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What's the difference between SDL and Allegro?

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I see everyone on this site uses SDL. Personally, I use Allegro. But what's the difference between them? Does one have an advantage over the other? I started using Allegro because I read that book Game Programming All In One Third Edition. Is there a similar book for SDL? Why did everyone here go the SDL route? And should I consider switching to SDL? Thanks for the answers - Goishin

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There isn't that much difference between them. Technology-wise, they can do about the same things at about the same speed. They're a good balance between ease-of-use and performance; they're much faster than (for example) Windows GDI.

I've used SDL for some projects, and Allegro for none, but from what I've heard neither has a significant/noticeable technical advantage. Other than that, which style/interface do you like better? Which are you more comfortable with? Which can you get more help from other forum members on?

Also, some commercial games use SDL: Quake 4 and Neverwinter Nights, to name a few. They just use it for the input and windowing, though; they use OpenGL for 3d graphics.

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I wouldn't say that everyone here uses SDL, but I do get the feeling that SDL users outnumber Allegro users on the forums (even if they aren't a significant portion of the total users).

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Roboguy,

Because I have contacted each and every one of the 120,798 gamedev.net users and questioned them personally, except for you.

<grin>

Nah, being an Allegro guy myself it just seems to me, as Alpha_ProgDes so eloquently put it, that everyone always mentions SDL and not Allegro. I know I've run across a few of us Allegro users, but not too many. Maybe Allegro is just coming in to its own while SDL did that a long time ago?

I dunno.

Nagromo, do you mean that it's faster to implement your design in Allegro or SDL than it is in the Windows GDI? Or do you mean that Allegro and SDL are actually capable of performing operations faster? It was my understanding that Allegro and SDL were actually using the Windows GDI under the hood. Or maybe they're doing something else that's making them faster?

That's very interesting...

- Goishin

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