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View Full Version : "We want decent GPU/OpenGL Mac OS X support" initiative



Adam Strzelecki
06-18-2012, 04:01 AM
Please join my initiative to show Apple we want better OpenGL support on Mac. Please find the details at: http://www.facebook.com/WeWantDecentOSXOpenGL it includes description how and where to post feedback to Apple.

If you agree with the initiative please Like the page and what's better post your opinion on the timeline and tell your friends using Mac about it.

I think this is only way to convince Apple to start improving OpenGL on Mac to match current NVIDIA and AMD implementations on Windows and Linux.

menzel
06-18-2012, 04:33 AM
I'm not sure if Apple will listen to a Facebookpage, but 'likeing' it might do no harm if you are on facebook (I'm not). Alternatively to beg for Apple to deliver better drivers, letting Apple supply AMD/NVidia/Intel with there own 3rd party drivers would be great! These are the guys who know there chips best and might also provide us with vendor specific extensions on MacOS X.

If you want to do more then clicking on 'like', register for free as a Mac developer and file a bug report / feature request here: https://bugreport.apple.com/ . The more people file the same request, the sooner Apple will listen (yes, that also applies to bugs: everyone with that problem should file a report, this info comes from Apple employees in there forums).

10.8 doesn't seem to get anything beyond 3.2 even tho the MacMini from last year is the only Mac you can buy with a not-OpenGL 4 capable GPU....

Janika
06-18-2012, 08:47 AM
Generally interesting idea. But I'm not really sure if Mac needs the more capable most recent OpenGL features. The current version serves its purpose pretty well on Mac.

menzel
06-18-2012, 10:18 AM
Generally interesting idea. But I'm not really sure if Mac needs the more capable most recent OpenGL features. The current version serves its purpose pretty well on Mac.

In which sense exactly does OpenGL on the Mac serve a different purpose than on Windows or Linux?

Janika
06-18-2012, 10:43 AM
In which sense exactly does OpenGL on the Mac serve a different purpose than on Windows or Linux?

Desktop GUI acceleration, video acceleration, available games for Apple, 2D painting, and some CADs? Think same case as in Windows/Linux? Not really. Mac consumers are different than PC consumers in a sense that Mac has less developers who are interested in using the most recent GL versions, compared to PC, which has the majority of developers.

menzel
06-18-2012, 11:38 AM
Janika, if you follow the discussions of Mac developers (e.g. in Apples forums) you will see that there are a lot of developers interested in better OpenGL support (heck, this thread and a facebook page was initiated by one!), but Apple does simply not deliver!
Games for Apple use OpenGL, games for Windows mostly Direct3D - we have better OpenGL support on Windows anyway!
Why are the consumers different when the developers are fewer? Your argumentation doesn't make any sense!

Also: You can't argue that we don't need hi-end OpenGL on Macs because there are no hi-end games for the Mac when we simply can't have hi-end games until we get hi-end OpenGL.

The Mac is a slowly growing market, the users have money (hey, the machines are pricy) and the app store delivers a DRM-based shop out of the box. This could be an attactive market.

malexander
06-18-2012, 11:40 AM
Mac has less developers who are interested in using the most recent GL versions

If they were interested in recent GL versions, they wouldn't be Mac developers ;)

Beyond just newer features, there are also performance issues and a lot more headaches with bugs. The 'line in the sand' that Apple has drawn between legacy and modern APIs is also in contrast with drivers on Windows and Linux that support the compatibility profile, creating some cross platform issues for us.

Has anyone seen if there are new GL extensions to the GL 3.2 core driver in 10.8? Are the drivers almost 3.3 or 4.0, but with a few missing features?

Janika
06-18-2012, 12:53 PM
Why are the consumers different when the developers are fewer? Your argumentation doesn't make any sense!

It does make a lot of sense. When the consumers are different then PCs, developers have very little interest in investing time on software that will have no market. They buy a system that comes with all what they need, and I'm talking in general. As already mentioned, they are "pricy." It's a closed platform, and in a good way.


Also: You can't argue that we don't need hi-end OpenGL on Macs because there are no hi-end games for the Mac when we simply can't have hi-end games until we get hi-end OpenGL.

It's not only OpenGL that makes games or any high-end software. Did we forget the development tools issue? Yes it's an issue when a developer has to deal with a not so tasty language like Objective-C.

