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Mesa LunarGLASS: Not Much Is Happening

Mesa

Published on 16 July 2012 01:58 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
3 Comments

Remember LunarGLASS? It was the technology from LunarG in early 2011 for gutting Mesa to use LLVM as its IR. This LLVM-ized Mesa has fallen dormant.

It's not entirely surprising that LunarGLASS isn't talked about much any more (I haven't heard it mentioned in about one year, but today it came to mind and I figured I'd check to see if anyone has been quietly working on it). It doesn't appear that LunarG is doing anything with it at the moment, at least not publicly. It's not entirely surprising though since some developers -- like those at Intel -- were in opposition to moving from GLSL IR to LLVM IR due to investments made to their existing infrastructure and not being convinced on the benefits of using LLVM as their intermediate representation.

Further limiting the project, LunarGLASS changes to Mesa were GPLv2 licensed and required a contributors agreement with LunarG (they were also trying to promote selling LunarGLASS licenses for closed-source drivers).

When visiting LunarGLASS.org their small web-site doesn't appear to have been touched in months. When viewing the code on Google Code, the public version of LunarGLASS hasn't been touched since early July of 2011 (EDIT: It turns out that there's been some newer commits as recent as last month.). There also isn't any other new information from their Google Code web-site. At LunarG.com they don't appear to have anything new on the LLVM IR Mesa project either.

LunarG at least still appears to be alive with some updates to their web-site. Though now they claim from the about page to have been founded in 2012. "LunarG: founded in 2012. LunarG is responsible for creating the next generation of open source shader compiler infrastructure (LunarGLASS) and works closely with hardware vendors to deliver the functional and performance enhancements for their latest 3D graphics drivers." This is odd since LunarG was first talked about on Phoronix in late 2009 as a new graphics company, LunarGLASS is from 2011, and they made Mesa improvements pre-2012.

Anyhow, at the moment they seem to be promoting LunarGOO, which is a free online shader compiler that can optimize GLSL shaders. It can take OpenGL, OpenGL ES, and DirectX HLSL as input, optimize the shading language, and output to OpenGL ES, GLSL 1.3, or GLSL 4.1. Aside from translating and optimizing the shaders, it also supports some analytical features and also obfuscating the shaders if you so desire. LunarGOO appears to utilize LunarGLASS in some regard.

LunarG's other project appears to be the "SeeMeGaming SDK', which is for mobile games to capture game-play and upload the resulting video to YouTube and other social networks. LunarG is also still engaging in custom engineering of 3D application tuning and 3D driver tuning. It's too bad though that there aren't any more exciting upstream developments out of the company with their talented Linux graphics driver developers.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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