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Re: [Public WebGL] Volume Textures



----- Original Message -----
> On Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 7:42 PM, Benoit Jacob <bjacob@mozilla.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >> On Mar 24, 2011, at 4:18 AM, John Davis wrote:
> >>
> >> > In the meantime, is there any chance we could add an extension to
> >> > WebGL and Angle to support volume textures for the rather large
> >> > use
> >> > case of Chrome and FireFox? This is very low hanging fruit that
> >> > will
> >> > add considerable bang on the fragment shader side.
> >>
> >> Let's be careful about what we call "low hanging fruit". WebGL
> >> attempts to allow content to be written across a wide range of
> >> hardware. That's why we based the spec on OpenGL ES 2.0 rather than
> >> desktop OpenGL. If you look at the WebGL extension registry
> >> (http://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/extensions/), all of the
> >> extensions there are available on at least one OpenGL ES
> >> implementation on mobile devices (iPhone).
> >>
> >> That doesn't mean we can't discuss other extensions (like this
> >> one).
> >> But I would be very against adding any and all extensions just
> >> because
> >> they exist on some driver in some version of OpenGL on some
> >> platform.
> >> I even agree that 3D textures are available in a majority of
> >> desktop
> >> OpenGL implementations. And GL_OES_texture_3D is defined for OpenGL
> >> ES. But I don't know of any current implementations of OpenGL ES
> >> that
> >> support it.
> >>
> >> My concern is that WebGL will get fragmented and that authors will
> >> start using extensions that are available on a small number of
> >> implementations degrading the WebGL experience for everyone else. I
> >> don't think we want to go there at this early stage of development.
> >
> > For what it's worth, I am agreeing with Chris on this matter.
> >
> > To put it in more abstract terms: being a web specification, WebGL
> > should (try hard to) be universally implementable.
> >
> > Benoit
> 
> Web is never universal. For example, many Korean website build around
> ActiveX, and it's only for Windows/IE users. Also, we all know if a
> web is built in Flash, certain devices won't display it.

Yeah --- I agree that we must compete with that, otherwise people will just keep using such technologies instead of WebGL.

> 
> Again, I think we should wait, but at certain point when webgl is well
> known and well perceived, adding kicking ass but none-universal
> extensions should be on the agenda. Otherwise we are limiting
> possibilities and holding back potential business/markets.

Yes, it's a compromise between universality on the one hand, and competing with proprietary solutions on the other hand.

For the /short term/ we seem to be in agreement to be conservative about the extensions we add.

For the /longer term/ I would argue that such 'non-universal' extension proposals could be accumulated and rolled together into WebGL 2.0, and we could also discuss, for each of them, if they could be made part of WebGL 2.0 itself or should remain extensions. In this way, we limit the number of different situations (either you're using WebGL 2.0 or you're not); we preserve the universal nature of WebGL 1.0; and we would make it a more conscious choice on the part of the web developers to use these new features that are less widely supported than WebGL 1.0 features.

Cheers
Benoit

> 
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