When Mac goes with the standard and becomes a more open platform, then there will be the need to upgrade their GL support. Until then, good luck!

menzel
06-18-2012, 01:08 PM
I still can't find a reason in your posts why the Mac users should be different.
BTW: You don't have to use ObjC, expecially OpenGL and game related programming can be done in nearly pure C++ (or whatever language you like).

Bottom line: I don't see a single argument why MacOS has different OpenGL related needs than Windows or Linux. I only see developers who desperatly want an update...

Janika
06-18-2012, 03:41 PM
Bottom line: I don't see a single argument why MacOS has different OpenGL related needs than Windows or Linux.

Market not pushing enough.


I only see developers who desperatly want an update...

To develop what? We still have not seen even GL 3.x on Windows in action yet. Drivers are there but where are the applications?

AndreGB
06-18-2012, 07:52 PM
To develop what? We still have not seen even GL 3.x on Windows in action yet. Drivers are there but where are the applications?
To port CryTek 3 and Unreal Engine 4 kind of engines to it?

menzel
06-19-2012, 02:39 AM
To port CryTek 3 and Unreal Engine 4 kind of engines to it?

Exactly, as I mentioned, a lot of games are limited to DX9/GL2.1 because they were designed for consoles. When you abandon consoles or target the next generation of them (both meaning you should start developing now or you already started: see latest Unreal and CryEngine demos) you will want to target DX11/GL4 directly.

For example area lights, indirect illumination based on cone tracing needs realtime updatable volume datastructures of your environment which scream for GL4/DX11 (probably even compute shaders/OpenCL integration) and will be key features of next-gen games (graphics-wise). Why can't I research and develop such games on the Mac? Why don't I even get a OpenGL roadmap for the Mac to estimate whether I even can port my apps when they are finished in X month?

Maybe openGL 3.2 has all features Janika needs, but there are other devs that want to use more advanced features...

uchideshi
06-19-2012, 10:38 AM
The issue is that Apple has to drive the market. They can't wait around for the manufacturers to come to them. The new unreal engine would had been a perfect project for Apple to invest some serious R&D dollars to get their OGL support updated to the current specification. With that introduce a "gaming" machine with specs that are between the iMac and Mac Pro. That is the mixings for a huge push to get apple into the gaming market.

Without doing something like that both consumers and manufacturers will continue to discredit OSX as a platform capable of pushing today's 3D graphics. I would say Apple really has no interest to enter that market, otherwise they would had.

Janika
06-19-2012, 01:03 PM
To port CryTek 3 and Unreal Engine 4 kind of engines to it?

Why port them o Mac? And how does this benefit Apple? It's for sure a joy for developers but not for the big business, unless the market share of Mac gaming is close enough to that of PC. When we talk about Mac gaming I think of Linux gaming too.


Maybe openGL 3.2 has all features Janika needs, but there are other devs that want to use more advanced features...

Actually I'm okay with OpenGL 2.1.

But one thing, what makes Apple not creating their own rendering API? What if this was the case?

AndreGB
06-19-2012, 01:10 PM
Right, Menzel. But I was thinking: wouldn't it be possible for developers to come up with great stuff using OpenGL 3 or earlier? If we roll back not such a long time ago, id Software did something amazing (at the time) with Doom 3. I remember how cool it was watching all those Doom 3 pre-release in-game videos and how hard it was to believe they were actual in-game. What was that? OpenGL 2.x?

Not that I am saying the features on OpenGL 4 are useless (much on the contary, see my other topic). But developers have always found creative solutions for technological "contraints" (such as MacOS OpenGL support). Personally, I really love the tesselation features, but I could do without them given those incredible lightning effects on Unreal Engine 4 (check also the Samaritan demo). Are those effects really exclusive to OpenGL 4?

AndreGB
06-19-2012, 01:17 PM
When we talk about Mac gaming I think of Linux gaming too.
Isn't this how it all begins? http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/06/linux-gaming-on-the-rise-ea-arrives-on-ubuntu-and-valve-plans-steam-port/

Apple is part of the Khronos Group. They have adopted AAC and H.264 (and Part 10) as their main video technologies. They have exchanged Firewire support to USB. I pretty much believe that Apple, today, is willing to stick to standards. Plus, OpenGL is way more developed than any other custom API, why reinvent the wheel?

kRogue
06-19-2012, 01:44 PM
One thing in that Facebook page that.. kind of smells bad: it compares a game performance under MS-Windows vs Mac OS-X. The issue with that comparison, is that those comparisons (atleast the ones I looked at) are using D3D under MS-Windows and GL under Mac.. so it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Moreover, that Mac has GL3.2 is a really good sign. Although GL is up at 4.2 now, it is not like many games use GL4.x (i.e. D3D11) features as required..usually they are tacked on. Heck, D3D9 capabilities still rule the MS-Windows games world.. which corresponds to GL2.1 (mostly-ish). I can only think of a handful of games that require D3D10, and not a single one that requires D3D11... so....

