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Rich Geldreich states these are his personal thoughts after working with OpenGL, Rich is currently working at Valve on 'Vogl' an open source OpenGL debugger. He makes some interesting points.

Looks like he is laying down some cold and harsh truths about OpenGL, maybe it's time to get it sorted? I've seen a lot of indie developers claim about how much more difficult OpenGL is to use over Directx, so he is clearly not alone.

QuoteMantle and D3D12 are going to thoroughly leave GL behind (again!) on the performance and developer "mindshare" axes very soon.

I am not entirely sure I agree on the mind-share bit for Mantle, since I haven't seen that many developers claim they will support it. Performance wise they both could beat OpenGL though, that's pretty obvious.

For those of you who will jump on me for that above statement and bring up the talks about unlocking "15x more performance with OpenGL" that Nvidia, AMD and Intel did recently, well Rich notes this as well:
QuoteThey will not bother to re-write their entire rendering pipeline to use super-aggressive batching, etc. like the GL community has been recently recommending to get perf up. GL will be treated like a second-class citizen and porting target until the API is modernized and greatly simplified.

What a sad state we are in right now. With Valve heavily moving into the Linux & OpenGL space maybe they can help with all of this, who knows.

One thing to really agree on is this:
QuoteOne of the touted advantages of GL is its support for extensions. I argue that extensions actually harm the API overall, not help it.

How many times have we seen in the past that one graphics card driver support x extension, but another does not? It causes all kinds of issues, a standard API to build against is what developers like, not all manner of possible combinations that may or may not exist on certain drivers.

Here is something else we can agree on:
QuoteDrivers should not crash the GPU or CPU, or lock up when called in undefined ways via the API
Should be obvious by now. Please hire real testers and bang on your drivers!
Better yet: Structure the API to minimize the # of undefined or unsafe patterns that are even possible to express via the API.

This has happened to me too many times. I am sure we are all no stranger to hard-locks when playing games, be honest I am sure it has happened to everyone.

Reading the long blog post certainly brings some issues to light about OpenGL and why I constantly see developers getting annoyed by it.

Check out the full developer-orientated blog post here. I sure hope the Khronos Group take a note of this blog post and at-least think about the points raised in it as they are important to all of us.

What are your thoughts on it? Article taken from
Tags: Editorial
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fedso 12 May, 2014
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Blog from the same guy about the drivers situation:
This would have been a useful addendum to Liam's article about drivers from a couple of weeks ago (
Anonymous 12 May, 2014
Let me guess. He's worked on D3D for many years, and now is just barely learning OpenGL, but he prefers how D3D does things. Sounds like a pretty biased viewpoint. Take for instance the "Drivers should not crash the GPU or CPU" complaint. D3D drivers are the primary reason for Windows crashing, yet this is somehow a OpenGL problem only? Almost every D3D game I've ever played has crashed and left the system in an unusable state, but I've almost never had a game bring down Linux.
Anonymous 13 May, 2014
and the solution?
I have a suggestion

have 2 versions of OpenGL

one legacy that would be the last released (4.4) and create the new OpenGL 5.0 in partnership with Nvidia, Intel, AMD, Apple, Google, and Valve etc( kronos group ). this new OpenGL would have only the good features of OpenGL and adding new tools and better documentation and prepared for the future Having two versions of OpenGL would not be any problem, one legacy, and the other for new games. viable solution that does not create problems

any system could be upgraded with 5 OpenGL and OpenGL 4.4 to keep the legacy SteamOS ja might come with 2, the game would call what he was using
Spock 13 May, 2014
@Anonymous (2 posts up) - You need to RTFA before spewing your poorly prepared thoughts all over the internet. If you RTFA you would have seen that #1) your assumption the he is new to OpenGL is false.

First 2 sentences from article:
"Here's a brain dump of the things that sometimes drive me crazy about OpenGL. (Note these are strictly my own opinions, not those of Valve or my coworkers. I'm also in a ranty-type mood today after grappling with OpenGL for several years now..)"

#2) You blaming game crashing on D3D is also absurd and shows your lack of understanding - any programmer can improperly implement an API and write trash code, it happens all the time - and you know what? When your API / Language is #1 most used the % of bad programmers goes up as the demographic includes more novices, students and hobbiests.

"GL will not be treated as a second class citizen by devolopers who want to support Linux, OSX or any non-Windows platform. That leaves devs/publishers who don’t care about non-Windows (hobbyists), don’t care about increasing their revenues, and are stupid enough to lock themselves in Microsoft land."

Linux users makes up 1.26% of Steam's userbase. Like it or not, revenue and bill money are necessary for many folks to survive and contribute to open source. In fact, the Linux Kernel, The Linux Foundation, The OSI, Mozilla, LibreOffice and many other large projects recieve millions of dollars in funding for their continued efforts - so don't pretend that money doesn't matter otherwise you need to get your head examined and take your brain medication, unless of course you inherited some large sum of money from a relative and are a trust fund baby who has no concept of the real world and work.

If you want Linux to transcend and grow into the #1 Desktop OS used by anyone other than Nerds, Programmers and CIS Students you need to accept the honest evaluation of industry professionals on our APIs, Applications and Libraries and not see such constructive criticism as a stab at your pride for the work we all put into OSS.

We all our proud of our hard work, and these oppinions have no ill intent, so don't get so butt-hurt over it.

Accept Valve & other vendors help in improving our ecosystem.
Gavin 16 Jun, 2014
Thank you Spock for pointing those things out. Sometimes we need a reality check.
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