[vtkusers] VTK Roadmap

Berk Geveci berk.geveci at kitware.com
Tue Jun 30 13:58:56 EDT 2015

Hi folks,

As Dave DeMarle mentioned, we are gearing towards a VTK 6.3 release. VTK 7
will follow very shortly (in weeks). I'd like to shed some light here on
our thinking and how we are planning to move forward.

As was previously discussed in the VTK developers list [1] [2], we are
considering maintaining VTK 6.x for a long time (3-5 years) while moving
forward with VTK 7 and 8 in 2015 and 2016. There are some major changes
happening in the computing and C++ worlds and we would like evolve VTK more
quickly to stay up to date. Some of the major changes that we are
considering and/or working on are:

* Major refactoring of rendering (OpenGL as well as ray tracing etc.)
* Multi/many-core support / SMP computing on CPUs and accelerators. VTK-m
integration [3].
* Changes to data model to support zero copy interface to other data
layouts, more efficient APIs, more cell types, more dataset types etc.
* Better separation of a public, wrapped API and toolkit/C++ internal API
mainly to support efficiency
* Introduction of C++ 11 features

Much of this will require introducing changes that break backwards
compatibility and also require newer compilers, graphics cards / drivers
etc. So the idea is that we will do our best to support as much as possible
a broad set of architectures and backwards compatibility but break things
when necessary in VTK 7 and beyond. We will maintain VTK 6.x so that folks
that are stuck on legacy systems or code bases can continue to benefit from
bug fixes. We have a way of continuing to maintain a broad set of
dashboards and also the same review process as VTK master so that we can
continue to ensure the quality of VTK 6.x as well as new releases.

What do you guys think? Please provide feedback so that we can adjust our
plans to meet the needs of the community as much as possible.


[1] : http://bit.ly/1BUHFKT
[2] : http://bit.ly/1g7LSRG
[3] : http://m.vtk.org/
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