No New GLSL Compiler For Mesa, But Optimized IR
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 25 July 2009 at 08:05 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Beyond the news of a new Radeon shader compiler for Mesa and Gallium3D, there is some other Mesa news this morning too, which is both good and bad. Intel's Ian Romanick has announced on his blog that his new GLSL (GL Shading Language) compiler for Mesa was doomed for failure and as a result it's pretty much off of the table right now. Rather than continuing in this path, he has come up with a new plan for optimizing the open-source support.

Since last year Ian Romanick has been sharing his plans for a new GLSL compiler for Mesa, but with all of the time that it has taken and having to break away from this work to take care of bug fixing and other code, he decided to breakaway from this work and come up with a new, less extensive plan.

Ian will now be focusing his development talent optimizing IR (Intermediate Representation) and generating final machine code from IR. As part of this, he has just pushed his new assembly shader re-work branch into Mesa. The rest of the work is split into three phases and that includes rewriting the ARB program parser, add support for NVIDIA layered extensions, and then phase three is experimenting with IR to see what works the best. Ian is hoping to get all of this work completed in time for the release of Mesa 7.6.

Ian's post regarding this work can be found on his blog.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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