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OpenGL Programming for the X Window System

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OpenGL Programming for the X Window System


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
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  • Copyright 1997
  • Dimensions: 7-1/2" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 584
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-48359-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-48359-8

OpenGL is the fastest and most widely available software standard for producing high-quality color images of 3D scenes. This practical guide shows X programmers how to construct working 3D applications using OpenGL and how to tightly integrate OpenGL applications with the X Window System.

Written by a Silicon Graphics X Window System and OpenGL expert, OpenGL Programming for the X Window System uses the OpenGL Utility Toolkit (GLUT) to show how OpenGL programs can be constructed quickly and explores OpenGL features using examples written with GLUT. This book also:

  • explains the GLX model for integrating OpenGL and Xlib

  • shows how to use OpenGL with Motif and other widget sets

  • discusses the latest OpenGL standards: OpenGL 1.1, GLX 1.2, and GLU 1.2

  • covers advanced topics such as alternative input devices and overlays

  • includes valuable information for ensuring OpenGL portability and interoperability

  • provides pointers for performance tuning

Each chapter contains source code demonstrating the techniques described. Source code for all the examples provided, and for the GLUT library itself, are available for downloading via the Internet.

Intended for C programmers familiar with the Xlib and/or Motif programming interfaces. No previous OpenGL knowledge is required.



Source Code

Download the Source Code file related to this title.

Sample Content

Table of Contents



1. Introduction.

What is OpenGL?

OpenGL's Design.

History of OpenGL.

OpenGL's Rendering Functionality.

Geometric Primitives.

Pixel Path Operations.

Two Color Models.

OpenGL Modes and Other State.

Ancillary Buffers.

Modeling and Viewing.

Further Capabilities.

GLX: The Glue Between OpenGL and X.

A Quick Survey of GLX.

The GLX Protocol.

The GLU Library.

An Example Xlib-based OpenGL Program.


Example: glxsimple.c.

Scene Update.

Compiling the Example.

Comparing OpenGL to PEX.

Subsets and Baselines.

Programming Interfaces.

Rendering Functionality.

Display Lists.


Window System Dependency.

2. Integrating X and OpenGL.

A More Involved Xlib Example.


The Dinosaur Model.


View Selection.

Event Dispatching.

OpenGL and X Visuals.

What Visuals GLX Guarantees to Exist.

Example: glxvisuals.c.

glXChooseVisual and glXGetConfig.

More about Colormaps.

Colormap Sharing.

Managing Multiple Colormaps.

Initializing Writable Colormaps.

Using GLX Contexts.

Sharing Display Lists.

Binding to GLX Contexts.

Copying Context State.

Rendering X Fonts with OpenGL.

Rendering OpenGL into Pixmaps.

Generating Encapsulated PostScript.

Mixing X and OpenGL Rendering.

Debugging Tips.

Finding OpenGL Errors.

X11 Protocol Errors.

Specialized OpenGL Debugging Tools.

3. Using OpenGL with Widgets.

About the X Toolkit and Motif.

Using OpenGL Drawing Area Widgets.

A Short OpenGL-specific Widget Example.

Specifics of the OpenGL Drawing Area Widgets.

The Motif and non-Motif OpenGL Widget Differences.

OpenGL Widgets and the Widget Class Hierarchy.

OpenGL Widget Resources.

OpenGL Widget Advice.

A More Involved Widget Example.

4. A Simple Toolkit for OpenGL.

Introducing GLUT.

A Short Example.

User Input and Other Callbacks.


More GLUT Functionality.


Window Management.

Controlling the Cursor Shape.

Color Index Mode.

Other Input Device Callbacks.

State Retrieval.

More Menu Management.

Font Rendering.

Geometric Shape Rendering.

Overlay Support.

Usage Advice and Hints.

Callback Advice.

Window Management Advice.

Current Window/Menu Management Advice.

Miscellaneous Advice.

A Substantial GLUT Example.

