+Coin is an OpenGL-based, 3D graphics library that has its roots in the
+Open Inventor 2.1 API, which Coin still is compatible with.
+If you are not familiar with Open Inventor, it is a scene-graph based,
+retain-mode, rendering and model manipulation, C++ class library,
+originally designed by SGI. It quickly became the de facto standard
+graphics library for 3D visualization and visual simulation software
+in the scientific and engineering community after its release. It
+also became the basis for the VRML1 file format standard. Several
+books exists on the subject of Open Inventor, most notably The
+Inventor Mentor, and The Inventor Toolmaker, both highly recommended
+for those who wants to learn how to use Open Inventor.
+Coin is based on the API of this library, but was developed from
+scratch independently before SGI Open Inventor became open source. It
+does not share any code with SGI Open Inventor, other than through
+random coincidences guided by the Open Inventor API design. Coin
+reached the goal of Open Inventor 2.1 compatibility in the autumn of
+the year 2000, and has since then been extended with a huge set of
+additional features, ranging from 3D sound support to GLSL shader
+support, additional file formats like VRML97, and a large number of
+internal changes for keeping up with the newer, more optimized OpenGL
+rendering techniques that were not available in the earlier days.
+Another term you might find when reading about Coin is "Coin3D", which
+is the term we use on the larger group of libraries that all fall
+under the same license as Coin. Coin is the core of Coin3D.
+* Web site: http://www.coin3d.org
+* Documentation: http://doc.coin3d.org
+* mailing lists: http://www.coin3d.org/support/lists
+See <<file NEWS>> for the summary of changes, <<file RELNOTES>> for a
+more verbose description of the more significant updates, and <<file ChangeLog>> for the detailed source code update list.
+See <<file INSTALL>> for installation instructions, and all the other
+README.* files for platform-specific notes.
+Coin started out, back in 1995, as a scene graph rendering library for
+VRML1.0 scenes. It was originally based on SGI's Qv library for parsing
+files in the VRML1.0 format. After years of extending this humble
+beginning with new functionality like VRML1 and VRML2 rendering and
+export, the library was in late 1997 in dire need of a fundamental
+On the surface, the API looked quite like Open Inventor already. The
+concepts used by Open Inventor are also often mentioned as good design
+methodologies in many software engineering books, and some of our
+developers had had some experience with the library in advance and
+found it incredibly convenient. At the same time as we were
+contemplating a rewrite, the Free Software Movement got some great
+buzz going, and we saw the golden opportunity to homestead our library
+as the Free Software alternative to Open Inventor. We therefore
+decided to go for the rewrite, and after a short period coined the
+As luck would not have it, as soon as we went to beta status with Coin
+for SIGGRAPH 2000, SGI also decided to release their Open Inventor as
+Free Software. It soon became apparent though, that SGI Open Inventor
+was released to mainly be kept in maintenance mode. This made us
+confident that continuing the Coin development would still be well
+The development of Coin was in the beginning primarily done on Linux
+and IRIX systems, but is now mostly developed under Linux, Windows
+with Cygwin, and Mac OS X systems.
+Many people have contributed through the years to the success of Coin,
+be it in the form of patches, problem-reports, or other kinds of
+feedback to the core Coin developer team. The file <<file THANKS>> tries to
+credit all those helpful souls. Our apologies to those who have been
+OpenGL and Open Inventor are trademarks of SGI Inc.