A hardware-aware debugger for the OpenGL shading language

Magnus Strengert, Thomas Klein, Thomas Ertl
Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems, Universitat Stuttgart
Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGGRAPH/EUROGRAPHICS symposium on Graphics hardware, GH ’07


   title={A hardware-aware debugger for the OpenGL shading language},

   author={Strengert, M. and Klein, T. and Ertl, T.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGGRAPH/EUROGRAPHICS symposium on Graphics hardware},



   organization={Eurographics Association}


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The enormous flexibility of the modern GPU rendering pipeline as well as the availability of high-level shader languages have led to an increased demand for sophisticated programming tools. As the application domain for GPU-based algorithms extends beyond traditional computer graphics, shader programs become more and more complex. The turn-around time for debugging, profiling, and optimizing GPU-based algorithms is now a critical factor in application development which is not addressed adequately by the tools available. In this paper we present a generic, minimal intrusive, and application-transparent solution for debugging OpenGL Shading Language programs, which for the first time fully supports GLSL 1.2 vertex and fragment shaders plus the recent geometry shader extension. By transparently instrumenting the shader program we retrieve information directly from the hardware pipeline and provide data for visual debugging and program analysis.
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