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Re: [Public WebGL] WebGL working group - leadership

Given that I work with Ken day-to-day I'm sure my opinion will be taken with a large grain of salt. I've seen nothing over the past two years that I've been working directly on WebGL to suggest that Ken's leadership has been the bottleneck to WebGL 2.0 progress, or indeed that having him as the chair has been anything but beneficial.

The draft of the WebGL 2.0 spec has been available for over a year now, and there's been nothing to prevent the various vendors from beginning implementations, even if they know the spec isn't final. Firefox is proof of this, since they've been quietly building out experimental WebGL 2.0 support for a while. The fact that other vendors haven't followed suite likely has more to do with internal priorities and resource availability than the spec state or any WG holdups. Safari and IE have been focusing on getting it's WebGL implementation release-worthy (great job to the teams involved!), and Chrome has been focusing intensely on stability and code cleanup (the aforementioned MANGLE effort, which is only a hairball if you're not familiar with Chrome's current GPU internals.)

It's certainly not "sexy" work: everybody loves new features but it's hard to get excited about hearing that the browser crashes 30% less on a GPU that you don't own. The focus on implementation quality by all parties is crucial for ensuring that the API is viewed as more than a plaything for power-users, though.


On Sun Oct 19 2014 at 7:18:39 PM Jeff Gilbert <jgilbert@mozilla.com> wrote:

For what it's worth, I disagree with your evaluations. I think we're largely in a good place right now, and on a good trajectory.

I do not believe the WG has been a bottleneck for our WebGL implementation, at least.
There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes which goes unappreciated. When done well, a decent amount of this work is nearly invisible.
It's hard to put numbers on improved compatibility and conformance.

It's still reasonable input if you believe we should have a stronger focus on features, but we're certainly not in the pure feature race.


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Davis" <jdavis@pcprogramming.com>
To: "Tony Parisi" <tparisi@gmail.com>
Cc: "Florian Bösch" <pyalot@gmail.com>, "public webgl" <public_webgl@khronos.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 2:23:53 PM
Subject: Re: [Public WebGL] WebGL working group - leadership

Apologies, I can't help but think we can do better.

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM, Tony Parisi <tparisi@gmail.com> wrote:

> In my opinion, Ken is doing a fantastic job.
> One can measure the "progress" of a standard by its rate of adoption and
> its high degree of interoperability - both crucial for its success - just
> as much or more than the rate at which features are being introduced. WebGL
> is tops in both. This is in no small part because this group, led by Ken,
> has been stable and focused on conformance over adding features.
> What progress has been made in the last three years? WebGL is ubiquitous.
> That's enough for me. I can live without multiple render targets for
> another year...
> Tony
> On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM, Florian Bösch <pyalot@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On http://webglstats.com/ with about 7-8 million visits across its
>> contributing sites, I measure 90% desktops and 10% mobiles. For much of
>> 2012 and 2013 the trend for mobiles has been rising, but in 2014 it's
>> flagging somewhat.
>> http://gs.statcounter.com/ has Desktops at 62% and mobiles at 30% (the
>> rest being uncategorizable other things). The change from last year is
>> desktops -12% and mobiles +14%. Even assuming the trend'd continue
>> linearly, you'd look at years before you could "lay desktops to rest" as an
>> audience.
>> However I'd also not be happy with a situation where a machine that I can
>> stick in a GTX-980 that'll get about 1000x as much performance as any of
>> the latest smarphones, is something that can't run WebGL well. I think
>> that's counterproductive to WebGL.
>> On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 5:49 PM, John Davis <jdavis@pcprogramming.com>
>> wrote:
>>> I would suggest we weigh the number of smart phones and tablets on the
>>> planet against the number of PC's.  Think big picture, India, China, U.S.,
>>> ...
>>> On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM, Florian Bösch <pyalot@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM, John Davis <jdavis@pcprogramming.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Beginning with a clean slate is always easier.  ES 3.1 is so
>>>>> different, it affords this opportunity.  There is no backwards
>>>>> compatibility chain for existing developers.  Everyone is starting again
>>>>> with a new API.
>>>> I'll prefer WebGL 2.0 because it's quite likely it'll arrive next year
>>>> (around 8 months) and it'll support a lot of desktop and mobile hardware.
>>>> WebGL 2.1 would probably not arrive next year and its support for desktop
>>>> and mobile hardware would be substantially lower than WebGL 2.0.
>>>> MANGLE is the hell you're speaking of.
>>>> A Web technology that doesn't work for most people is not very
>>>> attractive.
> --
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