10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A complete rewrite that loses all the best parts of a reference manual,
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This review is from: OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Versions 4.3 (Paperback)
While each chapter of the original redbook had two or three complete listings for example programs using only the GL.h and glut.h headers, this 8th edition contains only 2 complete programs as far as I can see viz. examples 1.1 and 4.1. And 'complete' isn't really the right word as both rely on included files that are not standard to the freeglut installation. The authors seem to be saying 'OpenGL is great - but it's a bit too complicated for you so we wrote some nice routines to make it easier'. These files can presumably be downloaded from the opengl-redbook website when the authors have actually completed it. I received the book on the 13th of April and the sample code is still unavailable almost a week later.
This review, then, is of a book without the accompanying source code. While it is common for computing books to have source code online, I have never encountered one in 20 years that relied on it so heavily and was so useless without it and I feel these factors disqualify it as a true 'reference' book.
While I do not underestimate the size of the task that Dave Shreiner et al. have undertaken in overhauling all the deprecated features in the last edition, I feel that the book has lost most of its appeal. In short, I was able to learn OpenGL from the original redbook but a novice would not have a clue where to begin with this last outing.
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Initial post: 30 May 2013 09:42:51 BDT
Piotr Justyna says:
"The authors seem to be saying 'OpenGL is great - but it's a bit too complicated for you so we wrote some nice routines to make it easier'" - that's precisely what I've been thinking. Some time ago I started writing my own rendering engine based only on plain c and opengl (exclusively gl.h, even without glut) and had quite difficult time at the beginning, having read only the superbible. Authors these days definitely have to focus more on the core opengl (and by 'core' I don't necessarily mean core profile) since this is what the book is all about. Superbible, while excellent for beginners, suffers from exactly the same problem - authors focus too much on their own libraries and you, as a reader, end up learning how to use not the opengl, but a wrapper around it (all the juicy bits are buried deep in the source code provided with the book - if there is any source code). Thanks for your review, I think I will pass on this book for now.
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