OpenGL in commercial plug-ins


Hello everybody !

I'm using OpenGL for visualization algorithms in a plug-in, and I wonder if it is a good idea. I don't know if it is going to be compatible with most of the potential users computers. I think most of the Mac OS X computers support OpenGL, but some Windows users had issues with their video card drivers.

Do you think it is a good idea to rely on OpenGL on a commercial plug-in ? Are some of you doing this already ?

Thanks in advance !


Yes, completely safe on OSX. On Windows it's probably available on all machines, though there's a risk of random driver issues as there are a lot more cards and platforms out there.


Thanks for the answer ;)

I wonder also if I need to be careful of the OpenGL Shading Language version.

From what I can see on the article, I can't use for example GLSL 3.0 on computers being bought before February 2010...

I'm going to use shaders compatible with GLSL 1.3 or 1.4 only I think, I hope I won't need more recent functions but I don't really know (I'm a newcomer on OpenGL development)



I occasionally get emails from Windows 7 users that have problems. From what I can tell, any win7 machine without the ability to do actual hardware gl rendering won't work.

That's not so many users though, so I figure the benfits outweigh the occasional user complaint.

Thats my 2cents :)

Using OpenGL on Windows

We use OpenGL with custom shaders in SurferEQ (

At first (2011) we've used GLSL on Mac and Nvidia's Cg SDK on Windows as too many Windows machines back then did not support shaders otherwise. We've since moved to GLSL on both platforms as the Cg SDK was deprecated.

In some very old Windows machines SurferEQ's graphs (which are the part using OpenGL) do not show but the plugin still works.


Thanks for the information ;)