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This book goes into great detail about pointless and redundant functions
on 18 November 2014
The book claims to be "the official guide to learning OpenGL", but it does an absolutely lousy job at helping you understand this complex API. It represents an enormous step back from the previous version 2 book, which I also have.
This book goes into great detail about pointless and redundant functions, like explaining how to allocate, de-allocate, bind, and query for the existence of every type of OpenGL resource (which typically gets a full page per resource, but is always the same except for the function name) - yet it fails to explain what it actually is you are allocating, or what you might use it for, or what a good strategy for its use is.
As an example: what is a VAO? Sure, having read the book, I know how to allocate one now - now tell me: why would I? What does it do, and how do I best use it?
Function arguments are also barely explained. A vital table, explaining what the arguments to glReadBuffer() actually do, and that was present in the predecessor book, is now missing. I understand a book must have a limited length, but a book that positions itself as "the official guide to learning" should surely prioritize the basics of the API over much more esoteric subjects like the procedural texturing chapter?
There's also the use of home-grown software to skip over certain important details - the book uses several pages to describe how to use a function that isn't even in OpenGL, but part of the authors' personal library. Meanwhile, any explanation of the OpenGL API being called inside that function is missing completely - and a listing for the function is also missing.
All in all, this is a pretty useless and confusing book. If you are buying this in the hopes of understanding OpenGL, you will have a long struggle ahead of you including many trips to the internet to try and figure out what all those weird functions really do.