This book uses Linux as the implementation platform. The free operating system has a number of advantages which make it ideal for learning and programming 3D graphics. The most important advantage is accessibility: the free, open source nature of Linux makes it possible for any programmer to have access to a top-quality operating system and development environment. This open nature has encouraged the development of massive amounts of free software (where free refers not only to cost, but mainly to the freedom to study and modify the source code), including software important for 3D graphics. Therefore, Linux offers any programmer the chance to get involved with 3D graphics programming today, at no cost, without forcing the programmer to either pay thousands of dollars in software licensing fees or to spend literally man-years of software development time creating customized tools. Linux already offers the tools you need to do serious 3D programming—and the freedom to use, learn from, and modify these tools.
This book builds upon the foundation laid in the introductory companion volume Linux 3D Graphics Programming. It is assumed that you have an understanding of all of the material presented in the introductory volume; the first chapter provides a quick review of this material. Therefore, this book is not suited for the complete beginner to 3D graphics. Such readers should work through the introductory companion book before attempting to read this book.
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