Question about Open-gl platform independence (PC/Mac)

Hello All;
I am a Educational Simulation software designer and not a developer so I have a very basic technical question about Open-Gl.

Currently, we have developed immersive and interactive simulations exclusively for the PC platform using such higher level toolkits like Vega (Multigen-Paradigm), Worldtoolkit (Sense-8), and VTREE (CG2). However, folks have often complained that we don’t develop for the MAC platform too. Previously, I thought that you would have to develop two applications separately which would be cost prohibitive for us.

However, I have recently found out that if we have a developer use Open-gl (Rather than a platform-specific toolkit), then we may be able to develop for both platforms (PC/MAC) but develop only one set of code.

I have come to this forum to find out if this is in fact true. Can one or several of ya let me know if Open-gl would let us develop one set of code but use it for both MAC and PC ?

Is this what most folks do in order to develop for several different platforms ?

Thanks for any enlightenment you can provide me.


OpenGL its self is Platform independent but requires and interface to the host window system. These are operating system dependent. The main ones are WGL (Windows), AGL (Apple), and GLX (UNIX). However, you can use OpenGL and a cross-platform application framework to make an application that can be compiled for differnt operating systems from the same source. I would recommend FLTK as it is easy to use and I have used it to make cross platform software. It is worth noting that OpenGL is NOT a high level API. You might want to consider using Open Scene Graph or Open RM instead of using OpenGL directly