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Loki Eliot

OpenGL deprecated in Mojave - is this the start of the end for the MacOS Viewer?

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Apple has declared that they are deprecating OpenGL in this years MacOS update. This means they will not be actively supporting OpenGL anymore and will probably remove support all together after a couple of years. Will this mean the end of the MacOS viewer in SecondLife?

OpenGL, OpenCL deprecated in favor of Metal 2 in macOS 10.14 Mojave - APPLE INSIDER

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2 hours ago, Loki Eliot said:

This means they will not be actively supporting OpenGL anymore and will probably remove support all together after a couple of years. Will this mean the end of the MacOS viewer in SecondLife?

If it's not, then ceasing to use intel chips as they plan in a year or so, will do it anyway.

Removing OpenGL is likely the first step of their transition to a new CPU architecture.

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4 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

Come in folks, it's Apple - this is hardly surprising now is it?

Yeahy i was waiting for someone to post this response... now we can move on.

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really depends on how keen apple is on staying in certain professional markets

which is probably not many anymore, linux and windows probably have a good foot hold on almost all of them. except the large following of people that think macs are "god" tools for audio engineering and things of that sort

apple and most other companies only really care about the larger consumer base, so if dropping openGL doesn't effect that they wont think twice about doing it.

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While we cannot say with certainty which direction we will chose, we have no plans to abandon MacOS Viewers.  That said, it's a good idea to not upgrade to the Mojave beta just yet, considering BUG-216393.  

 

Edited by Grumpity Linden
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12 hours ago, germ0742 said:

apple and most other companies only really care about the larger consumer base, so if dropping openGL doesn't effect that they wont think twice about doing it.

This particular move is even "more Apple" than usual. It's true that OpenGL is getting pretty old, but a lot of content depends on it because it works cross-platform -- and that's why Apple would rather nobody used it. They really prefer platform lock-in, which is the whole point of their proprietary spec, Metal 2. The problem is that because it's so platform specific, it hasn't gotten the hoped-for adoption (despite enabling some performance boosts), so they're waving the stick where the carrot has failed.

My hunch is that the Lab will hire and train some Vulkan programmers before this is all over, but I wouldn't want to be the one making that business decision.

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I'm sure Linden Lab will end up implementing Metal into the viewer, which is probably a good thing as far as Mac viewer is concerned (when bits of code is cross-platform, devs tend to just 'port' code over, making that code a Jack of all and master of none). Implementing Meta would definitely improve performance on Macs.

I am fortunate that I have both: PC and Mac. My personal approach (seriously) is: Mac is for real work, PC is only useful for games (including SL).

@germ0742 - comments like yours are typical uninformed nonsense. "God" tools? Maybe. Pick your project - you do it on a PC and I'll do it on a Mac. I'm willing to bet real world money I'll finish in half the time you do and have a lot more pleasure doing it. If you want to word-process or do spreadsheet accounting then PC is your tool. If you want to do media, well...

~Snickers~

Edited by Alyona Su
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I doubt that LL implement Metal in their viewer,  because right now the MAC viewer is really just a port with some mono .... stuff to make it work.

This would require to create a whole new graphics engine only working for the MACs - so 2 Viewers to maintain.

They could have made a real MAC viewer long ago without needing all that helpful stuff and thus being much faster and robust.

Monti

 

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52 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

If you want to word-process or do spreadsheet accounting then PC is your tool. If you want to do media, well...

I remember, back in the 80's, when Apehole Muck users proudly declaimed that the PC would NEVER take the professional word processing market away because the POWER of a gui and a vertical format monitor, with WYSIWYG, guaranteed that Mucks would rule forever!

Then PC's got gui, and CGA cards, then EGA cards, then VGA cards, then SVGA cards, exotic peripherals cards of all kinds, from science lab interface cards, and bigger faster processors, and more memory, and 2 button mice...

A decade passed and PC users were happily doing spread sheets, and word processing, and desktop publishing, and graphics, both 2D and 3D, and sound editing and games...

And the Mucks... "What are a right mouse button?"

First Apehole Muck machine to see widespread "civillian" popularity, rather than use in professional IT departments, was the PowerMuck, which LOOKED like a PC, and more importantly, could pretend to BE a PC, well enough to run some of that vast range of popular low cost software, even *gasp* games...

Fact is Apehole has been pursuing that "Total Incompatability" thing for decades, the Apehole Muck iPop, an mp3 player that doesn't accept mp3's, the iFlat, which came with NO expansion/connection ports for 3rd party addons, the iSpend dumbfone, whose screens are designed to explode when you open the box after buying it...

The move away from a cross platform graphics standard shouldn't be a surprise, each new Muck OS has seemed to be less compatible that the previous with anything, even existing Muck OS software.

...

The question is... Is the Apehole Muck market for any software app, LARGE enough to justify training a new generation of coders specifically to port said app to the next generation of "Ignore the world OS"?



 

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@Monti Messmer I concur. "ports" are never the same as "native". I suppose like most other upcoming features and whizbang stuffs LL plans we'll just have to take the ol' wait-and-see approach.

