[osg-users] openscenegraph.org stats

Robert Osfield robert.osfield at gmail.com
Mon Mar 2 01:11:51 PST 2009

Hi J-S,

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Jean-Sébastien Guay
<jean-sebastien.guay at cm-labs.com> wrote:
> Hi Robert,
>> Competing standards are a bad thing as it breaks interoperability and
>> divides the market place into targeting one or other, or both
>> standards.
> I understand your points, but I don't see how that's different from any
> market... I could give lots of examples of similar competition: Mac vs
> Windows vs Linux,

No, you just don't get it.  There isn't free market competition
between OpenGL and Direct3D.  Microsoft is a MONOPOLY, it's been found
guilty of abusing it's monopoly position in several markets segments
across several continents.  Because of Microsoft's monopoly position
and complete control of the Windows platforms it uses it's leverage to
control those who develop the competiting technology - all the
hardware vendors that contribute to OpenGL also have to jump to
Microsoft's demands, they run a tightrope between not pissing off
Microsoft and loosing software vendors that use OpenGL.

Even you're suggestion of a free market competation between Windows vs
Linux vs OSX is well off make. Microsoft has hardware vendors uses
it's monopoly position vigorously here as well, only completely non
Windows manufacture can safely promote a non Windows operating system,
this meens OSX and the small vendors like Jeremey's company that
builds Linux boxes.

> I don't see how we can do anything to change that, we just have to accept it
> and try to drive OpenGL to take DirectX's market share (which is what we're
> trying to do, of course).

Putting blinkers on when it comes to see the dynamics is not helpful,
to know how best to be effective you have to understand what is really
going on.  There is not free market comptetion when it comes to
Direct3D vs OpenGL.  The hardware vendors are stuck with a very rich
and powerful monopoly on one hand pushing Direct3D very hard and
trying to crush OpenGL, and and a set of software vendors and on the
other hand sticking to OpenGL.   The only hardware vendors that might
be a position to really push OpenGL is Apple doesn't, instead just
behaves like a consumer of OpenGL more than a driver, perhaps because
it just reuses graphics hardware components, rather than being an
actual manufacturer.  Perhaps if Apple was bothered about gaming it
might be different, rather than multi-media - you'll notice that they
did come up with and has pushed OpenCL which really is great for
multi-media processing.

So, first up know the underlying dyamics of the market.  We have to
work doubly hard to overcome the hold that Microsoft has over the
hardware vendors.  We have to make it more painful not to properly
support OpenGL than the pressure that Microsoft can exert, and we have
to make it more rewarding to properly support OpenGL than the rewards
that Microsoft can provide.  We can't provide direct money incentives,
but we can offer killer apps that require OpenGL, and we can offer
positive marketing opportunities for those that support our apps well,
and we can provide negative marketing for those that don't.

Given the killer app for graphics on the PC right now is firmly games,
which MS has captured very well, we have to come up with either new
great games that are OpenGL only or a new breed of killer graphics
app.  This is a challenge to come up with.

Until we have a killer or set of killer apps we have to work with
calling attention to our apps that are very important to smaller
market segments.  It's a less compelling angle, but it's what we have
to work with.  Our own community is pretty big, so we might be able to
illustrate that OpenGL is really useful to a wide range of smaller
market segments, and while each one is a minow compared to gaming,
overall there are very compelling.


> I can also think of many reasons why competition is good, one of which is
> faster rate of innovation.
> I think if it weren't Direct3D, if some other standard were competing with
> OpenGL, we'd be having this same discussion. Even if that other standard was
> also an open standard (which could happen because of the nature of open
> standards). So I don't really see the point in discussing it, we can only
> accept it and try to make the best of it.
> J-S
> --
> ______________________________________________________
> Jean-Sebastien Guay    jean-sebastien.guay at cm-labs.com
>                               http://www.cm-labs.com/
>                        http://whitestar02.webhop.org/
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