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Comment Re:Eh? (Score 2, Insightful) 91

I disagree about Steam Machines. There are real problems I have that I hope Steam Machines solves. I want a fully powered, gaming PC that just works, but doesn’t lock me down in what I can do with it.

- I want the benefits of mass production commodities and be able to buy a good PC gaming machine off-the-shelf for a lower price.
- I’m tired of spending so much time building my own custom PC and doing OS installations.
- I’m sick of Microsoft charging me many times more than everybody else for a Windows license because I didn’t buy a pre-configured machine from an OEM.
- I’m sick of Windows blue screening and corrupting my EFI boot partitions so my dual boots won’t work.
- I’m sick of Windows nagging me about turning on Secure Boot. I don’t want it.
- I’m sick of big giant PC towers that take up massive space and don’t fit well in home theater cabinets (or anywhere else).
- I’m sick of loud PC fans and the unnecessarily high power consumption and heat
- I want a gaming PC that is fully utilized for games, not loaded down with needless background processes sucking up CPU and RAM
- Hardware driver updates for Windows is such a chore.
- Windows mostly broke DirectX/DirectInput compatibility. I’m so sick of having to get xce360 working and re-configured for every single game I buy now.
- I hate it that Fraps doesn’t work any more with non-fullscreen mode starting in Windows 8
- I don’t want to be pushed to Windows Store

Comment Obligatory link: The Birth & Death of JavaScri (Score 1) 175

Gary Bernhardt was ahead of the curve with his extremely amusing talk The Birth & Death of JavaScript.

A look back from the year 2035, he talks about the importance of having a assembly language for the web (asm.js) and tongue and cheek allowed the world to move past JavaScript where it finally becomes both a dead language and also what everything is built on.

Comment Re:Yet another proprietary API... (Score 1) 415

- It only worked on A8/PowerVR. Apple didn't know if they could generalize it.

Where did the idea that "Apple didn't know if they could generalize it" come from?

Attendees who asked Apple engineers about it at last year's WWDC.

Standards ratifications are really hard, especially if somebody on the committee doesn't like you.

Look up Apple's attempt to standardize Bonjour (Zeroconf) with the IETF.

Just because they had problems with the IETF doesn't mean they would have problems with Khronos, in fact the history of OpenCL proves the opposite. But again, I didn't say it should be pushed as a standard.

An underlying point that is under appreciated is that it is a lot of work/time/money to submit with no guarantees of acceptance. I don't see much incentive for Apple to standardize it at this point. Nor should they throw away Metal, because it works today. Viable Vulkan would be at least another full release cycle for them to adopt.

But you can look up the stories of how Google/Android is now spiking OpenCL support and pushing RenderScript.

It's odd that you say Google is "spiking" OpenCL by pushing their own RenderScript yet you don't see a problem with Apple "spiking" open graphics API standards by pushing their own proprietary Metal.

Just reiterating my earlier statement of fact (Glide, DirectX, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, Mantle, Metal, Vulkan) that standardization doesn't necessarily mean anything in the end.

Comment Re:Yet another proprietary API... (Score 1) 415

I've been sticking to the facts because logical conclusions can be easily drawn from the facts.

Last Year:
Submitting Metal last year for standardization would have been a waste of everybody's time.
- It only worked on A8/PowerVR. Apple didn't know if they could generalize it.
- Nobody else would waste time with it for standardization if it wasn't going to work for anybody else.

- As of a few months ago Khronos now has what hopefully will be a usable standard.
- Apple has just finished (or nearly finished) porting to Metal to OS X for 10.11.

There is probably little interest now for Apple to submit Metal as a standard. Khronos is committed to Vulkan now. Nobody else is going to take Apple seriously for Metal at this point if they tried. And submitting Metal as a standard would mean Apple would be unable to improve/change things quickly.

Not to mention all the work and time of writing draft standards and proposals. Standards ratifications are really hard, especially if somebody on the committee doesn't like you.

Look up Apple's attempt to standardize Bonjour (Zeroconf) with the IETF. It got really close to ratification, but Microsoft spiked the Draft Standard at the last minute. With some aggressive searches, you can find Stuart Cheshire (creator of Zeroconf) lambasting both Microsoft for offering a completely unusable counterproposal simply to kill/poison/derail ratification, and members of the IETF for going along with it, knowing full well Microsoft's proposal had not been implemented, didn't address the point of Zeroconf, and wouldn't even work. Even without ratification though, Zeroconf is now shipped standard on every major platform except Windows where Microsoft is stilling being obstinate. (Bonjour, Avahi, Android NSD.)

Historically, the OpenGL committee hasn't agreed on much of anything of practical use for graphics developers. Hence the new Vulkan standard, to dump some of the conflicting interest. But you can imagine interests from Samsung, Microsoft, Google, would look at Apple suspiciously and may even try to spike it again. (Apple did manage to get OpenCL standardized, but not a lot of interests were invested in this technology and paying attention in that period. But you can look up the stories of how Google/Android is now spiking OpenCL support and pushing RenderScript.)

Comment Re:Yet another proprietary API... (Score 1) 415

- Apple needed to ship something that worked for real on their platform (iOS/ARM/PowerVR) that they could ship, not vaporware or theory. Nothing existed. AMD Mantle the closest thing didn't work with the ARM/PowerVR design. Hence they did Metal for iOS.

