Best Toolkit

Which is the best toolkit for OpenGL?

I think glut, it is very structured.

And library like SDL what do you think about?

Originally posted by Luca:
Which is the best toolkit for OpenGL?

It really depends on what your trying to do… a game, a windows based app, do you need multimedia support, etc…

Every toolkit provides different features, and they are usually tailored to a particular
type of development.

For a list of most o them, there is a GL Toolkits FAQ:


Most toolkits are “the best toolkit”, it’s a question of what you want to use them for.

See this link: (not 100% yet, but gives you some more info)

My opinions:

GLUT/freeglut - Good if you want to use legacy code/documentation, not really that hot anymore (it works, mostly, but not always the way you want it to)
SDL - Mostly aimed at “DOS-like” game dev (2D graphics + basic sound), with OpenGL support as an addon. Comprehensive, quite portable, but not really core OpenGL.
Cpw - Good GLUT replacement for the new millenium (more functional, yet cleaner). Unfortunately win32 only at the moment.
GLFW - Minimalist, powerful OpenGL toolkit, aimed at game-like development. Portable (win32 + linux/sgi/solaris/hp-ux/freebsd/…, with Mac OS X on the way).

“pure” win32/glX/etc - Generally it’s not worth it. It’s a never-ending nightmare (especially win32!)

What do you think is better for games and for apps?

I can’t really speak much for toolkits other than GLFW, and it is primarily designed to be useful for games. Multi-window, mixed GUI & OpenGL window content applications are definitely better supported by other toolkits (Cpw? FLTK?).

Of course, if the application only needs a window to display OpenGL stuff in it, GLFW should work well with that too (e.g. a Visual Basic GUI application that opens a separate OpenGL window for displaying some 3D content).