Is glGenLists mandatory?

I’m wondering whether calling glGenLists() is mandatory before using glNewList() - I have an application that (for whatever reason) never calls glGenLists, but I use glNewList for my graphical objects and everything seems to work fine.

glGenLists is not mandatory, it is a convenience function that returns a range of list ids that have not yet been used by your program. you don’t need it if you want to manage the ids by yourself, e.g. by counting up a variable each time you use glNewList.