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7.11. Development Aids

A situation that can be difficult to diagnose is one in which a program may fail to execute because of the value of a sampler variable. These variables can be changed anytime between linking and program execution. To ensure robust behavior, OpenGL implementations must do some runtime checking just before the shader is executed (i.e., when a rendering operation is about to occur). At this point, the only way to report an error is to set the OpenGL error flag, and this is not usually something that applications check at this performance-critical juncture.

To provide more information when these situations occur, the OpenGL Shading Language API defines a new function that can be called to perform this runtime check explicitly and provide diagnostic information.

void glValidateProgram(GLuint program)

Checks whether the executables contained in program can execute given the current OpenGL state. The information generated by the validation process is stored in program's information log. The validation information may consist of an empty string, or it may be a string containing information about how the current program object interacts with the rest of current OpenGL state. This function provides a way for OpenGL implementors to convey more information about why the current program is inefficient, suboptimal, failing to execute, and so on.

The status of the validation operation is stored as part of the program object's state. This value is set to GL_TRUE if the validation succeeded and GL_FALSE otherwise. It can be queried by calling glGetProgram with arguments program and GL_VALIDATE_STATUS. If validation is successful, program is guaranteed to execute given the current state. Otherwise, program is guaranteed to not execute.

This function is typically useful only during application development. The informational string stored in the information log is completely implementation-dependent. Therefore, an application should not expect different OpenGL implementations to produce identical information strings.

Because the operations described in this section can severely hinder performance, they should be used only during application development and removed before shipment of the production version of the application.

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