Pierre Glibert

Apple deprecates openGL

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Hello community :)

There is something new here ( bad new ) : https://www.anandtech.com/show/12894/apple-deprecates-opengl-across-all-oses

What that mean for webgl ?

I hope webGPU or Google NXT will come soon for the next generation of webgl.

https://webkit.org/blog/7380/next-generation-3d-graphics-on-the-web/

https://github.com/google/nxt-standalone

Have a nice day ;)

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I've asked directly to WebGl twitter account (but no answer for now) to be sure if it is a problem or not, 'cause I don't know how deep is the dependency of webGL to OpenGL (but I guess it have a very strong relation 😄).

But from my point of view, maybe the question is "What that mean for Apple?" rather than webGL (in the companies where Apple OS users are just few percent, the best option will be simply to drop Apple support), but for webGL-game-dev'-PoV it is surely an issue.

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I've seen some people answering (can't remember where on Twitter), it won't impact WebGL which makes senses. You can implement WebGL on top of Metal. In previous versions of Edge, our WebGL implementation was directly on top of DirectX, no OpenGL at all. We're now relying on ANGLE which is a wrapper on top of OpenGL and DirectX. Again, on PC, WebGL is directly bind to DirectX. 

I'm then not worried about WebGL support. If they're changing the implementation, they will probably have some bugs we will have to take care as 3D engine makers. 

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When this was announced the other night I tried frantically googling things thinking the sky was falling. What I've learned from it (which may or may not be correct, correct me if I'm wrong):

Each browser has it's own translation layer which translates things differently on OSX. On PC as davrious stated above, https://github.com/google/angle does all translation, down to directX. - It looks like on OSX angle is aiming to be translating over to vulkan which will fill the gap once deprecated.

I haven't figured out what mozilla or safari are using (possibly forked version of angle for firefox: https://github.com/mozilla/angle), and maybe something already translating to metal for safari?

Also the thing that I've still not been able to figure out concretely, webgl (on all non desktop devices) is based on OpenGL ES. which is completely separate from opengl. Some people are saying opengl ES support is NOT being deprecated, and won't be affected. (So basically, even though apple is saying we are deprecating opengl from iOS, it won't affect webgl to any degree on phone/ipad).

So the good news is, as far as I can tell, the sky isn't falling, or at least not entirely.

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There are other programs in peoples work flow that will also be impacted, if they are not using or not converting like:

  • Blender
  • MakeHuman
  • Maya

This is not really a fatal problem.  It just means that no one that doesn't have to develop on OSX should.  I was planning a Cordova app which would also run on iOS.  As far as I know, you need a mac to generate one.  My 8 year old MBP is starting to fail & maddeningly slow with only 2 mb RAM.  Was waiting to see what this year's refresh would bring.  Now will just see what Craig's list has.  Not giving them any more money.

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