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Hacked DX10 for Windows Appears 336

Oddscurity writes "According to The Inquirer someone managed to write a wrapper allowing DirectX 10 applications to run on platforms other than Vista. The Alky Project claims to have reverse-engineered Geometry Shader code, allowing Windows games to run on Windows XP, MacOSX and Linux. The Inquirer is understandably cautious about these claims, urging readers to investigate the releases themselves to ascertain whether or not it's a hoax."
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Hacked DX10 for Windows Appears

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  • DMCA?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pompatus ( 642396 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:45AM (#18840163) Journal
    Even if he really managed to do this (which I doubt, look how long wine has been around and it still doesn't run everything), won't he get sued immediately for something like this?
  • If nothing else... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:47AM (#18840183)
    If nothing else, this can be a call to others to create similar projects. If the Alky Project is real (which it is by all accounts so far), then even if it is shut down, their work will continue. If it can't meet it's goals in some way, then it's full promise will remain as a focus for the great need to NOT 'upgrade' to Windows Vista, drawing in a large number of developers. It is also the promise that applications made for DirectX 10 may live beyond their operating environment.

    This is very much a more direct refection of the same phenomenon that allows entire hardware systems to be emulated against the wishes of console, arcade and computer manufacturers.

    This is the start of the market's reaction to Vista, made manifest.

    Ryan Fenton
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      This is the start of the market's reaction to Vista, made manifest.

      It's great to see that at least some people are fighting back against Microsoft's nasty move. If it's possible to implement DX10 on any other OS than Vista, it's just proof that M$ was just trying to force everyone else out of the gaming market. Of course, most of us already know about how slimy they are... but it's always nice to see a reminder.
  • Are we sad yet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by willie_nelsons_pigta ( 1006979 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:49AM (#18840211)
    We are hacking Windows apps to run them on Windows OS's.

    Let the sadness ensue.
    • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:59AM (#18840365) Homepage Journal

      Let the sadness ensue.

      "Cancel or allow?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beset ( 745752 )
      Not that I understand anything about DirectX but wouldn't this be the first step to getting something functioning in WINE?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jaseoldboss ( 650728 )
        wouldn't this be the first step to getting something functioning in WINE?

        If it's true it will be. See here []

        Cody claims he reverse-engineered the Geometry Shader code, and that users will be able to run Windows games intended on the Mac OS X on x86-based Macinteltoshes as well as Linux.
    • The Hypothetical coding group that I may or may not be involved with that allegedly reverse engineers applications and games to run on Win2k (usually it's just a installer level check, no biggy) thinks that this is likely not as big a deal as it is made out to be. Allegedly.
  • didn't work for me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <oliverthered@ h o t m a> on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:52AM (#18840245) Journal
    I downloaded it and everytime I start up a Direct X 10 tutorial it crashes out, the file sizes 400k also seem a little small.

    I'd also like to know how he implemented Vertexs and Indexs since in DirectX 10 you allocate one buffer and it can be any type but under DirectX 9 you have to choose the type of buffer when you create it. Copying all that stuff into memory so you can allocate the buffer in the DirectX 10 drive at render time is going to slow things down a hell of a lot.

    Still if it worked it would be very interesting for the wine project.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:53AM (#18840265) Homepage
    If only windows were like Linux. I don't really mean in the open-source way, but more in the separate projects way. If DirectX was a separate project from the windows OS, then it would work on windows XP without us having to go hack it. There's no reason why DirectX 10 can't work on windows XP. It's just an artificial limitation that MS through in to get people to buy Vista. MS does this a lot, with IE, IIS, MS Office, DirectX, and many other tools. I don't see why people put up with it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ipjohnson ( 580042 )
      I'm sure if they wanted to they could get it working on XP but if they did that one of the big incentives for upgrading to Vista (To play DX 10 games) goes out the window.
    • by hxnwix ( 652290 )
      You have to remember that sometimes an older version of an operating system isn't worth supporting anymore, since the differences necessitated by the evolution of the OS would make back-porting costly.

      In a related sense, the differences inherent to the de-evolution (ie the retrogression) of an operating system can make back-and-up-porting tricky and definitely just too hard for rapidly degenerating Microsoft programmers to possibly even consider thinking about achieving. Fortunately, basement dwelling clev
      • by Sancho ( 17056 )
        While all this is true, you just can't ignore the market. It will be awhile before Vista becomes mainstream. In the meantime, companies have two choices regarding DX: using DX9 (and aging technology) or DX10 (and reducing their potential market, since not everyone has Vista or can afford a computer capable of running it).

