|Apple's big announcement of the availability of OpenGL for the Macintosh on Tuesday skipped an important piece of information regarding the source of this wondeful new piece of technology. This was developed neither by Apple NOR SGI, but by a small outfit called Conix Enterprises, Inc. (http://www.conix3d.com). According to sources on the Expo floor, Apple has acquired the technology completely from the company and hired the two software engineers responsible for its development. They were apparantly up VERY late on Monday night ensuring that all the games Steve Jobs wanted to demo would work properly for the Keynote Speech on Tuesday morning, but were silently shocked when Jobs made no mention of their company or efforts during the big announcement.
In addition to the development of the OpenGL SDK on the Macintosh, they've written OpenGL-based 3D plug-ins for Mathematica and have allowed others to use their technology in their products. Their current implementation of OpenGL allows for hardware acceleration over ATI's RAVE technology, and Conix has been working with Micro Conversions to make it work over Glide. On the heels of Apple's announcement, there are rumors on the expo floor that nVidia, developer of some of the fastest 3D chipsets in the Wintel world, has expressed a serious interest in making their hardware Mac-compliant.
The Mac Observer Spin: These are certainly exciting times for the Macintosh gaming community, and the Macintosh community as a whole. To see Apple getting into the mainstream with their technology mix is refreshing.
Although Quickdraw was excellent for its time, it had limited appeal due to the fact that it was proprietary.
Something significant in this development is that once again Apple has shown it has shed its NIH (Not Invented Here) attitude. Mr. Jobs has shown on more than one occasion that he is willing to go to 3rd party developers (like the Sorensen Codec for QuickTime 3) or 3rd party technologies (like USB) for existng solutions to Apple's needs. This is a very important issue whose importance can not be underestimated as it shows that Apple is not likely to get bogged down (at least while Mr. Jobs is at the helm).
Too bad he didn't take the opportunity to publicly pat the Conix folks on the back during his keynote.