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Microsoft Releases Shader Conductor 0.3 For Its Shader Cross-Compiler

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  • Microsoft Releases Shader Conductor 0.3 For Its Shader Cross-Compiler

    Phoronix: Microsoft Releases Shader Conductor 0.3 For Its Shader Cross-Compiler

    Back in 2018 Microsoft announced Shader Conductor as one of their newest open-source projects at the time for cross-compiling HLSL to other shading languages like GLSL. Out this morning is Shader Conductor v0.3...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-Conductor-0.3

  • #2
    Can anyone enlighten me as to why MS is doing this. Why are they trying to facilitate porting their stuff to other (non-MS) platforms?

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    • #3
      can wine or dxvk benefits from this?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GruenSein View Post
        Can anyone enlighten me as to why MS is doing this. Why are they trying to facilitate porting their stuff to other (non-MS) platforms?
        Because everywhere you look that isn't a desktop PC is overrun with non-MS platforms. Servers, phones, tablets, TVs, multimedia devices, smart appliances, wearable technology, and more -- none of that runs Windows. If Microsoft wants to remain relevant for businesses, lesser for home users but still relevant, then they have to get MS Technologies working on that list of Not MS Platforms.

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        • #5
          They're not doing this to encourage people to move to other platforms. They're doing this so that they can encourage developers to target Windows as the primary platform. The primary platform target gets a lot of benefits - more testing, more performance, better support, quicker releases. There's also a fair chance that you're buying Windows desktops, servers, and Azure cloud instances. Some businesses buy as much from MS as they can for integration. Achieving primary platform and software synergy means facilitating cross-platform development. If they don't facilitate it, they might win a few windows sales, but all the other divisions will lose out.

          While Windows still generates a lot of revenue, it's a limited growth market compared to other divisions. Which means that division doesn't get to throw its weight around as much at Microsoft. Windows and Office divisions used to be able to dictate things to other divisions. The different divisions are a lot more equal now, which is extremely good for everyone.

          The similarities in structure between Vulkan and D3D12 mean that 3D support is a lot more straightforward. And the higher bar in console hardware means most platforms will have a similar level of support. Target Vulkan and you can go to almost any modern platform. And unless you're getting paid for a timed exclusive release, you might as well work at targeting multiple platforms to increase revenue. And cross-platform dev is easier than ever.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GruenSein View Post
            Can anyone enlighten me as to why MS is doing this. Why are they trying to facilitate porting their stuff to other (non-MS) platforms?
            It is to get people to write their shader code in HLSL under the pretense that their shader can then be transpiled to any platform.

            The key thing here is that the developers would be writing HLSL so most focus would always go on that and the generated GLSL / SPIR-V will likely be sub-par leading to "Runs best on Windows" kind of scenarios.

            It is also to try to get developers away from instinctively writing GLSL and then just disregarding a port to the Window "store" ecosystem as "not worth the development cost" due to its silly DirectX only and other "locked down" restrictions.

            That said, it *is* nice to see DirectX as the under dog these days. I remember how frustrating it was when twirps would choose DirectX for projects just because "its the most popular and professional". Vulkan really has been fantastic here at making DirectX look "old and lame". I notice it is all about image and branding with game developers
            Last edited by kpedersen; 29 April 2020, 10:13 AM.

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            • #7
              Call me crazy, but this is exactly what nvidia's cg does no?
              You write your shader in cg (which is basically a subset of HLSL), and it can generate the GLSL equivalent.

              NVidia stopped developing it, so is the purpose of Condutor to continue where cg stopped?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Terrablit View Post
                They're not doing this to encourage people to move to other platforms. They're doing this so that they can encourage developers to target Windows as the primary platform. The primary platform target gets a lot of benefits - more testing, more performance, better support, quicker releases. There's also a fair chance that you're buying Windows desktops, servers, and Azure cloud instances. Some businesses buy as much from MS as they can for integration. Achieving primary platform and software synergy means facilitating cross-platform development. If they don't facilitate it, they might win a few windows sales, but all the other divisions will lose out.

                While Windows still generates a lot of revenue, it's a limited growth market compared to other divisions. Which means that division doesn't get to throw its weight around as much at Microsoft. Windows and Office divisions used to be able to dictate things to other divisions. The different divisions are a lot more equal now, which is extremely good for everyone.

                The similarities in structure between Vulkan and D3D12 mean that 3D support is a lot more straightforward. And the higher bar in console hardware means most platforms will have a similar level of support. Target Vulkan and you can go to almost any modern platform. And unless you're getting paid for a timed exclusive release, you might as well work at targeting multiple platforms to increase revenue. And cross-platform dev is easier than ever.
                They are doing this for everything. What they want is to win and lock in corporate development and get the PHB's to force their platform.

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