OpenGL ES Hardware Database Preview

It took (a bit) longer than expected, but I finally got the first preview of the online OpenGL ES Hardware Database online. I want this to be the match to the widely used OpenGL Hardware Database (filled by the glCapsViewer). Where the former is aimed at developing desktop applications with OpenGL, the later one is planned to be a helper for all developers planning on deploying OpenGL ES based applications, games or tools on the Android platform (other platforms that support OpenGL ES may follow in the future, the database design is flexible enough) that want to know what features are offered by the different devices on the market.

In addition to the pure OpenGL ES related information, like extensions, caps, texture formats etc. the database will also store device information (OS version, screen size, CPU), device features and available sensors along with their range and resolution. Especially the sensor information should proove valuable in case you want to wether your targeted devices support e.g. a gyroscopic sensor or not. The database is targeted around OpenGL ES 2.0 and above, as that’s the majority of devices currently out there.

The database is still a work in progress and several new features will be added over the coming days and weeks (like comparing reports), but any feedback on how to improve it or what features to add is welcome.

The android app will be release in the near future. It’s currently in alpha testing stage, but seems to run fine on a wide range of devices (at least the ones you see in the database ;) ). No date yet on when it’ll make it’s way into the public, but since it’s running stable and everything is in place it shouldn’t be too far in the future.

As for the technical backgrounds : The android app is written in JAVA (yes, I actually like working with a modern language and IDE, something Delphi has been lacking in the recent years) using Eclipse. I had it up and running with the new Android Developer Studio, but since that one is still a preview version I’ll stick with Eclipse for now. Though google’s developer studio seems to come along very nice. I also made the switch from SVN to GIT with this project, and I’m pretty amazed by all the features that GIT has to offer and how much better suited it is for agile developement. Sure, the tools (especially on windows) are not as convenient as the ones for SVN, but the easy branching, rebasing and stashing stuff easily makes up for that. The database uses MySQL, and I’ve used the free MySQL workbench to set it up (which is so much better then working with phpMyAdmin). Since I’ve gathered a lot of experience with (SQL) databases due to my current job, the database design for the OpenGL ES database is much better than the one backing up the old OpenGL database. So instead of letting a PHP script import the report’s xml into the database, it’s now done via a stored procedure using XPATH. Not only easier for me to maintain and extend, but also much faster. And on the other hand the database design is also much more flexible, and adding new stuff and OpenGL ES versions (along with new caps) should be much easier. And you may also notice that the content is provided under a creative commons license.

But once the OpenGL ES database and it’s android app are out in the wild, I’ll get back to the OpenGL database to see what I can do in terms of performance and what features I can add to make it even more valuable to the OpenGL developer community.