What Is OpenGL?


Quick Answer

OpenGL stands for Open Graphics Library and is an API (Application Program Interface) for defining 3-D and 2-D graphic images. Graphic cards typically have an OpenGL implementation.

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Full Answer

Since OpenGL is platform independent, applications written using OpenGL can be used against several different types of graphics cards. The development of OpenGL was initiated by Silicon Graphics and is maintained by an Architectural Review Board that includes Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Intel and DEC.

Before OpenGL became an industry standard, graphical application developers had to write the graphics part from scratch for every operating system platform. Aside from learning, there is no cost associated with developing a graphical application using the OpenGL API.

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