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Thread: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.1 thread

  1. #1
    Administrator Regular Contributor khronos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000

    Official feedback on OpenGL 4.1 thread

    Khronos Drives Rapid Evolution of Cross-Platform 3D Graphics with Release of OpenGL 4.1 Specification

    - New open API specification available immediately;
    - Wide-ranging enhancements with full backwards compatibility;
    - Enhanced integration with OpenCL for seamless visual computing;
    - Integrates OpenGL ES functionality for desktop and mobile platform portability

    July 26, 2010 –Los Angeles, SIGGRAPH 2010 – The Khronos™ Group today announced the immediate release of the OpenGL® 4.1 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years, continuing the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification. This new version continues to maintain full backwards compatibility to enable developers to begin using new features whenever they choose, while portably accessing state-of-the-art GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

    The OpenGL 4.1 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.10 update to the OpenGL Shading language and is accompanied by a number of extensions introducing cutting-edge functionality to the OpenGL standard. The full specification is available for immediate download at

    New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification includes:

    • Full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 APIs for easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms;
    • The ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time;
    • The capability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;
    • 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric precision;
    • Multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

    New ARB extensions introduced with OpenGL 4.1 include:

    • OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for enhanced OpenCL interoperability;
    • The ability to set stencil values in a fragment shader for enhanced rendering flexibility;
    • Features to improve robustness, for example when running WebGL applications;
    • Callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

    Lastly, Khronos has simultaneously released a set of ARB extensions to enable as much OpenGL 4.1 core functionality as possible on previous generation GPU hardware; providing maximum flexibility and platform coverage for application developers.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    Loading binary shaders! I like that!

  3. #3

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    Wow, that was pretty fast and some nice features too!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Regular Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Czech Republic

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    Please correct glspec41.core.20100725.withchanges.pdf, chapter K1, page 448, second bullet:
    ... the binary represtation of a program

  5. #5
    Senior Member Regular Contributor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    Maybe im misreading the spec, but it looks like conforming implementation is allowed to support 0 binary formats of shaders ... doh?

  6. #6
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    There are actually two different types of binary formats added in GL 4.1

    I believe the one you are referring to is the ShaderBinary API that is part of the ES2_compatibility extension.

    The other is the GetProgramBinary API that is part of the get_program_binary extension.

    The former is more intended for offline shader compilation, and latter is intended caching compiled programs from one run of a program to the next for quicker loading times.

  7. #7
    Senior Member OpenGL Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Reutlingen, Germany

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread


    I especially find the following stuff great:

    * Program Binary Support - ie. "shader blobs"
    * Debug Output Notification - one of the best API enhancements! With D3D11 and PIX it is soooo great when you get real error-messages, instead of the dreaded GL_INVALID_XXX. Now IHVs please make good use of this debug-functionality and give us detailed error-messages please!
    * Shader Stencil Export - finally the stencil buffer becomes useful again (haven't been able to make much use of it lately, because of the missing support to manipulate its content through shaders).

    In general the spec seems to become more and more mature. No drastic API changes, only few new/improved features, but ones that are really useful.

    As far as i can tell the most important features for future releases would be:

    1) direct state access
    2) multi-threaded rendering support

    Can't think of other important features at the moment.

    Really great work from the ARB through the last 2 years!
    (No, i haven't forgiven you the GL3 thing, i still would have preferred a clean cut.)

    So, how many hours will it take nVidia and AMD this time to announce the "world's first GL 4.1 driver" ?

    GLIM - Immediate Mode Emulation for GL3

  8. #8

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    According to Ars Technica, NVIDIA will release some 4.1 drivers on or before Wednesday, AMD shortly.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Frequent Contributor imported_Groovounet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread


    Once again it's much more than what I was expecting. I can't way to play around with it!
    [URL=""]G-Truc Creation[/URL] - [URL=""]GLM[/URL] - [URL=""]OpenGL Samples Pack[/URL] - [URL=""]OpenGL Insights[/URL]

  10. #10
    Senior Member OpenGL Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Re: Official feedback on OpenGL 4.0 thread

    Code :
    # GL_ARB_get_program_binary
    # GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects 
    # GL_ARB_debug_output

    With StarCraft II landing tomorrow, there's really only one thing to say: "It's about time!"

    Now I want to see these extensions implemented on the widest range of hardware possible. Everything that IHVs still support should implement extensions.

    Also, does anyone know what the expected hardware limitations of stencil_export will be? Will 3.x hardware be able to run it, or will it be reserved for 4.x?

    OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years
    Fifth. GL 3.3/4.0 were a single update; some features were simply spread between different hardware levels.

    Either way, good job. OpenGL feels mostly finished now, ugly though some parts of it remain.

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