OpenGL Architecture Review Board has officially announced OpenGL 3 for the next month. This release will be the expected “Longs Peak” release, while “Mount Evans” is now scheduled for 4-5 months after “Longs Peak”.
The announcement by the Khronos Group was done early this month, however there is a approval period of 30 days which shifts the official release date to early September.
While this release was expected the version numbering is not: it was always pointed out that the version numbers are not fixed for the code names “Mount Evans” and “Longs Peak”, however “Longs Peak” was always described as a cleaned up version of 2.1, and therefore would be more close to a minor release than “Mount Evans”.
But besides the a bit surprising new numbers the plan looks like the old one: the autumn release will contain a cleaned up and more efficient API which will in return not fully downwards compatible. And another release following afterwards (it says 4-5 months now) will introduce newest features and will require newest hardware.
A last word about real world support of new hardware: if you use proprietary implementations of OpenGL, like the one from the binary NVIDIA or AMD drivers, it is likely that the features of the hardware are supported despite the fact that the official OpenGL API does not cover these new techniques. OpenGL extensions can take care of that, and it is likely that the hardware vendors do implement them to get the most out of their hardware.