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Use this function to get an OpenGL function by name.


void* SDL_GL_GetProcAddress(const char* proc)

Function Parameters


the name of an OpenGL function

Return Value

Returns a pointer to the named OpenGL function. The returned pointer should be cast to the appropriate function signature.

Code Examples

typedef void (APIENTRY * GL_ActiveTextureARB_Func)(unsigned int);
GL_ActiveTextureARB_Func glActiveTextureARB_ptr = 0;

/* Get function pointer */
glActiveTextureARB_ptr=(GL_ActiveTextureARB_Func) SDL_GL_GetProcAddress("glActiveTextureARB");

/* It was your responsibility to make sure this was a valid function to call! */


If the GL library is loaded at runtime with SDL_GL_LoadLibrary(), then all GL functions must be retrieved this way. Usually this is used to retrieve function pointers to OpenGL extensions.

There are some quirks to looking up OpenGL functions that require some extra care from the application. If you code carefully, you can handle these quirks without any platform-specific code, though:

  • On Windows, function pointers are specific to the current GL context; this means you need to have created a GL context and made it current before calling SDL_GL_GetProcAddress(). If you recreate your context or create a second context, you should assume that any existing function pointers aren't valid to use with it. This is (currently) a Windows-specific limitation, and in practice lots of drivers don't suffer this limitation, but it is still the way the wgl API is documented to work and you should expect crashes if you don't respect it. Store a copy of the function pointers that comes and goes with context lifespan.

  • On X11, function pointers returned by this function are valid for any context, and can even be looked up before a context is created at all. This means that, for at least some common OpenGL implementations, if you look up a function that doesn't exist, you'll get a non-NULL result that is _NOT_ safe to call. You must always make sure the function is actually available for a given GL context before calling it, by checking for the existence of the appropriate extension with SDL_GL_ExtensionSupported(), or verifying that the version of OpenGL you're using offers the function as core functionality.

  • Some OpenGL drivers, on all platforms, will return NULL if a function isn't supported, but you can't count on this behavior. Check for extensions you use, and if you get a NULL anyway, act as if that extension wasn't available. This is probably a bug in the driver, but you can code defensively for this scenario anyhow.

  • Just because you're on Linux/Unix, don't assume you'll be using X11. Next-gen display servers are waiting to replace it, and may or may not make the same promises about function pointers.
  • OpenGL function pointers must be declared APIENTRY as in the example code. This will ensure the proper calling convention is followed on platforms where this matters (Win32) thereby avoiding stack corruption.

CategoryAPI, CategoryVideo

None: SDL_GL_GetProcAddress (last edited 2015-04-26 19:19:12 by PhilippWiesemann)

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