First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby MartinHowe » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:33 am

Thanks for the replies, all. I don't want to derail this thread, so I'll just say that while I don't have a problem with progress for the better, not all non-optional progress is, but I recognise that it will happen one day.
(And yes, I do know about eBay, Rachael - where do you think I am currently looking at sourcing my next PC from :p)
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:35 am

dpJudas wrote:(although, performance might not be great)


I expect this to be the death sentence of OpenGL eventually. It will be kept alive for legacy content that doesn't need the best performance, but I fully expect it to slowly become unusable for high performance scenarios. Not to mention Apple which already made a clear statement about its future.

So, as time goes by, OpenGL will be more and more restricted to legacy hardware and eventually enter a state where having support for it in the binary may become a problem all by itself.
It's hard to say because we don't know where things will head.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:38 am

Rachael wrote:Of course - it's still possible to run all of these ancient OS's, especially through the use of VM software, but the point remains: none of them are mainstream OS's anymore (except 7, but that will change in a few months - to be honest, I think Microsoft has a nasty surprise in store for us when that happens - especially since it is the last OS to not support UWP).


UWP? You mean that newfangled API nobody uses and where even Microsoft is realizing that it's not going to work out, exemplified by finally backporting access to the new features to the Win32 API?
BTW, Windows 8.1 doesn't support UWP either, only its predecessor.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Rachael » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:23 am

Honestly, yes, I do think Microsoft will push UWP even harder. I didn't realize it's not in Windows 8 though, but the base for it (Windows Runtime Platform, aka "Metro") is still there.

The reason why I think that is because like with every previous OS deprecation, they need a way to force users to stop using the dead OS. It might well be that they introduce Win32 calls exclusive to Win8/8.1/10 to do this, but I think they're going to go for the WRP/UWP route too, because this also ensures that it's much harder to write compatibility layers to run newer software on the older OS's, or even to run it on Linux Wine or ReactOS, for that matter. Remember: They aren't doing this for our health, they're doing it for their own bottom line. I think they will find a way to make it work - even if they find a way to make it less obvious that it's what they're doing.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:04 am

They wouldn't stand a chance, and I think they are fully aware of that. If Steve Ballmer was still CEO, yes, he'd run ahead into that wall but I think the current management is a bit more levelheaded and see what is a losing battle.
Since Nadella took over, Microsoft has been quite efficient in eliminating money sinks and futile endeavours - of course done in a smart way that avoided public admitting of failure. And from the numbers I have seen, there's not really much of a need to force Windows 7 out. Even with a retro engine like GZDoom, the share of Windows 7 users has been reduced from 20% to 15% over the last year - long before it reaches the end of its life.

If they want to push out the old OSs there's better methods, like another round of free upgrades, even for users of the professional and enterprise versions and to add such compelling features to the new versions that old users just need to have them.

Wasting time and energy on a failed API won't do them any good - it has failed comprehensively twice in the past - both with Windows 8 and Windows 10. The problem with that is simply that in order for such a move to succeed they need the unquestioning cooperation of software developers, who simply won't give it. UWP is a toy platform, that's useless for professional solutions, so it won't get professional software.

On the other hand they are open sourcing .NET and several old interfaces (e.g. WinForms) for it, which will virtually ensure that these targets will see an increase of use in the future, as they inevitably will get ported to both Linux and maxOS and become viable cross-platform solutions. These are also targets that are being used by professional software, unlike UWP.

So from the looks of it Microsoft would be shooting themselves in both feet if they saw UWP as the final solution.

The future lies elsewhere anyway, do I need to say PWAs? Betting on a vendor-locked-in solution is a dead end with such cross-platform solution getting ready for prime time. Apple on the other hand may not see this but I expect them to take a deep fall if they miss the sign of the times that strongly move away from vendor-specific solutions.
What Microsoft needs is to preserve their position in enterprise software solutions, and UWP has no place and zero future there, so it's essentially worthless as a business model.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Apeirogon » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:43 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:
Rachael wrote:So, as time goes by, OpenGL will be more and more restricted to legacy hardware and eventually enter a state where having support for it in the binary may become a problem all by itself.
It's hard to say because we don't know where things will head.

