OpenGL window and function binding management

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glplatform provides a framework for developing OpenGL applications without taking control over the application's main loop. It handles window creation, event processing, OpenGL context management, and OpenGL binding management. glplatform is designed to make it easy to create an OpenGL application but does not serve as general purpose platform abstraction library. At present GNU/Linux and Windows are supported. Support for other platforms may be added later as variants of the present interface.

Creating a window

A window can be created in by calling glplatform_create_window() specifying its title, initial dimentions, framebuffer format, and a structure containing event callbacks. If no framebuffer format is specified then a framebuffer 24-bit color buffer and a 24-bit depth buffer will be requested. The event callbacks will be called inside glplatform_process_events() (see below).

Example: Create a "Hello world" window

#include <glplatform/glplatform.h>

void on_key_down(struct glplatform_win *win, int k)
    printf("Key pressed: %c\n", k);

int main()
    struct glplatform_win_callbacks cb = {
        .on_key_down = on_key_down

    struct glplatform_win *win = glplatform_create_window("Hello window", &cb, NULL, 512, 512);

Event processing

glplatform invokes callbacks for previously queued events when glplatform_process_events() is called. Events are queued by glplatform_get_events().

Example: A simple main loop

int main()
    while (glplatform_process_events()) {
        if (glplatform_get_events(true) < 0)

If false is passed into glplatform_get_events() then glplatform will not block and returns the number of events queued, allowing the user to poll for events. On Linux glplatform uses epoll() to wait for events and it exposes the epoll file descriptor it uses to the application as glplatform_epoll_fd. This may allow for glplatform event processing to be performed in combination with other event processing systems without polling.

Creating an OpenGL context

When creating a context you must specify which OpenGL version your application requires and the window that the context will be rendering to. The version on the returned context may be higher but will be backwards compatible with the requested version. The returned context will always be a core profile context. Before OpenGL calls can be made the context must be made current with glplatform_make_current(). This causes OpenGL commands in the current thread to operate in the context.

Example: Creating a OpenGL 3.3 core profile compatible context

struct glplatform_win *win = glplatform_create_window("Hello window", &cb, NULL, 512, 512);


glplatform_gl_context_t ctx = glplatform_create_context(win, 3, 3);
if (!ctx)

glplatform_make_current(win, ctx);

Function pointer binding

Once a context has been made current OpenGL calls cannot be issued until the OpenGL API's function pointers are bound. glplatform contains bindings generated by glbindify for this purpose.

Example: Initializing OpenGL bindings

#include <glplatform/glplatform.h>
#include <glplatform/glplatform-glcore.h>

int main()
    struct glplatform_win *win;
    glplatform_gl_context_t ctx;


    glplatform_make_current(win, ctx);

    if (!glplatform_glcore_init(3, 3)) {

See the glbindify documentation for details. Note that glplatform uses the namespace feature of glbindify so where the documentation refers to glb or GLB you should substitute glplatform or GLPLATFORM respectively.

Text rendering

glplatform contains a text renderer that

  • Is data Driven for minimal driver overhead

  • Works on OpenGL 3.x and higher

  • Uses libfreetype for text rasterization

glplatform's text renderer can render transformed text with minimal distortion as well as render untransformed text with high quality anti-aliasing. Its design focuses on simplicity, performance, and control.

To render text an application first requests an array of glyph instance structures. The application must then fill the entries with glyph positions and glyph identifiers. Finally the application submits the draw specifying the color and transform to perform the rendering with. Glyph metrics and kerning information that can be queried from the API to help the application layout the glyphs. The render call supports rotation and scaling of the text in three dimentions.


glplatform can be built with it's autotools build system with the following commands:

./configure <options>
make install

You can build glplatform for windows systems by placing a MinGW64 toolchain in the path and passing a host option such as --host=x86_64-w64-mingw32 to configure.

As a convienence glplatform comes with bindings pre-generated by glbindify. To rebuild them install glbindify and run the following commands in the src/glbindings folder:

glbindify -a gl -n glplatform
glbindify -a wgl -n glplatform
glbindify -a glx -n glplatform