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Thursday, January 3, 2002
Apple Helps Push OpenGL Forward
10:40 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story has posted notes from the December OpenGL Architectural Review Board meeting, which was hosted at none other than Apple's Cupertino campus. Representatives from a wide variety of companies were in attendance, including ATI, Nvidia, Microsoft, Sun, and many more. From the list of attendees, Apple also had quite a strong showing during the two-day event.

The meeting notes are rather technical, as they discuss both the direction for the current OpenGL 1.3 extensions, as well as the goals for the next major overhaul of the 3D API, OpenGL 2.0. It's critical for companies like Apple to keep pushing OpenGL forward so it will stay competitive with Microsoft's Windows-only DirectX graphics APIs. If Windows game developers choose OpenGL over DirectX, their games are that much easier to bring to the Mac thanks to OpenGL's portability.

It's good to see such strong attendance by hardware makers like Nvidia and ATI as well. As their next generations of 3D graphics cards become more and more "programmable" from a game's point of view, having OpenGL up to speed is critical. 3DLabs recently wrote up a number of white papers on OpenGL 2.0, and responses were presented at the meeting. Here's an excerpt from the web site with more:

3Dlabs has concentrated on white papers and reviews of them up until a few weeks ago. Incorporated feedback and otherwise updated white papers last week. Of ARB members, ATI, Apple, SGI, and to a lesser degree Sun have provided feedback. Discreet, Epic, Id, PTC, Rad Game Tools, SideFX, SoftImage, Vital Images among non-members have provided feedback. ISV feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

About 300 responses to an survey asking who supported the general direction of the work, with some interesting comments. General flavor of it's about time.

Head over and check out the meeting notes and OpenGL 2.0 write-up if you're so inclined. Even if the technical specs mean nothing to you, the influence of Apple on the next generation of this powerful 3D API is definitely a great thing for Mac gamers.

OpenGL ARB December Meeting Notes
Download OpenGL 2.0 Status (PDF)

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