Establishing an Overlay for Rubber-banding.

Normal Plane and Overlay Rendering.

Spinning and Rubber-banding.

Suspending Animation and Pop-up Menus.

5. Exploring OpenGL with GLUT.

Exploring Lighting with GLUT.

The OpenGL Lighting Model.

Using OpenGL's Lighting Model.

Example: lightlab.c.

Exploring OpenGL Texture Mapping with GLUT.

Using Textures with OpenGL.

Fun with Textures.

More on Texture Mapping.

Example: mjkwarp.c.

Exploring Blending Operations with GLUT.

Uses for Blending.

Antialiasing through Blending.

Fog and Atmospheric Effects.


Example: blender.c.

Exploring Images and Bitmaps with GLUT.

The Pixel Path.


Reading and Copying Pixels.

Texturing as the Merging of Geometry and Imagery.

Example: splatlogo.c.

Exploring Curves and Surfaces with GLUT.

Why Curves and Surfaces?


The GLU NURBS Routines.

More Information.

Example: molehill.c.

Exploring the OpenGL Extensions with GLUT.

OpenGL Extension Naming.

Available Extensions.

Extension Interoperability.

GLX Extensions.

Extensions as OpenGL's Future.

The Polygon Offset Extension.

Example: origami.c.

Exploring Open Inventor with GLUT.

Procedural versus Descriptive.

Open Inventor in Brief.

Open Inventor with GLUT.

Example: glutduck.c++.

6. Advanced Topics.

Revisions to OpenGL, GLX, and GLU.

OpenGL 1.1.

GLX 1.1 and GLX 1.2.

GLU 1.1 and GLU 1.2.

X Input Extension.

Querying the Extension.

Types of Extension Devices.

Querying Supported Devices.

Sample Devices.

Opening and Selecting Events from a Device.

Other X Input Extension Features.

An Xlib-based OpenGL Example.

X Toolkit Support for Extension Events.

Motif-based OpenGL Examples.

Using Overlays.

Utility of Overlays.

The Server Overlay Visuals Convention.

An SOV Programming Interface.

Listing Overlay Visuals: sovinfo.c.

An Xlib-only Overlay Example.

Vendor Support for Overlays.

Usage Considerations.

Using Overlays with Motif Menus.

Portability and Interoperability.

Portability Issues.

Interoperability Issues.

Hardware for Accelerating OpenGL.

The Graphics Pipeline.

A Taxonomy for Graphics Hardware.

Rendering Paths.

Hardware for OpenGL Stages.

Display Options.


Transforming Geometry.

Hardware for Window System Requirements.

Graphics Subsystem Bottlenecks.

Maximizing OpenGL Performance.

Pipeline-based Tuning.

Reducing OpenGL Command Overhead.

Minimize OpenGL Mode Changes.

Improving Transformation Performance.

Improving Rasterization Performance.

Improving Imaging Performance.

Improving Texturing Performance.

Constructing Application-specific Benchmarks.

Beware of Standard Benchmarks.

7. An Example Application.

Running molview.

The Molecule Data Structure: molview.h.

Data File Reader: mol_file.c.

Virtual Trackball: trackball.c.

Molecule Renderer: render.c.

Picking: pick.c.

User Interface Initialization: gui_init.c.

User Interface Operation: gui_run.c.

Appendix A. Obtaining GLUT, Mesa, and the Book's OpenGL Example Code.

GLUT and the Book's Example Code.

Obtaining Mesa.

Appendix B. Functional Description of the GLUT API


Beginning Event Processing.

Window Management.

Overlay Management.

Menu Management.

Callback Registration.

Color Index Colormap Management.

State Retrieval.

Font Rendering.

Geometric Object Rendering.

Appendix C. GLUT State.

Types of State.

Global State.

Program Controlled State.

Fixed System Dependent State.

Window State.

Basic State.

Frame Buffer Capability State.

Layer State.

Menu State.



Index. 0201483599T04062001


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