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ochi12

What will happen with OpenGL after Vulkan?

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I'm sure everybody has heard of vulkan already, and I'm kind of scared about this. I'm a begginer with opengl and was just starting to understand the basics of modern opengl when I heard about vulkan.

 

It's supposed to be lower level , "more explicit" and faster than opengl, but at the same time a lot of games use opengl and a lot of frameworks and middleware use opengl. Opengl can't just dissapear, even if vulkan is better, old pc's and phones will not be compatible with vulkan(only opengl 3.1+ hardware will be compatible with vulkan). With this in mind, I'm unsure about switching to vulkan. I don't know, however, if opengl is goig to be updated after vulkan? Also, do you think it'll be convenient to use opengl after vulkan or just make the switch?(you know, keeping in mind all the performance stuff)

 

 

 

Would love to hear your opinions, Thnaks!

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Public statements by Khronos so far indicate that OpenGL development will continue. There is a lot of momentum in GL, which is what screwed previous attempts to revise it. This time, they are offering both.

Personally I despise GL. It's horrible to work in. So I am chomping at the bit to change over.

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Khronos is keeping GL around, just like Microsoft is keeping D3D11 around. The new APIs have a lot of improvements (particularly on Khronos' side, where GL was both an old obsolete abstraction _and_ a horrifically terrible API, while D3D11 was an old obsolete abstraction but was at least tolerable to work with) but are also designed for lower-level operation; the average user was _not_ expected to switch to Vulkan or D3D12 as the new APIs would force you to deal with concepts and steps that are good for maximizing efficiency but are rather pointless if you're not trying to write the next Battlefield or whatever.

That said, I suspect that both GL and D3D11 will slowly wither away as new high-level "easy mode" libraries are written on top of Vulkan and D3D12.

Something like DXUT that already super-simplified working with D3D11 for beginners. Microsoft also already has their "D3D11-on-12" layer intended to allow gradual porting of D3D11 codebases to D3D12. It will be vastly harder to do something like 11-on-12 Khronos to do that since GL and Vulkan have utterly different designs to the API, not just differing abstractions; it's quite feasible for them to make a high-level DXUT-like helper library over Vulkan, though, and such a thing is already being planned by some of the people working on Vulkan (no idea if it's been started yet or not).

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If you are a beginner with OpenGL, then you should most definitively continue learning OpenGL (3.x or 4.x, not the old stuff) and should not care too much about Vulkan now. The benefits of Vulkan most likely don't apply to you. On the other hand, if you have once learned modern OpenGL, the jump will not be too harsh if you decide to switch one day, maybe in 5 years or so.

 

It is of course impossible to predict what will happen to OpenGL, but my prediction is:

 

The one big advantage of OpenGL is that it is established and used in existing professional software. It works, and it works well for a huge audience. Very often, it even works without being overly annoying.

That means it will continue to exist, and IHVs will continue supporting it.

 

My hope (and the hope of others) is that there will eventually be a single "official" OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan, which will greatly improve compatibility (among other things).

 

Vulkan may sound great, as in Tim Taylor style "More Powerrrrrrrr!", but it really isn't so great for the average programmer, nor for someone who is starting out. It certainly isn't for someone who is writing "graphics stuff" for the first time.

 

Now, modern OpenGL on the other hand, provides something that pretty much everybody can work with, at a somewhat reasonable level of abstraction, and with acceptable performance.

 

Yes, you don't have the same power between your legs as if you were riding the bomb. But you also aren't nearly as likely to die.

Edited by samoth

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