Valve Publishes The Source Code For Their VOGL OpenGL Debugger
Back at the Steam Dev Days in January, Valve Software talked up their VOGL Linux OpenGL debugger for game developers and they announced it would be open-source. As of tonight, that code is now publicly available as Valve's latest open-source software project.
VOGL looks really great from what we've heard about it and are ecstatic to see the code finally available, just one week prior to the Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco, which Phoronix will be covering live with Linux gaming news and announcements.
Rich Geldreich of Valve announced the VOGL debugger code drop via his blog and the code is on GitHub.
VOGL has made a lot of progress but it still requires further development and testing. Rich noted, "Creating a OpenGL debugger that handles both full-stream tracing *and* state snapshotting (with compat profile support to boot!) is a surprisingly massive undertaking for ~3 devs, so please bear with us. We're knee deep in fleshing out the UI and improving the tracer/replayer to be fully compatible with GL v3.3 (4.x will be later this year). Please file bug reports on github and send us trace logs (or apitrace/vogl traces), etc. and we'll do our best to make it work with your app." So VOGL is currently working towards full compatibility of the OpenGL 3.3 specification but OpenGL 4.x support will not come until later this year.
VOGL was developed by Valve Software in conjunction with RAD Game Tools. So far VOGL seems to be pretty nice for game developers looking to debug their OpenGL stream -- and similar to APITrace with its capturing and replaying of GL traces. In quickly going through the code, there does appear to be some LLDB integration (LLVM's debugger similar to GDB), support for building VOGL with Clang or GCC, a voglbench is in development, a Qt-based VOGL Editor interface is being worked on, and there's a lot of other good stuff to VOGL.
This latest Valve Software code drop comes just days after Valve open-sourced their Direct3D to OpenGL layer, among other great open-source contributions in recent months... This comes as no surprise to me; after exclusively talking with Gabe and their Linux developers two years ago when many doubted the claims of a Steam Linux client or Linux-based console being pursued by Valve, it was almost two years ago to the day that Gabe Newell sought Phoronix help in finding Linux developers for performance issues. After finding about their grand plans, it was two years ago I wrote on Phoronix (among numerous other statements that panned out), "For those that may be mad that this (closed-source) game company has poached the lead of one of the most impressive open-source game engines out there and continue to go after more all-star Linux developers, it shouldn't be too concerning. I wouldn't be referring these important open-source contributors if I thought Valve was just using it as a crude way to kill open-source software or in the secret pocket of Microsoft. I'm very confident in Valve and their Linux intentions; the impact of their work can greatly benefit the entire Linux ecosystem in huge ways. Whether you're a Linux gamer or not, it's to everyone's benefit that Valve's striking Linux work is steaming with greatness. Without the very best developers the Valve Linux cabal could be left for dead or ricocheting through a portal that has a half-life that is too short to make everything a reality."
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