewording quote of a quote of some unconfirmed email with 90% useless marketing speak and 10% marketing speak for recognizing years too late that the DX library is not a separate library anymore but a OS component?

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It's not an unconfirmed email, and it's a Microsoft internal email sent to a Microsoft VP. Promit is a Microsoft-recognized community liason, a MVP - he doesn't work for Microsoft, but he works with Microsoft as part of Microsoft's developer outreach program, if I understand it correctly (which I might not!). If he says Microsoft sent him (and all MVPs) an email, it's heavily likely that Microsoft really did and wouldn't be unusual or odd).

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He can be all that, but still that article seems to be basically an overdramatization of a willingly misunderstood and badly shortened misquotation...

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Either he quoted it, or he misquoted it. Seeing that it appears he seemingly copied and pasted it, and implies it is a direct quote, I'm not sure what you mean.

If you mean he's quoting a small snippet of a larger email, yes, that's true. If you mean he's quoting it out of context of the surrounding paragraphs, that's possibly also true.

Over dramatizaiton? Possibly so!

 

I just don't get why you think it's misquoted. Misquoted implies the wording of the quote has been changed (accidentally or intentionally). What evidence leads you to believe and twice claim the wording was changed?

 

You said, "Isnt that all just useless requoting of a rewording quote of a quote of some unconfirmed email with 90% useless marketing speak and 10% marketing speak for recognizing years too late that the"

 

requoting - that implies it was already quoted once. No, Promit quoted it directly from the email. It's a direct quote, not a requote.

rewording - No, it was likely copied and pasted. What makes you believe otherwise?

Quote of a quote - Uh, no, it's a direct quote. Unless you are referring to the news article instead of Promit's blog - which, being the source, is what is being discussed.

willfully misunderstood - Misunderstood, maybe. But willfully misunderstood is quite an accusation.

misquotation - Uh, no. And you already said 'requoting

unconfirmed - He's a MVP, so "He can be all that" was directed specifically to your accusation that it's likely invalid.

useless marketing - speech - It was written under NDA, not intending to have become public. Further, if it was marketing  they wouldn't have been so careless in their wording, and wouldn't have the negative connotations in it. It would've been spun alot better (instead of not spun at all).

 

Overdramatization or badly misunderstood and badly shortened? Valid claims. But all the rest of your many accusations are not just overdramatization - they are made up exaggerations.

 

You said, "Isnt that all just...". The answer is, no it's not. 50% of what you said is inaccurate or, ironically, unconfirmed or over-dramatized. The rest of what you said (over-dramatized or misunderstood) is quite possible, but just speculation. What makes you think the wording of the quote has been changed, willfully or accidentally?

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The email is real, I got the same one (or rather the same series of emails). I don't want to get into about the specifics of the email, but I will say the whole thing was bizarre and needlessly confusing.

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I specifically and deliberately abandoned MS technologies a little
over 3 years ago. I’m fortunate: I’m not in games, so Direct3D-OpenGL
comparisons were not a factor.


Everything in your last two posts confirms all the signs I saw and
that influenced my decision. It’s sad, really, that this is what
Microsoft has come to: a lock-in proposition of diminishing value due to
increasing irrelevance.


Good luck, guys.


            Comment by oluseyidotinfo — February 1, 2013

 

It's good to know that guy is still alive. He was staff and vanished a couple of years before the migration if I'm not mistaken. Well I'm assuming that's the same guy and not a common name where he's from.

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I thought it was clear that my posting was just a sarcastic exaggeration to emphasize how overdramatized I found the article in the thread starting post, no need to pick apart every word of mine, especially when I did not say "it is that way" but "seems to be" to tell just my feelings about the validity of the article in the thread starting post (perhaps I should have explicitly typed this out to avoid confusing readers), that quoted another blogpost(from that person you want to defend) which just only quoted shortened bits of that email(so one cannot reconstruct the full meaning of it) and seemed a bit undicided on how to interpret the email.

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On the other hand, MS have been in a position where they've had 3 3D APIs on the go - PC D3D, 360 whatever-it-is and XNA.  That's quite a bit of unnecessary overhead and duplication, and with a new console generation coming up, now seems a good time to call a halt to independent (and potentially divergent) evolutions and begin the process of rolling everything together.  This fits quite nicely with the statement that "Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms".

 

I may be wrong but I think I'm right.

But ain't that pretty okay? I mean wouldn't that make everything more easy for small game developers? It would seem like we do not need to spend so much time porting games to consoles then... Or am I wrong here?

 

My reading of it is that you're right, yes.  I predict an API consolidation to coincide with (1) the release of the 360's successor, and (2) what would have otherwise been the next major release of DirectX.  Of course this is just speculation on my part, I have no concrete info of any kind, but I think things have been moving in that direction for some time and the timing would be right for it.

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I thought it was clear that my posting was just a sarcastic exaggeration to emphasize how overdramatized I found the article in the thread starting post, no need to pick apart every word of mine, especially when I did not say "it is that way" but "seems to be" to tell just my feelings about the validity of the article in the thread starting post (perhaps I should have explicitly typed this out to avoid confusing readers), that quoted another blogpost(from that person you want to defend) which just only quoted shortened bits of that email(so one cannot reconstruct the full meaning of it) and seemed a bit undicided on how to interpret the email.

 

My sarcasm detection over the internet fails majorly smile.png - I thought you were directly attacking the integrity of a respected member of the community with unfounded accusations, so I took apart your post to show that it was unfounded. If your post was directed at the original article, my mistake! I mistakenly thought from your second post that you knew we were discussing the MVP's blog post.

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So one thing you need to understand about MSFT is that they very - like other publicly traded companies - publicly consider lack of growth to be the same as death.  In fact, if a divisions numbers are slowing down or starting to stabilize, SEC reports show they will without hesitation axe it in its current incarnation, then re-brand it after a sufficient delay and a little investment from engineering, and tout it something completely different because - generically and overly broadly speaking -  it not has a new feature bolted on. 

 

There is a quote that is often bandied about on campus over in Redmond, and its very simply stated as "Re-orgs happen". Everybody who works at MSFT now, or has in the past, knows this.

 

I suspect based on my personal reading of the links above that this is whats happening; and I'm willing to bet money that a re-org is involved somehow.  That in my opinion  means that 2 technologies are competing for dollars and once it gets sorted out, the MSFT marketing machine we sometimes love to hate will be right behind the one that wins.

 

If you REALLY want to make sure something of XNA survives, my personal suggestion - and this is again just my opinion based on hypothetical  - is to not let the open source alternatives die out.  Hypothetically speaking, the very existence of open source alternatives would facilitate the legitimate business case that there is an interesting compete scenario possible that needs to be funded.  Of course, such a thing is in my mind at this time is completely guesswork, but it seems like a plausible thing to me ;) 

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