Graphics.h Programming with C/C++

The Old Graphics Library

The graphics.h library is a graphics library that was commonly used in older versions of the C programming language. It provides a simple way to perform graphical operations like drawing shapes, lines, and text on a computer screen. Here are some key points about the graphics.h library:

  1. Bundled with Borland Compilers: graphics.h was primarily associated with Borland compilers like Turbo C and Borland C++, which were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. It was bundled with these compilers and provided an easy-to-use interface for creating graphical applications.
  2. DOS Environment: It was designed to work in the MS-DOS environment, where programs could directly access hardware and memory. This made it efficient for drawing graphics on the screen without needing complex operating system support.
  3. Simple Interface: The library provided simple functions for drawing basic shapes like lines, circles, rectangles, and polygons. It also included functions for setting colors, filling shapes, and handling mouse and keyboard input.
  4. Not Standardized: graphics.h was not part of the standard C library, so its usage was limited to specific compilers and platforms. Different implementations existed for different compilers, and code written using graphics.h was not portable across different systems.
  5. Limited Support: As graphical environments evolved, graphics.h became outdated and less commonly used. Modern operating systems like Windows, Linux, and macOS do not provide native support for graphics.h, making it incompatible with newer development environments.
  6. Alternatives: With the decline of graphics.h, developers moved towards using more modern and portable graphics libraries like OpenGL, DirectX, SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer), and libraries based on GUI frameworks like Qt and GTK+.

Despite its limitations and obsolescence in modern computing, graphics.h holds nostalgic value for many programmers who started their journey in computer graphics during the era of DOS-based programming. It played a significant role in introducing many beginners to the world of graphics programming.