on April 12, 2010
As for the "OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed" that half of this set is very good and very relevant today. I would give that half of it at least 4 and very possibly 5 stars.
But this set also brings along with another book which I think would be of relatively little use to most people so I knock this packaged set down to only 2 stars.
I'd just get the GLSL 3rd edition alone and forget about this set, unless you are both new to OpenGL and will need to use both an old code base using old-style OpenGL as well develop new style code.
Here is my review of the other half this set copied and pasted here:
I'm honestly not sure that this book will be very useful to many people at all.
If you are both new to OpenGL and will have to deal with old OpenGL code, then it might just be worth it, otherwise, forget it.
First, literally 85-90% of the pages in the book relate to functions that have been deprecated.
Second, it doesn't make it all that clear exactly what has or hasn't been deprecated so it's rather a mess to dig through to find the relevant bits.
Finally, it covers rather little beyond the very basics of GLSL, which is basically what OpenGL 3.0+ is all about.
Let me put it this way:
If you will have to deal with old code base but already know OpenGL pre-3.0 well then you already know how to deal with old OpenGL code base and since the new stuff is so buried and so sparse what does this get you?
If you are new to OpenGL and won't have to deal with an old code base why bother with all the deprecated junk? You do not want to be starting off new code doing it the old ways. In this case:
If you need to know the basics of the 3D graphics, don't try to learn it from this book, get a solid, general purpose 3D graphics book for that (or at least something like "Advanced Graphics Programming using OpenGL" which also uses largely deprecated functions but it's written in a better style for this purpose).
For a basic introduction on how to use OpenGL (to get yourself up to speed on the basic outline of the API), get something like "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming 2nd ed" just get you started. It'll quickly show you the basic ropes of OpenGL and what you need to do to get the system initialized, viewports set, shaders initialized, rendering attached to Windows windows and some basic info on vertex buffers and such. Just looking at the basic, free SDK/docs it would tricky to figure out where to begin, this will show you. After that, for more advanced commands dealing with buffers you can just look at the free OpenGL documents/search the web to learn what more you need, it should all make sense once you know the basic outline of OpenGL.
To learn more about the new shader model and changes to GLSL get a book like "OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed", way more useful than the few pages in this book on that topic.
If you already know OpenGL 2.0 just get "OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed" and download the latest free OpenGL 3.3 (or whatever version) docs and you are good to go, don't even bother with this book.
If you know nothing about OpenGL but do know about 3D graphics then just get "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming 2nd ed" to get you introduced to the API and then get"OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed" and download the latest free OpenGL 3.3 (or whatever version) docs and you are good to go, don't even bother with this book.
If you know nothing about 3D graphics or OpenGL then get the above two books and add some general references on 3D graphics and don't even bother with this book.
Only if you are both new and will also need to deal with an advanced, but old, code base, bother with this book.
on February 11, 2010
The two-volume slipcased by Dave Shreiner, Randi Rost, Bill Licea-Kane, OPEN GL LIBRARY, 5TH EDITION, offers a fine survey packing the third edition of OPEN GL SHADING LANGUAGE and the 7th updated edition of OPEN GL PROGRAMMING GUIDE under one cover. Any computer collection strong in Open GL must have this presentation: it's packed with coverage of the latest releases of Open GL and offers outstanding, specific survey of usage techniques. No serious computer collection should be without this. An outstanding presentation.