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eektor

Question about graphic API's

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Hi I know I'm just starting and I don't really need to know this yet, but I read the forums a lot and I'm just curious about these. Here are some questions I would like to know. 1. What exactly does API stand for? 2. Is SDL and Allegro a graphic API just like DirectX and OpenGL? 3. I know DirectX has sound and graphic libraries (I think that's how you say it), is OpenAL the sound library equivalent to OpenGL, does SDL and Allegro have sound libraries? 4. Where does Win32 fit in in all this? Thanks.

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1. Application Programming Interface
2. No, SDL and Allegro provide cross-platfrom graphics, sound, input and networking libraries. You usually use OpenGL together with SDL/Allegro for hardware accelerated cross-platform graphics.
3. Yeah. Unless I'm mistaken, SDL uses DirectSound on windows.
4. The Win32 API is your Windows API found in Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP.

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Quote:
Original post by eektor
1. What exactly does API stand for?

Application Programming Interface. An API is a set of classes and/or functions that allow the programmer to use a higher level interface to lower level functionality.
Quote:
2. Is SDL and Allegro a graphic API just like DirectX and OpenGL?

Yes and no, depending on who you ask. Libraries such as SDL and Allegro are more commonly known as "middleware", and they provide another layer of abstraction above such APIs as DirectX and OpenGL: you get an even more simple interface, but as always lose a bit of functionality and/or speed.

Quote:
3. I know DirectX has sound and graphic libraries (I think that's how you say it), is OpenAL the sound library equivalent to OpenGL, does SDL and Allegro have sound libraries?

OpenAL and OpenGL are not directly affiliated, and there are other sound libraries out there that provide the same functionality and work just as well with OpenGL. DirectX is an attempt to provide all aspects of the multimedia experience in one package, whereas OpenGL only provides the 3d graphical aspects. Allegro and SDL both have decent sound playback capabilities built in, or you can choose to use another library for sound.

Quote:
4. Where does Win32 fit in in all this?

Win32 is the API for Windows, just as OpenGL and DirectX are APIs for your graphics hardware. Everything that is a part of the Windows user experience (all the buttons and menus, widgets and wizards, and a multitude of things that go on behind the scenes) is exposed by Win32.

Hope that helps,
Twilight Dragon

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