About This Guide

Open Inventor 2.1 Porting and Performance Tips explains how to port your Open Inventor 2.0 application to Open Inventor 2.1. Emphasis is on making the porting process go smoothly and on helping you make your application run as efficiently as possible, using the various performance enhancements provided by Open Inventor 2.1.

What This Guide Contains

This guide consists of six chapters and one appendix:

Chapter 1, “Porting to Open Inventor 2.1: Getting Started,” steps you through the porting process, pointing to other relevant information as appropriate.

Chapter 2, “Incompatible API Changes,” helps you find and correct for incompatible API changes by first providing an overview list, then explaining each change in more detail.

Chapter 3, “Scene Appearance Changes in Inventor 2.1,” is useful if you run your Open Inventor application after it has compiled successfully and find that the scene appearance isn't the same it was in Inventor 2.0. The chapter provides a table that correlates scene appearance changes and the underlying API changes.

Chapter 4, “New Features,” describes the major new features in Open Inventor 2.1.

Chapter 5, “Incompatible Extender API Changes,” is for users who have customized existing Inventor 2.0 classes or created subclasses of them. It explains the new features and changes to the protected and extender methods.

Chapter 6, “Optimizing Open Inventor Applications,” explains how to determine what is limiting the performance of your Open Inventor application, and provides suggestions for improving its performance.

Appendix A, “Creating a Node,” provides an update to Chapter 2 of The Inventor Toolmaker based on changes to Inventor in 2.1.

What You Should Know Before Reading This Manual

To work successfully with this manual, you should know how to write and debug Open Inventor applications. Most readers of this book probably port applications they wrote themselves. If you haven't worked with Open Inventor before, you are urged to read the materials listed here and to gain some experience programming with Open Inventor before you attempt to port an application.

Background Reading

The following books provide background and complementary information for this manual. Books available in hard copy as well the IRIS InSight™ online viewer are marked with (I):

  • Wernecke, Josie, and the Open Inventor Architecture Group. The Inventor Mentor: Programming Object-Oriented 3D Graphics with Open Inventor, Release 2, Menlo Park: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.(I)

  • Open Inventor Architecture Group. Open Inventor C++ Reference Manual. Menlo Park: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.

  • Wernecke, Josie, and the Open Inventor Architecture Group. The Inventor Toolmaker. Extending Open Inventor, Release 2. Menlo Park: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.(I)

Conventions Used in This Guide

This guide uses the following typographical conventions:


Filenames, IRIX command names, command-line options, function parameters, flags, and book titles.


Code examples and system output.


C++ class names and fields. Function or method names with parentheses following the name, for example getPackedValue().