        Microsoft has to cater to both developers and users. It's kinda like the chicken-and-egg problem--how do you get users to upgrade to Vista if there's no incentive? How do you get develo
        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:14AM (#18841513) Homepage Journal
          Halo 2 is a perfect example of Microsoft making something Vista-only with no technical reason whatsoever. Halo 2 Vista uses DX9 for its graphics, sound, etc., and is artificially restricted to Windows Vista only because it is published by Microsoft Games and Halo 2 is a popular game in the console world.

          I've read that there actually are technical reasons why DX10 can't be trivially ported to Windows XP due to how it interacts with new driver models and other kernel-related things, but if Microsoft had separated the GUI from the kernel in the first place, this wouldn't be such a problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hxnwix ( 652290 )
        In support of my theory, I offer evidence that Microsoft has indeed entered the 'insane emperor' phase that invariably signals eminent collapse: the current CEO demonstrates his most placid, meditative and composed mood. []

        It only gets woooorrr

        *ducks flying chair*

        worse. Sorry, oh geeze I had no idea there was (oh crap) a developers' conference in town...

        *loud noises, cringing*

        oh shiiiiiiiii...
    • by Bob512 ( 25393 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:48AM (#18841123)
      I wouldn't necessarily list DirectX with the likes of the other projects. DirectX has always tried to be the best at compatibility, with redists and backwards compatibility for OSes that the rest of Microsoft had written off already (it's only recently that the SDK stopped supporting Windows 98, primarily due to lack of demand, since older SDKs still work). You could say that DX10 only supports Vista, but the truth of the matter is that only Vista supports DX10.

      It's fairly easy to adapt the API (as appears to have happened here) so that a certain class of applications will run on older hardware (and hence older operating systems), but those applications aren't interesting for DX10 right now, since DX9 already allows you to access the full feature set. As for running newer hardware on older operating systems, adding the required features to older operating systems would be a tremendous effort, since they go all the way up the stack, and would require changes to very old, very sensitive parts of the operating system.

      This is something that has possibly severe security implications for Microsoft, but even worse implications for others involved, since it adds yet another version of a very complicated driver from the hardware vendors, and a whole slew of compatibility testing across the board from hardware vendors to software vendors, all to support a shrinking segment of the market (people running new video cards on old OSes). So for everyone involved, it's makes much more sense to continue using DX9 on the applications that need to support older OSes, and consider using DX10 to exploit new hardware and new features that can't be implemented on DX9.
    • by ThinkFr33ly ( 902481 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:33AM (#18841767)
      I know you, and most everybody else here, would love to believe that DX10's inability to run on XP was some plot by Microsoft to get people to buy Vista, but you're wrong [].

      You proclaim that there is "no reason why DirectX 10 can't work on windows XP", but offer absolutely no evidence to back up your claim.

      Not surprising, I guess, considering the audience.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sim82 ( 836928 )
        and your evidence is from msdn, Microsofts very own propaganda outlet. Now that's what I call convincing...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ipjohnson ( 580042 )
        Nothing in that link says it's impossible. Hell nothing in there says it that hard it just says that it require far more resources than Microsoft is willing to dedicate. Direct quote from the blog

        "At some point, the question "to serve existing customers" or "to get new customers" is a question every business has to ask itself."

        There nothing inherently bad about saying its a business decision but don't make it out to be anything other than a business decision.
  • by Brit_in_the_USA ( 936704 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:58AM (#18840339)
    With the (arguably) poor reception for Vista from the press and user communities and the (GPU) Hardware and Games writers obviously wanting to push DirectX 10 to help sales (ooo shiney AND blured!) is MS under non-trivial pressure to bring DirectX10 to XP? What are the chances of this happening?

    Will we end up with a backlash where OpenGL is updated to include features parity of the DirectX10 cards and developers switching to using OpenGL as the driver layer so they get the XP market?
    • by Tom ( 822 )

      is MS under non-trivial pressure to bring DirectX10 to XP? What are the chances of this happening?
      Slim. They need Vista to succeed, otherwise investors will ask ugly questions, like "what exactly is the estimated ROI on the $5bn you spent on Vista?".

    • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:01AM (#18841343) Homepage
      I'm betting that there is another reason DX10 is only for Vista: performance. With DX9 and OpenGL, you can run games on XP and Vista, and compare them to see Vista is slower. With DX10 you can't compare anymore, so people forget Vista is slower.
    • by elFarto the 2nd ( 709099 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:17AM (#18841555)

      OpenGL already has extensions to support DirectX features, they were added by NVIDIA.

