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Entries From December 2008

December 16, 2008

OpenGL R.I.P.

Filed under 3D, Computers, DirectX, Programming, Software


I have been an OpenGL developer for more than 10 years. OpenGL was *the* 3D API for computer graphics since 1992…but not anymore. Direct3D has left OpenGL in the dust…and this is a big deal.

It has been clear for several years that OpenGL is struggling to keep up with Direct3D and every year the gap gets wider. This article does a great job detailing OpenGL’s problems.

If your OpenGL app competes with a Direct3D one…you need to be worried. It is not a fair fight. Direct3D is pushing the envelope for hardware features, which means a Direct3D app can run faster or look better than an OpenGL app on equivalent hardware.

Currently, managing shaders in OpenGL and Direct3D is painful. The next version of Direct3D (DirectX 11) dramatically improves how you combine small shaders into into larger, more complex shaders. This change alone will make OpenGL seem antiquated from a developer’s point of view.

OpenGL is the only cross-platform 3D API. As OpenGL falls further and further behind Direct3D, you’ll see less 3D apps on platforms that depend on OpenGL (like Linux and Apple Mac’s).

In the beginning, SGI was pushing OpenGL…until they got out of the graphics business. Then 3DLabs pushed OpenGL to create its shading language (GLSL)…until they got out of the graphics business.

Who is pushing OpenGL now? Nvidia? ATI? Both of those companies have more interest in Direct3D than they do OpenGL.

Without a major corporate sponsor, I don’t see how OpenGL will carry on. I’m actually surprised Apple hasn’t been a bigger supporter of OpenGL considering how important it is to them.

It was fun while it lasted…we’ll miss ya.

December 14, 2008

What I Use

Filed under Computers, Gadgets, Software, Web

Here is a list of software, hardware, and web sites that I use at home.


Operating System Vista Ultimate SP1
Programming C++/C# Visual Studio 2008
Debugging Utilities Dependency Walker
Process Monitor
Blogging Windows Live Writer Beta
Web Browsing Internet Explorer 8 Beta
Music Manager Zune 3.1
Email/Calendar/Contacts/To Do’s Outlook 2007
Word Processing Word 2007
Spreadsheets Excel 2007
Personal Finance Quicken 2007
3D Package Maya 8.0
Image Editing Photoshop CS3
Video Editing Premiere Pro CS3
DVD Authoring Encore CS3
Vector Editing Illustrator CS3
Video Compositing After Effects CS3
Sound Editing Soundbooth CS3
MP3 Purchase Zune Marketplace
Amazon MP3
Printing Utility FinePrint
Text Editor Notepad++
Diff Files/Folders Araxis Merge
Web Hosting 1&1
Weblog Publishing System (for creating davidlenihan.com/ORIGINAL_davidlenihan.com) Movable Type



MP3 Player Zune 120 GB
Sansa Clip (for jogging)
PhatBox (for car)
Computer Dell Dimension E520
Monitor/speakers Dell 24” LCD 2407WFP
Laptop Lenovo Ideapad U110
Printer/Scanner/Copier HP Photosmart 3310 All-In-One
Keyboard Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 6000
Mouse Microsoft Explorer Mouse
3D Mouse 3Dconnexion Spaceball 5000



Home Page iGoogle
RSS Reader Google Reader
Search Engine Google
Social Networking Facebook
Micro-blogging Twitter

Book Review: Designing Interfaces

Filed under Programming, Reviews, Software


I recently finished reading “Designing Interfaces” by Jenifer Tidwell.

I think of this book as “Design Patterns” for user interfaces.

If this book was required reading for everybody that builds software, we’d have *much* better software and happier users. It has really changed how I approach creating user interfaces.

Before reading this book, I could point to an application and tell you if it looks professional and polished or not. Now I can tell you why.

This book deals with many subtleties and attention to detail that can have a huge impact on the user’s impression of your software.

Here is an example pattern, “Center Stage”…

image image

A “preview” of the book is available online (with large chunks missing so you still need to buy it) here.

Highly recommended!

December 13, 2008

I Told You So

Filed under WTF

Check out Peter Schiff in these video clips from 2006-07 where he predicts our current economic situation to the chagrin of the “experts.” I especially like some of the companies the “experts” were pushing for investments.


December 11, 2008

Some TFU Love

Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Work


Here are a couple of nice holiday recommendations for TFU.

These guys place TFU as the number one game gift for Xmas.

Time Magazine picked the top 10 games of the year, and TFU was number #7!

I played through the whole game and thoroughly enjoyed it…definitely a must-play for Star Wars fans.


About December 2008

This page contains all entries posted to David's Blog in December 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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