Again, how much time it takes, you think? 8-10? Or as soon as even cheapest videocard would have vulkan support with ray tracing chips?
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:58 pm

I don't have a crystal ball that tells me what plans Microsoft has or what kinds of developments are in store for graphics hardware. All I can tell you is that driver development for all non-Vulkan compatible hardware has already stopped, which inevitably means that if ongoing development of Windows renders old drivers unusable, the game will be over.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Apeirogon » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:16 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:driver development for all non-Vulkan compatible hardware has already stopped

Yes, but most, if not all, nowadays games still wildly use opengl, if not direct x, but that mostly engine developed in 200x. Modelling programs for example have in minimum requirement opengl 3.3. This for zbrush, IIRC it requirements.
So this is not a problem.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:21 pm

Yes, but API support does not mean that you'll still be able to use hardware that only supports these APIs and nothing newer. Once you cannot install these old drivers anymore you can't use the hardware unless running an old system. Let's assume that at one point Microsoft adds some new features to the OS that require special driver support and a few years later decides to make this feature support mandatory to avoid maintaining fallback code, all this old hardware will be left behind.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby axredneck » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:14 pm

dpJudas wrote:If your hardware works on Windows 10 then you're good for a lot of years (although, performance might not be great). If your computer can only run Windows 7 then you're probably out of luck in less than 2 years.

Linux ?
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Kinsie » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:02 pm

Microsoft reannounced their commitment to Win32 binaries for games earlier this year, recognising it as "the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play", so don't expect it to go away anytime soon.

Apple seem increasingly disinterested in MacOS as anything other than a way to run XCode for iOS development...
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:58 am

axredneck wrote:
dpJudas wrote:If your hardware works on Windows 10 then you're good for a lot of years (although, performance might not be great). If your computer can only run Windows 7 then you're probably out of luck in less than 2 years.

Linux ?


TBH, I expect Linux support to go away much sooner than Windows support - due to lack of developer resources. You need hardcore enthusiasts to maintain drivers for obsolete hardware with a minimal market share and those people are a rare commodity.

Kinsie wrote:Microsoft reannounced their commitment to Win32 binaries for games earlier this year, recognising it as "the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play", so don't expect it to go away anytime soon.


Like I said, whatever gripes there are with Microsoft, the one thing that is very clear is that the current management is not stupid. These are people with a clear vision - and they are fully aware where the staying power of Windows lies. Both areas of software development where Windows is strong (i.e. games and enterprise software) are depending on Win32 as its backing API. Sabotage that and they'd lose all their paying customers. UWP only has a future for the kind of toy app that can be marketed well on mobile to casual users. But those casual users are hardly paying customers - they may buy a Home license with their new computer and after that download free apps from the store on occasion. Enterprise customers on the other hand may pay for Microsoft's cloud services for good integration and pissing those off would just be bad business. Trust me, I know because I work in a company that has a strong business relationship with Microsoft and uses their Azure services quite extensively. The amount of money we are talking about here is not a few 1000 $/€ but a few 100'000 $/€ annually, both for cloud services and ongoing software licenses. If such customers want Win32 and .NET you give them Win32 and .NET, if you give them UWP they'll take a hike and look elsewhere for support.

Kinsie wrote:Apple seem increasingly disinterested in MacOS as anything other than a way to run XCode for iOS development...


Apple is a textbook example of a company that has mostly lost touch with the type of customer that has made them great in the first place.
These times I am just waiting for them to make that one fatal mistake that obliterates their image of a producer of high quality hardware. That image is merely a mirage anyway, it's just that the customers haven't realized this yet.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby axredneck » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:58 am

Graf Zahl wrote:TBH, I expect Linux support to go away much sooner than Windows support - due to lack of developer resources. You need hardcore enthusiasts to maintain drivers for obsolete hardware with a minimal market share and those people are a rare commodity.

My mother has a PC that can't run even Windows 7 (not to mention Windows 10) so it runs up-to-date Xubuntu which i installed on it.
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:07 pm

Does it have a fully functional graphics driver that can use all features of its graphics card? With such old systems, chances are that the graphics driver merely contains the features really needed to run anything at all, but there's little point keeping the barely functional graphics acceleration working beyond what is minimally needed to make it usable.

What kind of GPU does it have anyway?
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Re: First results from the GZDoom 4.2.0 survey

Postby axredneck » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:12 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:Does it have a fully functional graphics driver that can use all features of its graphics card? With such old systems, chances are that the graphics driver merely contains the features really needed to run anything at all, but there's little point keeping the barely functional graphics acceleration working beyond what is minimally needed to make it usable.

What kind of GPU does it have anyway?


Geforce GT 220 with proprietary drivers but theoretically it can work with mesa/nouveau almost perfectly.

p.s. Maybe that PC can handle Windows 7 but i didn't try, it ran Windows XP years ago.
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