      Also, the entire OpenGL API is being redesigned from scratch (after 13 years of active service). The first version is currently named 'Longs Peak' and will have feature parity with the current version of OpenGL. The next version which is called 'Mount Evans', will build on Longs Peak, adding DirectX 10 features.

      From what I've seen of the new API, DirectX is in for a serious challenge (well, I hope anyway).

      More information about the new API can be found in the OpenGL newsletters [].

  • Even if it did, XP (the primary OS this would be desired for tbh) doesn't have the necessary resource management necessary to fuel the power needed for the graphics processing that DX10 takes advantage of. Sure, you might get it working, but it would be slow as heck.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adam.dorsey ( 957024 )
      I've seen 2 posts so far where you state that Vista has some superior "resource management" that will make a massive difference in between it and XP.

      From my personal experience with Vista, everything runs slower than on XP. Identical binaries, identical versions, Vista is slower.

      Why should DirectX 10 be any different?
    • by elFarto the 2nd ( 709099 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:43AM (#18841001)

      You know that OpenGL has the same abilities as DirectX 10 (at least on DirectX 10 compatible hardware) thanks to some extensions added by NVIDIA. These extensions are available on Windows 2000/XP, Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD.

      How come OpenGL can do it on those platforms, yet DirectX 10 can only do it on Vista?

  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:01AM (#18840393) Journal
    . . but this screams "Getting gullible people to give me $50 for mostly snake oil"
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:17AM (#18840617)
      Why oh why must I be so gullible!?

      Yes, I paid. I'm one of very few so far, apparently. At the time, I thought their focus was to make Windows games run natively on Linux, 1 at a time. (Meaning the game will work well and they won't move on to the next until it does.) The very next week, their focus is shifted to DX10. 'Cool,' I thought, thinking it was DX10 on Linux. I now see it's on Windows XP... Bleh. No answer from them on if they plan to make it work on Linux also.

      $50 wasted.

      See, I've -got- the money to spend on the hardware and the OS and all the upgrades for the next few years. That isn't the issue. I just want games to work on an OS with good moral character. Or at least neutral. I'd settle for 'not completely shady.' But nooooo.

      By the way, their Linux demo that is only for paying people... It doesn't work on my system. There's no sound, and it crashes after the menu. They spent a couple weeks looking at it, but their final answer was 'We can't reproduce this bug' and 'we need to focus our effort on the product.' While I agree that's probably the right attitude at some point... When you've only got a very very few paying customers, you make ALL of them very happy so they'll bring in other paying customers.
  • The Inq (Score:5, Funny)

    by cmcguffin ( 156798 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:05AM (#18840445)
    > The Inquirer is understandably cautious

    Wow, now there's a sentence I never expected to see in print!
  • Wine? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ion_ ( 176174 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:10AM (#18840523) Homepage

    A chap called Cody Brocious from San Diego, California, claims to have started to create an wrapper for Windows executables so that they can be ran on another operating system, with no prejudice about that operating system.
    Why reinvent the wheel, when you could just add the DX10 functionality to Wine []?

    Or is that exactly what the project is?
    • Or is that exactly what the project is?
      he's said specifically that he's not using wine. whether or not he could, i dunno.

      he apparently was going to be making a general Direct X wrapper, including DX9, but changed it to only DX10, saying that Wine was already doing a good job with DX9 so there wasnt much of a point.
    • Why reinvent the wheel, when you could just add the DX10 functionality to Wine?
      Or help out the existing work:

      Beginning of Direct3D10 implementation by András Kovács, mentored by Stefan Dösinger
      WWN Issue #329 []
  • How fast will MS push out DX 10.1 or some other small update to make this stop working like what they have done in past.

    They did things like this with win32s and os/2
  • The only thing I saw on the site was a youtube/google-video clip of Prey running in windowed mode on Mac OS-X. Now I'm not exactly sure, but isn't Prey a modded Doom3 engine - which was OpenGL and cross platform, being able to run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS-X? So their only example of DX10 working on a non-Vista or even XP machine not only doesn't use a DX10 example, its not even a DX9 (or any DX) example...
  • Very, Very Unlikely (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThinkFr33ly ( 902481 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:25AM (#18841663)
    I know everybody wants to believe that Microsoft arbitrarily decided that DX10 would be Vista only so they could "force" people into buying the OS, but, as usual, it's a tiny bit more complex than that.

    DX10 relies heavily on graphics card memory virtualization. The new Windows Display Driver Model, WDDM [], introduces this feature. In order to accomplish this, it required a lot of low level kernel changes. So many, in fact, that back-porting it to XP would basically make XP's kernel into Vista's kernel.

    There comes a point where you just have to say that a particular feature is only available in Vista. DX10 fits that bill.

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments