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mac os x development, and the opengl superbible

I've been programming for, hmm, twelve years minimum, at the most conservative estimate. I just had an experience that should happen all the time and yet I'm pretty sure it's never happened before. Not once.

It's time for me to learn the basics of OpenGL. I've been doing cool stuff with high-level toolkits based on OpenGL, but I haven't done much raw OpenGL coding beyond vertex here, vertex here, vertex there. I did some research, and it looks like
the OpenGL SuperBible
is a good resource to start with. I raced down to Barnes & Noble this morning and bought the book, then came back to the loaded g5 in the cave, ready to struggle for a while to get the examples to work.

I put the cd in the drive. I copied Examples/Mac into ~/src. I double-clicked on Examples/Mac/Chapter 1/Block/Block.xcode. Xcode launched, and then just for kicks I hit "Buid and Go." The example worked the first time, with no tweaking the build setup.

Lately I've been spending hours getting each new library I want to work with set up for each new computer I need to work with it on. Endless invocations of "./configure --another-option=/usr/local/eek" are educational, but they're also frustrating delays on the road to, for instance, using an XML library, or rendering fonts, or vector math, or whatever. It's always, "now where is gcc 3.3 on this machine?" and "urg, why don't I have automake 1.7.5?" and that sort of thing. But not today.

I hereby award one gold star to the authors of the SuperBible (Richard S. Wright, Jr, and Benjamin Lipchak) and one platinum star to the architects of Xcode and OS X.

Seriously -- when has demo source code compiled and run, directly off a book's cd-rom? Not that I can remember in twelve years of coding on Solaris, Linux and Windows machines.

Reader Comments (1)

Hi, Sascha.

Thanks for your kind words! Richard and I wrote our example code with platform independence in mind, but credit goes to our technical editor Nick Haemel for making sure things worked as well as possible on Mac and Linux.

Hope you're having fun with OpenGL!


6.21.2005 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBenj Lipchak

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