The Khronos Group who oversee OpenGL development have announced not only OpenGL 4.5, but they are also encouraging others to come forward to join them in building the next generation of OpenGL.
It's been a turbulent time for graphics API development with AMD announcing Mantle, and even Apple bringing their own API to the table called Metal. We have then had lots of back and forth between developers putting up blog posts discussing the good and bad for OpenGL itself. Now we are here for the future of OpenGL and it's all good news.
For OpenGL 4.5 the most interesting feature at a glance (from a non-developer perspective) is this:
- DX11 emulation features – for easier porting of applications between OpenGL and Direct3D.
I can't wait to see what developers make of it. With all the complaints recently about OpenGL being harder this is an interesting step to take, and something I feel is needed for those developers a little more wary of using something they don't know. Anything that makes it easier is a bonus for us on a smaller platform that depends on OpenGL.
Nvidia have done a bit of a shocker and released an OpenGL 4.5 driver right away, so kudos to them for that. I hope AMD are following shortly.
As for the next generation OpenGL:
QuoteKhronos announced a call for participation today in a project to define a future open standard for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs. Key directions for the new ground-up design include explicit application control over GPU and CPU workloads for performance and predictability, a multithreading-friendly API with greatly reduced overhead, a common shader program intermediate language, and a strengthened ecosystem focus that includes rigorous conformance testing. Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any company interested to participate is strongly encouraged to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process.
I really hope more and more companies and even game developers get on board with this and help OpenGL mature. It's a good thing that people talked up about it recently, even if some of them were wrong and counter-argued by people more in the know.
See the full post on it here in the official announcement. There are lots of companies talking up OpenGL development near the bottom of the announcement, so I can't wait to see what they cook up together.
It's fun to see AMD talk it up while they still work on their own competitor, and we still don't know if AMD's Mantle will be on Linux. I hope they can redeem themselves in their closed source driver with the new OpenGL.
To quote Timothy Lottes of Epic Games:
QuoteOpenGL has a very bright future.
I agree. Lots of interesting stuff to come in future for graphics.
Hell even Microsoft have now joined Khronos Group!
What do you think to all this?