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A complete rewrite that loses all the best parts of a reference manual
on 19 April 2013
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.