Apple to kill off Open GL?


Anyone from Trimble or SketchUp team care to comment on this recent announcement from Apple’s WWDC?

Lead sentence:

Apple has taken the first steps toward completely killing OpenGL and OpenCL in Mojave in favor of its own Metal technology.


If I remember correctly, Apple is to slow the release rate down to every two years which I think starts with Mojave. If OpenGL is deprecated in 10.14 and removed in 10.15 then OpenGL will still work until at least autumn 2020. If this is true, SketchUp Pro 2018 will only last 2 years and that’ll be the end of Make. If SketchUp Pro 2019 doesn’t support metal then it’ll have an even shorter life.


I haven’t seen it in many years but may be possible to run two versions of OSX on the same machine still. Not that it helps with the immediate hardware issue but perhaps the older Open GL drivers will work in the version locked OS but with newer hardware?


Assume this will not affect windows (at least for now) unless Microsoft adopt a similar implementation? It’s imperative that technology be improved to take advantage of new technologies but Apple often develops proprietary software that only functions in it’s own domain, which is fine unless you are a 3rd party developer and not an Apple app. This will no doubt put pressure on many software companies to support this or Apple will have a lot of unhappy customers who use 3rd party software. There’s always going to be some teething issues with change. I’m beginning to deal with this with the new HEIC photo format that Apple has implemented on its new phones but currently isn’t supported in Photoshop for example. The never ending cycle of innovation and catch-up.


Yes, also to my last point, because of the hardware update, it may not be possible to run on older OSX on the 2020 hardware anyway.

Silver lining is that bandwidth should have increased sufficiently to run a cloud machine if you wish, or SketchUp Free has been updated in those years to support Plugins and the other missing features seen in Make.

I am lucky where I live to have amazing internet and have been running quite a few cloud projects recently without issue.


In the '80’s and '90’s, I was always trying to be on the cutting edge with hardware and software, but since then I’ve become a trailing edge consumer seeking out bargains on new, old stock and refurbished hardware and taking my time to be about one OS behind.


Consumerism is a disease that would have us perpetually buying what we may not even need. Personally if the gear you have does what it needs to do then i see no point in upgrading it.
Until it ceases to function in an acceptable way or that the newer technology offers “can’t live without” options, maybe better to wait it out. Oftentimes it’s better to be an iteration or two behind until the wrinkles that surface have been ironed out by the early adopting canaries.

The big question is, will “Metal” know what to do with “Z-fighting”?


…and a follow up article on Apple Insider: Some game developers hint at abandoning the Mac if Apple phases out OpenGL


There’s a lot we don’t know yet. At this point it is Apple’s announced plan, not a delivered product, and if there is enough outcry they may change course. But this announcement is scary for Mac users of SketchUp!

SketchUp has a very tight dependency on OpenGL specifics, as evidenced by the large number of posts on this forum from users whose graphics hardware or drivers aren’t quite up to what SketchUp requires. I don’t know (and given the newness of the announcement, it’s likely Trimble doesn’t know either) how much effort would be needed to adapt SketchUp to Metal. But their track record of leaving Mac vs Windows GUI differences unresolved for years says that Trimble has little interest in maintaining a separate port of SketchUp for Mac given the relative market share.

Trimble has already revealed their vision of the future of platform independence with SketchUp Free and SketchUp Shop: cloud-based, in-browser apps. It isn’t hard to imagine that they would prefer to push Mac users in that direction rather than having separate graphics pipelines for Windows and Mac on the desktop. At least for me, that would be the death knell for SketchUp.


Yeh, every time is Apple moving forward then developers complaining.
Metal is a huge speed bump against OpenGL. So what do people want, stick to old stuff or moving on?
If SU jumps on the Metal and AR wagon then we build in 2020 product that we kan show in real environments. So lets start.

If Trimble abandon the Mac, before that I abandon Trimble.
The most youtube video’s and presentations, I watch are on the Mac. Less graphic issue’s except for bugs in SU.


as a graphics industry’s open standard for predictable high-performance graphics the Vulkan API from Khronos Group appears to be the next-gen cross-platform successor of OpenGL (also made by Khronos). The open-source runtime lib ‘MoltenVK’ for mapping Vulkan API calls to Metal f. macOS/iOS is freely avail., which would avoid the need to implement/maintain two APIs.


Interesting, I will look into that. Busy to convert a OpenGL to Metal right now.


What is known about how difficult will it be to migrate OpenGL code to use Vulkan ?


We will see how this story evolves, but I see it as a big opportunity for SketchUp for Mac performances


I would think the solution is pretty obvious. Be pragmatic; ditch the Mac and start working on a PC. There is little of a learning curve and think of all the money saved. Horses for courses.


So with around £5k of hardware and software in my Mac system, I don’t see where I’d be saving money to start over with PC.


Crikey - that’s enough for three PC and a ton of software! PC’s(Windows) are pretty much disposable these days. seriously though, judging by the posts you have at least a couple of years before you need to worry - if at all


Where the other’s ‘residual’ value is much higher…


Autodesk has in the meanwhile terminated Alias and VRED for macOS and recommends customers to switch to Windows.