OpenGL RedBook 7th edition and the price to pay

In the last days I’ve formed my own opinion regarding the seventh edition of the OpenGL standard, by the Khronos group. I’ve been reading the first chapters of the book, consuming every word and trying to put in practice every example, to get a grip on the not-so-new OpenGL 3.3.

It turned out to be a disaster.

I thought I lost my touch with technology, and that maybe I was too far away from the topic that I couldn’t event get a basic understanding of the API. However I did realize that 80% of the functions were deprecated (I remembered this after a hundred pages reading…). Then I started wondering myself whether the book was going to be able to teach me practical OpenGL. It proved impossible.

Digging into google pool of wisdom to know more about this problem I found two things:

  • Everybody agree that the 7th edition of the OpenGL Red Book is good for reference, but not for learning
  • Several of them pointed out this website

After this I learned 2 things:

  • To read more carefully all the reviews of a book before blindly buying it
  • That, sometimes, free books are plenty of times better than pay-per-read ones

The mentioned website is one of the best book/tutorial about something that I’ve ever seen. Quite comprehensive, easy to follow, with up-to-date examples and an easy reading, it is now my north star of the OpenGL books.

If you are willing to learn modern OpenGL you must definitely try it. Then, when the basic concepts sick, you can go through the OpenGL Bible (beware the 5th edition as it is not as good the previous ones)  or the GLSL Cookbook than can complement this basic knowledge with more advance techniques. But first is first!

Hope to have saved you some time!

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