XDC 2008 wishlist

Roderick Colenbrander thunderbird2k at gmx.net
Wed Apr 9 01:06:13 CDT 2008

> > Most xorg devs aren't a big fan of pbuffers but they are part of the GLX
> > 1.3 spec which drivers want to support these days. Some drivers are
> > considering to just fail on pbuffer creation. Encourage them to offer
> > pbuffer support on some visuals/fbconfigs. A lot of windows apps rely on
> > their presence including Wow in opengl32 mode and lots of other (older)
> > programs.
> Can we emulate pbuffers via FBOs, or are there some problems? Pbuffer
> support 
> is troublesome on MacOS and the ATI binary driver as well, so even if the 
> xorg devs implement it we'll be stuck with a partial fix only

In theory you might be able to offer this emulation but I think it will be very tricky and it might not work well at all. Remember pbuffers are WGL things while FBOs require a GLX/WGL context. You would have to override a bunch of GL calls, states .. I don't think this works well. Second WGL allows you to query the capabilities of a pbuffer, we would have to fake most settings which might not result in optimal performance (e.g. color bits, stencil ..).

Mainly overriding stuff and the requirement of a GLX/WGL context is problematic I think. I fear a half baked implementation which works for some of the easier apps. The drivers could also emulate pbuffers using FBOs and they might have less issues.

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