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OpenGL What is so open about OpenGl?

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The Open in OpenGL refers to the specification.

It is an Open Specification.

What this means is people are free to add to the API as they like. However, the likelyhood of you coming up with something to be added to Specification and nVidia and ATi actually implementing it in their drivers is very slim.

OpenGL is not open source, it is an Open Specification.

Hope this helps.

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Close. It is indeed an open specification. What it means is that OpenGL is a specification that's open for anyone to implement (although you do need to pay a licence fee and go through a conformance test before your implementation can use the OpenGL trademark). SGI made the original specification and had there own implementation, Microsoft used to have an implementation of their own, and I believe nVidia and ATI each maintain their own seperate implementations of the OpenGL standard.

From Wikipedia:
At its most basic level OpenGL is a specification, meaning it is simply a document that describes a set of functions and the precise behaviours that they must perform. From this specification, hardware vendors create implementations - libraries of functions created to match the functions stated in the OpenGL specification, making use of hardware acceleration where possible. Hardware vendors have to meet specific tests to be able to qualify their implementation as an OpenGL implementation.

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However, the most important point about OpenGL has nothing to do with "open".

The most important point about OpenGL is, you can write an OpenGL program that runs on all three major operating systems (Mac, Linux and Windoze), and potentially others. Though I don't pay attention to this myself, OpenGL can run on all sorts of mobile devices too.

The "open" part isn't very important to most OpenGL programmers. But being multiplatform IS.

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Quote:
Original post by bootstrap
The "open" part isn't very important to most OpenGL programmers. But being multiplatform IS.


Or think of visualisation of scientific data. In science, Unix or GNU/Linux are widespread (from every 20 papers about computer graphics I've personally read, of those papers which mention the testing platform's operating system, 19 said "Unix/Linux"; those weren't nVidia papers, of course ;) ). There the factor is not multiplatform, but rather that there is only OpenGL for hardware accelerated graphics.

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In the beginning, there was SGI, and SGI made the IRIX workstation. For graphics, IRIX used IRIS GL API (Integrated Raster Imaging System Graphics Library), which was much easier to work with than other alternatives at the time. Many flocked to the SGI banner, and SGI saw it was good. Then SGI noticed its market share had been deteriorating, and SGI was not pleased. Then - Lo! - SGI reworked IRIS GL to remove the proprietary components and thus was born OpenGL, a version of IRIS GL that could work on multiple platforms.

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