[resending with corrected email address typo]

José Fonseca wrote:
> Microsoft has been progressively claiming IP ownership of parts of the
> OpenGL API. (See http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2118968,00.html)
> 
> Although the parts they claim are things like vertex programming -
> features that aren't present in older cards such as Mach64 -, it seems
> obvious that these are features very important in the current and next
> generation of graphics cards.

Vertex programming is in the latest Mesa code (I implemented
GL_NV_vertex program over the winter/spring).  It'll be available
to all DRI drivers when the DRI gets Mesa 4.1.

NVIDIA gave me permission to implement the extension in software only.
But since that time, NVIDIA has announced basically unrestricted
permission to implement GL_NV_vertex_program.  I'll have to talk to
them again someday regarding future DRI hardware implementations.


> I would like to know your opinion about the influence this may have for
> the DRI and Mesa3D projects in particular, and for the OpenGL API in general.

I consider myself a programmer and not a spokesperson for open-source,
intellectual property, patent issues, or anything else.  It's something
I'd rather just avoid.  But I guess it's something that I have to deal
with to some extent.

I don't have any deep insight into what Microsoft's actions will mean
for OpenGL or Mesa.  Other people are much better at analyzing the
situation and deducing the potential impact.  My time is best spent
writing code.

But like everyone else, I'm worried about Microsoft's recent actions.
I love working with OpenGL and don't want to see it strangled by
anyone or anything.  OpenGL still has a HUGE user base spanning
everyone from ISVs, to researchers, to educators, to hobbyists.
If Microsoft really takes action to kill OpenGL I'd hope that the
uproar and ill-will generated by such a move would convince them
to back off.

-Brian



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