OpenGL, OpenCL deprecated in favor of Metal 2 in macOS 10.14 Mojave

Posted:
in macOS edited June 5
Apple has taken the first steps toward completely killing OpenGL and OpenCL in Mojave in favor of its own Metal technology.

OpenGL for macOS


Buried in the developer's documentation section, Apple made the declaration that it is starting a "grace period" from transitioning away from the older technologies.

Of the older graphics technologies, Apple says that:
Deprecation of OpenGL and OpenCL

Apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will continue to run in macOS 10.14, but these legacy technologies are deprecated in macOS 10.14. Games and graphics-intensive apps that use OpenGL should now adopt Metal. Similarly, apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders.

Metal is designed from the ground up to provide the best access to the modern GPUs on iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices. Metal avoids the overhead inherent in legacy technologies and exposes the latest graphics processing functionality. Unified support for graphics and compute in Metal lets your apps efficiently utilize the latest rendering techniques.
Given the news, it is just a matter of time until older apps using these technologies will no longer function -- but they will still work for at least a year without updates. Apple also says that active development has ceased on OpenGL and OpenCL on the Mac, and the API's will only get "minor changes" going forward.

The move comes as no surprise. The OpenGL version on macOS High Sierra has been stuck at the version 3.3 that was released in 2010. The current version of OpenGL is version 4.6, released in 2017.

The Kronos group maintains the OpenGL standard. In February, the Khronos group released open source tools that allows Vulkan, a 3D graphics API, to work on iOS and macOS.

The move was intended to make it easier for developers to port games to Apple's hardware from other platforms, while still taking advantage of technologies like Apple's Metal graphics API. It isn't clear where the effort stands at present, however, given the deprecation of OpenGL.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,649member
    That's something unexpected...
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 24
    malicmalic Posts: 12member
    I'm kinda left wondering what kind of support my Steam purchased games are going to have on macOS in the future... :\
    kirkgraywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,373member
    Well, that's one way to get rid of the creatives.
    I wonder how many apps will make that transition?
    Alex1N
  • Reply 4 of 24
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 187member
    malic said:
    I'm kinda left wondering what kind of support my Steam purchased games are going to have on macOS in the future... :\
    I think that'll be up to the developers to port to Metal. Older games will likely be abandoned - might be worth setting up a dual boot.

    Developers could also chose to integrate the new Vulkan tools mentioned in the article instead. My understanding is they link to Metal so should still work.
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/vulkan-is-coming-to-macos-ios-but-no-thanks-to-apple/

    There's also an open source project https://moltengl.com/moltenvk/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 686member
    OpenGL will continue to work with Vulkan.
    The key is that Apple will no longer include it in MacOS.
    Third parties have to use Vulkan drivers, etc.
    cgWerksAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    cgWerks said:
    Well, that's one way to get rid of the creatives.
    I wonder how many apps will make that transition?
    Not the “creatives” that matter. The writing has been on the wall for OpenGL/ CL for a long time. It’s fallen too far behind DirectX to be competitive anymore.
    Rayz2016Sgt Storms(trooper)watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    In response to the Steam game question - I received a message about a couple of my games not being supported in 10.13 (for future macOS versions). Just installed the 10.14 beta today, ran an update on steam and the message disappeared and my old games continue to run fine. So I guess that’s a good sign.
    cgWerksrepressthisSgt Storms(trooper)Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,373member
    OpenGL will continue to work with Vulkan.
    The key is that Apple will no longer include it in MacOS.
    Third parties have to use Vulkan drivers, etc.
    Thanks.

    moreck said:
    Not the “creatives” that matter. The writing has been on the wall for OpenGL/ CL for a long time. It’s fallen too far behind DirectX to be competitive anymore.
    Maybe I'm just behind on this, but isn't Metal an Apple thing? OpenGL/CL was across platforms. Are all the 3D apps and such re-writing for Metal? I thought DirectX was more a gaming thing.

