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OpenGL Confused over names of extension functions

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Sometimes functions end in ARB (ie. glGenBuffersARB() ), but confisingly you can remove ARB (ie. glGenBuffers() ) and this function is still defined. Whats the deal ... aren't they the same function ... whats the point ? I think I need a remedial course in OpenGL extensions ... please go slow :)

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When the function exists as an extension, there's a suffix attached to it. ARB if it's an ARB extension, EXT if it's an EXT extension, and so on. Once the function is promoted from an extension into the core API, the suffix is removed since it's no longer an extension.

Sometimes it's the same function with different names (no changes to the extension when promoted), sometimes there are sublte changes which makes them almost the same (subtle changes because of some detail which the extension author didn't think about when writing the extension, or some other inconvenient to implement detail), and sometimes the function is completely removed or makes something different (redesign of API when promoted).

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