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AmigaOS 4: Daniel Müßener about the current status of Warp 3D Nova (Update)
In late march, A-EON announced a new 3D driver system called Warp 3D Nova, which is supposed to replace the badly outdated Warp 3D. Since an Amiga specific solution doesn't make much sense, programmer Daniel 'Daytona675x' Müßener (Wings Remastered, Wings Battlefield) was hired to port the OpenGL variant OpenGL ES 2 to AmigaOS 4/Nova.

Even at the time A-EON announced Nova, Hans de Ruiter - the programmer responsible for the new system - tried to give a more realistic overview over the current state of things. In an extensive Interview with German Podcast Boingsworld, Daniel Müßener is voicing his concerns now and describes the problems he encountered during his attempt to port OpenGL ES 2 to Warp 3D Nova.

It became obvious pretty soon after starting the project that things like Stencil buffers or Mip-Mapping were not implemented in Warp 3D Nova yet, but on inquiry he was assured that these features were already being worked on. After spending quite some time on porting OpenGL, more and more details came to light that suggested to Müßener that the whole system was in pre Alpha state at best. Even simple things like the 'Hello World!' equivalent of OpenGL didn't work, were not implemented or simply crashed. Among those were essential features like defining variables or the 'Discard' command without which transparency effects are pretty much impossible. Müßener describes the current status of Nova as "only extremely few things are actually working".

The programmer acknowledges that developing a 3D driver system like Nova is a complex process that takes a lot of time, but he complains about the poor communication - he feels like he's been "abused as a cheap Alpha tester". In some cases - like a function for identifying a variable's type, a feature Müßener considers indispensable - he claims to have spent weeks doing a lot of persuading to make the other party agree the feature should be implemented. The whole system was allegedly far from the state he was promised, which resulted in him having to spend a lot more time porting OpenGL ES than the two or three weeks he initially scheduled.

Nova, which was released as part of the Amiga Enhancer package by now, is not ready for end users, according to Müßener. At least one of the function prototypes in the released header files is faulty, which implies nobody ever tested that function since programs using it can't actually be compiled. Müßener "hopes" that no external programmers tried to port a game to AmigaOS using Nova, since that would have been a devastating experience.

Müßener says he stopped working on OpenGL a week ago and will "not touch the code again". He's willing to give it another go if Nova reaches a more mature state, but "[A-EON and me] would have to discuss the exact terms first".

Update: (05.07.2015, 18:15, cg)

In the meantime, Daniel Müßener has published a counterstatement on his personal blog, criticizing our news item as tainted und complaining that we only picked the negative statements from his interview. (cg) (Translation: cg)

[News message: 04. Jul. 2016, 20:08] [Comments: 0]
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