from geometry to pixels

OpenGL ES 3.0 this summer?

( Update 8/6/12OpenGL ES 3.0 has arrived )

Without a doubt the Khronos Group has some interesting things in the pipeline. OpenGL ES is long overdue for an update and there are many speculations going on about OpenGL ES 3.0 codename ‘Halti’. But till now no-one outside of Khronos has any information with a valid source.

A few days ago the Khronos Group twittered:

Happy Friday, everyone! We have some big things planned for the 20th anniversary of ‪#OpenGL‬ at ‪#Siggraph‬ ! Please RT

So will we finally get the specs in august? Maybe, maybe not. That tweet could also relate to the OpenGL specification rewrite that is also long in the discussion. Don’t hold your breath too long, it’s not the API that gets rewritten, just the specs describing it (we have seen attempts to rewrite the API but never got our complete restart, the OpenGL discussion forums have lots of discussions about this if you are interested).

There is not so much interesting in the pipeline for OpenGL 4 so if we get an OpenGL 4.3, it would be a minor upgrade (maybe AMD_multi_draw_indirect ? Even NVidia has implemented that). The big topics for OpenGL 5 like virtual memory for texturing is still at the beginning with two rivaling extensions (NV_bindless_texture and AMD_sparse_texture) – and only for one of these you can get the actual specification text already…

So anything desktop related that is not a rewrite of the specification text wouldn’t account as ‘big things planned’ imho.

The best thing we can hope for is a clean rewrite of the specification text and OpenGL ES 3.0 – ideally in the same document. Just tell me for each function what OpenGL version and profile it requires (and just make ES a profile of GL). When you have codepathes for multiple GL versions it can be a pain to look at multiple very similar documents simultaneously.

Oh, and one more thing: As WebGL is defined against OpenGL ES 2.0, a newer ES version could also bring us a newer WebGL version (please take that chance and jump to version 3 instead of 2, otherwise it will always be confusing that web-version = es-version-1 …).

Let’s wait and see.


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