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In another important step forwards for free and open standards, plus the future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the Khronos Group have open sourced their OpenXR testing suite.

What is OpenXR? It's an open standard for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), collectively known as XR. It's picking up wide industry adoption, and hopefully means developers won't have to repeatedly rewrite code as they can support a single standard across platforms—something vitally important for the future of XR. It's gotten to the point where even Valve have decided to go all-in with OpenXR in their SteamVR.

Today, the Khronos Group formally announced the proper Conformance Test Suite has been published under the Apache 2.0 license and it can all now be found on GitHub. What's the importance of it though? In their words:

Conformance tests are critical to any interoperability standard. The Working Group has put tremendous effort into this release of the test suite to ensure OpenXR is a reliable cross-platform API. We will continue to evolve and refine the conformance suite; and, by opening our tests to the public, we are empowering the community to aid in this effort. OpenXR implementers are encouraged to use the open source tests to accelerate their platform development, and consider contributing their own tests to help further reduce cross-vendor variability for the benefit of all.

Brent Insko, OpenXR Working Group Chair, Lead XR Architect at Intel

They also launched a OpenXR 1.0 Adopters Program, hoping to pull in more developers to get testing and if they pass they will then be able to officially use the OpenXR trademark on their implementation, and gain patent protection under the Khronos Intellectual Property Framework.

More info in the announcement.

As someone watching from afar, due to the current cost of a VR kit, all these advancements have me thoroughly excited about how VR can progress over the next few years. A proper standard in place can help reduce the burden on developers pushing their games and software across different VR kits and stores.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Quoting: Patola
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: HoriTaxes are a huge blocker to innovation and progress.
Lack of infrastructure is a far huger blocker to innovation and progress. So is lack of robust public-sector research. Both are paid for by taxes, however.
In an overpriced and monopolistic way, because the State does not allow for competition by nature. If these were provided by private companies, it would be cheaper and more efficient otherwise they would lose customers to competition. And their service would be a service, you would pay for what you get proportionally, not an infinite sink of money where you would sometimes see something appear as compensation. The same could be said about private sector research, if it were not for the State-enforced intellectual property laws.
We may see fairly eye to eye on intellectual property . . . except to me, the reduced profit incentive problem if "intellectual property" enforcement were relaxed is real, but largely an opportunity to move research away from the profit motive. If there were no intellectual property laws, but research was largely done by private companies, there would be somewhat less research and the companies would simply work harder to keep the fruits of their research secret so as to keep some barrier to competition up. Because while market theorists and even businesspeople believe in competition in general and in the abstract, the last thing any given firm wants in specific is competition.

Which brings us to monopoly. I'm sure you know what a monopoly is . . . you're just using the word to denigrate government in that knee-jerk way people who subscribe to free market ideologies do. But let's be clear, it's a category error; the point of monopoly is that profit-seeking firms, in the absence of price competition, can increase prices, charging economic "rent", gaining extreme profits. Government agencies aren't profit-seeking firms and don't do that, so the concept of monopoly doesn't apply.

There is in any case plenty of competition, to the extent the concept is relevant, both to and within government research. First, obviously in nearly all countries the government is not the only thing doing research, there is private sector research as well, and I've never heard of government "blocking" the private sector from doing it--to the contrary, they hand the private sector huge monopoly profits for any technology they research. But also, government agencies, universities and so on are not a single monolithic thing, they are a bunch of distinct entities. Furthermore, most governments tend to have agencies which give out research grants, to hundreds upon hundreds of mostly university-based researchers and research groups, who compete among themselves for the grants. And of course university researchers are very individually competitive--they want to publish top results which are widely cited, they want to get the reputation. The whole thing is a lot more dynamic than research at large corporations. And of course most of it is less encumbered by the intellectual property laws we agree are a problem, so public sector research is far more likely to be shared and built upon.

Well, except that increasingly, public sector research is handed over to the private sector so they can patent it. So for instance, the drug Remdesivir touted as a coronavirus treatment is owned by a big private pharmaceutical company, but most of the research leading to its discovery was done in the public sector. Virtually every technology that made up the iPhone was initially developed by government, and to the extent that Apple developed a couple themselves, they got government research grants to do so.

The problem with private sector research is that it tends to be very narrow and short term. The biggest exception sort of shows why: Bell Labs, where many groundbreaking technologies such as lasers were invented, came out of a firm that was a huge, heavily regulated monopoly which was unusually stable--Bell thought they would be The Phone Company forever, they almost acted like a quasi-government entity. So they could fund longer term research. But normal corporations don't. Small companies come up with clever ideas but don't do a lot of scientific research as such. Big companies spend most of their research money on stuff that's not very innovative, engineering improvements on existing tech. Big Pharma is a particularly clear case; they spend most of their research money finding variations on existing drugs (mainly so they can extend patents), new applications for existing drugs, and running clinical testing on drugs to establish efficacy and safety--which is necessary but not in itself innovative, and would be done better by firms which did not have a large financial stake in positive results. Basically, they cannot justify to their shareholders research which does not have a clear short term profit attached to it, and almost anything that represents any kind of fundamental progress doesn't look like clear short term profit. So it's inevitable that the private sector relies on the strength of research in the public sector. Tax cuts that end up gutting higher education and other sources of public research will make a country less competitive for that reason (and also because there's a need for an educated workforce). It's not a fast effect, and it doesn't swamp all other variables, but it's significant.
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