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For some years now, a programmer that wanted to create a graphics-intensive program that could be sold to users of different operating systems had one choice—OpenGL. The GL stands for graphics library. OpenGL is a registered trademark of SGI. OpenGL manifests itself as a cross platform C programming API. In reality though, it is a hardware-independent specification for a programming interface.
OpenGL is for making graphics. It is fast. Most of the time, it is hardware accelerated. It seems that OpenGL can do anything visually that you would want to do.
Unfortunately, OpenGL is written for C. Let's face it, C is not the most popular language for programming complex applications. One of the biggest drawbacks to OpenGL is that you can't make it do anything without a window to put your graphics in, but OpenGL doesn't provide a means for you to create windows. This makes OpenGL hard to learn for beginners.
Luckily, GLUT (OpenGL Utility Toolkit) was introduced and made dealing with windows, buttons, and events generated by users easier. Still, learning OpenGL in C or even C++ can be painful for new programmers or programmers that want to use true object-oriented programming.
Java is possibly the most popular true object-oriented programming language. There have been many attempts to marry OpenGL with Java, but the first one that made everyone stand up and take notice was Java Bindings for OpenGL, or JOGL. The reason for this is that this effort is supported by Sun Microsystems (the creators of Java) and SGI (the creators of OpenGL).
Nowadays, JOGL is developed by the game technology group at Sun. It started out life as Jungle developed by Ken Russel and Chris Kline. Russell is a Sun employee working on the HotSpot Virtual Machine with many years of 3D experience. Kline works for Irrational Games and also is very experienced with 3D graphics.
I am personally grateful for their efforts and the efforts of all those who are working on JOGL. There have been several attempts at providing access to OpenGL through a friendly Java API—among these have been Java 3D, OpenGL for Java Technology (gl4java), and Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL). JOGL is the first that I felt comfortable with.
JOGL is the Sun supported set of Java class bindings for OpenGL. Wow! That was a mouthful.
OpenGL is used to display 3D models. It is powerful, fast, and perhaps the greatest thing to happen to Java since Swing was
introduced. Using OpenGL through JOGL, you will be able to make cool games or model situations that could be too expensive
to create. Thick tomes have been written describing OpenGL. They will be useful once you know your way around, but not yet.
You need to learn how this all applies to the Java APIs that expose OpenGL to you. You also need some basic introductions
net.java.games.jogl.* and perhaps some refreshers on math.
If you want to use JOGL, you will need to get
jogl.jar and its accompanying native code. I dream of the day it is standard with the Java installation, but for now that is just
a well placed dream.
|Forum migration complete By Athen|
|Forum migration update By Athen|
|Hello JOGL By JavaWorld|
|Updated code By Gene Davis|