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how long will directx be around?

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i was just wondering how long directx is expected to be around and whether there is something even newer and better coming out on the horizon that would be more worthwhile to learn than directx. a .net thing perhaps? if anyone knows i would appreciate a reply cuz i kind of want the things i learn to last a while.

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Your best best right now are either DirectX or OpenGL.
DirectX is versioned at 8.1 right now and is developed by Microsoft, and even though they have money to burn, they and a lot of people have put a lot of investment into it, and it''s not likely that they''re going to drop it anytime soon.

OpenGL is popular also, and has been around quite a while too. Strangely enough, it''s currently supported by almost the same team of people who handle DirectX at Microsoft. Their plan, last I heard was to take everything good from OpenGL, implement it into DirectX (Which becomes really apparent with the new D3D) and then phase out OpenGL altogether.

My dollar is on DirectX being around for a while, or at least long enough to make worth learning if you want to do a game in the next decade.

Maybe that''s just me though.

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WOW. I can''t wait til that hapens. That will be kind of a ISuperCompatibleDirect3D interface

- err, the last signiture sucked bigtime!

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erissian, I doubt that would happen. Even though there are Microsoft representatives on the OpenGL board, they aren''t the ONLY members on the board. They could take everything from OpenGL, but it''s highly unlikely they will be able to phase it out.

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I hope GL phases DX out. Or at least DX gets ported to other OS. Until then ill stick to GL. Best way to go IMHO.

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The only reason OpenGL is around is because it''s supported on other platforms (Mac, Linux). Otherwise, every would just use DirectX.

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I think i see a flame war coming. I''d close this if i was a mod.

Neil

WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE LARGEST ARMS IN THE WORLD RUN WILD ON YOU?!?!

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Hahahahah! Thanks for the joke. Now you''ve REALLY made me laugh.

The only reason OpenGL is around is because it''s supported on other platforms? Bulls***t.

For starters, OpenGL came first, SO it''s supported on almost all decent computer hardware on the planet. Windows NT supported it when DirectX wasn''t even heard of. And of course, when it appeared DirectX was limited to DirectDraw, for drawing 2D games(a clear evolution from WinG, for example).

Microsoft could just leave OpenGL to do 3D rendering. But, with Direct3D, if they could persuade programmers to use it, they could lock them into another proprietary technology.

Direct3D''s evolution helped it. At first, all 3D boards in the market were very crappy ones, and at the time Direct3D had very few features, so it was easier for board manufacturers to write compatible drivers. OpenGL, on the other hand, was far more complex, being used in workstations like those from Silicon Graphics, was much more mature and complicated, thus harder to implement.

Add this to the fact that most programmers were already familiar to DirectDraw, and Microsoft''s strategy was perfect.

The only reason DirectX exists is because of marketing(anti-Microsoft people would add many more reasons as well).

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I''m learning Dx8 in VB, hopefully in C++ soon. What good reasons can you give me to give OpenGL a go as well when DirectX seems to do the job fine? I was thinking of trying OpenGL anyway but I was wondering what the fundamental differences really are.

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Opengl has some functionality that directx doesn't. This is good.. and bad... because that functionality is generally vid card specific and requires opengl extensions. I know that with a GF2 I could get allot more run for my money out of the GL nvidia combiner extensions than I do out of the DX texture stages (which are neutered a bit for the sake of compatibility.)

I haven't got the time to dig up extensions and worry about which vid cards my code will run on. But some die hards (umm.. everyone here HAS heard about John Carmack.. right?) don't touch directx because they can get more bang for their buck out of opengl. It's got enough support that it isn't going anyplace.

That also doesn't mention the fact that ogl is implemented on multiple platforms (dx is windows only... and believe it or not there are lots of people who work on other platforms.) Graphics workstations are, last I checked, all OpenGL based as well.

There's also the general api, I'm sure some peopel just find one more comfortable to program than the other. Opengl is purely functional based.

Edited by - Sorrow on February 24, 2002 6:53:46 PM

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something I find people always tend to forget in these arguments....
If you learn just an API (be it OGL or DX) then you are limiting yourself greatly. To the newbie out there it may seem the easiest road, however you''re far better off (IMHO) to go and get a few books like Foley (Computer Graphics P&P) and Real-Time Rendering and learn the principles these APIs are built upon.
Read these books and compliment the theory contained therein with the actual practice by learning an API.
The point of this is you''ll (hopefully) be able to see the big picture and not be confined by API specifics. That way if the API dies in a few years time you won''t be out of work (with any luck)

just my 2 cents...

