For SL users there is the Apple question, will Second Life™ run on Apple? Or… continueto run on Apple?
In June of this year Apple announced its discontinuing support of OpenGL after macOS 10.14 Mojave (scheduled for release Sept 2018), the core aspect of SL’s render engine. It will take a couple of years for Apple to phase it out. But, updates and support officially stop now. For some time support has been really bad.
Core architecture is from the beginning days of 3D graphics.
Designed is based on outdated thinking.
OpenGL is a legacy tool with updates ‘tacked’ on.
Hardware GPU work flow has changed.
Never designed for multi-threading.
Today’s rendering is asynchronous.
On the PC side of things OpenGL is still supported. We can’t know for how long. Khronos, OpenGL’s developer, has introduced Vulkan. (See: State of Graphics: DirectX 12 & Vulkan – 4/2016) Development is exciting and popular. The group is on the forefront of some interesting tech. But, I don’t know that it will be helpful for SL. Continue reading →
Second Life™ users know Apple lags in providing gaming support for SL type OpenGL games. But, that may change. The news in the The Telegraph is Apple TV is going into the gaming market. See: Apple TV.
Just Keep Swimming
Whether or not this will cause Apple to provide better gaming support for computers, is still a question. But, I think, any attention shift toward gaming by Apple has to improve the odds for an improvement.
Apple is adding more processing power to their game machine, built into their Apple TV box, to handle complex graphics. That sounds like acknowledgement that VR is coming, at least I hope so.
The new box will directly compete with PlayStation and Xbox.
Viewer development process changes a bit. The Lab is changing the release process a touch too. More likely now we will see Third Party Viewer (TPV) Developers releasing betas and development viewers rather than production releases, the later being the stable version intended for general use.
The Lab has gotten much more metric driven about their crash rates. They are putting more effort into holding the lid on the Linden Viewer crash rates. This means code in the Beta and Development viewers are likely to see more testing and changes before new code makes it into the release viewer. That is good thing, but may slow things down.