- One year later, they figured out how to bring it to OS X and announced it today.

- A few months ago, Vulcan was announced, but is still not final. That doesn't help Apple for devices shipping this fall.

- Vulkan probably wouldn't haven't gotten as far as it had gotten without Apple's push on Metal and noise by Microsoft on DirectX 12. Consumers benefited from competition.

- The trade off of waiting for standardization that to many didn't look like it would ever come, was stagnation.

- Fragmentation sucks, but this is nothing new. 3DFX/Glide, Direct3D, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, and all the incompatibilities between versions and feature sets, including shader version incompatibilities.

Comment Re:Yet another proprietary API... (Score 1) 415

Because it was unclear, even to Apple, if Metal could work outside their tightly integrated ARM/PowerVR designs. (Engineers who asked about Metal on OS X at WWDC last year said they would like to, but they aren't sure they could actually pull it off since.)

This was a similar early concern about Mantle. To get high performance, "to the metal" often means certain requirements. Things like Apple's A8 or AMD having a unified/shared memory architecture on chip between the CPU and GPU is vastly different than Nvidia having separate VRAM from CPU RAM. Hardware differences like these are not easy to abstract away without performance loss.And for an API that is supposed to be "to the metal"/"direct to hardware", nobody wanted to repeat the current problems we have with OpenGL.

Comment Re:Yet another proprietary API... (Score 1) 415

The OpenGL standards committee had done very little to solve the real problems game/graphics developers had been complaining about for years. Interests in backwards compatibility and CAD were making OpenGL compromise and please nobody.

AMD Mantle drew a lot of attention that something could be done, but too many questions about it such as will it only work on video hardware designed exactly as AMD designed it (and displeasing companies like Nvidia), kept any real advancement from happening.

But Apple Metal shipping last year was a real shot in the arm for Khronos because it finally forced them to do something or become completely irrelevant. (DirectX 12 had also started making noise.) We finally saw it presented at GDC a few months ago in draft/prototype form. What is interesting is Vulkan is a clean break from OpenGL so there is no backwards compatibility interest/attempt.

You can't fault Apple for needing to ship something real, today (actually last year). You can thank Apple for forcing the Khronos committee to finally do something.

The real question is if Vulkan will be usable on Apple platforms in the future, either provided by Apple or built as a wrapper on top of Metal by a 3rd party.

Comment Re:The Fanboi's Tunnel Vision. (Score 1) 65

OSX also had accessibility support built in from the beginning. Apple made it a big deal that every computer should be installed with it by default, because it used to be the case in Windows that you had to install support manually, and only one computer in a classroom in the corner would have support. The idea was any child should be able to use any computer.

OSX has been generally good for accessibility for a second reason. Besides user-facing features, Apple's core APIs like Cocoa have accessibility built into to the widgets. When you use standard Cocoa controls from buttons to textviews, Apple already provides useful behaviors for accessibility in them. That way, even if a developer is completely oblivious to accessibility needs, as long as the developer was being a good Mac/iOS citizen, their program automatically inherits accessibility support.

This is where most 3rd party toolkits completely fall down. Cross-platform toolkits, 3rd party web browsers, video games... They reinvent all the GUIs/widgets themselves, *poorly*, and they always miss this aspect. And very few call them on it.

Comment Re:root = same process (Score 4, Informative) 130

Gatekeeper prevents downloaded applications that are untrusted from accidentally being run. It doesn't prevent trusted applications from doing anything.

Exactly. Mod parent up.

And this is a *good* thing.

Apple has a separate sandboxing and entitlements system for more security. Apple makes apps distributed on the Mac App Store enable sandboxing. But for those apps (usually tools) that can't work within the limitations of the sandbox, developers can still ship outside the Mac App Store and do whatever they want. Code signing for GateKeeper is merely a trust checkbox that it is unlikely the vendor is doing anything really malicious or Apple would revoke their certificate and possibly pursue legal/criminal action for really nefarious activities since Apple gets a paper trail to hunt you down with as part of the process of getting a key to sign with.

If everything was locked down in the name of security, we would be denied all sorts of useful things.

Comment Re:Valve needs to use their clout (Score 1) 309

True and not saying Valve should do anything to Nvidia. But alliances are complicated in general and pretty shaky with respect to Microsoft. Remember that Nvidia first held the Xbox contract and now Xbox is AMD based. Also, Microsoft managed to alienate every single one of their old partners by promising not to compete with them in hardware and then did Windows Phone and Surface which pretty much shattered the age old alliances and trust with Intel, Dell, HP, and the rest of the Microsoft cottage industry. CEOs with a memory longer than a goldfish should be wary of actively seeking an alliance with Microsoft because they are scared of some other smaller company that has earned respect from its users.

Comment Please don't tempt Apple (Score 1) 86

People already think Apple's walled garden and sandboxing go overboard. Remember that legit developers have to pay Apple $99/year just to develop+run an app on their own device. Apple also has a long list of requirements about what your app not allowed to do. I'd really hate to see what they do if they got *serious* about locking down the platform.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?