Simple DirectMedia Layer version 2.0 has been released after being in development for years and the release comes with good news for small developers.

Simple DirectMedia Layer or SDL for short is a cross-platform development library used by the likes of Valve and Humble Bundle, which provides low-level access to hardware such as audio, keyboard, mouse, game controllers and other graphics hardware via OpenGL and Direct3D.

Some of the features of the SDL 2.0 are full hardware 3D acceleration; support for core, compatibility, debug, robust and other OpenGL 3.0+ profiles; support for OpenGL ES; support for multiple windows, audio devices and multiple displays; support for mobile operating systems like iOS and Android; power management; Proper unicode input and IME support among others. The latest version also gets rid of quite a few bugs.

“Valve uses SDL 2.0 for game controller support and sundry other things in Steam, and the new release will be going into the Steam Linux Runtime in the next day or so”, reads the release announcement.

One of the major changes in the SDL version 2.0 is the adoption of new licensing scheme – zlib, instead of GPL/LGPL license. The significance of this change is that it is now perfectly fine to statically link SDL 2.0 into your game without having to ship the full folder of shared libraries.

You can find more information about the latest release here. For those who are using SDL 1.2, there is a migration guide that can be accessed here.