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Christian Hergert: GTK 4 NGL Renderer

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GNOME

I spent a lot of time in 2020 working on projects tangential to what I’d consider my “main” projects. GtkSourceView got a port to GTK 4 and a load of new features, GTK 4 got a new macOS backend, and in December I started putting together a revamp of GTK 4’s GL renderer.

The nice thing about having multiple renderer backends in GTK 4 is that we still have Cairo rendering as an option. So while doing bring-up of the new GTK macOS backend I could just use that. Making software rendering fast enough to not be annoying is a good first step because it forces you to shake out performance issues pretty early.

But once that is working, the next step is to address how well the other backends can work there. We had two other backends. OpenGL (requiring 3.2 Core and up) and Vulkan. Right now, the OpenGL renderer is the best supported renderer for acceleration in terms of low bug count, so that seemed like the right way to go if you want to stay inline with Linux and Windows backends. Especially after you actually try to use MoltenVK on macOS and realize it’s a giant maze. The more work we can share across platforms (even if temporarily) the better we can make our Linux experience. Personally, that is something I care about.

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GTK 4 Toolkit's New OpenGL Renderer Is Maturing Well

  • GTK 4 Toolkit's New OpenGL Renderer Is Maturing Well

    The new OpenGL renderer work for GTK 4 as a post-4.0 improvement is shaping up well and should really help push along the open-source toolkit on macOS.

    Well known GNOME developer Christian Hergert of Red Hat has been working on effectively a new OpenGL renderer with a particular focus on helping the macOS support but obviously benefits all GL platforms as well.

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