@Klytyna [/me rolls eyes] You know what: all diatribe like this is really moot. Windows is a good OS. macOS is a good OS, they each have their own pros and cons. I've discovered that when people choose to debate the merits of one over the other and take sides, it's often because they've used one and not the other - and I don't mean dabbling, I mean actually used them in a productivity sense, hence they are often misinformed. And if I didn't make it clear enough for you in my previous post: I was speaking for myself and stand by it: my PC is only useful for gaming. I do all my real work on my 5k Mac - because it's easier, faster, less expensive (yes, really: it is) and a lot more pleasurable to do so. Your mileage may vary, of course. (And I've been computing since the Timex Sinclaire and Vic-20, you? Rhetorical question, nevermind.)

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3 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

and I don't mean dabbling, I mean actually used them in a productivity sense, hence they are often misinformed.

I spent most of my working life in IT Operations, I've worked with PC's, Mucks, Wang, Dec, Vax, IBM...

I REMEMBER those "Pro" Muck DTP systems... Because I worked in companies where they had them, and where we were supposed to maintain the damn things.

I remember floppy drives that had no eject button because humans were not considered fit to make that decision... "Only Human".

Heh...

7 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

And I've been computing since the Timex Sinclaire and Vic-20, you? Rhetorical question, nevermind.

I had a Sharp MZ-80 as a teenager, because the vic-20 used a TV screen at 40x25 character resolution, while the MZ-80 had it's own built in 80 x 25 monitor, so I could use it even when the parents were watching the TV...

I first WORKED with computers, when I left school and joined the Military, where I got assigned to an "R & D" department that used computers to process weapons test data. I went into IT Operations after the Military, and did more than a 1/4 century in that.

Is that rhetorical enough for you?

15 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

it's often because they've used one and not the other

No, it's because I've always found Mucks to be a PITA, from that floppy drive that won't spit out your diagnostics disk (Request denied Only Human!), and an OS that refused to tell you the file extension (Request Denied Only Human!), right down to the process of opening the damn things up. 

Oh and let's not forget 10 years of "what are a right mouse button?" ;) 

If you like them, good for you, but like I said, they have been on the path of "Total Incompatibility" for DECADES, and that isn't likely to change any time soon.
 

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Historical perspectives on Apple or vintage-computer-epeen contests are not really relevant to the topic at hand.

 

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45 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

Historical perspectives on Apple or vintage-computer-epeen contests are not really relevant to the topic at hand.

 

Thank you, I concur.

Back to the topic: as Grumpity Linden states: stay away from the beta versions for now if you plan to run SL on that machine (since most of us don't have or cannot afford a separate "test machine"). I'm sure LL is working on a plan and will come up with a solution of some sort. Hopefully before the final version of the new OS ships because there will be many Mac users unaware of this scenario, forum-thread, etc.

Edited by Alyona Su
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Microsoft deprecated OpenGL 11 years ago, in Windows Vista. They tried hard to push developers to Direct-X. That was back when Microsoft ruled the desktop. The push didn't work. Microsoft still supports OpenGL today.

There's already a library to translate OpenGL to Apple's Meta. So there's a conversion path if necessary.

Apple has about 10% market share in laptops. Probably not enough to force a phaseout of OpenGL without losing many customers. What usually happens is that developers use a conversion library, and then things run slower on the platform that tried to force developers to convert. This makes the platform look bad. So the old interface tends to stay in.

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It would still require a rewrite for Vulkan,  just porting existing opengl over leads to a worst of both worlds result.

  • Do nothing. Tell OSX SL users not to update their OS. 
  • Stick with OpenGL and hope 3rd parties to cover any gaps in upcoming Apple support (anyone who remembers the mess we had with glide and wrappers is probably terrified of this option).
  • Drop OSX and leave it up to TPVs to mangle something together .. ala Linux.
  • Add and commit to supporting a second Metal render pipeline just for OSX users.
  • Port all platforms to Vulkan and drop support for rendering hardware >10 years old.

Building a Metal render engine is pretty much the same amount of work as building a Vulkan one, so it seems silly to do that for a minority platform. The later option does deliver the better viewer and long term maintenance load, but would cut out people on very old hardware. To be fair ... writing a new render pipeine for vulkan is probably a really good idea at this point and overdue, but that's not the kind of easy project the Lab can just pull out of the hat.

Edited by CoffeeDujour
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The latest I've read is that Mojave will continue to support OpenGL and CL (and 32 Bit apps), though will be the last macOS to do so. It's possible any crashing of SL Viewer on the beta version of it isn't related to the Open GL aspect itself (it is just this side of Alpha, after all). I'm willing to bet that Linden Lab (and other devs) will still have at least a year to find whatever solution there is (including abandoning the macOS).

Apple has always been controversial with their chopping block, for example: eliminating floppy drives (now the industry has followed), dropping OEM support for Flash (now all but dead, save for Adobe's pathetic attempt to hang onto it), etc.

The biggest difference between the Microsoft and Apple paradigms are basically that Microsoft tries hard to keep everything backward-compatible forever and Apple tends to cut the cord and move forward at an uncomfortable rate. Both approaches have their pros and cons, I suppose.

I'm sure LL will find a solution, whatever it is.

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Do we know what Sansar plans to do on Macs, assuming there's a roadmap? In theory there might be some savings in maintenance and ongoing development if Sansar and Second Life shared as much of a rendering pipeline as possible.

(Or maybe not, if there's related IP they want to sell-off with Sansar as exclusive.)

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