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Date: -- (:)
From: Brian Hurt <bhurt@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OpenGL
On Fri, 9 Apr 2004, Jon Harrop wrote:

> On Friday 09 April 2004 2:45 am, Brian Hurt wrote:
> > A question with respect to this subject: is it necessary to make a 1:1
> > mapping of GL into Ocaml?  I'm wondering if a different approach might not
> > work better.  I'm thinking specifically of Java3D, which while it is built
> > on top of GL, doesn't reflect GL in it's design.  The advantage of this
> > approach is that you can replace GL with other rendering libraries
> > (DirectX, for example).
> OpenGL is not for 3D alone, a lot of it is also 2D and some 4D. If someone 
> were to create a higher level, 3D only interface from ocaml to OpenGL then I 
> could not use it in my (2D) work, for example.
> Also, OpenGL has a very carefully thought out design which works very well.

I'll admit to not having a lot of experience with OpenGL (or any other 3D 
rendering library), and have not given one thought to merging it with 
Ocaml.  But from the reports earlier in this thread, a direct mapping of 
the OpenGL interface into Ocaml runs into problems, especially in the more 
advanced functions.  Which is what lead me to question wether we were 
thinking inside a box.

Note that defining a new API interface has it's own problems.  First of 
all, you'd be looking at more work than a simple mapping.  Second, any new 
API has the danger of being a bad idea.  Third, you're throwing away 
people's experience with OpenGL.  Advantages include increased portability 
and being able to follow the best design practices of Ocaml and not C.

Note that I'm not saying we should reimplement Java3D (unless that's the 
best API we can come up with), I'm just saying that it's an existance 
proof that a language's 3D library doesn't have to be a simple mapping 
onto OpenGL.

I'd love to hear someone who's done real 3D work comparing and contrasting 
OpenGL and Java3D as approaches.  But I think that's mildly offtopic for 
this list.

> Moreover, as OpenGL is available on a superset of the platforms for which 
> Direct3D is available, what would be the advantage in using Direct3D as a 
> back end rather than OpenGL?

Supposedly performance, but I've never seen hard numbers.

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