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Re: [Public WebGL] preserveDrawingBuffer = false

----- Original Message -----
> On 2011-04-20 03:56, Gregg Tavares (wrk) wrote:
> > I'd like to suggest that the preserveDrawingBuffer = false spec be
> > revisited.
> >
> > The spec was written so that the drawing buffer is cleared if a
> > compositing operation is done. This was done so that apps would not
> > rely on the contents of the drawing buffer being preserved.
> >
> > Unfortunately it has the opposite effect. Apps are now written to
> > expect the drawing buffer to be cleared. But, the spec does not
> > actually require the drawing buffer to be cleared unless the buffer
> > is composited.
> >
> > So, we have the same situation. Apps expect the drawing buffer to be
> > cleared but depending on the browser, timing, etc there is no
> > guarantee that the buffer was actually composited. If it wasn't the
> > contents is still there. You write some code, it seems to work and
> > only later do you find out that on some slow machine or some
> > specific browser on a specific platform you're getting inconsistent
> > behavior and tracking that down can be really hard (I just got
> > through tracking
> > it down for one app)
> >
> > Would it be possible to change the spec to effectively say
> >
> >      If preserveDrawingBuffer is false, then when JavaScript enters
> >      a
> > callback if the user does not clear the drawingbuffer before the
> > first draw call the implementation will clear it?
> >
> > This doesn't seem like it would change any of the performance issues
> > nor the effective semantics of the spec but it would make the
> > behavior 100% consistent.
> Sounds good to me, I agree having it consistent in all cases would be
> much better.

I don't think it's all that easy to know "when a callback is entered" without a lot of potentially expensive state tracking and checking that you'd have to do on every draw call.  I agree that consistency is important, but I don't think this is the right way to get it.  If apps are incorrectly relying on this, we should consider changing the "default clear" color to be a random non-black color (or explicitly specify hot pink) as a way of forcing apps to do the clear themselves.  We shouldn't be letting apps use this as a crutch for not clearing themselves.

     - Vlad
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