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TheVirus

OpenGL How often is OpenGL updated?

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I know DX gets updated quite often, but i rarely hear about openGL updating... hell i dont even know their main page, if it exists... how often do new features and such get added to OGL? and wheres their main site? Thanks, just another stupid question that im pondering.

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OpenGL is only a standard. It gets updated every few years or so. However, extensions get added (standardized) whenever a new hardware feature is felt to be important by the ARB. New versions turn these extensions into required features. The implementations of OpenGL (the opengl32.dll of Windows, MesaGL, NVidia''s drivers, ATI''s drivers) get updated whenever the provider feels like it. Microsoft last felt like updating its implementation about 7 years ago (!). So, Windows lags behind the current state of OpenGL by a good bit. However, both ATI and NVidia keeps their drivers relatively up-to-date. The problem is, that because you can''t assume the end user has anything except the Windows implementation (in Windows, obviously), you must access the new features through extensions (again: this is not the fault of anyone except Microsoft). Under just about any other OS OpenGL 1.3''s features are accessable normally.

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OpenGL is showing it age. Partly this has to do with the fact that it is updated by a comittee of graphics companies, and they cannot just make desicions by fiat like microsoft and they bicker amongst themselves. The result has been that everything gets shoved into the extensions instead of being added to the standard.

Fortunately OpenGL 2.0 is being worked on, and looks very promising, as long as vendors will jump on board with drivers and somebody (maybe its graphics or defense customers) can force microsoft to support it in windows.

You can read up on it here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/02q1/020222/index.html

Incidentally, as to which API is "ahead," you can access vendor specific extensions in OpenGL as soon as they are provided which you cannot do in Direct X until microsoft adds them to direct x. Direct X however, has come to have a much larger built in support library including matrix, vector, and quaternion math libaries, mesh and texture loading functions, support for skinned meshes and vertex tweening, as well as audio, input, multiplayer, etc. all included in the SDK. Pixel and vertex shaders are also built int to DX8.1, no extensions required. You can add these features to OpenGL with other libraries or your own code, but you do not get them built in. On the other hand, you get access to all of the features of a card with openGL with extensions, while you might not be able to use them with direct X until the next version comes out.

[edited by - invective on May 30, 2002 2:43:51 AM]

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quote:
Original post by invective
Fortunately OpenGL 2.0 is being worked on, and looks very promising, as long as vendors will jump on board with drivers and somebody (maybe its graphics or defense customers) can force microsoft to support it in windows.

I''m hoping that someone takes the initiative to completely work Microsoft out of it. As in: one of the companies becomes the patron of OpenGL 2.0 in Windows and writes a DLL. The problems with this are that it probably wouldn''t be distributed with Windows, and it might be difficult to manage the backward compatibility that OpenGL 2.0 requires.

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quote:
Original post by TheVirus
how far behind is DX feature wise, what can openGL do that DX cant, or does but not as well?

There really isn''t anything big you can do in one API but not the other. OpenGL''s extensions ensure that it never doesn''t get a feature. DirectX had an easier time being designed since Microsoft doesn''t have to listen to other companies desires and they only have to write it for a single platform. I''ve still never had a problem with OpenGL that I would have been able to fix by simply using DirectX (besides, I do care about the portability of my code); I really like OpenGL, besides . I''m not going to directly compare them, so I''ll just leave it at that .

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