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Thread: OpenGL Support under Windows Vista

  1. #1
    Active Member tsbykatherine60220's Avatar
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    Default OpenGL Support under Windows Vista

    Has anyone with an understanding of OpenGL looked into the latest Windows' OS? I don't have a even a basic understanding of OpenGL or Direct#D but it seems that there might be some big issues coming with performance under the next Windows' OS (Windows Vista). Here is a quote from the ArchiCad forum and following that, a response to the quote with a link to a forum on OpenGL. I'll be curious to follow this thread and see what impact it may actually be having on Revit Users.

    I've read the discussions and cannot help but think that Microsoft cannot afford to loose ALL CAD-software applications. Most of them rely heavily on OpenGL, some directly, others through frameworks. Because many CAD-applications are largely platform-independent, OpenGL has been the only choice, but I can see it becoming less directly used: you have to do a lot of work by yourself.

    E.g. there is a framework called HOOPS ( which was once a part of Autodesk but it grew independent and that is used in many applications (the site refuses to give names of applications, only companies).
    Ever heard of the HEIDI-drivers in Autodesk software? The H comes from HOOPS.

    I'm using it now for my research. What basically happens is that you have a higher-level API for programming your application and the framework uses other systems in the background: OpenGL, Direct3D and software-only graphics (e.g. GDI, Motif, Postscript, HPGL). This means that the application developer doesn't need to directly bother with the underlying graphics. This allows an easy switch between graphic-systems.


    But I assume that Microsoft (or probably the vendors of 3D-cards: NVidia, ATI, 3DLabs) will support OpenGL as completely as possible. And if it means giving up on the "3D-display" of the underlying OS, then so be it, but I cannot imagine this to happen for a final release.

    From what I understand: OpenGL is supported:
    - OpenGL 1.4 (fixed) as a software driver that passes calls through Direct3D but doesn't support extensions.
    - Disabling the new interface look and allow full support of hardware vendor drivers using more recent versions of OpenGL.

    I'm betting on a third scenario: opening the API for 3D-card vendors and allowing direct support. The vendors want this and are able to do this, but they lack the support in the API.
    (an API/SDK = a layer between an application, which is often closed-source, and an external developer -- for a full Open-Source application, one would not directly need an API, although it's often easier to work through an API then to work to the application directly)

    Of course, Microsoft would love Autodesk and others to switch to using Direct3D only, but I don't see that happen soon.
    ------ stefan boeykens ------ ------
    SW: ArchiCAD 9 / Revit 7 / ADT 2005 / 3ds max 6 / SketchUp 5 / Cinema4D CE
    HW: P4 3.2 GHz / 2 GB RAM / QuadroFX 1400
    OS: WinXP Pro / Suse 9.2 / OSX 10.3

    The response:

    Obvisiously MS has found a new way to use its monopoly to prevent open standards by pushing its own formats. The coming Vista will support OpenGL only in a reduced way. See and Full performance OpenGL under Windows Vista Aero - Contact your hardware and software manufacturers. What will ths mean for ArchiCADs speed up by this graphical interface? Do we need to write to GS that they insist in Redmond as recommended in the article?

  2. #2
    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: OpenGL Support under Windows Vista

    Wow, holy cow, very bad news.

    Looks like it's XP for me until eternity. Not that I was all excited about Vista anyways, for I have yet to hear anything that sounds like it's got enough value for me to upgrade...

    I guess I'll just buy a cheap generic box, put Windows on it, and shove it under my desk and only use it to run Revit & my CNC software, and do everything else with something else.

    Sigh. Why could have Adobe bought Revit instead?

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