Mesa / Gallium3D Branch Happenings
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 8 December 2009 at 12:26 PM EST. 21 Comments
Not only are Mesa developers -- those at VMware and within the open-source community -- busy at work on producing new state trackers (such as for OpenCL and OpenGL 3.1/3.2 support) and actual hardware drivers (or virtual drivers), but the core Gallium3D architecture and API continues to be revised as well. Over the past few days there have been some new Gallium3D branches that have come about and others that are getting ready to be merged to master, or enter the mainline Mesa code-base.

Just this morning the Gallium3D pipe-format-simplify branch was opened up by VMware, which cleans up the pipe format header file. The discussion surrounding pipe-format-simplify can be found on the Mesa3D development list.

Meanwhile, Roland Scheidegger is preparing to merge gallium-strict-aliasing to Mesa's master code-base. The gallium-strict-aliasing changes the Gallium3D API, but actually allows for Gallium3D to be built with strict-aliasing C99 compliance, which can lead to performance improvements assuming no incorrect code assuming all goes well. The gallium-strict-aliasing is discussed here.

Prior to gallium-strict-aliasing, Roland was working on gallium-noblocks. This is another API breaker to Gallium3D, but all of the state trackers and drivers should be already fixed. The gallium-noblocks branch is discussed here.

There is also various other improvements and changes going both into Mesa and Gallium3D. All of this work will likely end up in Mesa 7.8 to be released in H1'2010. Mesa 7.7 meanwhile will be released later this month.

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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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