Gamers on Linux are used to there being a limited choice of 3D APIs. OpenGL is an excellent cross-platform solution, but a lot of development these days are on Direct3D – which is from Microsoft and obviously not on Mac OS X or Linux. Well, not on Linux until this week.
Luca Barbieri made a commit with news of native Direct3D 10/11 support into Gallium, with an eventual goal of running Windows games in Wine.
"The primary goal is to realize Gallium's promise of multiple API support, and provide an API that can be easily implemented with just a very thin wrapper over Gallium, instead of the enormous amount of complex code needed for OpenGL," wrote Barbieri. "The secondary goal is to run Windows Direct3D 10/11 games on Linux using Wine."
He added, "Thanks to a very clean and well-though design done from scratch, the Direct3D 10/11 APIs are vastly better than OpenGL and can be supported with orders of magnitude less code and development time, as you can see by comparing the lines of code of this commit and those in the existing Mesa OpenGL implementation."
For those worried that Direct3D 10/11 won't have the same kind of performance as OpenGL, Barbieri said, "Finally, a mature Direct3D 10/11 implementation is intrinsically going to be faster and more reliable than an OpenGL implementation, thanks to the dramatically smaller API and the segregation of all nontrivial work to object creation that the application must perform ahead of time."
Read more at Phoronix.