OpenGL and OS X - Falling Behind

July 09, 2010

Can Apple possibly take any more time to finally update their OpenGL implementation support to a more modern standard?

We are still stuck with the ancient 2.1 despite 3.0/1/2 being "mostly" the norm on PC, and 3.3/4.0 released and already supported in some hardware.

Working on a cross platform MMO game is becoming painful as support for 3.X is going into the next major release and thus the OS X version will become a second class citizen versus the PC.

Apple has implemented some of the 3.0 features (and a few 3.1 and 3.2) but the biggest sticky point is a lack support for GLSL from those versions.

In some ways the iOS OpenGL ES is far ahead of the regular OS X now (though the two are somewhat different). Maybe now with iPhone 4 out the folks can get back to the desktop.

Working on OpenGL is hard enough without having to wade through so many versions and do work-arounds for missing functionality. We'd like to standardize on 3.2 in the future instead of 2.1.

Maybe Apple is waiting for OpenGL 5.0.