Yes, that’s by deliberation. If I count in my boatload of ancient devices from the attic we’d have lots of 1.4 votes and that would distort the capabilities in the community. In my opinion, you should vote for what your best machine can do, but that’s up to you.
What would be interesting is to also get some correlation with OS as well. Anyway, we were thinking about s way to get such information but it’s not easy without having code in blender that sends us the information and we are against that obviously. Downloads of blender could provide a metric because we could detect webgl support from browser, though it’s not always reliable to defer OpenGL version from the browser or machine that downloaded the executable. Anyway, even such a poll is nice to have so thanks - hopefully the results are representative of the total even though there might be some unlikely correlation between blenderartists members and GPU version.
[Edit] information on differences of OpenGL versions is hard to come by. Your best source of information is the OpenGL specifications on https://www.opengl.org/registry/ , but they are not for the impatient (the end of each version spec includes the new features usually). Very roughly, the sexy features between versions are:
GL 2.1 - vertex and pixel shaders
GL 3.x - geometry shaders, native integer support in shaders, framebuffer objects (already supported in most hardware supporting 2.1 but as extension), instancing, better control for texture sampling and data flow
GL 4.x - tesselation shaders, double float support in shaders, compute shaders, data scatter support, huge API cleanup in version 4.5
Also, for OSX users, blender system_info is not a reliable way to get the maximum supported version for their cards. Use your OS specific way to best do that (sorry, no OSX user here so can’t help more)
I’m confused. Why not just make this very obviously “opt-in” with a message the first time you open Blender on a new system? As long as it’s not opt-out, I doubt anyone would take issue with it. In fact, I’d bet that 99.9% of Blender users wouldn’t care at all.
This whole “privacy even against anonymous data usage” thing is out of hand, especially for use cases like this. People can’t expect better products if the people making their product don’t know what metrics to aim for.
Plus there’re binary repositories and git for source code. So yes, you won’t get much info from blender site.
What you could do though is make one more start screen that will pop up before the main one. It will ask a permission to give Blender Foundataion all data on CPU, GPU, memory and OS. The detector will be used in every upcoming version if the user agrees. After some time you’ll be able to use such data to automaticly adjust some settings in Blender, some option in preferences to do that.
Sure, at first such statistics won’t be accurate at the start since many people tend to work in the old version until the project is ready and only then think about the new ones. But in a half year to year span you’ll get really accurate data. And even though there will be some left overs - people that work in close environment you can add an option to store data in a file so that he could send it manually later.
I guess since you’re using the compatibility profile, it will report always 2.1? Hrm, I didn’t consider that, I guess that’ll give a bunch of false positives.
I’ve updated the original post to reflect that.
That’s not true! Some people might be able to upgrade their drivers, but not all of them.
Drivers can upgrade your OpenGL support if the hardware supports it. Generally, 3.x means DirectX10, 4.x means DirectX11 support, so if your card is DirectX11 capable it’s most likely that it supports 4.3, even 4.5 through a driver upgrade. Besides I bought my own 4 years back and it supports 4.5 which came out this summer after the latest NVIDIA upgrade.
Same applies to GL 3.x if your card is DirectX 10 capable, most likely a driver upgrade will bring it up to version 3.3.
Laptops suck there if the vendor has locked driver upgrades - another reason to use linux for laptops where drivers are unrestricted