Wednesday, April 23, 2014

vogl Windows port, new regression test system, new vogl_chroot repo

Windows Port Progress

John McDonald has officially begun the Windows port of vogl. The voglcore lib and voglgen (our code generator tool) are now running on Windows as of this morning!

New Regression Test System

vogl has a shiny new tracing/replaying/trimming regression and smoke test system written by Mike Sartain that runs the following steps on a library of traces:
  • Plays back either an apitrace or a vogl trace, captures its output using the libvogltrace SO, and records the backbuffer CRC's (or per-component checksums on traces with multisampling) to a text file.
  • Plays back this trace and diffs the backbuffer CRC's vs. the CRC's seen during tracing.
  • Finally, we trim the test trace, then play back the trimmed trace and compare the backbuffer CRC's vs. the original trace's CRC's. Trimming involves playing back the test trace up to a predetermined point, capturing the entire GL state vector to memory and serializing it out, so we get a lot of good coverage in this step.
The system is located in the test directory of vogl's chroot repository, here. The script that runs the test is (This little script actually compiles and launches a small .C file that contains the entire test system.) The file tests.json configures which traces are tested and the parameters to the various test steps. 

Currently, only our smallest traces (from the g-truc 3.x suite) are pushed up to vogl_chroot. We also have many GB's of game traces (please drop me a message if you would like these traces). It's pretty easy to add your own traces - I'll be documenting how on vogl's wiki this afternoon.

Here are some shots of it in action on our dual Xeon (20 core/40 HW thread) test machine, using "/ -j 6" - to spawn up to 6 parallel processes at a time vs. the default 4:

Interestingly, the limiting scaling factor on this system seems to primarily be GPU video memory, not raw CPU or GPU performance. Metro Last Light, TF2, and DotA2 each can use ~1 GB of VRAM (and we only have a 3GB 780 Ti on this system). We don't try to order the trace replay order in any particular way to optimize overall throughput, which would be a nice addition.

vogl_src and vogl_chroot repos

Thanks to Carl Worth (Intel OTC) and Sir Anthony for submitting some patches to help us break up the previously huge vogl repo into two smaller repos. The primary one on github contains only the (buildable) source:

And vogl_chroot is the optional portion we use internally to simplify building and testing vogl:

You don't strictly need vogl_chroot, but beware you'll need to manually figure out the build dependencies if you don't. Building both 32-bit and 64-bit vogl without using the chroot approach can be a huge pain due to sometimes unresolvable/obscure i386 vs. amd64 system dependency issues. (If you disagree, I claim you haven't tried to actually do it. And no, gcc-multilib is not enough.)

Next Steps

We've been supplied with more test traces from various teams working on titles that will be released later this year on Steam Linux. (Hey - if you're working on a new GL game or port, feel free to send us more traces!) Also, Rad Game Tools just provided us with a fresh drop of Bink video, which now supports using compute shaders to massively accelerate video decoding. I'll be adding support for its GL 4.x callstream next week.

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