[Mesa-dev] How do I start contributing to Mesa?

Brian Paul brianp at vmware.com
Tue Jun 4 12:54:29 PDT 2013

On 06/04/2013 06:37 AM, Arnas Milaševičius wrote:
> Hello,
> First of all, I'm not sure if it's the right place to ask such a
> question, but I'll try. I've started learning OpenGL and I really want
> to contribute to Mesa project, but the way to do it had always been a
> mistery for me. As a beginner contributor, I still don't understand
> which bugs should I take, how do I fix em? It's like, you take the bug,
> but... where the heck do you start fixing it? How do you find the core
> of the problem? I see many people telling that the best start is to
> start fixing bugs you have, but atm I don't have any problems that'd
> bother me.

Probably the easiest bugs to fix are those that fail on assertions or 
crash.  With those you can at least get a stack trace in the debugger 
and get some idea of the code path involved.  With general rendering 
bugs it's often harder to know where to start looking.

Otherwise, which driver are you using or are you interested in?  It's 
sometimes easier to focus on one particular area of mesa (such as a 
driver, or say the GLSL compiler) than to try to understand everything.

> So, could anyone point me to the right direction? Maybe share your
> experience, how did you start, what do you do when you start fixing bugs
> and how should I fix em as a beginner, etc?

Again, if there's a particular of area of interest to you, start there. 
  Read the source code.  If you find the comments lacking, post patches 
to improve the comments as you figure things out.

There's a terribly out-dated helpwanted.html file in the docs directory 
which was intended to list things to be worked on.  It would probably be 
better if were more active in creating Bugzilla entries for to-do items 
that we'd like to do but don't always have time for.  I'm sure we could 
come up with some easier things for newbies.  I could probably come up 
with 1 or 2 things pretty quickly...


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