OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications. Since its
introduction in 1992, OpenGL has become the industry's most widely used and supported 2D and 3D graphics application
programming interface (API), bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms. OpenGL fosters
innovation and speeds application development by incorporating a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special
effects, and other powerful visualization functions. Developers can leverage the power of OpenGL across all popular
desktop and workstation platforms, ensuring wide application deployment.
An independent consortium, the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, guides the OpenGL specification. With broad industry
support, OpenGL is the only truly open, vendor-neutral, multiplatform graphics standard.
OpenGL implementations have been available for more than seven years on a wide variety of platforms. Additions to the
specification are well controlled, and proposed updates are announced in time for developers to adopt changes. Backward
compatibility requirements ensure that existing applications do not become obsolete.
Reliable and portable
All OpenGL applications produce consistent visual display results on any OpenGL API-compliant hardware, regardless of
operating system or windowing system.
Because of its thorough and forward-looking design, OpenGL allows new hardware innovations to be accessible through the
API via the OpenGL extension mechanism. In this way, innovations appear in the API in a timely fashion, letting
application developers and hardware vendors incorporate new features into their normal product release cycles.
OpenGL API-based applications can run on systems ranging from consumer electronics to PCs, workstations, and
supercomputers. As a result, applications can scale to any class of machine that the developer chooses to target.
Easy to use
OpenGL is well structured with an intuitive design and logical commands. Efficient OpenGL routines typically result in
applications with fewer lines of code than those that make up programs generated using other graphics libraries or
packages. In addition, OpenGL drivers encapsulate information about the underlying hardware, freeing the application
developer from having to design for specific hardware features.
Numerous books have been published about OpenGL, and a great deal of sample code is readily available, making
information about OpenGL inexpensive and easy to obtain.
For more information about OpenGL see OpenGL's official site