Guide To Documentation

The documentation set for OpenGL in Windows includes five elements.

  • The OpenGL Reference Manual includes an overview of how OpenGL works and a set of detailed reference pages. The reference pages cover all the 115 distinct OpenGL functions, as well as the 43 functions in the OpenGL Utility (GLU) library.

  • The OpenGL Programming Guide explains how to create graphics programs using OpenGL. It includes discussions of the following major topics:

    • Drawing geometric shapes
    • Pixels, bitmaps, fonts, and images
    • Viewing and matrix transformations
    • Texture mapping
    • Display lists
    • Advanced composite techniques
    • Color
    • Evaluators and NURBS
    • Lighting
    • Selection and feedback
    • Blending, antialiasing, and fog
    • Advanced techniques

    In addition, the OpenGL Programming Guide contains appendixes that discuss the OpenGL Utility library and the OpenGL Programming Guide Auxiliary library.

  • The third documentation element is this overview. It describes the Windows implementation of OpenGL and provides an overview of its components. It discusses the concepts of rendering contexts, pixel formats, and buffers; the WGL functions that connect OpenGL to the Windows windowing systems; and the Windows functions that support per-window pixel formats and double buffering of windows for OpenGL graphics windows. The WGL functions and the functions are specific to the Windows implementation of OpenGL.

  • The fourth documentation element is the set of reference pages for the WGL functions, the Windows functions just mentioned, and the PIXELFORMATDESCRIPTOR data structure.

  • The fifth documentation element is the porting guide. It discusses moving existing OpenGL code from other environments to Windows.

The first two elements are the official OpenGL books; they are not included in the Microsoft Windows SDK.