Been a while since I was here and I dont know were to post this, but I feel I must ventilate my thoughts about OpenGL somewhere.
After completing several OpenGL projects, including one commercial, with quite success and ease Im becoming more and more worried about the future of OpenGL.
Since Im upgrading graphics and things in a current project I have experimenting with shadow volumes, GLSL and all that stuff quite a lot, and I must say I found the way to mix good old OpenGL with some shaders is the far easiest and fastest way to get something drawn on the screen.
Just started with geometry shaders and it works great with the old deprecated functions. I found that in my biggest project about 99.9% of the code uses deprecated functions.
Since Im in the middle of a general upgrade of a project Im getting a bit concerned if I should start all over.
The next issue is that if I start all over Im not sure if I should stick to OpenGL.
Dont get me wrong here, I love OpenGL. In its current form. I started with DirectX5 about 100 years ago and after struggling for a year it took almost a week to accomplish the same in OpenGL with better results and speed.
So in my opinion the reason for its widespread is that its so easy to get the hang of. Latest versions actually deprecate almost EVERYTHING that makes GL so easy to use.
I know I will get a lot of arguments about all the "advanced" users that get the hang of all maths behind 3D graphics, not that Im a total isiot myself. But to me it sounds like 3D programming in OpenGL is getting more and more away from the independent users with the cool ideas and more towards the "proffessionals" that know how to code but not what to code.
It could be a dangerous future if OpenGL gets to difficult to use. Especially when a lot of helper libraries and stuff is available for the "other" API.
I really hope the old functions will stay as they are when it comes to graphics card drivers. Its still amazing to download drivers that has the size of medium sized full games and the deprecated OpenGL part cant make up many of these MBytes anyway.
It still chocks me that display lists was deprecated. I will not be able to do without them. You can put up many arguments that VBOs are more flexible and all that. But since the possibility to use shaders got possible its almost a brand new start for display list, since you can animate primitives in displaylists using GLSL.
And I have never seen a VBO thats even close to executing faster then a displaylist.
Finally my actual question in the matter: WHEN should you actually stop using the deprecated functions.
And dont give me the standard ASAP answer. I hope someone with deeper insight in the Khronos group can give an estimated guess anyway.