At Siggraph 2014, the Khronos Group has announced both OpenGL 4.5 and, more excitingly, the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative. OpenGL 4.5, except for some new Direct3D 11 emulation features for easier porting, is your fairly standard annual OpenGL update. Next Generation OpenGL (OpenGL NG), however, is a complete rebuild of the OpenGL API.
Enter OpenGL NG, which will be a ground-up redesign of OpenGL that isn’t backwards compatible. The Khronos Group, which develops the OpenGL spec (and other related specs), says it’s working hard with all of its consortium members to develop a spec that hardware and software companies will actually use. Khronos’s last attempt to create a new, non-backwards-compatible spec — Longs Peak — failed dismally, so it’ll be keen to not make the same mistakes twice. The landscape has changed a lot since Longs Peak, though — now, with a variety of low-level APIs emerging from AMD, Microsoft, and even Apple, it would appear that developers are keen to break away from the heavily abstracted days of yore. (Longs Peak never saw the light of day, incidentally — it was trashed in 2007 and replaced by the much more “normal”, backwards-compatible OpenGL 3.0 spec in 2008.)