Why you don't see more OpenGL games

Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2014 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: opengl, Intel, amd, nividia, graphics drivers

If you have ever wondered what happened to OpenGL games which used to be common then there is a good post to read over on Slashdot.  A developer paints an honest and somewhat depressing picture of what it takes to write working OpenGL code in this day and age.  In his mind the blame lies squarely on the driver teams at the three major graphics vendors, with different issues with each of them.  While officially referred to as Vendors A, B and C anyone even slightly familiar with the market will figure out exactly which companies are being referred to.  While this is a topic worthy of ranting comments be aware that this refers specifically to the OpenGL driver, not the DirectX or Mantle drivers and each company has it's own way of making programmers lives difficult, none are without blame.

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"Rich Geldreich (game/graphics programmer) has made a blog post on the quality of different OpenGL Drivers. Using anonymous titles (Vendor A: Nvidia; Vendor B: AMD; Vendor C: Intel), he plots the landscape of game development using OpenGL. Vendor A, jovially known as 'Graphics Mafia' concentrates heavily on performance but won't share its specifications, thus blocking any open source driver implementations as much as possible. Vendor B has the most flaky drivers. They have good technical know-how on OpenGL but due to an extremely small team (money woes), they have shoddy drivers. Vendor C is extremely rich."

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Source: Slashdot

May 13, 2014 | 12:44 PM - Posted by Dusty

Why did I just have to click through to Slashdot, then click through again to the actual blog post?

Lazy reporting, lazier writing.

May 13, 2014 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for contributing and posting the link for us.

May 13, 2014 | 01:32 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

ah ... cause I saw it on Slashdot not his blog?   Generally it is polite to link to your actual source and not cut them out of traffic.  Plus you get to see all those friendly and insightful commenters on /.

May 13, 2014 | 05:59 PM - Posted by Dusty

Then you can put "Source: xxxxx" at the bottom of the post, or "Hat Tip to..." if you get sent something. I would rather not see PCPer just become another aggregate site like Reddit, Digg, or Slashdot. To me it seems rude to just funnel your readers away, just to have them see the article you wanted them to see.

May 13, 2014 | 06:32 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Well, thanks for reading anyways

May 14, 2014 | 08:35 AM - Posted by Anonymightymouse (not verified)

How dare you force us to read Tech News from around the web without creating it all yourself Jeremy you lazy bastard.

May 13, 2014 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What the hell, I was composing my post, and out of nowhere, BooM. I was at Amazon, no mouse hover, no click! WTF the whole post wiped!

May 13, 2014 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

dunno, not something I have heard complaints about?   The Lazarus extension is awesome for saving text fields though .. just for general usage I recommend it.

May 13, 2014 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'll write my posts using Notepad and cut and paste, but this is not the first time that this has happened, it's ad gremlins activating on mouse hover, and not Mouse Down(left button click), so sometimes just moving near some ads can activate the ad crap. I make it a point to never shop at a the advertised website when the ad borks my posts.

May 13, 2014 | 06:28 PM - Posted by TheGlasman (not verified)

That's not pcper. check your services and google each one.

May 13, 2014 | 09:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No that's the flash/other Ads that get pushed to the site, not PcPer, the Ads with their loded scripts, and all that other browser stuff that can not be controlled by any single website, but the ad content pushers are doing tricky things. Annoying Ads make me do not shop for the advertised companies products, and borking my posts is a sure way to stear me to other products with less annoying ads. That and all the fancy new HTML functionality that is only created to enable more annoying Ad delivery and such, like tracking the cursor, or trapping the method call interrupt generated when you try to highlight some webpage text to copy and paste and launching an ad. Its all Java script calls that work their way down into the .net or other software stack functionality built into the OS/OS frameworks and runtimes, and every call to a method of most all framework objects creates a software defined call to a defined interrupt delegate, that can be added to the delegate list of interrupt handlers, to shove ads in your face or bork your posts by causing a ad page redirect to some crappy ad. Its a minefield of traps and other pitfalls on most web pages these days, and a lot of this foolishness is through no fault of the tech website, it is the fault of all the control that the ad pushers have slipped into the Web Standards.

May 14, 2014 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

adblock is a solution, requestpolicy another, noscript too.

May 13, 2014 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this article should show you how important lower level API is for AMD, and how strongly nvidia is against it

May 13, 2014 | 02:54 PM - Posted by arbiter

Blind AMD fanboyz are not needed here, If you paid attention to the story AMD is just as guilty.

May 13, 2014 | 04:47 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Actually, I think there is a glimmer of a way out for AMD with this. They could just develop ONLY Mantle drivers for all OS choices, then leave the writing of higher-level wrappers for OpenGL and DX to the developer community as an exercise in open-source driver development from a low-level API.

