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OpenGL OpenGL Flavor!? -- Strange Question

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Hi, I wanna start learning OpenGL. I searched the net for tutorials, had no trouble finding a ton of them but something confuses me. Some tutorials use GLUT, others use native windows mode. The question is, what exactly IS OpenGL? It is a concept that is implemented in multiple libraries or it is a standard library controlled by a company? Also, what "type" of OpenGL do I need to learn to make applications that require no third party dll's and stuff?

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OpenGL is just one, an API to access current graphics accelerator features (GPU's), OpenGL is the same on all platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X), and only differs in the windowing system connection, such as creating the context, the framebuffer pixel format and handling events, such as keypresses, joystick/mouse events, and that's where GLUT, GLX/WGL/AGL and such enters.

GLUT is a OS abstraction to handle events, and GLX/WGL/AGL is the specific API for Linux/X11, Windows and OS X to connect OpenGL to their corresponding window system.

To start? Just use GLUT and concentrate on using OpenGL, later you can mess with the windowing code.

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OpenGL in itself does not take care of getting user input (keyboards, joysticks, etc.), creating windows to hold the graphics, or anything else apart from the graphics itself. So to ease the creation of windows, getting input, etc., different libraries such as SDL or GLUT wrap around OpenGL to allow you to easily do other things needed in OpenGL programs.

FlyingIsFun1217

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Quote:
Original post by FlyingIsFun1217
different libraries such as SDL or GLUT wrap around OpenGL


I think you meant to say: "wrap around the OS".

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OpenGL is just an interface to your graphics card so that you can render things on the screen. As mentioned earlier, it will not do keyboard input, sound etc like DirectX. With that being said, you can use OpenGL across different OS platforms, meaning you can develop 3D applications that run on Linux, Windows, Mac using OpenGL, but you can't with DirectX.

I have tutorials on my website that show you how to use OpenGL if you are interested.

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Quote:
Original post by MARS_999
Yes SDL/OpenGL is a good combo to start with.


Quote. In addition it has a basic sound system and multithreaading and net support, in case you need it...

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Implement it with SDL, its component based so you can use specific parts of the interfacing engine... allows you to concentrate on opengl and not worry about portability!!

Good Luck

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Quote:
Original post by Gage64
I think you meant to say: "wrap around the OS".


Well, yeah. I was thinking of a visual approach like the OP was needing, in which a window 'wraps' around an OpenGL context. Sorry for being unclear on this :)

FlyingIsFun1217

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