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OpenGL Distilled by Paul Martz

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Chapter 7. Extensions and Versions

OpenGL has outlived several generations of computer graphics hardware. This accomplishment would have been unattainable if not for the extension and version system that allowed OpenGL to evolve.

As OpenGL vendors provide new graphics hardware with additional functionality, they create extension specifications that allow developers to access the new functionality using OpenGL. Over time, if these extensions grow in popularity and acceptance, the OpenGL ARB could include the feature in a new version of the OpenGL specification.

You can’t count on all your customers to have the same OpenGL version and extension support. As a result, you need to write version- and extension-safe code so that it can run in a wide ...

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