Coming back to OpenGL finally after a long hiatus

I am back. After job changes, life changes and other things i can now come back and do what i started to do about 3 or 4 years ago.

Therefore this post here will require comments from experience OpenGL coders as i will address general thoughts and concerns.

I currently have some old books, some older than others and wondering if they are garbage now. I am pretty sure that the LaMothe series(OpenGL Game Programming, Data Structures, etc) is all defunct now. I have OpenGL Distilled still and the Orange Book(first release i think). I also still have a bookmark to lighthouse 3D. After some reading it looks like shader setup has changed a bit and perhaps the old way of setting up a scene in OpenGL is no longer valid/not supported(i.e. setting up initial lights, background color, etc etc).

Where can i go or where should i start back so that i can be up to date? I really don’t want to spend a ton of time on coding if that code is currently out of date or will be totally deprecated with OpenGL 3 and would rather prepare myself for that. However, i would still like to code for relatively older machines too and be able to port the projects across all major platforms(windows, linux and mac).

I guess i am just right now, looking for direction so that i can start back and turning around results pretty quickly. As a sidenote before i stopped doing openGl work shaders were just really starting to take off, so i never really got deep into shader technology, so most of this will be new to me. As i said before, i had already bought the orange book(1st release), but unsure if it is still relevant.

Short Term goals: Simple Polygons(2D and 3D), Lighting, getting familiar again with 2d/3d perspectives, texture manipulation…

Long terms goals: performance improvements(through different drawing techniques or using shaders only, etc), dynamic meshes, real time generation of objects(i.e. 64K executables) and others things of that nature.

Thanks in advance for all your input. It is glad to be back.

1st orange book is still interesting, even if some details and features have changed a bit (no more built-in attributes for example).
GL 3.2 only without deprecation :

Definitely have a look at the “new” wiki :

Please note that “relatively older machines” might only go up to GL 2.


thanks for the input. i will look into those tutorials and examples. I guess i should have added that i have no intention of writing any intial code on windows at all, other than to make ports to windows(which should be very little code) from either mac or linux. I tend to use Eclipse or if i am in the mood just go straight into the VI editor on a terminal on my mac. In this case i assume that we are still talking about GLUT or another windowing context library instead of using HWND.

i guess this brings about an interesting thing to note, in that i hope that apple releases hardware updates or has been all along to support any new changes that have been pushed out.

Thanks again for the input. has code for both linux and windows.

Just use latest freeglut + glew, both adapted for GL 3.