[SDL] SDL 1.3 status ?

David Olofson david at olofson.net
Wed Jul 27 20:47:42 PDT 2011


On Thursday 28 July 2011, at 03.38.20, jeaye at arrownext.com wrote:
> 'ello,
> 
> I wholeheartedly disagree with Mason. Ditching Linux development is a
> naive approach to SDL 1.3 advancement. SDL 1.3 is Linux's hope for better
> OpenGL support with SDL, and potentially its hope for more desktop gamers.

I don't think Mason was suggesting that Linux support is dropped; just that 
the non-accelerated (software) rendering backends are removed. Linux would 
still work just fine as long as there is OpenGL - just as on the other 
platforms.


My first reaction is to agree, but...

The software 2D backends are handy for higly portable GUI code and stuff like 
that, and off-line rendering, preparation of textures for OpenGL etc. GUIs and 
the like would be where hardware acceleration comes in; when available, it 
speeds things up nicely, while saving CPU cycles and power.

Either way, as long as SDL doesn't wrap OpenGL and Direct3D in a proper, 
unified 3D API, I don't see it having much use as the main rendering API in 
games in the near or distant future.

Personally, I've switched to OpenGL (still doing "2D"), and there's no going 
back to a 2D API without arbitrary transforms, proper blending and all that. 
Everything is just so incredibly awkward without OpenGL, and despite the extra 
work, results will never be what one expects from a game less than ten years 
old. Why put up with that when even cellphones have hardware accelerated 
OpenGL...?

Maybe there are still a few Direct3D-only boxen out there, but so be it. What 
kind of sales figures would you need for the potential increase to cover the 
cost of adding Direct3D support?

So, basically, I'm suggesting that one uses the SDL 2D API for anything that 
needs to be extremely portable (GUI toolkits, for example), and/or only needs 
the basic "retro style" 2D stuff. OpenGL for everything else.

From that perspective, it makes perfect sense to have a "retro" 2D API with 
both software rendering and hardware acceleration, while not trying to make it 
a viable alternative to OpenGL or Direct3D for "modern" 2D games.


-- 
//David Olofson - Consultant, Developer, Artist, Open Source Advocate

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