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Re: [Public WebGL] ETC texture compression.

On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 08:59, Steve Baker <steve@sjbaker.org> wrote:
The trouble is that if the extension is "nearly" universal - and useful
enough to matter, many application authors are going to be tempted to
use it - and not bother to write fallbacks for it because the additional
revenue from (say) 5% of the market would not pay for the additional
development cost. 

I agree, counter-intuitively I'd think an extension with available on only 50% systems to be better supported for everyone (ie. have fallbacks) than an extension that runs for almost everyone (90%+) thus the developer might be less interested to do the effort.
In the end there might well be 10% people left out of an app using 90%-available extension, whereas there would be 0% people left out for a 50%-available extension.

Also the specific case of compression extensions is the easiest kind of extension do fallback for, eg. :

var format;
if (format = gl.getExtension("ETC2")) {
    loadETC2Texture(format, name);
} else if (format = gl.getExtension("ETC1")) {
    loadETC1Texture(format, name);
} else if (format = gl.getExtension("PVRTC")) {
    loadPVRTCTexture(format, name);
} else { //fallback

That said, I like the concept of a lowest-common denominator WebGL that guarantees WebGL code to run anywhere, especially for 1.0, on the other hand for the future of WebGL I'm wary of privileging policy decisions over technical decisions when it comes to give more power to advanced developers (indeed - more power means more responsibilities, there's always ways to make an app fail on some platforms)