+14  Q: 

Is OpenGL dead?

I recently found out that OpenGL 3.0 was released a week ago. I glanced through the specification and read through some of the forum posts on the Khronos message board, and... I'm devastated. Not only did they not release the promised object model, but they deprecated most of the functionality that, IMHO, made OpenGL great, in favor of a more DirectX-like model.

I'm only a beginner, but it seems to me like this is a clumsy step in an entirely incorrect direction, and a step you can't come back from.

Me and OpenGL - it was love at first sight. It symbolized freedom and nonconformity. And now... I don't know what the future holds, and frankly, I'm scared.

What are your opinions?

+6  A: 

OpenGL is alive and kicking.

PERSONAL: My games are remakes of old arcade hits that I do for myself and if I can't write and run them as easily when I'm using my WinTel, Apple or *nix machines I wouldn't bother.

BUSINESS: There are lots of companies in the business of doing graphics that certainly are not in the business of using MS technologies they aren't going to reinvent the wheel

LOGICAL: Just because a technology is taking a different path to the one you'd like to see doesn't make it dead or PHP wouldn't be everywhere :)

+7  A: 

OpenGL isn't dead, but I could envisage people sticking with 2/2.1 and ignoring 3.

+35  A: 
+2  A: 

Just curious, what parts of the API (now deprecated) are giving you heart burn?

+4  A: 

It'll be interesting to see what John Carmack has to say about OpenGL 3.0, as he's obviously done some pretty amazing things in his time using OpenGL. Also, iD's new game Rage is entirely OpenGL on the PC - so I wouldn't say it was quite dead yet.

I haven't looked at the specification for 3.0 - but I think style compatability with DirectX would be a good thing, as this can only make cross-platform development easier.

Here ( it is written that Rage will support both OpenGL and DirectX (but not DX10!). Bad news for OpenGL on Windows platform, since previous engines from JohnC were pure OpenGL.

Hm, maybe what I meant was: was this a heart attack and should we be worried about OpenGL's health? At least on PC's?

@basszero: Intermediate mode functions (Begin/End), vertex processing functions (Translate, Rotate, etc.), quad/polygon primitives, display lists (I may be doing things wrong but they are still the fastest on my PC).

glTranslate and friends don't belong in OpenGL because it is not a math library (write your own or use someone else's). Did you actually do a proper benchmark comparing VBOs to Begin/End and Vertex3f?
+3  A: 

A lot of the choices in the last specification seem to have been driven by the large amount of CAD software that uses OpenGL. This version has really upset the game programmers and they are being very vocal at the moment. However, CAD is a big market that OpenGL doesn't want to lose.

I'm not giving up on OpenGL by any means and I think they will get the big changings developers are demanding into the API in due time. However, a good analogy I heard about version 3.0 was that the Kronos group has turned in the right direction, but hasn't taken any steps yet.

Judge Maygarden
+6  A: 

A lot of the choices in the last specification seem to have been driven by the large amount of CAD software that uses OpenGL. This version has really upset the game programmers and they are being very vocal at the moment. However, CAD is a big market that OpenGL doesn't want to lose.

The thing is, though, that was, is, and always shall be a completely bogus argument. Why? Because CAD software can stick with OpenGL 2.1. Let them co-exist side-by-side (you know, just like I have Direct3D9 sitting alongside the wholly incompatible Direct3D10 so that I can use both seamlessly) and let OpenGL 3 be forward-looking. You don't need to retard OpenGL 3 just to let people continue to use OpenGL 2.1.

+1  A: 

I haven't checked out the changes in OpenGL 3.0, but OpenGL itself is far from dead. It might never become the most popular game programming library (it was never meant to, by design). For one, it's primitives are too low-level and insufficient for game programming. It requires a higher level abstraction to be built around it with extra functionality (sound, UI and input device control) to be useful.

However, OpenGL is clean and simple by design and multi-platform. So, it will live on in areas like CAD, engineering, graphics research, 3D applications and mobile devices.

+1  A: 

Definitely not dead. For people like me who write SDK's that sit on top of OpenGL, version 3 is just another minor complication I have to support. There are some interesting things to exploit too.

OpenGL also has cross-platform benefits than makes it the API of choice for many applications. My customer base is interested in Mac as well as Windows, with a smattering of Linux in there too. It is a shame that OGL3 veers away from it's original lofty aims a bit, but I don't really understand the vitriol of the people on the message board. It's just a freakin' API for heaven's sake....,

Greg Whitfield
+12  A: 

I'm guessing your question should have been qualified "On Windows" because it certainly isn't dead in OSX. OpenGL ES looks to have some staying power as well.

Though the watered down 3.0 spec might not be the competition to D3D many hoped it would be, the API is still going to be in use for other platforms and for businesses with a vested interest (which granted, are few on the Windows side.)

I certainly don't ever see D3D making the leap to any non-Microsoft platforms, so until the day that all other platforms die, the answers is no, it's not dead.

Chris Blackwell
+1  A: 

It's not dead, it just smells funny.


And now that the Steam platform is being ported to MacOS X, I'm sure that OpenGL will gain once more the reputation it losts in the video game industry..

Gabriel Cuvillier
...unless people start noticing that the OpenGL ports lack in some significant way or form comparing to D3D. I'm not saying that's going to happen but there is a chance for that. OpenGL certainly isn't dead, it's just nowadays meant for other things than gaming graphics. Think of Matrox, used to make the best 2D display adapters ever, nowadays Matrox specializes in hospital displays, video signal splitters and stuff like that.
I disagree with that: it is not functionalities which will make a difference (boths API are quite comparable IMHO, even more with OGL 4.0). It is platforms: if another gaming platform than windows can emerge, it will certainly be with OpenGL. The recent move from Valve/Apple in that direction is an important one for OGL.
Gabriel Cuvillier
+1  A: 

opengl will never be dead. there is new latest that i saw recently. should support opengl rather than directx


GL is dead yes the Chronos group failed in 2008 when Microsoft was between releasing Directx10 and 10.1. Gl 3.0 was suppose to include features that never made it into the design frame, which are now being included as per the GL promise. The facts however are simple Chronos failed miserably and DX became the clear cut winner, Gl has fallen behind so badly all new and future versions of GL will have support for DX11 and up compute shaders because GL never made it so they instead incorporated cross hardware reliance. The only problem with this is, unless you have a windows machine with a DX 11 card GL won't be much help and won't use the shaders it borrows. In retro spec Apple addicts are correct that it's still a strong with Apple however its more like running dated software because the Chronos group admitted fault long before any of these recent threads started.

GL for gaming is dead but not for graphics card companies, the reason is simple they want to capitalize on GL because if it goes they loose shares.

So your only option is to use Windows for 3D programming? I don't think so.