I figure (without knowing) that companies A, B, and C, are afraid of giving away hardware secrets to competitors if they lay out the hardware calls for community developers, so a low-level API might be an excellent compromise to allow driver development by 3rd parties. This makes more sense to me than the idea of game developers having to deal with another API target, anyhow...

I already know I'm talking without any clue about what I'm expounding! ;)

May 13, 2014 | 03:22 PM - Posted by renz (not verified)

i read the whole article. mostly it is about OpenGL drivers from those vendors. it mention about low level but the author never go too deep about it. if anything the author mention nvidia will go anything for performance. there is no mention about nvidia hate low level. the author just mention nvidia did not like open source driver.

May 13, 2014 | 09:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The larger story is all the new GPU hardware very rarely gets its full functionality used before the newer hardware becomes available. These A, B, C, and other companies need to get their Open/other drivers supported, and stop trying to sell their new and shiny before their software driver teams have a chance to get the driver support in order. Stop buying the hardware with bad driver support and the GPU manfactures will sit up and take notice fast.

May 14, 2014 | 03:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NVIDIA Mafia wahahah!

May 14, 2014 | 09:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nvidia's CEO, prancing all over that stage at CES saying that the Tegra K1 will offer full desktop support for the OpenGL, openCL, and other graphics driver APIs. And some the first performence details about a Tegra K1 that leaks, only lists openGL ES support for the K1's driver support on the yet to be released Tablet. And it Appears tha Nvidia is all in with Android and not much about support for full Linux based tablets, Full Linux based K1 tablets that could make a fine low cost graphics tablet running Gimp or other open source graphics software that run under Full Linux distros.

Android is just not there when it comes to creation, Android is more of a consumption OS, that renders the device little more than a portable Boob Tube for Ad driven apps that need more eyes viewing, as much billable ad viewing as possable, that and user metrics gathering for directed ad delivery.

Glengarry Glen Ross, Much, With the lead sheets(user Metrics) Android/RT/ETC!

May 14, 2014 | 09:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

P.S. Don't mention Full Linux being available for any K1 Development platforms, because that is just there to support the SDKs that require full Linux. The developed and deployed apps will mostly be for Adroid, the Green Team's Mafia enforcers(embedded in your driver development team) will see to that!

May 14, 2014 | 09:37 AM - Posted by renz (not verified)

on android it depends entirely on google. nvidia have mention that their chip will support full openGL spec but it still depends on google to support the API in their operating system. also if nvidia are not serious about linux they will not make their T4L initiative. and i think nvidia will be very delightful for any kind of OS that can take full advantage of their SoC. but as any other company they will follow where the market is. and right now that is android.

May 14, 2014 | 09:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't give 1/10 of a Rat's shiny red A$$ about Google's tablet OSs, the Applications that I use require Full Linux, and the Full desktop versions of OpenGL/OpenGL/ETC, and I look for devices that can run Full OSs with the Full desktop driver support, for creation not consumption.

"T4L initiative", Not much hits on google, and no real information sounds like more embedded systems development, that may use Linux for development only, as that is what is reguired to run the developement SDKs, and software tool chains for the ARM platform/software ecosystem, even for Android apps, but the end user is only getting the Android/ Android dalvik VM based apps produced by the development SDKs(That run Under Linux). My devices will run Full OSs/Distros or they will not be my devices, they will sit on the store shelves/warehouses and gather dust!

May 14, 2014 | 11:13 AM - Posted by renz (not verified)

then just run laptop or dekstop running full linux distro. just face it. OEM are not interested with the aspect of selling tablet based on full linux distro. it doesn't matter how much chip maker like nvidia or other ARM vendor out there push the effort so full linux distro will run properly on their chip. if there is no big consumer demand for it OEM will not wasting their time making one. just look what happen to winRT. the demand for WinRT device is so low that OEM pull the plug so easily. and that's with big company like MS to push it.

May 14, 2014 | 03:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This Contra Revenue from the Android, and other OS makers, as well a the CPU/SOC makers needs to be declared illegal. third party OEMs should be required to have systems that are open to all OSs, and no more Google/M$/Intel/others funding advertising campains for the OEMs, and no more forcing OEMs to have any forced Installed OS on any PC/Lpatop/Mobile hardware, or special deals. The OEMs are being influnced directly and indrerectly to not have Full Linux Distros come with Tablet hardware, Laptop hardware, and PC hardware, this needs to be stopped. These types of arrangements are purely monopolistic and the US Justice Department needs to grow a pair and enforce the antitrust laws on the Books! The same goes for the CPU/SOC/GPU makers and any new hardware that has built in Trust/Security processors/circuits Needs to be closely monitored, least the ability of even side loading alternative OSs, and applications, will become impossable. I do not want my third party OEM hardware directly or indirectly subsidised, with strings attatched, by the OS monopolies, or the CPU/GPU/SOC monopolies, Device OEMs are becoming little more than De facto devisions of these monopolies, for the sake of vendor lockin and closed ecosystem profits.

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