OpenML a Bad Thing?

April 18th, 2000 by Crusader

Although initially hailed as an “alternative to DirectX”, OpenML (being developed by the Khronos group, an alliance of several large computer industry vendors) is now appearing to be less of an “open” media library than its name would indicate. Initially, Mitch Allmond wrote in to the OpenAL newsgroup to comment on the proposed API:

Actually, this whole Khronos/OpenML thing is looking really bad for linuxusers. For one, the groups that are doing OpenML are planning on making itclosed source and developers will be required to pay for a license to getthe SDK. Second, they do not plan on using OpenAL at all. Third, this willcause major problems with linux and mesa. If things continue the way theyare going, I see this as hurting linux and setting it back further than whatit currently is. We all need to voice out our opinions to them now beforeit’s to late.

Loki president Scott Draeker sent this in response to the list:

The more I hear about OpenML, the more convinced I become that OpenAL isnecessary. Not only will the OpenML license likely be closed source androyalty based, but they aren’t even scheduled to have an API until 2001.

Of course we’ll continue to communicate with the Khronos group, andhopefully they’ll come around on these important issues.

5 Responses to “OpenML a Bad Thing?”

  1. number9 Says:

    Is there really a need for OpenML when there’s OpenGL and OpenAL?

  2. helo Says:

    OpenML looks like it wants to be a cross-platform direct-X, offering 2d, 3d, sound, and probably networking and other stuff as well.

  3. Brother Grifter Says:

    The goals of OpenML that Khronos set would really let linux blossom more in the multimedia area of computing, however it seems a bit too redundant. Another issue would be optimization. If this API will be cross-platform the amount of optimization that can be performed would be limited unless due to different cpu architectures. I’m not altogether to sure if Khronos would branch their work out to sort this issue out. The great thing about libraries like SDL, Mesa3d and OpenAL is that they’re open source projects where other developers have the room to optimize. I think SGI and MS have previously set out to write a 3D API together which was to be the “Uber 3D API” and it fell through. I think Khronos will meet the same fate as well.

    My $0.02


  4. helo Says:

    I think it will be more like OpenGL. Where Khronos just designs and creates a reference implementation, and each platform has developers that use the reference implementation to create an optimized one for their specific architecture.

    OpenGL is the standard made by SGI, and mesa is its implementation in linux.

    The important thing is that all implementations are compatable with the reference one so that they all stay compatable with each other. This way, the group making it (Khronos in this case) only has to make one standard, and things like optimization are left to the developers of each platform.


  5. Scorch Says:

    I think I’m inclined to agree with Grifter. I personally think that one of the things that makes Linux so popular with it’s users is the fact that it’s open source, and so are many of the things that work on it. I suppose that lots of free software is also a blessing, but freeware exists on all platforms (just, none seem to have as much as Linux). Free and open source seem to go hand in hand, and this OpenML thing would probably do better by implementing it. If they start charging to use their kit when someone wants to make a free game, well, those free games won’t really be around much longer. As for the open source, many of our computers use different coding. Not quite astronomically different, but enough to cause potential problems which may need a work around in source code (which can’t be done if it’s not open source).
    There’s the recent comment from the peanut gallery.

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