Michael Altfield's gravatar

Re: The problem with wikipedia

Alright, I've been working on my research paper (an attempt to document the history and differences, and an overall comparison between the Microsoft DirectX API and the SGI OpenGL API), so I've been caught in the inevitable wikipedia trap. Here was my path:

SGI and OpenGL > OpenGL ES

OpenGL ES is the culprit responsible for my digression as follows:
Symbian > openMoko > more open moko > even more open moko

...then (after an hour or so) I returned to wikipedia only to research more open-source, mobile phone platforms (who knew the TI-89 used OpenGL--ugh, this is exactly my point).

Until eventually, I landed on Android--correction: Android.

Now, I've been paying attention to openMoko for some time--waiting for the release of the 100% open source (yes, software AND hardware) Neo Freerunner (internally known as GTA02). What I didn't know was that google had caught on; yes that google. Apparently, Google and The Open Handset Alliance (which consists of several big-dog companies such as Intel, Motorola, Samsung, LG, T-Mobile, Nvidia, and a couple others "whose goal is to develop open standards for mobile devices." What's this? Yes, Android is a software platform (reminds me of OpenMoko) developed by the OHA (but it seems that Google has done most of the work). I remember there being rumors of the gPhone back when the apple iPhone was first about to come out, but those have since fizzled out (what's this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gphone actually redirects to Android :-D). Anyway, it appears that Google--in another classic attempt to take over the word--has bought another company and had the owner of that company (now a Google employee) lead a team of programmers to create Android. Sounds familiar. Anyway, I remember a friend of mine criticizing the OpenMoko by calling it an open source suppository (you have to see the phone to get the joke). He said that the OpenMoko would fail; I begged to differ. Now, however, I might have to agree with him. If Google doesn't buy out OpenMoko, they won't stand a chance. I mean, Google's already put out bounties that total to 10 million dollars to the most innovative products for their system. A small company like FIC (the maker of the first OpenMoko) can't stand up to that kind of equity.

Anyway, more wikipedia clicking: Android incorporates WebKit which is the engine behind Safari. I discovered that this engine was originally developed by Konqueror. Although I don't care much for KDE (I use XFCE myself), it is interesting that apple's browser's core functionality came from an open source linux project :-D.

What else? Oh, it turns out that OpenGL was also ported to PHP. That's stunning. I guess I shouldn't underestimate the language's prevalence outside of an apache environment.

Speaking of apache, apparently the aforementioned Android software isn't being released under the GNU| GPL. Instead, they've chosen the Apache license. Interesting...

Also, when researching OpenGL it's impossible to veer from the gaming industry. Obviously, I read up on John Carmak (of id Software) and his thoughts about the two APIs. I was never really TOO much of a gamer. I started gaming when my father introduced me to Doom as a child. My avatar for several things is still the cocademon. In fact, the last game I've actually played completely through was Doom 3--running on the Doom 3 engine (now called id Tech 4). It's been a few years since that, however, and id's released a preview of id Tech 5. This will be the power behind id's newest game Rage. The game looks incredible, but no more incredible than the Unreal 3 Engine that was released last year (it powered Gears of War). Oh, and let's not forget CryEngine 2 that powered Crysis. There's an engine that was programmed for the future.

This is actually all relevant because:

  • Unreal 3 is designed for both OpenGL, DX9, and DX10.
  • id Tech 5 is designed for OpenGL and supports DX, too
  • Crysis was written for DX9 and DX10, but is apparently being ported to OpenGL for the PS3

IMHO, these are the three most powerful engines (out) today. If each one supports both APIs, then the fact that an overwhelming majority of game designers produce only D3D games on the windows environment becomes less daunting (what, you thought I'd be rooting for Microsoft?)

That being said, I'll need to do more research to be sure about a lot of the above *sigh*

Dreamcast ran Windows CE? No wonder it failed.

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