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OpenGL Programming on MAC OS X: Architecture, Performance, and Integration Paperback – 17 Dec 2007

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From the Back Cover

The Mac has fully embraced OpenGL throughout its visual systems. In fact, Apple's highly efficient, modern OpenGL implementation makes Mac OS X one of today's best platforms for OpenGL development. OpenGL® Programming on Mac OS® X is the first comprehensive resource for every graphics programmer who wants to create, port, or optimize OpenGL applications for this high-volume platform.

Leading OpenGL experts Robert Kuehne and J. D. Sullivan thoroughly explain the Mac's diverse OpenGL APIs, both old and new. They illuminate crucial OpenGL setup, configuration, and performance issues that are unique to the Mac platform. Next, they offer practical, start-to-finish guidance for integrating key Mac-native APIs with OpenGL, and leveraging the full power of the Mac platform in your graphics applications.

Coverage includes

  • A thorough review of Mac hardware and software architectures and their performance implications
  • In-depth, expert guidance for accessing OpenGL from each of the Mac's core APIs: CGL, AGL, and Cocoa
  • Interoperating with other Mac APIs: incorporating video with QuickTime, performing image effects with Core Image, and processing CoreVideo data
  • Analyzing Mac OpenGL application performance, resolving bottlenecks, and leveraging optimizations only available on the Mac
  • Detecting, integrating, and using OpenGL extensions
  • An accompanying Web site ( contains the book's example code, plus additional OpenGL-related resources.

OpenGL® Programming on Mac OS® X will be valuable to Mac programmers seeking to leverage OpenGL's power, OpenGL developers porting their applications to the Mac platform, and cross-platform graphics developers who want to take advantage of the Mac platform's uniquely intuitive style and efficiency.

About the Author

Robert P. Kuehne leads Blue Newt Software, a consultancy that specializes in helping clients enhance their 3D graphics applications. Formerly Technical Lead for Silicon Graphics' OpenGL Shading Language, Kuehne has been involved with OpenGL since it was created, in roles ranging from programmer to shader compiler developer to SIGGRAPH presenter. He has also been a Macintosh developer since the early 1990s.

J. D. Sullivan is an OpenGL driver engineer who has been writing graphics software professionally for more than fifteen years. While at Silicon Graphics, Inc., he was one of the original designers and implementers of the Volumizer API and later worked as part of the OpenGL software team focused on the Cobalt and Krypton graphics chipsets. Since SGI, Sullivan has worked on the Mac as his primary development platform, and he serves on the OpenGL Architecture Review Board.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting the Example Code 15 Dec. 2011
By compsci student - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the Kindle edition, noticed others also had a hard time accessing the example code from the book website, and wanted to provide an answer to help other people out.

In the instructions on the book website, there is a password you have to find on a certain page and paragraph number in the text in order to open the example code zip file. Well, the Kindle version obviously has no page numbers. I fired off a message asking for the password using the contact form on the book website months ago, but never heard back.

I have since learned that the password for the zip file is "interleaved" and I had to use a program called StuffIt to unzip the file. Looking forward to going through the book now that I can access the examples.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Password not provided on kindle edition 31 July 2011
By Brian Becker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a bad book, but if you buy the kindle edition you won't be able to unzip all of the source files that are provided on their website.

The password is on a certain page of the book, obviously there aren't page numbers for the kindle version. Quite irritating, emailing the publisher didn't help either.

No chance I'm buying both copies.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boost your OpenGL Programming Productivity 17 Feb. 2008
By Jose Brito - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has a lot of shining points. First, all its explanations are crystal clear, focused into the concepts and techniques OpenGL developers really need. Furthermore, the book comprises OpenGL architecture and configuration on OS X, and the various APIs we can use in order to create OpenGL applications, specifically, CGL, AGL, Cocoa, (our old buddy) GLUT, and X11 APIs. A chapter focused into API interoperability is also included. But there is much more information in this book: history notes, a germane review of Mac's hardware, OS X programming, compatibility between Mac platforms, and a discussion about OpenGL extensions. Appendices contain an useful Glossary and notes about Cocoa API for OpenGL in Leopard. Last but not least, the book is the OpenGL/Mac companion we were demanding.

This, however, is not a book for starting to learn OpenGL (use the OpenGL SuperBible or the Red Book instead). This is a book aimed at two categories of programmers: Mac developers in general, and those with OpenGL foundations who want to explore the enormous benefits of OpenGL development on Mac OS X. I do strongly believe that any OpenGL developer will benefit of studying this great book.

Personally, Chapter 11 is the one I've enjoyed the most. The technical wisdom revealed in such chapter almost justifies by itself the full cost of the book. It's such a fine chapter. The almost 5 pages covering the "Axioms for Designing High-Performance OpenGL Applications" are very interesting, particularly the care we must have when doing our OpenGL drawing in Object-Oriented programs; we could easily incur considerable glVertex overhead, if our code is not properly structured. The little tutorial section "Putting It All Together" includes a detailed optimization of an OpenGL program, "Please Tune Me". Delicious. Very Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars multiple APIs to choose from 26 Feb. 2008
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Paperback
The text describe the nitty gritty of coding or porting your OpenGL applications to the Mac OS X environment. To a limited extent, the book has a general treatment of programming in OpenGL. But it is not meant as a text on the latter. Instead the focus is on the "issues" that making for possible problems on OS X.

One of which is that OS X has 2 types of windows, Carbon and Cocoa. It might perhaps be nicer if there was only one. But this is what you have to deal with. The Apple OpenGL (AGL) is the interface to Carbon, while you need the Cocoa OpenGL for Cocoa. It is slightly unusual that a major platform would have 2 types, and you may want to code just for one type. The book gives many details about both APIs, as well as the GLUT API. An evenhanded discussion. Different readers might well have different preferences.

Some of you should check out the discussion about multithreading, if intensive graphics performance is needed in your applications. The OS X OpenGL engine is said to have much better performance due to its multithreading, than typical serial engines.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs some work 7 April 2009
By Shea John Michael - Published on
Format: Paperback
I would agree with the other two reviewers that the book is in general well laid out and gives some good background for mac os and opengl. However I found the authors style somewhat meandering. For example VBOs are introduced, then something else is talked about and then back to the VBOs again, sometimes its very difficult to tell exactly which technology they are talking about.
This would be ok if the code samples made it easier - but in fact the code samples are a mess and largely missing the important examples referenced in the text.
For example the "please tune me" example mentioned in the other review? Not there. The vertex submission example - also in chapter 11 - also not there. I not sure whether its standard practice that I should be debugging the code as well in order to get it to work. A simple example - the paths to resources (eg Quicktime movies) are hard coded!
Currently it is a useful reference for me - but more because it brings to light a certain technology (eg an Apple extension) - but then I usually have to go elsewhere for it to be explained. In conclusion : it needs a good editor who understands the topic, and whomever the code was outsourced to, they should not be paid. In addition authors should not bother putting up a website if they are not going to respond to queries - just put a CD/DVD in the back of the book.
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