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Jerry.C

Apple deprecating OpenGL. What's the implications?

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If you look at their macOS 10.14 changelog you'll see that they really dared to officially deprecate OpenGL!

From their past history I cannot say it really surprises me but unlike previous deprecations this feels like a major dick move, mainly aimed at all those small-scale developers who cannot afford to maintain 3 render backends for 3 platforms. I know for sure that at my workplace people are really worried, because they have been developing a major cross-platform 3D application over the last three years, based on OpenGL, that's supposed to be rolled out this summer - and now management is concerned whether long-term Apple support is still doable.

 

I have to wonder what this will mean for Doom support on Mac, considering that virtually all existing source ports use it as their main render backend.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Jerry.C said:

main render backend.

 

The main Doom renderer is software 🤔

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I said "backend", not "renderer". To my knowledge even Chocolate Doom uses OpenGL to bring the image to the display.

 

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Chocolate Doom uses SDL to render. SDL can decide whether that's going to be software, OpenGL, Direct3D, or whatever.

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Surely SDL will now be putting effort into moving SDL for Mac to use Vulkan for the low level stuff? Or even Metal I guess.

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39 minutes ago, Linguica said:

Surely SDL will now be putting effort into moving SDL for Mac to use Vulkan for the low level stuff? Or even Metal I guess.

MacOS does not have Vulkan (natively). The 2D rendering API in SDL2 can use either OpenGL or Metal at this time. 

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25 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

MacOS does not have Vulkan (natively). The 2D rendering API in SDL2 can use either OpenGL or Metal at this time. 

True enough, though there is the MoltenVK runtime. If that's as viable as it sounds, it might be worth just using Vulkan for the cross-platform advantages.

 

edit: nvm, I'm an idiot and can't read. You're saying SDL2 already supports Metal. Ignore me.

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2 hours ago, Edward850 said:

MacOS does not have Vulkan (natively). The 2D rendering API in SDL2 can use either OpenGL or Metal at this time. 

This is probably the whole point, Apple wants to try to *force* people to use Metal to write graphics renderers for Mac applications, just like they force people to use Macs to make Mac and iOS apps (at least as far as I'm aware, I'm not particularly interested in Apple specific program development at the moment so I'm just going off what i've read about it before)

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Good to hear that SDL already supports Metal for copying 2D content.

I think this is still worrying for all the hardware accelerated ports out there. :(

 

5 hours ago, therektafire said:

This is probably the whole point, Apple wants to try to *force* people to use Metal to write graphics renderers for Mac applications, just like they force people to use Macs to make Mac and iOS apps

 

Yes, that's Apple. They are perfectly mimicking Microsoft's antics from the last decade. Only with far less market share driving it. So I am skeptical it will work out on the Mac. It may rather drive down its market share further instead.

 

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7 hours ago, Sgt Nate V said:

Get ready for MZDoom!

 

/s

 

Don't hold your breath:

Distribution of operating systems is:



88% Windows
2% Mac
10% Linux

 

At this point, Mac is about as relevant as BeOS/Haiku.

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Huh? I thought Linux had like 3% market share. We are only talking about desktops/laptops here right and not tablets or phones with mobile operating systems?

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Apparently among GZDoom users, Linux has 10% market share and Mac only 2%. Which makes sense if you think about it. Doom is more a game for geeks which have a higher likelihood of using Linux while the Mac overall seems to mostly become an office computer with Apple having driven the graphics capabilities into the ground for many years now.

 

BTW, since this was posted there were additional reports that they are also deprecating OpenGL on iOS. Now, that could easily backfire badly for Apple, because it's not just being used for 3D games but also as a relatively easy to use 2D drawing tool in all kinds of software. Imagine that all of this will have to be reprogrammed. I guess many developers will balk at that outlook and just discontinue their apps instead.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Jerry.C I was talking more about general PC usage rather than just Doom.

 

But anyways, heh, this might be a good opportunity for Linux to gain a bit more steam among game devs (or well anyone who writes graphics related programs in general really, but games in particular), which will hopefully push it up more in general market share

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If game devs start writing games on Linux indeed, it will be just a matter of years before both Microsoft and Apple gets thrown out of the desktop market as their products sucks ass.

 

What Apple is trying to do here is to increase battery life, but with the lack of processing power of the RISC-based ARM CPUs, that will quickly be outweighed when games and apps that make use of intensive CPU power slows down. Apple needs to understand that it is not an easy task to get x86-64 apps to run in a emulated environment such as ARM. Hell, when people can't even run x86 emulators on a ARM Android device in its full form, how can we actually expect an x86-64 program to run fast in ARM-based MacOS? We haven't seen a single x86 Android phone that has been able to run heavy ARM stuff from the Play Store.

On 6/10/2018 at 4:19 AM, Jerry.C said:

Imagine that all of this will have to be reprogrammed. I guess many developers will balk at that outlook and just discontinue their apps instead.

 

It will be just a matter of time before Apple goes downhill with people leaving iOS when OpenGL gets actually discontinued, because everything related to this will have to be rewritten. That's the way how WP failed, as it's backend got changed twice that sent developers rewritting apps twice, ultimately resulting in developers leaving that platform and with little to no will to own a Windows Phone due to the OS being a barren platform.

 

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I think you are grossly overestimating the importance for games on the desktop.

Most computers are used for work. Games won't be played on them, so graphical capabilities are secondary, unless the work revolves around graphics processing. And in gaming Macs are irrelevant because for years they have come with underpowered graphics solutions except for the absolute high end where you pay 3-4x as much as for an equivalent Windows or Linux system, and those are targeted at professionals and find no use elsewhere.

 

But even in the corporate world Windows rules. Why? Because the amount of legacy software there is magnitudes higher than what exists on private home computers. These people cannot afford to change OSs. What they need is long term stability. Which makes Macs a very unappealing target in many areas and doesn't help Linux much.

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On 6/5/2018 at 11:20 AM, Jerry.C said:

If you look at their macOS 10.14 changelog you'll see that they really dared to officially deprecate OpenGL!

From their past history I cannot say it really surprises me but unlike previous deprecations this feels like a major dick move, mainly aimed at all those small-scale developers who cannot afford to maintain 3 render backends for 3 platforms...

Yeah, it's a dick move. You see companies doing this: Creating some proprietary "standard" and pushing everything related to said company through it. The devs will get used to using the standard, and use it for everything. I think the hope is that it will lock consumers to a particular platform. Sort of like those 'Buy 10 subs get one free' punch cards, or Food Lion's MVP card - Companies think it locks people to their brand. Really it just makes things difficult for everyone involved, but that's how it goes.

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3 hours ago, kb1 said:

I think the hope is that it will lock consumers to a particular platform.

 

That's even different. Binding a paying customer to your product does not hurt anyone. But this is different. It does not try to bind the customers but the third party suppliers. This can work in an environment where one has a strong position.

 

The main problem, of course, is, that Apple's position isn't that strong, especially on Macs. They are a minority platform that heavily skews to businesses. And ironically that's where OpenGL is needed most, with lots of custom software that cannot be easily rewritten. So I truly wonder what they expect here? Everybody rewriting their software for Metal and forfeiting any cross-platform options? If that is the case they must be truly nuts.

 

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