OpenGL 1.5 brings GL shading language

— 12:30 PM on July 31, 2003

At Siggraph this week, SGI and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board announced the official OpenGL 1.5 specification, which includes a new high-level shading language, among these new features:

  • Vertex Buffer Object: vertex arrays for higher performance rendering
  • Shadow Function: additional comparison functions for shadow mapping
  • Occlusion Query: asynchronous occlusion test for better culling
  • Non power-of-two Textures: for more efficient use of texture memory, including mipmaps
  • OpenGL Shading Language v. 1.0: as official extensions more specifically, shader objects, vertex shaders, and fragment shaders, all for use of programmable shader hardware
OpenGL's isn't the first high-level shading language; Microsoft has HLSL for DirectX and NVIDIA has Cg. However, OpenGL's shading language has vendor-neutral cross-platform support on its side, and it should become popular among developers who don't want to be shackled to Windows.
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