« What I Use | Home | Getting Rid of My Crap »

Individual Entry With Comments

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.

Comments (6)


Funny thing that today NVidia have just released full featured OpenGL 3.0 driver.

You can still change your mind;)

Vista is crap and many peoples don't want to use it. But DirectX 10 is only available there.

OpenGL 3 is now available for the most operating systems.

"Vista is crap" sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about.

I *know* it is cool to hate on Vista...but in reality, Vista is really good (and Win7 is even better).

If you want access to the latest graphics features...then you will use DirectX on Vista/Win7. If you don't care about that, OpenGL is sufficient.

Hi there,
don't get me wrong, only of the major sponsor called Microsoft, DirectX was pushing hard to 'meet' Opengl. Right now, you are correct, when you say, that directX has exceeded Opengl in its features. Only through this effort, i'll personally think, the Khronos group pushed hard to release opengl 3.0.
So, now i get something for you: programming in directx is craaaap. ;-)
I was soooo delighted to see Opengl in action with sooo less code. Now i'm doing OpenGL in Java, JOGL and its lovely.
So personally i think, directx can be directx till the hell freeze, but the only diectx11 stuff will be games. The 'real' 3d stuff will run on sgi's irix, cobalts or else.
And there is deffo no directx. What i'm saying is: Opengl will survive Directx, because, its 'Open', it runs on every plattform. I do see only two options: A: Microsoft will open its directx sourcecode // B: Opengl & DirectX will adapt each other to 'a kind of' compatibilty...
I export my Java compiled OpenGL progs from Linux to windows & vice vers and EVERYTHING runs smoothly;-) Thats what i love about it.


I don't say that Vista is crap because just is crap, but i would like to try anyone to port a Direct3D or DirectX program on Linux, OSX, BSD or any videoconsole that supports OpenGL. Is impossible. Direct3D exists only for Windows, and DirectX 10 is only available on Windows Vista (not XP), and probably in Windows 7. I think is better to continue with OpenGL if someone want to make portable 3D programs (and check the new features of OpenGL 3.0).

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 16, 2008 11:33 PM.

The previous post in this blog was What I Use.

The next post in this blog is Getting Rid of My Crap.

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

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34