What is the best language and toolkit for OpenGL apps on multiplatform?

Hi forks,

What is the best language and toolkit for OpenGL apps on multi-platform?


I suggest you use Microsoft Visual C++, which is, in my opinion, the best tools.

Originally posted by sharpener:
[b]Hi forks,

What is the best language and toolkit for OpenGL apps on multi-platform?



MSVC is NOT a good tool if you want to code for multiple platforms! For the very best level of portability you should use the C language and the GNU C compiler. However, if you want to code C++, you should use GNU C++, which is available on just about any platform in the universe.

By using GNU tools, you are (almost) guaranteed that your code will compile on all platforms that supports GNU (which, as I said earlier, is just about any platform you can think of). At least you will not be a victim of different compiler’s different language extensions.

Of course, you also want an editor or IDE to go along with the compiler. I strongly suggest that you settle for an IDE that does not use proprietary project file formats (such as MSVC, Borland etc). If you do, you are in for alot of confusion and overhead work when trying to port your code, especially if it’s a large project. Use Makefiles (I believe most free IDEs use/support Makefiles). Personally, I just use a good editor and make my own Makefiles - that’s how I like to manage large projects.

Now, for the toolkit question. Obviously, since I’m the author of GLFW , I like to suggest it as your solution for a portable OpenGL toolkit. If it fits your needs is up to you. There are other solutions too, of course (GLUT, SDL, to mention two popular candidates). Check out the links section on the GLFW homepage - there your will find some more nice toolkits (e.g. for reading textures, playing music etc).

Hi !

I agree, if you want to be able to use the same compiler on many platforms, then gcc is the only good choice (Mingw on win32), but many times there is no need for this, you might use MSVC on Win32 and gcc on Linux for example, even though many enjoy using the same compiler.

Today you can use C or C++ they are both portable enough even though C is a little more portable because there are still some crappy C++ compilers out there.


I use C across mac, unix/irix in a non visual environment, and everything works well, well normally!

I agree with the gcc sentiments if you truly need cross-platform support. If you need cross-platform GUI look for Qt or WxWindows.

However, if you will be developing only for Windows and have moderate to heavy GUI requirements, I’d strongly suggest Borland CPP Builder over VC++. The framework is much better designed and the IDE is a snap to use - true drag-and-drop GUI development. I’ve used both and would never go back to VC++.

Just my $0.02


I think gcc (mingw32 for windows) is a very good solution (and look at http://www.bloodshed.net/dev/devcpp.html for a free IDE -the best among all I’ve tested and that makes a lot) and it natively supports openGL and GLUT.

For a toolkit, I don’t know if you mean one for openGL development or one to create a UI for your applications. If it’s so, you can look at http://ligwww.epfl.ch/~kallmann/interf.html and http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Vista/7184/guitool.html ) but I advice you GLUI, FLTK, FOX or WxWindows…

hope it will help

  • was searching for a long time ;o) -

Thank you!
There is no doubt that C++ is the best choice. But for GUI toolkit, it seems Qt is good but it is not free and very expensive.
Am i right?


I think C++ is best choice (except if you was talking about VC++)

About QT, there’s a free personal edition out there somewhere (try the evaluation if you don’t find the personal one) but I find it quite difficult for small apps…
On the other end, it’s complete and efficient and if you make your marks in it, it’s very powerfull

You might considering a very good one too but not well known I forgot to talk about. This one is WideStudio -FREE )- http://sourceforge.net/projects/widestudio/

Good choice ^^ (say me which one you choose)

acerb (@softhome.net)

Dev-C++ + wxWindows, definately. I’m able to use wxWindows 2.4.0 with Dev-C++ 4.01. Haven’t gotten it to work with the Dev-C++ 5 betas, though.

Be sure to enable wxGLCanvas in setup.h before compiling wxWindows first now.

If C++ really isn’t your scene, don’t forget about Java! There are a number of very good OpenGL bindings for Java now, the best being GL4Java and LWJGL.

I have to give a plug for SDL (www.libsdl.org). This is about as multi-platform as you can get, and in my experience works very well. It does not in itself provide GUI functionality though.


to complete him:

No it’s right. It doesn’t provide a GUI fonctionnality but somme GUI add-ons are based on SDL. So if you’re interested in it (see the site as mentionned) just look at the additionnal GUI’s out there… ^^