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Qt Looks Towards Using OpenGL 3.x, ANGLE

Qt

Published on 27 June 2012 01:35 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Qt
6 Comments

There's some interesting OpenGL-related news out of the Qt development camp.

Shared on the Qt development list this week was notes from last week's Qt Contributors' Summit as it pertains to their OpenGL usage.

As for their future plans, their first note is "Desktop OpenGL 3+ support, ES 3 support." After Qt 5.0 it looks like they will begin using OpenGL 3.0+ functionality within the tool-kit. They're also looking towards supporting OpenGL ES 3.0, which will be the updated GL specification for mobile/embedded devices and should be ratified by the Khronos Group and publicly released this summer.

The OpenGL 3.0 timing is sufficient for Qt seeing as the proprietary graphics drivers and most GPUs are now supportive of GL3. With Mesa 8.0 there's also OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 compliance in Mesa core and the Intel driver. The Radeon and Nouveau drivers for most hardware generations can now advertise OpenGL 3.0 compliance, which should be proper for the forthcoming Mesa 8.1.

Other future plans for Qt include looking into the ability for shared cross-process graphics buffer APIs, version 2 of the QPainter API that's learned from the SKIA library, fast texture uploads, and various other minor features.

Nokia then shared that they added ANGLE to Qt (the message). ANGLE is Google's way for doing OpenGL over DirectX drivers. When Google was seeking greater support for WebGL in Chrome/Chromium and discovered most of the OpenGL drivers on Windows are in bad shape, they conceived ANGLE to take OpenGL ES 2.0 as input and output for DirectX 9.0 graphics drivers. So with Nokia's work, now on Qt for Windows it will be an option to take the OpenGL and pipe it over the Direct3D driver instead.

On a related note there was also the recent Microsoft DirectX back-end for Qt.

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