How long as OpenGL been around for? Who wrote OpenGL? How many years (from start to finish) did it take? Was it written with Assembly or some type of low level programming?
I've been reading up on how John Carmack is doing Shadow volumes, and I am thorougly impressed, but instead of doing all of those different tests and having to draw into the stencil buffer and all that crap, why not just modify the OpenGL api (not like that would be easy or anything) so that when the color of the light is calculated you shoot a ray from the pixel being drawn to all of the light sources. If shadowing is enabled, if the ray intersects other objects before it gets to the light source(s), the color intensities from that blocked light don't enter into the equation that determines the color of that pixel (and of course if all light sources are blocked, it's black, or blended black if smooth shading is being used or something).
Some other graphics-related questions:
How are the colors of the pixels on the monitor controlled? I mean if you are writing a graphics library that is open across all platforms then there must be some sort of embedded system type development that goes into creating those routines that actually light up the pixels, right? I mean lets say I wake up one morning and I'm feeling really horny and I decide I want to try to draw pixels without using ANY existing api (no win32 or ogl or directcrap).
Ok anyone who helps me is cool.
EDIT: OMG I can't find anything on who actually made OpenGL. Whenever I type in anything to the effect of "creators of opengl" or "makers of opengl" or something it always comes up with OTHER frickin people that made games using opengl, not the writers of the api itself!! GOOGLE IS DUM