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Thread: Best way to inform people about OpenGL?

  1. #1
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    Question Best way to inform people about OpenGL?

    Hi, I'm using OpenGL on Windows. And occasionally people using my software do not have any OpenGL drivers on their PC. I was wondering if there was an official site I can send them to which explains what they need to do to get the drivers? Something that won't be moved in the future, keeps up to date, and explains things plainly in different languages.

    Thanks.
    Dave.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro
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    Drivers are manufacturer specific so a person with an nVidia card need to get it from nVidia, AMD from AMD, etc.

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    Don't you find that a little unhelpful of them? I would have thought a more user friendly approach would be better. Just telling customers to find out what their card is, and whether they are going to break their laptop if they update drivers separately from the laptop manufacturer, is a major hassle.
    I just wondered if anyone had a special route they took with customers, or the best approach to the situation, website etc.

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    Our customers are all on maintenance contracts so we sort it out for them

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo_au View Post
    Our customers are all on maintenance contracts so we sort it out for them
    I'll just do what Minecraft does and have some pages dedicated for information. It would be nice if Khronos put some effort in promoting the drivers for Windows somehow, it's like they've just given in to Microsoft, and it's out of their hands. Which is a shame, as they could do so much more with manufactures and with helping everyday users, you know, like the ones that don't know what a polygon is, let alone a graphics card. Hohum, never mind.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro Aleksandar's Avatar
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    Never mind, indeed! Because what you've asked is meaningless. I'm sorry if I'm crude; I'll try to elaborate and hope you'll agree with me at the end.

    There is several things we should highlight, so let's split your state (sentence)
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHoskins View Post
    It would be nice if Khronos put some effort in promoting the drivers for Windows somehow,
    1. Khronos group is an industry consortium that creates open standards, hence by the definition it cannot promote vendor drivers.
    2. MS Windows is just a single platform supporting OpenGL. There are also all sorts of Unix/Linux, MacOS, game and mobile OSs with OpenGL/ES support.
    3. Just for Windows there are three main vendors producing drivers for their GPUs.
    4. Every single vendor releases new drivers often. Considering NVIDIA, I have an impression that every day a new driver is released.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHoskins View Post
    it's like they've just given in to Microsoft, and it's out of their hands.
    Microsoft has almost no impact on GL implementation. It is responsible only for GL 1.1 support and "hook" for vendor drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHoskins View Post
    Which is a shame, as they could do so much more with manufactures and with helping everyday users, you know, like the ones that don't know what a polygon is, let alone a graphics card.
    Those that don't know what should install on their computers probably would not benefit from list of thousands of drivers for the variety of platforms which is updated every day. Isn't it simpler to go to the vendor's site and just download and install the latest driver?

  7. #7
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    I'm just asking what do most people say to customers when faced with the question of running OpenGL software on Windows.

    Some laptops fail when installing the latest card drivers, and people are advised not to install anything other than the manufacturer's default.
    And no, it isn't simpler to go to a vendor's site when it's a customer who doesn't even know what graphics card is in their computer! Let alone installing drivers.

    Like I said, I was wondering if there was an efficient means of support that developers preferred to give.

  8. #8
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    What you've hit on is one of the big problems with OpenGL in the marketplace on desktop systems.

    The absolute best you can do is tell people to keep their graphics card drivers up to date, if that means the manufacturers default then that is what they get.

    Its not like OpenGL is a separate entity you can just install, like when upgrading to a newer DirectX version for example.

  9. #9
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    Reesrevo is right, there is nothing else to do but direct people to download drivers from their graphics vendor.

    Ultimately this is the effect of Microsoft's anti-opengl politics. When you install windows it comes with [probably not last, but working] drivers for directx, but not for opengl.
    You need to manually go to a vendor site and download drivers. This raises the bar for the user and add extra user un-friendliness to the opengl application.
    It is intended to "motivate" developers to use directx instead of opengl.

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