Ok, I have been spending a good few weeks going through the openGL API documentation online as well as the GLU and GLUT documentation. I plan on purchasing the openGL programming guide and possibly reference although it seems like that might be overkill. I haven''t even started to write a program with it as I want to have most of the concepts and basics rooted in before I just jump in and get myself frustrated.
In my search I have come to the understanding that there are basically 4 main parts for openGL programming(correct me if I''m wrong): GL function set, GLU function set, GLUT function set, GLAUX function set. The first is the most basic functions for working in 3D, the second and fourth are sets of helper functions that may or may not use functions from the first and the third is an alternative to Win32(?). My question (assuming you have stayed with me here) is what are some of the pros and cons of using GLUT over Win32? I have gone through some of the beginning tutorials at Jeff''s site and noticed that he uses strictly Win32. When I look at the setup for that as apposed to how you set things up with GLUT it makes me wonder why he uses it (especially since GLUT makes things more platform independant).
He probably uses Win32 because that''s what he used when he first started wroting the tutorials, and that''s what most other people will use. GLUT is somewhat restricting, but it is cross platform, like you said. I personally use SDL to handle all the platform specific code. You may want to look into it as well.
Glut is also somewhat buggy under windows, frequently leading to exit BSODS and frozen desktops - at least in my experiences with it. Although Nate Robbins has made some recent fixes (version 3.75)- I haven''t finished testing it out so I can''t speak to the latest Win32 version.
GLUT is okay for testing out certain features an engine of yours may have, and its also okay for smaller applications, but as for games, GLUT isn''t too great. It''s a lot slower than using plain Win32 OpenGL, plus it doesn''t give you any control over a lot of variables required for certain other libraries such as FMOD. While GLUT is a nice, quick and dirty way to get things done, for larger projects, you want to use Win32.