There are alot of various extensions and though there’s textual documentation sometimes it’s hard to find the right info and you have to try and visualize how best to use these features and how the end result would appear when using them. Most of the functions are related to graphical operations or other calculations and manually testing has to be performed to see the results or in depth research, this is very time consuming when their are lack of adequate examples demonstrating usage techniques or the outcome, I’d like to see a categorized and clickable thumbnail picture next to each extension on the website displaying visually something to indicate for how these extensions and functions are working and their actual overall impact when using them, not just in a textual since, but for comparison each extensions there really isn’t anything and it’s sometimes hard to visualize how it would work to achieve a desired effect vs. using something else to do the samething.
If there is a blend function extension and a core feature for handling the samething, I want to scroll a list of extensions and click on an image next to the extension name to see to what benefit the blend function extension would have over the core version of the function, and perhapes an additional thumbnail image to show a few different uses for the function, and a snapshot image displaying performance results in framerate and times ms.
My point being, sometimes if you actually visually see the impact of something visually it can help you in your programming tasks and choices on what best to implement and programming usage for implementing the best performance.
Even if there are a number of tutorials online or examples you get to a certain point where the information sort of stops, then you run into an issue and go to a forum or have to contact someone knowledgable, then if that doesn’t take place and you can’t find reference information you can work with immediately that’s where the development time setback comes in.
Another example would be with the Wiki, sure it’s great for some of the beginning steps such as context creation, and a few basic samples, and sights like Nehe providing many good samples, as well as books and other documentation online, however, more often than not they only cover a limited number of core functions and extensions and have the bulk of further simplified or advanced topics not covered and rely on multiple 3rd party solutions to achieve desired results which many may already be included in the OpenGL standard’s Current Version Timeline, the information becomes dated.
So yeah I think some photo’s for some extra visual reference and performance comparisons when using the functions as compared to other similiar named functions might help alot save some development time, this could begin with future releases of OpenGL and covering all functions and working way up the extension ladder.
Displayed on website could be something such as:
FUNCTION NAME: Photo1, Photo2, Photo3, Photo4, Photo5
Photo’s 1 through 4 could show some main basic operations the function performs or is used to perform, Photo 5 would contain something such as the FPS and ms calling speed Performance values of calling/using the function.
Also, if a function does not perform a graphical operation and is not normally displayed graphically, such as a loading function or seperate mathmatical only operation or check, then a graphical sample of an application can still be used but with simple performance information of using the function same as with the graphical functions.