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[Public WebGL] max parameter minimum/diversity



I have recently updated http://webglstats.com/ and I'd like to talk about a topic that's a bit troublesome.

The WebGL implementations advertise MAX_* parameters (via getParameter) for various things. I plot these parameters on webglstats (note that I reduce the diversity display to things that are at least present for 0.5% of visitors).

The issue of minimum maxima has been raised before for some parameters, and I think it's worth to periodically revisit this to figure out if new meaningful minimum maxima can be set. The reason it's worth doing is because a minimum maxima snips off a tail off the parameter range and means a user can rely on the minimum maxima for that parameter.

There is a second issue, which is values beyond the minimum maxima. If there's many different values, it's difficult to optimize a renderingpath to work well for most devices. Although a developer could draw his own conclusions about the parameter levels, and just make bigger strides in them than the parameters diversity.

Some parameters are very easy to handle, such as MAX_TEXTURE_IMAGE_UNITS, which falls betwee 8, 16 and 32 units.

Other parameters like MAX_FRAGMENT_UNIFORM_VECTORS sport a wide variety of maxima like 29, 32, 64, 221, 222, 224, 256, 300, 512, 768, 1024, 4096. Although in this particular case, it's still somewhat easy to handle, because there's 2 clearly distinguishable borders (29 and 222).

A particular weird parameter is ALIASED_POINT_SIZE_RANGE which goes between 1, 63, 64, 100, 128, 255, 256, 511, 1023, 1024, 2047, 2048, 8192, 16384, 32786. This one also has more borders (about 4) and they are quite fuzzy.

So the thing I'm wondering is this: Should we discuss not only minimum maxima, but also specific values that this can fall into? For instance, is it really necessary to have 221,222,224? And would it make sense to reduce the diversity to make it easier for developers to make a choice? I'm not sure, maybe developers can make their own choices even when presented with a high parameter diversity. I know that, personally, I'm not bothered by the parameter diversity. But I'm not sure if it it's not a bit daunting for new WebGL developers.