In the latest OpenGL Architecture Review Board newsletter
, the independent consortium which governs the OpenGL specification and evolution has announced that it will become part of the larger Khronos Group, another independent organization devoted to maintaining file format standards.
An official statement made in the newsletter explains: "When Kurt Akeley and Mark Segal created OpenGL in the early 1990s, the 3D industry was very different. Graphics hardware was restricted to workstations and servers costing tens of thousands of dollars and up. There was no 3D games industry (Id’s DOOM wouldn’t even come out for a few more years). And hardware was very, very restricted in what it could do.
The ARB was set up to govern OpenGL, drawing on a group of high-end workstation and simulator manufacturers: DEC, Evans and Sutherland, HP, IBM, SGI, and others. But in the late 1990s, graphics hardware started to get cheaper, pervasive, and eventually much more capable, thanks to a new generation of companies like 3dfx, 3Dlabs, ATI, and NVIDIA. The ARB membership has reflected this change. Most of the innovations in OpenGL today come from those “consumer graphics” companies.
Now 3D acceleration is moving to cell phones, and OpenGL is there, too, as OpenGL ES, a subset of OpenGL created in the Khronos Group. Khronos is an entity similar to the ARB, but more widely focused, developing authoring (Collada), digital media/imaging (OpenMAX and OpenML), 3D (OpenGL ES), 2D (OpenVG), and sound (OpenSL ES) APIs.
We’ve decided that the future health of OpenGL—in all its forms—will be best served by moving OpenGL into Khronos, too."
It's also explained: "From a developer’s viewpoint, there’ll be little change. The opengl.org website and boards will continue, though we may merge the underlying webhost with khronos.org. The standards process will operate much as it does today, although we will coordinate our releases and announcements with other Khronos APIs."
More information on the move will be available at the SIGGRAPH OpenGL BOF Session later this month in Boston, as will as on the official OpenGL ARB website