Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Apr 2012 18:23 UTC, submitted by Radio
Games "I am still struck by just how interested Valve is in Linux as a platform; it is certainly beyond my original expectations. This Linux work just is not some half-assed attempt by them to make it look like they are a Linux-friendly organization. Gabe's vision to support, embrace, and promote Linux are amazing, assuming they execute, which looks to be very high probability at this point." Nice scoop from Phoronix. Seems to all tie in quite well with the prospect of a Steambox running Linux.
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It's hardware vendors fault.

No, it isn't, at least not entirely. Part of the reason that OGL support is so bad on Windows is because OpenGL isn't Windows' primary 3D API; hardware developers treat OpenGL as a second-class citizen on Windows because it is a second-class citizen on Windows.

Also, part of the reason that OpenGL is so inconsistent between drivers is because Khronos doesn't (and can't) have the same kind of driver verification regime for OpenGL that Microsoft uses for D3D. Actually, NVIDIA (amusingly) is infamous for shipping known-broken OpenGL drivers on Windows.

You are right of course, that if game developers target wide range of hardware, they'll need to lower the requirements. But it's not a problem on Linux only. Poor OpenGL support is the problem everywhere including Windows.

The problem isn't the range of hardware targeted; the problem is that GL3 and GL4 state-trackers are not available for GL3 and GL4 hardware on Linux. I'm dual-booting my lap-top: in Windows 7, I get a GL4 context, while in Linux, I get a GL2.1 context. The open-source driver stack makes GL3+ contexts available to pretty much nobody at the moment. We're only just beginning to see GL3 state trackers actually get sent out to users by distributors. Mesa currently includes GL3 state trackers that work on some Intel hardware, and nowhere else; God knows how long it will be before GL3 is available for most of ATI's or NVIDIA's hardware, and say nothing of GL4.

Understand, I am a Linux user, and I'm not trying to really come down on the Mesa team or Linux kernel team. I think the major problem is just a lack of resources; graphics hardware is moving pretty fast right now, as is the OpenGL standard, and they just don't have the resources or the vendor support to keep up. But that doesn't change the reality of the situation; you're not going to get a decent port of a DX11 graphical system on GL2.

Edited 2012-04-26 21:52 UTC

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