Most OpenGL ES1.1 hardware doesn't have ST3C, although that may change as ES 2.0+ becomes common.
I have no particular need for it, since all my targets feature S3TC, so a software fallback is indifferent for my particular needs.
As a specific example, Apple and PowerVR both provide a wrapper format for PVRTC, and a toolchain to produce them. Although they use the same compression, the wrapper format is non-compatible, and supports slightly different features. The Apple tool runs only on Macs, while the PowerVR tool runs only on Linux and Windows.
I have never used a Mac platform, nor developed for the iphone. I also was not aware that that they provided a PVRTC toolchain/wrapper, I hope it is possible to abstract the differences and use a unified set of functions to work with PVRTC textures.
Speed/quality isn't really an issue. However, I do wonder how people would feel about rolling this out of the engine entirely?
I am talking about building a Horde3D-specific (though the format would be open, of course) wrapper format, which can hold all types of compressed/uncompressed image data (uncompressed, RLE, JPEG, S3TC, PVRTC, ETC, etc.). There would be a tool that leveraged FreeImage (or similar) to convert/batch convert other image formats into the Horde format, which would move this whole issue out of the engine and into the content pipeline.
I have a feeling it is too big of a break from tradition to be well received - but it is the approach taken by the WildMagic engine.
I don't think i understand what you mean. Can you provide more details on how this woul work? what are the benefits and issues?
FreeImage doesn't offer anything apart from .PSD support, over what we have already - and it doesn't have mipmap generation or DDS support, last I checked.
DDS is supported. I am not advocating for freeimage, just putting a question in the open regarding the need for a more advanced image manipulation libraries, DevIL or any other that does the job right is ok by me. personally i have no need for them.