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Zink Could Prove An Interesting Solution For Evolving OpenGL

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  • Zink Could Prove An Interesting Solution For Evolving OpenGL

    Phoronix: Zink Could Prove An Interesting Solution For Evolving OpenGL

    Erik Faye-Lund of Collabora raised an interesting discussion this past week at XDC 2022 about leveraging Zink for post-OpenGL graphics development. With Zink able to run "anywhere" and currently focused on existing OpenGL APIs atop Vulkan, Zink could be used as a vehicle for developing new OpenGL APIs or trying to evolve the API in its own right while being able to run atop Vulkan API drivers on Windows or Linux...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/Zink-Evolve-OpenGL-API

  • #2
    Laminar Research as the developers behind the X-Plane flight simulator are the first to notably use Zink for OpenGL atop Vulkan on Windows and shipping it as part of the flight simulator.​
    Ah that's interesting! More Mesa code being shipped to users on Windows to provide a reliable environment and/or supported features. I do the same as I ship Mesa's llvmpipe OpenGL driver on Windows with NetRadiant as an option to make that 3D level editor works when the default Windows driver for some graphics cards doesn't provide the required features. OpenGL on CPU is a slower but unlike a game this kind of editor only redraw when something changes so that works.

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    • #3
      Hmmm this seems like a great idea - Apple will be the only one not on-board after trying to kill off OpenGL with no updates since 4.1

      Is Zink on Metal possible to get around Apple’s stubbornness?? 🤔

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      • #4
        Hmm. So basically that's what going to be OpenGL 4.7 and further?

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        • #5
          I’m not sure… There’s room for low level (Vulkan) and there’s room for high level (Godot/Unity), but I don’t see where OpenGL sits anymore.

          Zink is for backward compatibility as far as I can see…

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          • #6
            Originally posted by illwieckz View Post

            Ah that's interesting! More Mesa code being shipped to users on Windows to provide a reliable environment and/or supported features. I do the same as I ship Mesa's llvmpipe OpenGL driver on Windows with NetRadiant as an option to make that 3D level editor works when the default Windows driver for some graphics cards doesn't provide the required features. OpenGL on CPU is a slower but unlike a game this kind of editor only redraw when something changes so that works.
            Intel's Windows Drivers basically use Mesa to translate D3D9 to DX12, and since that work was done by MS, I expect to see more of that type of thing happening.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eirikr1848 View Post
              Hmmm this seems like a great idea - Apple will be the only one not on-board after trying to kill off OpenGL with no updates since 4.1

              Is Zink on Metal possible to get around Apple’s stubbornness?? 🤔
              My guess would be it can run on the Vulkan to Metal layer, or we will see something that runs on the new WebGPU standard.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dragorth View Post
                Intel's Windows Drivers basically use Mesa to translate D3D9 to DX12, and since that work was done by MS, I expect to see more of that type of thing happening.
                But for that the GPU must support DX12.

                So if the GPU doesn't support DX12, the user gets OpenGL 1.0.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by illwieckz View Post

                  But for that the GPU must support DX12.

                  So if the GPU doesn't support DX12, the user gets OpenGL 1.0.
                  My 10 years old Radeon 7850 supports DX12 . And if your card doesnt, I see people and companies use MesaGL (current OpenGL features) as a replacement for the default OpenGL 1.1 from Windows 95 OSR2. For GUI programs (like CAD-like software developed in the company, I work at) the speed is more than enough (e.g. it doesn't use textured polygons - which are multiple times slower than Gouraud shaded ones).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eirikr1848 View Post
                    Hmmm this seems like a great idea - Apple will be the only one not on-board after trying to kill off OpenGL with no updates since 4.1

                    Is Zink on Metal possible to get around Apple’s stubbornness?? 🤔
                    https://www.phoronix.com/news/Mesa-2...ild-macOS-Zink
                    Already does but it is kind of turtles all the way down. Zink->MoltenVK->Metal.

                    Valve of course wants to still be able to sell opengl games to MacOS users no matter what Apple does.

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