Updated version of blue book?

Is the OpenGL Reference Manual (blue book) 5th edition going to be available in dead tree form soon?

Perhaps the feeling is that there’s no point and/or profit in it, neither of which case I can personally attest to.

The way I see it, all you really need is the specification, and the extension specs as they’re released–though some swear by the bluebook, and I wouldn’t presume to debate them on the subject. I swiped a copy of the redbook from a friend and it has certainly paid for itself :wink:

It’s rumored that the upcoming SDK will have enhanced documentation, making the bluebook itself an costly redundancy.

A reference to the 5th edition of the blue book appeared in the back of the 2nd edition of the orange book, which raised my hopes that it was going to happen (the blurb mentioned that the updated blue book would cover OpenGL 2.1 so I assumed that would be a prerequsite for its release). Do you have specific knowledge that it won’t happen?

I think the spec is definitely useful in its own way, but it is not really a replacement for the blue book. I’m certainly willing to spend the money to have an up to date function reference handy in paper form.

I don’t know anything about a future SDK, so I can’t really make any judgement about it. I do know I’ve never thought to myself “I wish I had an OpenGL SDK”. There are plenty of materials and resources available about OpenGL programming (specs, turotials, sample code, etc), and the blue book is a unique one which I hope will at least have one more version.

Do you have specific knowledge that it won’t happen?
None whatsoever. I just tossed a few chicken bones and then deferred to my (not so) trusty tea leaves.

I’ve been converting all the existing man pages to DocBook format and am basically done with that, aside from a few lingering issues with MathML support for the imbedded equations. The ARB Ecosystem WG is writing the missing pages to bring us up to date with a complete set of OpenGL 2.1 man pages in a modern format, and we’ll release those on opengl.org when they’re ready. I’d guess sometime in September since it’s traditional for ARB activity to be slow for a few weeks post-SIGGRAPH.

My understanding from talking to Dave Shreiner is that there will not be a new edition of the Blue Book - although there will be nothing stopping you from taking the man pages from the SDK and printing a copy out, say at a print-on-demand shop, if you insist on dead trees.

Jon Leech
ARB Secretary

Thanks for the updated information Jon. I’ll keep my eyes open for the reformatted man pages in a month or two.

Will the documentation included with the SDK be in PDF or HTML form, or both? I assume many formats can be generated from the DocBook source.

Originally posted by Chris244:
Will the documentation included with the SDK be in PDF or HTML form, or both? I assume many formats can be generated from the DocBook source.
Probably both. In principle you can generate almost anything from Docbook - PDF, XHTML, text, Unix man page, Windows HTML Help. In practice I’ve been focusing on the Docbook->XHTML+MathML path (which works on Firefox 1.5 native, or on IE with a free browser plugin to render equations in MathML) until the conversion is complete, then will look at some of the others.

The Docbook XML source will be available too, so people can generate other formats if they wish. We are hoping to standardize on Docbook for all our future technical specs and docs in Khronos. It is very powerful, but the editor toolchain is not all that might be desired yet. If people have recommendations for good WYSIWYG Docbook editors, we’d be interested in hearing them. XMLMind is the best free solution I’ve found so far.