On the other hand, Apple has a very anal mentality on GL... rather than just take the GL implementations from ATI or NVIDIA, they.. sprinkle their own apple-dust on top of it.. I would guess that the GLSL compiler in Apple is mostly-their-own-ish based off of LLVM.. but this is a guess.

On the other hand, I suspect (but do not know) that the GL implementation on Apple gizmos for Intel GPU might be better than Intel's... which does not say much really....

I remember reading that the management leadership at Apple really don't "care" about games so much, but considering the success of iOS, maybe that has changed..

On a related note, Unity is getting a Linux port.. which has far smaller market than Mac OS-X.. and Steam is on Apple ... also that is supposedly getting a port to Linux too...

Crazy world we live in.

Janika
06-19-2012, 02:03 PM
Plus, OpenGL is way more developed than any other custom API, why reinvent the wheel?

The only other custom 3D API I'm aware of is Direct3D, so does this mean...??? Windows creator are not reinventing the wheel, they provide a proprietary API that works better for their platform and for 3D hardware in general. And if Apple is already writing their own OpenGL implementation, then I would suggest make their own API.

AndreGB
06-19-2012, 02:23 PM
I keep forgetting how judgemental the Internet can be. :) Sorry, but I didn't include Direct3D there. I meant those vendor specific APIs such as Glide. I am not really sure there are any notable ones out there (maybe PSGL?).

Janika
06-19-2012, 03:10 PM
Yeah but Glide died very long ago. :)

If Apple can come up with a new API specific to their platform, that would be a better investment than having to try catching with OpenGL versions slowly. And then if there's a real demand on Mac gaming or any professional 3D applications, these can be ported to the new API. Like in the case of Direct3D, they want to support the platform they use the right API - in case of Windows, so I don't get "judged." ;)

menzel
06-20-2012, 01:44 AM
Right, Menzel. But I was thinking: wouldn't it be possible for developers to come up with great stuff using OpenGL 3 or earlier? If we roll back not such a long time ago, id Software did something amazing (at the time) with Doom 3. I remember how cool it was watching all those Doom 3 pre-release in-game videos and how hard it was to believe they were actual in-game. What was that? OpenGL 2.x?

Not that I am saying the features on OpenGL 4 are useless (much on the contary, see my other topic). But developers have always found creative solutions for technological "contraints" (such as MacOS OpenGL support). Personally, I really love the tesselation features, but I could do without them given those incredible lightning effects on Unreal Engine 4 (check also the Samaritan demo). Are those effects really exclusive to OpenGL 4?

As I said, some state-of-the-art techniques require more recent hardware features than 3.2. When Carmack developed Doom 3 he used then state-of-the-art OpenGL, not an older version. It was in fact 1.4 with some extensions to get roughly to the feature level of 2.0 (which was available when Doom3 came out but not during development).

Regarding the Samaritan demo: The morphing of the guys face is done on the tessellation shader. The reflections are image-based and could in fact be implemented in simpler shaders. Have you seen the newer Elemental demo? The lighting there looks like cone-traced indirect lighting (look up Cyril Crassins paper "Interactive Indirect Illumination Using Voxel Cone Tracing). You need atomic operations and image read/write for the octree building there.

Sure, you can make games in GL 3.2, you can also make some in GL 1.4 - if you like to be stuck with Doom-like graphics. If you want to make graphics as realistic as possible, you will need the latest techniques. And GL 4 capable hardware is getting quite common (esp. on Macs).

AndreGB
06-20-2012, 08:42 AM
I have seen the elemental demo. Basically, all UE4 and CryTek 3 demos are amazing.

@Janika, if Apple doesn't care about updating OpenGL (as most people are saying), why would they bother creating a whole new API to do the exact same thing OpenGL already does? I've always thought that macs have a chance to become a really great gaming machine. They have the same "closed" specifications as the consoles but with the processing power (and upgrade cycle) of computers. So t is easier for developers to tune their games knowing what kind of hardware to expect. But... well... that doesn't seem like it is going to happen anytime soon.