Toby


Gobsmacked - by Toby Murray

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Sometimes "proprietary" makes a lot of sense for everyone involved. The brighter side of Microsoft's power is that they can drive people towards adopting a common specification. In the case of graphics cards, the structure of OpenGL is such that there is no way to enforce a common extended spec or a common level of driver quality. This is a bad thing. Yes, Microsoft could abuse that power and drive things in bad directions, but so far that doesn't seem to be the case.

I really like OpenGL, but I found it very disturbing that one of my SGI workstations did not support SGI's own multitexture extension (at a time when other manufacturers did support that simple extension). There are many stories like this. The point is that DirectX homogenizes features and quality more than OpenGL (or anything else) ever did. And yes, homogeneous can have a bad side, but it makes things a heck of a lot easier to learn and support.

For the original poster - learn whichever API you feel more comfortable with. "DirectX" isn't going away any time soon, but the technology will always evolve (hopefully!). Also, once you understand the basics, you'll find that you can easily switch back and forth between APIs. I sometimes recommend OpenGL for beginners, but I think DirectX makes more sense for teaching more advanced users because you can learn new features without sorting through extensions.

Edited by - CrazedGenius on February 24, 2002 10:49:33 PM

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Things have changed over the last two years.

Before graphics card companies put new features in, wrote the GL extensions to use them, and D3D would add the new features in later.

Now it is working almost the opposite - D3D is making all the features (with the help of the video card companies), and all the video card companies rush to implement every single one of those features into their card, so they can be D3D Version XYZ compliant, then the GL extensions come.

OGL 2.0 is supposed to be very similar to D3D, only cross platform.

We are quickly on the way to completely reprogrammable GPUs (OGL 2.0), virtually removing the need for an API.

It really isn''t much of an effort to learn APIs, especially if you know one already. So just learn whichever you want.

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why are most ppl ignorent of the fact that directx does way more then opengl does (or was designed to do)? dont ppl realize that yes, while opengl is a great 3d api (imho equal to d3d, no better and no worse) it contains:

NO provisions direct video access (ie directdraw, the problem of portablity).
NO sound system at all. (directsound)
NO input system at all. (directinput)
NO multimedia capabilities (ie directshow, playing avis, wavs, mp3s, mpg, etc).
NO network system (directplay, though personally i think using berkly socks is better).

as far as capatiblity is concerned, opengl does not handle multiple video adapters nor moniters to well. this may be an os issue, can anyone please verfiy this with a *nix setup? consumer video card manufactures FIRST optimized for D3D. opengl was an after thought. reason being, d3d had less stringent requirments so cards could be made cheaper. carmack forced CONSUMER card manufactures to start using opengl by denouncing D3D and coding glquake using opengl. quake2 came with builting gl acceleration, and had mini drivers for the popular boards (powervr, 3dfx). this pushed (along with 2d/3d combo cards becoming norm) opengl capatibly drivers for CONSUMER cards. ati though for the most part had opengl support in the rage pro drivers, just not for win9x (ie for nt).

if you really want to be picky, glide was THE 3d api of choice at first for CONSUMER gaming. all of d3d support (and opengl) was done through glide in the drivers.

die hards dont use dx? you smoking crack? carmack uses directsound. so maybe he aint the diehard you though eh?

btw if you had not noticed i am only refering to the consumer gaming. personally i thinking worry about if an sgi work station will run your game is silly. though some ppl will want to port to linux. for this i suggest sdl which uses directx (opengl is supported as well) in windows and other libraries in linux.

directx, will not die until microsoft and all the windows pcs do.

also if you actually learn anything, you should be able to generalize and apply it to any api that is somewhat similar. otherwise you are playing the monkey see, monkey do game and not really learning. you should be able to use tutorials for either api when learning since all the theory can be applied to either. i for one code using d3d8 and sometimes will use opengl tutorials for seeing how ertain effects are done. i have also on occasion used pascal, assembly, and other tutorials for various things as well even though i code in c/c++ and small asm (mmx only, since i am not terribly good at x86 asm).

currently there should be NO debate on which (opengl or d3d)to use if you dont care about portability. since d3d8 has many features, and is equal to opengl (assuming you dont care about muli moniter support). some special video card only extensions are availible using opengl via some extensions that d3d does not support. it depends on what api you enjoy working with. i like the com object structure of directx and especially like the backwards capatiblity and flexiblity it offers. since i can mix dsound6 with d3d8 and no problems will happen.

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Being anal about DirectX as opposed to Direct3D is mute, given that everybody reading with half a brain knows exactly what is meant. The others (those with less than half a brain) will never program anything of consequence, so their misinformation is irrelevant.

More important than learning this or that API is learning the underlying principles - 3D geometry and math, fundamentals of sound representation, differences between analog and digital input devices, absolute and relative displacements, rasterization... Because you may one day wish to implement a game on a platform that doesn''t natively support high-level APIs (like my Agenda VR3d PDA when it first popped up).

Thread closed.

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