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Re: [Public WebGL] GL_RENDERER string needed for performant apps

The problem with the user agent string was people used it as a substitute for feature detection, so when browsers added features they had to spoof user agents. This happened mostly because browsers exposed completely different APIs for the same features, requiring different code to achieve the same results.

I don't see this becoming a problem with WebGL, because when a feature is present the API is exactly the same across vendors, and we already have explicit feature detection built into the standard. We aren't going to use GL_RENDERER as a substitute for feature detection. It's actually more work to parse GL_RENDERER than to use the feature detection APIs that already exist. We need GL_RENDERER for performance estimation and for bug hunting.

On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM, Mark Callow <callow.mark@artspark.co.jp> wrote:

On 2014/01/14 7:09, Kevin Ring wrote:

I suspect the Google Maps situation is the norm outside of technology demos.  Access to the GL_RENDERER string will certainly be a huge benefit to our WebGL applications.

On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM, Jennifer Maurer <maurerj@google.com> wrote:

In addition, we are petitioning the WebGL working group to remove the security warnings from this and the WEBGL_debug_shaders extensions, as we believe that exposing this information is not as privacy-sensitive as once feared, and the benefits of making it available to real-world WebGL applications have been clearly demonstrated.

Please send feedback on this plan and the proposal for the WebGL extensions to the mailing list.

Privacy was not the only concern.

What is going to prevent this becoming another user-agent string fiasco where implementers have to start spoofing the string in order to get applications to run?



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