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Re: [Public WebGL] retrograde webgl support levels



On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 7:22 AM, Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com> wrote:
Yes, but this is the nature of the Web. The limits we're discussing are real on many devices, which means content won't work if it exceeds those limits. Outside WebGL, it could be that some devices don't support 1080p video, or complex Web Audio graphs, or run out of memory with a huge HTML document.
That's true, however that doesn't explain why ES2 contexts are artificially hobbled where they didn't need to be.
 
A great feature of WebGL is that it exposes API to detect those limits. Most other Web things don't. 
That's also true, but that's why I highlighted these 3 parameters specifically (although the effect is found in nearly a dozen parameters). These parameters have been at very consistent levels for over 3 years, and so I see a "moral hazard" that may be present in many webgl apps. The steady lower limits where first established by PCs and later when more mobiles joined in, most of them already didn't go below those limits. That's why it's a concern, because it's easy to see how somebody could conclude, from years and years of observing these values, that it's safe to use them at the lower practical limit, not the lowest possible limit.

I think another reason this has become a point of concern is that iOS updates are more available to older hardware than other systems. We could have decided to not enable WebGL on older devices, but that would be a huge shame - the devices are capable, just not as powerful as desktop machines. There is no shortage of GLES2 native apps that run on them. 
And yet Android captures a higher usage share than iOS in some device categories, delivers fast updates as well, to many older devices, is more budget oriented and supports a very wide range of older hardware, and doesn't have this issue as pronounced (because they don't artificially hobble ES2 contexts).