Valve's VOGL OpenGL Debugger Should Be Great
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 16 January 2014 at 03:34 AM EST. 18 Comments
As a follow-up to Steam Dev Days Is Off To A Great Start, Valve's new OpenGL debugger is looking great! Here's some more details.

VOGL is Valve's OpenGL tracer/debugger that they are backing for being of interest to game developers now that with the Source 2 engine Valve is fully backing OpenGL over Microsoft's Direct3D.

VOGL in fact is written against Linux to begin with rather than most debuggers being written for Windows and then ported to Linux after the fact. Valve has been developing VOGL mostly on Ubuntu-based distributions under Qt Creator. Their official compiler is LLVM's Clang but GCC also works at a slower speed. Valve developers have given much praise to Qt Creator during Steam Dev Days.

VOGL allows OpenGL tracing and debugging from OpenGL 1.x through OpenGL 3.3 for both core and compatibility contexts. OpenGL 4 support is being worked on but full GL4 support isn't expected until later in 2014.

Improvements to VOGL's trace editor user-interface is planned along with profiling and optimizing various functions. Longer-term the Valve developers want more UI improvements, on-the-fly tracing, faster logging, and vendor neutral debugging.

Many more details on Valve's VOGL OpenGL debugger can be found via this blog post by Valve's Rich Geldreich. It's a bit surprising that they didn't use or extend APITrace since back then when I was out at Valve HQ they were playing around with it, but instead have come up with a brand new OpenGL debugging solution for Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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