SDL3 Begins Dumping A Lot Of Old Code: GLES1, OS/2, DirectFB, WinRT, NaCl & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 23 November 2022 at 06:00 AM EST. 59 Comments
It was just a little more than 24 hours ago that SDL 2.26 released for this widely-used library by cross-platform games and other software for abstracting software/hardware interfaces. With SDL 2.26 released, SDL 3.0 is now in development. One of the first stages of that big Simple DirectMedia Layer update is removing a lot of old platform code and other obsolete targets.

With SDL3 able to break API/ABI and this being a big update, SDL developers are removing a lot of obsolete/unmaintained code from this library as one of their first steps to the new cycle. In addition to removing a lot of old code, SDL 3.0 is also expected to make some modernization changes like being the release to prefer Wayland over the X.Org Server by default, hopefully PipeWire by default, and other improvements.

In the day that SDL3 has been living in the mainline Git code-base, a lot of old code has been removed. Some of the highlights so far for the first day of SDL3 development:

- Microsoft WinRT (Windows Runtime / UWP) support has been removed.

- Google Native Client "NaCL" support has been removed.

- OpenGL ES 1.x support being removed. OpenGL ES 2.x support does remain.

- Some old remnants of Ubuntu's Mir display server from its pre-Wayland-compositor era were removed now that API/ABI compatibility for SDL 2.1 doesn't need to be maintained.

- VisualC Visualtest testing code has been removed, that alone freeing up 12k lines in the code-base.

- DirectFB support has been removed.

- BlackBerry QNX support has been removed.

- OS/2 support has been removed.

- Pandora/OpenPandora support has been removed.

- The JACK audio back-end was removed, only to be later reverted. The sndio back-end saw a similar fate with being dropped yesterday only to be re-added a short time later. We'll see if they get removed again or are maintained for SDL 3.0.

Since the SDL 2.26 release, there has been over 51k lines of code removed with this nice winter cleaning for SDL3. Look for much more on the SDL 3.0 front over the weeks and months ahead.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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