[Public WebGL] Oversight in bufferData and bufferSubData specification

Kenneth Russell [email protected]
Sat May 21 00:16:37 PDT 2011

On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM, Gregg Tavares (wrk) <[email protected]> wrote:
> Why does it matter?
> in real GL, bufferData and bufferSubData just take void* and a length so it
> seems like any ArrayBufferView should be valid.
> I can do this now
> gl.bufferData(gl.ARRAY_BUFFER, someUint8BufferView);   // upload bytes,
> gl.vertexAttribPointer(0, 3, gl.FLOAT, ...)   // use as floats
> or visa versa
> gl.bufferData(gl.ARRAY_BUFFER, someFloat32BufferView);   // upload floats,
> gl.vertexAttribPointer(0, 3, gl.BYTE, ...)   // use as bytes
> so why does it matter that I can upload a Float64Array? What I upload and
> how I used it are not related in WebGL

Misinterpretation or reinterpretation of uploaded data is irrelevant.
OpenGL ES 2.0 does not support double-precision floating point values
at all and neither does WebGL. Uploading a Float64Array into a buffer
object will only result in garbage values that can not be properly
referenced as vertex attributes.

>From the standpoint of strongly typing the IDL, only the
ArrayBufferView subclasses that can legally be used in the API should
be accepted. If a future version of WebGL begins to accept
double-precision floating-point values, then the IDL could either be
changed to add overloads taking Float64Array, or could be changed back
to what it is now, taking the superclass ArrayBufferView.


> On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 6:50 PM, Kenneth Russell <[email protected]> wrote:
>> In the bufferData and bufferSubData variants taking ArrayBufferView,
>> we failed to specify what happens if a Float64Array is passed.
>> http://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/specs/latest/#5.12 mentions that
>> Float64Array can not be used with WebGL, but does not specify what
>> happens if an attempt is made.
>> The other entry points which take ArrayBufferView (readPixels,
>> texImage2D, texSubImage2D) also take a type enum, and generate
>> INVALID_OPERATION if that type enum and the type of the
>> ArrayBufferView do not match. Therefore, these entry points will
>> already generate INVALID_OPERATION in this case.
>> Options seem to be:
>>  1. Generate an INVALID_VALUE OpenGL error if a Float64Array is passed.
>>  2. Change the IDL in the WebGL spec to explicitly enumerate all of
>> the ArrayBufferView subclasses accepted for bufferData, bufferSubData,
>> readPixels, texImage2D, and texSubImage2D.
>> Firefox 4 currently has a bug where it silently accepts Float64Arrays
>> for bufferData, so some change is definitely needed.
>> I would probably recommend (2) despite the slight explosion in the IDL
>> because it's most compatible with the intent of the spec. This would
>> mean that an exception would be raised per the Web IDL spec.
>> -Ken
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