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

Roland Scheidegger sroland at vmware.com
Thu Jun 6 14:15:38 PDT 2013

One thing you work on if you're interested in that would be the softpipe
driver. This is generally easier than other drivers as it doesn't
require any knowledge of the hw and it is easier to debug, though you'd
need more knowledge about gallium rather than OpenGL directly. The
problem with it is that while it's intended as a reference driver it
actually lags behind quite a bit for some features and has its share of
bugs on top of that too (mostly because noone has time to really work on
For instance the driver claims to support glsl 1.30 yet it ignores the
texelOffsets for the ordinary texture functions completely. It also
ignores explicit derivatives. Both shouldn't be all that difficult to
fix I think (I'd suggest though to stay away from explicit derivatives
for cube maps...). I don't think there's any bugs filed for these though
- there's other bugs against softpipe but they might be more difficult
to tackle (like the broken texture tile cache for instance).


Am 05.06.2013 13:09, schrieb Arnas Milaševičius:
> Okay, I've sent the patch to the mailing list, I hope it will be
> accepted. By the way, could someone add some a little bit harder bugs or
> something to bugzilla for beginners? Not just renaming functions.
> On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 12:44 AM, Arnas Milaševičius <giant1gf at gmail.com
> <mailto:giant1gf at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     I've fixed the first "bug" but I wonder what would be the right way
>     to submit this patch, because I needed to change like 100 or more files?
>     On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 11:16 PM, Brian Paul <brianp at vmware.com
>     <mailto:brianp at vmware.com>> wrote:
>         On 06/04/2013 01:08 PM, Benjamin Bellec wrote:
>             Le 04/06/2013 21:54, Brian Paul a écrit :
>                 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...
>             Hello,
>             I also think that it would be very interesting for beginners
>             (like me)
>             that experimented mesa developpers writes some easy (even
>             trivial!) TODO
>             things on the wiki (for instance
>             http://dri.freedesktop.org/__wiki/R600ToDo/
>             <http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/R600ToDo/>) or elsewhere.
>             Tasks that you
>             (as experimented) consider very easy, "useless" or with very low
>             priority... for beginners these kind of tasks could already
>             be a hard
>             work to begin with.
>         I've created two simple tasks in bugzilla:
>         https://bugs.freedesktop.org/__show_bug.cgi?id=65373
>         <https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65373>
>         https://bugs.freedesktop.org/__show_bug.cgi?id=65374
>         <https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65374>
>         If you want to take one of these, maybe say so in the bug report
>         first so that we don't get duplicated efforts.
>         I encourage other Mesa developers to add more simple to-do items
>         in bugzilla.
>         -Brian
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