[osg-users] OpenGL 3.1 at GDC

Robert Osfield robert.osfield at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 02:37:40 PDT 2009

Hi Jan,

I wasn't trying to suggest the OSG as the specific solution to the
AutoCAD/Sketch3D graphics programming woes, but making a parallel between
the role of scene graph that SGI used to promote as a solution to making
better use of hardware, and the role that the OSG has today.

Although we don't get promoted buy the hardware vendors in this role, save
for being part of the OpenGL "SDK".

The wider issue of having poorly educated/informed engineers making it out
into industry, well the best we can do is help make the OSG attractive as
solution for schools and universities and hobbiests, as well as companies.


On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM, Jan Ciger <jan.ciger at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Robert Osfield wrote:
> >  Another thing that SGI used to do
> > was promote the use of scene graphs to solve this problem but moving
> > software vendors up the food chain so they could take advantage of all
> > the know how and avoid the pitfalls.
> >
> > This is where the OSG would come in these days :-)
> Honestly, Robert, I am not that optimistic. More often than not the
> reason why the crappy code is kept is the not invented here syndrome
> (often tangled with obscure legal reasons and worries, especially about
> OSS licensing) and  "it works, why to replace it" (implying costs)
> mentality. Finally, when you have an application where the 3D is only a
> bolted on add-on seen as a mainly marketing driven sales device and not
> core functionality you get what you get. E.g. AutoCAD - most of the work
> is actually done in 2D, essentially copying the work processes of good
> old ruler and compass drafting, so improving the 3D is a very low
> priority for them.
> Finally, it doesn't help that good engineers who actually have a clue
> about these things are scarce and expensive. There are plenty of
> "game-oriented" curricula that teach students how to make pretty models
> in Maya or Max or how to bang up a bit of code to draw their model, but
> that's it. More in-depth study is lacking, because it is not attractive,
> neither for the students (math, theoretical computer science needed) nor
> for the universities. If you are paid for the number of students
> graduating on time, you do not have much interest in teaching hard
> topics where it is normal that not everyone will graduate. The result is
> a severe curtailing of the teaching (my own experience as a university
> teacher), letting you to really show only glBegin()/glEnd() as an easy
> way to get the students started while explaining other topics
> (transforms or lighting, for example) but no time to move to more
> advanced things - vertex arrays, VBOs, shaders, etc. You can only warn
> the students that the approach shown is very inefficient, but if
> something is not shown in class (due to lack of time or whatever
> reason), most of them will never go read up on it.
> Unfortunately, this goes also for math and computer science teaching - I
> had a hard discussion with a comp-sci master student recently. The
> fellow was not happy to have to do a miniproject for exam. After
> questioning why I discovered that the guy doesn't actually know how to
> program (master comp-sci student!!!) and for him "computer science is
> not about programming." For math it is regular occurrence for me to find
> students who are incapable of working with fractions, going even so far
> as to say that my result cannot be correct, because they get always
> decimals on their calculators! Also, I have encountered a computer
> science master student during computer vision exam (different one than
> above) who couldn't multiply matrices - saying that he never needed it
> for anything. And these are regular occurrences at a technical
> university, not once in a year flukes.
> Are you still surprised at the quality of the code in commercial
> applications? I am not.
> Regards,
> Jan
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