Well, since my last thread had the intended consequences (the http://www.opengl.org/sdk/docs/man/ link now goes to the 4.3 pages, not the dangerously misinformed 2.1 ones. They're still available via http://www.opengl.org/sdk/docs/man2/ which is fine), let's see if we can't improve other things on OpenGL.org.

This is the official OpenGL SDK. When a normal person wants to learn about OpenGL and start using it, the first thing they see under "Code Resources" is this page. So it's fairly popular.

Short version: There is a lot of outdated junk and dead-links on the SDK.

Long version:

Let's ignore the fact that this "SDK" is nothing like an actual SDK (to the point where calling it an SDK is misinformation bordering on propaganda). This is what we've got. So... can it at least not contain useless things?

Let's walk through the "SDK"'s Libraries page.

First, we have Equalizer. There are two problems here. Equalizer is a tool for multi-processed OpenGL execution. People who look for "SDK"s are not going to be doing multi-processed OpenGL. These people are on the "Hello, World!" level of OpenGL. This is just not appropriate for a tool that is part of an "SDK". It's too specialized and required advanced knowledge that people who want an SDK won't be looking for. At the very least, it shouldn't be the first link new users see.

But I'm sure this is a fine tool, worthy of note. Or, rather, it was, when it still existed.

Here's a great way to make OpenGL look dead: have a lot of dead links on the OpenGL site itself. If OpenGL.org doesn't look like a place that's being actively maintained, then OpenGL looks like dead technology. And if the official SDK site for OpenGL is composed of dead links, then OpenGL looks even more dead.

Which brings us to GLee. Which contains more dead links. Not to the main GLee site, but to the downloads from that site which now no longer exist. Indeed, in order to get GLee, you now must install Git and clone it from the Git repo on SourceForge.

Not exactly a vibrant project when they can't even be bothered to have packaged download. Another way to make OpenGL look dead is to link to a bunch of dead projects in support of OpenGL.

The GLEW and GLM pages are OK, though no mention is made of GLEW's problems with core contexts.

Then we have a link to libktx. Really? Of all the many, many image loading libraries out there, you picked that one? Something used primarily by GL ES, even when it is used at all. It has little tool support (Googling for "Photoshop KTX plugin" turned up zilch), little visibility outside of its specialty, and it's documentation is an obvious minimal-effort Doxygen job.

Oh, and even better? There's this little gem right before the downloads: "The bundle includes OpenGL ES applications showing how to use the library to load textures." OK, how about some examples in desktop OpenGL? You know, the OpenGL that the "SDK" is actually supposedly about.

So the "SDK" not only makes OpenGL look dead, it makes OpenGL look dead and confused.

And we end the library section with OpenSceneGraph, which is an actual project with developers and everything. It is a tool that is useful to many. And... it has poor support for modern OpenGL features. But that's semi-minor compared to the other things on that page.

The Tools page is better, in that it has fewer dead-links. Though the link to Shader Designer is rather dubious, since Typhoon Labs is defunct.

There's even a dead-link on the Communications page: the link to the pipeline newsletters which no longer exist on OpenGL.org (thanks for removing those, btw. They didn't have great and useful articles like "When Shaders Attack" or anything...).


If the "SDK" is going to remain in sarcasm-quotes, then at the very least, there needs to be some form of maintenance done on the links. Dead-links and links to defunct projects should be pruned. Links to new projects should be added.

A more permanent solution is to move the "SDK" to the Wiki, where it can be more reasonably maintained. If a link goes dead, it can be removed. If someone wants their project listed, it can be added. And so on. Indeed, we already have such a page; it's far more useful than the "SDK" page.