OpenGL Board Calls for Standard’s Evolution

@ 2004/08/12
OpenGL architecture review board (ARB) said Wednesday it had included a number of new methods into the specifications of the forthcoming OpenGL 2.0 standard. With the latest features now listed, the board expects to finalize the standard’s final specifications by the end of the month.

OpenGL is a multi-platform 2D/3D graphics applications programming interface (API) that has been pretty widely used for professional and entertainment applications for computers. The API has been under pretty heavy attack from some other applications programming interface, primarily Microsoft’s DirectX. Currently the majority of PC games shipping into the market are created for running under DirectX. Still, OpenGL has its stronghold among professional applications as well as is widely used within Mac OS X and Linux software.

The version 2.0 of OpenGL will bring higher level of shader programmability to allow more efficient content creation. With the new release, both OpenGL Shading Language and its APIs are now core features of OpenGL. New functionality includes the ability to create shader and program objects; and the ability to write vertex and fragment shaders in OpenGL Shading Language.

Core features of the OpenGL 2.0 are expected to be programmable shading, multiple render targets, non-power-of-two textures for all texture targets, two-sided stencil with the ability to define stencil functionality for the front and back faces of primitives, point sprites which replace point texture coordinates with texture coordinates interpolated across the point and numerous additional capabilities.

The final OpenGL 2.0 specifications are expected to be released by August 31, 2004.

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