    In response to the Steam game question - I received a message about a couple of my games not being supported in 10.13 (for future macOS versions). Just installed the 10.14 beta today, ran an update on steam and the message disappeared and my old games continue to run fine. So I guess that’s a good sign.
    That's good... my son is interested in Steam, so I'll pass that along. :)
    Sgt Storms(trooper)watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 819member
    cgWerks said:
    Well, that's one way to get rid of the creatives.
    I wonder how many apps will make that transition?
    Adobe is going to sell Lightroom CC in the Mac App Store, right? That means that the Adobe Camera Raw component is going to go Metal at some point. And Adobe porting their other core graphic software to Metal would not surprise me. 

    its really hard to imagine Adobe not following Apple wherever it goes. They tied their wagon to Apple’s horse long ago.

    i guess there are other creative software vendors that make Mac OS software that may drop off, but Adobe is the one I use. 
    Sgt Storms(trooper)Alex1N
  • Reply 10 of 24
    borpsborps Posts: 5member
    In response to the Steam game question - I received a message about a couple of my games not being supported in 10.13 (for future macOS versions). Just installed the 10.14 beta today, ran an update on steam and the message disappeared and my old games continue to run fine. So I guess that’s a good sign.
    I think you mean the warning for 32-bit apps. That’s an entirely different issue and the warning just stated that 32-bit apps will stop working with future versions of the OS (without saying which one).
    Sgt Storms(trooper)Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,373member
    polymnia said:
    i guess there are other creative software vendors that make Mac OS software that may drop off, but Adobe is the one I use. 
    Yeah, the big ones like Adobe will do it. I was talking more about the various 3D and CAD apps or utilities that were often built around OpenGL.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 12 of 24
    rcfarcfa Posts: 689member
    As much as performance is great, part of the appeal of the Mac was superior compliance with open industry standards.

    Looks like Apple feels iOS’ market penetration gives it enough clout to start acting like M$ and simply become ever more proprietary. Sad.

    Apple could have either worked within standards bodies to move OpenGL/OpenCL towards Metal, create an OpenGL/OpenCL API on top of Metal, or opened up Metal like they opened up Swift for industry-wide adoption.
    cgWerksAlex1N
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Koll3manKoll3man Posts: 13member
    So Mac OS will become an even worse platform for games. 
    Mac users are lucky to get ports for AAA games, there is no way game developers will waste time with Metal
  • Reply 14 of 24
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 847member
    rcfa said:
    As much as performance is great, part of the appeal of the Mac was superior compliance with open industry standards.

    Looks like Apple feels iOS’ market penetration gives it enough clout to start acting like M$ and simply become ever more proprietary. Sad.

    Apple could have either worked within standards bodies to move OpenGL/OpenCL towards Metal, create an OpenGL/OpenCL API on top of Metal, or opened up Metal like they opened up Swift for industry-wide adoption.
    Metal and Vulkan both branched from the same AMD mantle project, Metal was slightly earlier than Vulkan. The standards bodies set rules that stopped advantageous parts of metal has being rolled in to the standard. In effect killing Vulkan by committee. Well at least as I understand it not being there and all.
    jasenj1cgWerksAlex1N
  • Reply 15 of 24
    kbeatkbeat Posts: 47member
    Thank goodness they're finally killing OpenGL. It had its day, but that day has long passed. No one uses it anymore except on Mac, where Metal is already so much faster and makes much better use of the hardware. Think of Metal like Sony's own APIs for the Playstation. Even though the PS4 quite similar in terms of hardware to the XBox, they don't use DirectX or any such derivative. They have their own custom APIs, which like Metal, allows devs to get right to the hardware without an OpenGL or DirectX middleman. This makes the system more efficient and often more powerful. Apple is absolutely doing the right thing here. It's not about standards, it's about squeezing every possible drop of performance and efficiency out of your hardware.

    That said, without a little push, devs can be very, very slow to adapt, as adapting requires time and effort up front. If it can be avoided, they'll avoid it, but this should do the trick. Oh, and to those inclined to panic over such things, if devs and publishers are making money selling their games and apps on macOS, they will continue to do so. If they don't, they won't. This will not have any impact in terms of releasing software. If they're making money, they'll adapt, like devs always do. 

