Valve's VOGL Debugger To Be Completely Open-Source
Valve's VOGL OpenGL debugger/tracer for Linux will be completely open-source and they will welcome community contributions to this tool aimed at Linux game developers.
At the Steam Dev Days conference this week Valve's VOGL debugger was shown off for debugging OpenGL software, namely Linux OpenGL games where debugging support has traditionally lacked aside from APITrace.
VOGL is looking very exciting and they're currently looking for development help. We anticipated Valve would open-source VOGL given that Valve isn't in the business of making debuggers, etc. Today it's been confirmed that VOGL is indeed going to be open-source software.
Rich Geldreich, one of the Valve employees that has been working on VOGL, commented on his blog, "We're going completely open source - GL is just too large of an API (and changing too quickly) for a small team to keep up. We'll be putting it up on bitbucket (or maybe github - we haven't decided for sure yet). We'll accept patches, bug reports, game traces, etc. We want to enable everyone that we can to make better GL games and drivers."
NVIDIA and AMD are also prepared to back this project, "Two major driver vendors have already expressed interest in helping us out which is wonderful."
In terms of a timeline for the public seeing more of VOGL, "We're planning on having the UI fleshed out enough to view all major GL state by GDC." The Game Developers Conference is taking place from 17 to 21 March in San Francisco.
Geldreich additionally shared that VOGL's tracer is similar to APITrace in that it can be LD_PRELOAD'ed before any process to intercept OpenGL and GLX calls. Look for more information on VOGL in the weeks ahead along with its eventual source code.
Other tools that Valve Linux developers are using and recommend include the Qt Creator integrated development environment, LLDB (LLVM's debugger), and both GCC and Clang on the compiler front. Additional Linux game development tips are shared within Ryan Gordon's Linux game porting presentation.
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