Friday, May 17, 2019

WhirlyGlobe-Maply 3.0 Status Report #4

Metal development has begun!

As a reminder, this is about the WhirlyGlobe-Maply 3.0 effort: A better version of Android and a port to the Metal rendering toolkit on iOS.

Quarantining OpenGL ES

WhirlyGlobe-Maply was designed around OpenGL ES.  Version 1 if you can believe it!  It's been upgraded since then, but OpenGL permeates its design.  Like fish in a microwave.

Multithreading and state management are particularly bad in OpenGL ES and my toolkit works around this in a variety of bad ways.

I've just finished shoving all of this logic into its own separate modules.  Twenty-something of them.  The top level interface doesn't change.  This was my own private pain I'm sharing with you!

Very little of the system now knows about the low level rendering which leads us to the...

Journey Into Metal

Sure, it sounds like a Heavy Metal Parking Lot sequel, but way less cool.  Behold the first of the new Metal code for setting up a texture.

And let's not forget the shaders.  Shaders that Xcode can syntax check!  And compile at compile time!  [Okay, fine there's probably a way to do that with an OpenGL extension, but it's guaranteed annoying.]

It's glorious!  In a boring way!  But there's a ways to go and nothing interesting to show yet.


If OpenGL development is Napoleon's Russia Campaign, Metal is like taking light rail to the mall.  Which is to say it's going well and there's no reason to suspect it won't continue doing so.

Ideally, I should designate 3.0 finished sometime in June.  If you're a sponsor, you get it then (or now, if you're bold).  For the rest of you, that means next January.