    I'm less optimistic about OpenCL, as Metal hasn't yet proven to be as adept as OpenCL at offloading CPU tasks to the GPU. Heck, Adobe already supports both OpenCL and Metal for this very purpose in their apps, and to say OpenCL is faster than Metal is an understatement. It can be massively faster in certain tasks. Apple better make significant improvements to Metal in this area over the life of Mojave if this is to go smoothly. 
    jasenj1cgWerksAlex1N
  • Reply 16 of 24
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 530member
    rcfa said:
    As much as performance is great, part of the appeal of the Mac was superior compliance with open industry standards.

    Looks like Apple feels iOS’ market penetration gives it enough clout to start acting like M$ and simply become ever more proprietary. Sad.

    Apple could have either worked within standards bodies to move OpenGL/OpenCL towards Metal, create an OpenGL/OpenCL API on top of Metal, or opened up Metal like they opened up Swift for industry-wide adoption.
    Neither the Mac nor iOS are a monopoly. You can get a Linux computer too. Apple is supporting,what is good for their platform. IMO they should ban this OpenGL & OpenCL and ban all non- WebKit compliant browsers. People use Chrome , then they complain about MacBook battery life.
    Anything that speeds up the iOS apps & games transitions,the better.
    edited June 5
  • Reply 17 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,434member
    cgWerks said:
    Well, that's one way to get rid of the creatives.
    I wonder how many apps will make that transition?
    Not enough!    Im not sure if Apple gives a damn anymore but you wont see professional apps moving away from OpenGL.  Professional in this case being CAD/CAM type tools.  Games i dont care about that much and frankly there is huge incentive for those developers to switch.  The problem lies squarely in the realm of likited distribution software where developers cant justify a different API on every platform.    Thus you either get no ports at all or Mac OS specific apps.  

    Sadly it is crap like this that has me on an HP laptop at the moment with the eventual aim to see if Linux can do it for me.  
    cgWerks
  • Reply 18 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,434member

    rcfa said:
    As much as performance is great, part of the appeal of the Mac was superior compliance with open industry standards.

    Looks like Apple feels iOS’ market penetration gives it enough clout to start acting like M$ and simply become ever more proprietary. Sad.

    Apple could have either worked within standards bodies to move OpenGL/OpenCL towards Metal, create an OpenGL/OpenCL API on top of Metal, or opened up Metal like they opened up Swift for industry-wide adoption.
    My understanding is that several companies including Apple and AMD did in fact pushed for significant improvements to OpenGL but got massive push back from companies heavily involved in OpenGL.  The problem is that many smallish companies are heavily invested in OpenGL and simply can mot rapidly adapt to code breaking changes.  Out of this conflict came Metal and AMDs solution.   Both are effectively replacements for OpenGL but also support apps OpenGL was never designed for.  
    cgWerksAlex1N
  • Reply 19 of 24
    I liked the old Apple that promoted cross platform open standards. If Apple feels so strongly that Metal is the future, they should port it to Windows and Android so that developers can use it for all their projects. Alternately, Apple could purchase or license a game engine like Unreal or Unity that supports Metal natively. Without some kind of cross platform development tools, Apple will remain an island with few AAA games.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,434member

    Koll3man said:
    So Mac OS will become an even worse platform for games. 
    Mac users are lucky to get ports for AAA games, there is no way game developers will waste time with Metal
    Actually i see the opposite.   Game developers are likeky to be the only ones to make the switch to Metal.   There are a couple of reasons.  
    #.   First OpenGL was never really designed for gaming in the first place 
    #.  Performance is the other big issue.  Games get a huge speed up from these new GPU interfaces.   Vulkan, which is very similar to Meral, is already widely accepted for games.  
    #.  Lastly just about all iOS development is now on Metal anyways. 
    cgWerksAlex1N
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