Related toolkits and APIs

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Revision as of 11:07, 18 January 2011 by Groovounet (Talk | contribs) (Toolkits to bridge OpenGL and the Window System)

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Toolkits top on OpenGL

Many programming interfaces are layered on OpenGL with rich and varied functionality. Not all can interoperate.

Extension libraries

A extension libraries simplifies the work with OpenGL extensions.

GLEW 
A extension library for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Irix, and Solaris.

Get functions pointer to OpenGL functions with this library!

GLee 
A extension library for Windows, Linux and FreeBSD.

Get functions pointer to OpenGL functions with this library!

Scene graphs

A scene graph works on the top of OpenGL.

Open Scene Graph 
This scene graph works on all Windows platforms, OSX, GNU/Linux, IRIX, Solaris and FreeBSD.
OpenSG 
It's a scene graph which works on IRIX, Windows and Linux.
Gizmo3D 
This scene graph works on all Windows platforms, OSX, GNU/Linux, and IRIX.

Game engines

Panda3D 
A C++ 3D game engine with Python bindings.
Delta3D 
Game engine based on Open Scene Graph and ODE.

Toolkits to bridge OpenGL and the Window System

OpenGL knows nothing about the surrounding window system. You need widget toolkit to bridge OpenGL and the window system. The widget toolkit abstract the interface for connecting the windows system and OpenGL like WGL, GLX and AGL away. There are many toolkits for that task. Most modern widget libraries provide this support.

Cross-platform Toolkits

  • ClanLib : A cross platform C++ toolkit library with a BSD style license. Essentially the library offers a series of different functionality under a streamlined API. Its primary focus is on games, although not limited for that usage only.
  • Equalizer: A crossplatform framework for the development and deployment of parallel OpenGL applications for large scale graphics clusters and multi-GPU workstations.
  • FLTK : A small widget library.
  • freeGLUT : A crossplatform windowing and keyboard/mouse handler. More up to date than GLUT.
  • GLFW : A crossplatform windowing and keyboard/mouse handler. Contrary to GLUT, this is more aimed for creating games. Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems such as Linux and FreeBSD.
  • GLUT : A crossplatform windowing and keyboard/mouse handler. Very old, consider using the compatible freeGLUT instead.
  • Qt : A toolkit which abstracts the Linux, MacOS X and Windows away.
  • SDL : A crossplatform windowing and keyboard/mouse handler. Better than GLUT because it is up to date. SDL supports Linux, Windows, Windows CE, BeOS, MacOS, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSD/OS, Solaris, IRIX, and QNX. The code contains support for AmigaOS, Dreamcast, Atari, AIX, OSF/Tru64, RISC OS, SymbianOS, and OS/2, but these are not officially supported.
  • SFML : A cross-platform multimedia C++ API that provides you low and high level access to graphics, input, audio, etc. Free, still updated and written in C++.

Image and Texture Libraries

  • DevIL: DevIL stands for Developers Image Library. It supports many image formats for reading and writing, it supports several compilers and OS (Win, Linux, Mac OSX). The library has a OpenGL-like syntax. It has not been updated recently.
  • FreeImage: FreeImage is an cross-platform image-loading library, with very wide support for image formats (including some HDR formats like OpenEXR).
  • SOIL: SOIL ( Simple OpenGL Image Loader ) is a public-domain cross-platform image loader that's extremely small.
  • GLI: GLI( OpenGL Image ) is a small MIT cross-platform C++ image library able to load DDS textures (DDS9 and DDS10), compressed or uncompressed.

Math Libraries

  • GLM: GLM ( OpenGL Mathematics ) is a MIT cross-platform C++ mathematics library designed over the GLSL specification. It provides vectors and matrices classes and functions functionalities to replace the deprecated OpenGL functions and many more features from half-precision floating point or quaternions.

Sound or Audio Libraries

OpenAL 
OpenAL stands for Open Audio Library. It is maintained by people at Creative and nVidia and users. Multi OS support (Win, Linux, Mac OSX). The library has a OpenGL like syntax so it is easy to use. Closed source and open source portions. Access to special SoundBlaster features through extensions.