OpenGL Type

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OpenGL has a number of pre-defined types that should be available to various bindings. These are useful for ensuring cross-platform portability, since all platforms will use well-defined sizes for the parameters.

This table shows the C names for the types, as well as their bitdepth. OpenGL requires that these types have the exact bitdepth defined below. This also describes them and provides an enum for some of them. Many APIs, such as the pixel transfer and vertex format definition APIs, take enums that specify one of these types.

C Type Bitdepth Description Common Enum
GLboolean 1+ A boolean value, either GL_TRUE or GL_FALSE
GLbyte 8 Signed, 2's complement binary integer GL_BYTE
GLubyte 8 Unsigned binary integer GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE
GLshort 16 Signed, 2's complement binary integer GL_SHORT
GLushort 16 Unsigned binary integer GL_UNSIGNED_SHORT
GLint 32 Signed, 2's complement binary integer GL_INT
GLuint 32 Unsigned binary integer GL_UNSIGNED_INT
GLfixed 32 Signed, 2's complement 16.16 integer GL_FIXED
GLint64 64 Signed, 2's complement binary integer
GLuint64 64 Unsigned binary integer
GLsizei 32 A non-negative binary integer, for sizes.
GLenum 32 An OpenGL enumerator value
GLintptr ptrbits​1 Signed, 2's complement binary integer
GLsizeiptr ptrbits​1 Non-negative binary integer size, for memory offsets and ranges
GLsync ptrbits​1 Sync Object handle
GLbitfield 32 A bitfield value
GLhalf 16 An IEEE-754 floating-point value GL_HALF_FLOAT
GLfloat 32 An IEEE-754 floating-point value GL_FLOAT
GLclampf 32 An IEEE-754 floating-point value, clamped to the range [0,1]
GLdouble 64 An IEEE-754 floating-point value GL_DOUBLE
GLclampd 64 An IEEE-754 floating-point value, clamped to the range [0,1]

1: ptrbits​ is the bitdepth of a CPU pointer address. Therefore, these types must be large enough to store a pointer: `sizeof(void*)`.

Some of these types have the same internal representation as others. For example, a GLsizei is functionally equivalent to GLuint. However, the typename conveys a semantic meaning: GLsizei is used specifically for sizes of things. Similarly, GLclampf is just a GLfloat as far as C/C++ is concerned. However, when GLclampf appears in as a function argument, this means that the function will clamp this parameter to the [0,1] range. As a return type, it means the value won't exceed that range.