I noticed that the MetalGL shader converter is not only integrated into MetalGL, but it is also offered as a standalone tool. The converter could be very useful in migrating OpenGL ES applications to Metal without using MetalGL, since porting a large bunch of shaders by hand and maintaining them incurs significant costs. I have two questions:
1. Can we expect the standalone converter tool to be present in future releases as well?
2. How would licensing work when using the standalone converter without linking any of your frameworks to the application? I would expect the actual shader conversion to not depend on whether the application uses extensions or not. Therefore from a technical point of view I would think that the basic license would be sufficient, even if the original application used OpenGL extensions. I wonder how all this works out from a legal point of view.
1. MetalGL will always have a shader converter component and stand-alone tool. However, we will be introducing a different converter (and tool) in the future, in order to handle situations that the current converter cannot handle.
2. The current shader converter in MetalGL is actually a thin wrapper around an existing open-source library. As such, you are not required to pay a license fee for use of the MetalGL shader converter as a stand-alone tool. And of course, you are free to use the open-source library by itself, or the MetalGL mods to the open-source converter, which are also open-source. This licensing stance may change when we introduce the more comprehensive converter (ie- a “pro” converter version, per se).