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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so near and yet so far, 8 Dec. 2007
Richard Jones (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foundations of 3D Graphics Programming: Using JOGL and Java3D (Hardcover)
For the most part, this book appears to be delivering the clarifications about 3d programming that I needed, but it falls down on delivery is many ways. Firstly, it is officially out of date already. The java libraries that it introduces have moved, and some of the method calls it documents have changed. It's up to the reader to go digging through the internet to find out what the examples should really say.

Second, there are significant omissions. For example, there is a code listing asking you to extend a previous code listing, except that said previous code listing does not appear in the book. Fortunately, it does appear on the author's website archive of the source code, so it's worth downloading that.

Thirdly, it gets moderately technical with regard to vector and matrix mathematics, but does not present this mathematics in a particularly easy to read manner, which often will result in you skipping over it in a "yeah, whatever" way.

Overall? I've given it a 3 because it does actually answer the questions about the nature of OpenGL proramming that I wanted answered, and fixing the authors' broken code is a neat challenge I suppose. Still, for the quality of the package (it's a nice looking book), I would have expected more from the content.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars rather disappointing, 1 Feb. 2009
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I was rather disappointed with this book.

The book seems to style itself as a university textbook, and so has a large amount of material about how you may write routines to handle things like line drawing, circle drawing, anti-aliasing etc from first principals, pixel-by-pixel, rather than introducing the library routines that do the same job far quicker. I also agree with the previous reviewer that there are passages of mathematics that it is all too easy to skip over, since they add very little.

I was actually looking for a graphics book that deals specifically with JOGL, rather than one of the many that deal with OpenGL, but actually the JOGL-specific material in this book is very sparse and new JOGL users would be able to get by just as well with an OpenGL book and a basic understanding of the JOGL-specific syntax which could be got from any web tutorial.

My biggest gripe with the book though was the programming examples - almost every example in the book is a class extended from an earlier example, all the way back to the very first example, and so they become a mess of inherited and overridden functionality. Because of this, picking up an example ad-hoc from the middle of the book is near impossible.

I would actually recommend OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 2.1 which is a far better book (and I believe the text is even found on the web for free)
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Foundations of 3D Graphics Programming: Using JOGL and Java3D
Foundations of 3D Graphics Programming: Using JOGL and Java3D by Edward J. Wegman (Hardcover - 11 Aug. 2006)
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