[osg-users] Development pathway

Hartmut Seichter lists at technotecture.com
Tue Sep 2 14:44:29 PDT 2008

Hi there,

now there is a new development line coming up I wanted to throw in some 
thoughts which would be interesting to know for further development of 
OSG (way beyond 2.7.x) and some of the infrastructure. As you might know 
I am working on osgSWIG and osgART and a handful other software projects 
which are used on client systems - so deployment and stability is one of 
my main concerns.

- documentation, there are numerous additions recently and in the past 
like osgWidgets or osgManipulators which are very interesting but not as 
interesting to reverse document the code - at least a "real" API 
documentation would be sufficient

- examples: I am also partly teaching computer graphics and an augmented 
reality class which heavily rely on OSG. One of the problems I see the 
students facing is that some of the examples are actually applications 
and seem to have started simple and went off to show the most convoluted 
brain-jogging way to achieve something simple - van der Rohe: Less is More

On the deployment and integration side:

- API additions which change ABI are not documented well: with osgSWIG I 
am basically poking in the dark, waiting for SWIG to cough up the changes

- do I assume right/wrong that API change involves an increment in 
SOVERSION, it would make backwards compatibility easy

And now the more deep down things, which I think would be interesting to 
look at in a long term plan:

- with the Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.5 disaster it should be clear that one 
can't assume a certain implementation of OpenGL available and relying on 
it on the front-end

- this leads unevitably to OpenGL 3.x and OpenGL ES 2.0 (what happened 
to the investigation of this?) on the horizon - which hints for hidden 
backends as with ES there is no certainty of the actual implementation 
of parts of the API - so you might need to roll your own depending on 
the hardware detected

- bundling math includes in one header to be able to exchange some 
implementation (ie. floating point emulation)

Sorry for the lengthy email. Objective is to get some discussion in the 
OSG community - so please throw in you 2ct :)


Hartmut Seichter, PhD (HKU), Dipl-Ing.(BUW), Postdoctoral Fellow, HITLabNZ

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