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Re: [Public WebGL] getContext multiple context language



Ken,

Kenneth Russell wrote:

If multiple rendering contexts are active, they all render to the same canvas bitmap; they are not layered or otherwise isolated. Changes made to the canvas bitmap with one context must be immediately visible to any other active contexts on the canvas. The implementation must manage synchronization issues associated with rendering with different contexts to the same canvas.

Comments?

I repeat my previous objections.
Implicit synchronization is fraught with problems as I have stated many times before during this discussion. Lack of explicit synchronization is a nightmare for implementers (with the tangled web of checks between contexts growing as each new context type is added) and will encourage developers to interleave calls in ways that will be horrendously inefficient on any hardware that is attempting parallelism, which these days is pretty much everything.

You previously wrote:
In earlier discussions it was stated that if the developer fails to
call waitContext() then incorrect or undefined rendering results will
occur. This will lead to nonportable behavior and I don't think it is
a good idea.
The results will be incorrect on all implementations. Are you saying you want to have identical incorrect results across implementations?
If the synchronization checks occur in the implementation, their added
cost is a fetch from thread-local storage per rendering call. Such
checks already exist in the WebKit WebGL implementation and they are
nowhere near the top of the profile, at least at this point. I think
the synchronization among the various contexts should remain implicit.
The more context types you add, the worse it gets. A separate has-something-been-drawn flag has to be checked for each context type. Some context types may have a large number of drawing commands, each of which must be modified to set the flag, if that context is to participate in simultaneous rendering.

But my main concern is that the vast majority of developers will simply not realize that by adding that bit of fancy 2D text drawn they are killing their performance. The presence of an explicit waitContext() gives them a clear warning that switching contexts is expensive.

Regards

   -Mark


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