[Public WebGL] MIP rendering in WebGL (integration of EXT_blend_minmax)

dv [email protected]
Thu Dec 13 04:49:39 PST 2012

You are correct. There has been a debate going on for a long time about 
WebGL and the platform it is used for. A lot of people - myself included 
- do not think it makes sense to artificially limit WebGL to the 
capabilities of mobile devices, even when it for example is used for 
visualization tasks on workstations with OpenGL 4-era featuresets. As 
you point out, WebGL's cross platform nature and out-of-the-box support 
and deployment is a huge advantage. One idea that has been floating 
around in several variations is some kind of "desktop" or "workstation" 
profile, which enables additional capabilities. Javascript code can 
check if such a profile is available.

On 2012-12-13 13:26, Sébastien Jodogne wrote:
> Dear Gregg,
>> I'm not suggesting you shouldn't push for min/max blending. On the other
>> hand given < 1/3 of mobile supports it seems like you're likely to have
>> to wait for WebGL 2.0 which is easily 12-24 months away. So my point is,
>> there must be other creative ways to build the app you want to build
>> without waiting for that feature.
> Thank you much for your feedback and for your outline of a technical 
> solution!
> As pointed out by Florian, I think that native support for min/max 
> blending would have many direct applications. For this reason, I am 
> convinced that WebGL should include this feature in future releases, 
> for instance as an extension (for quicker release in cutting-edge 
> browsers such as Firefox). According to this discussion, it indeed 
> seems that my need is shared by a lot of developers. The iterative 
> plane cast is at the same time slow and tricky when you come to the 
> actual implementation... and it would not be very productive that 
> several developers redevelop it from scratch all around the world.
> From my point of view, WebGL is not only important for mobile devices, 
> but also for any Web application that is accessed from standard 
> desktop computers. WebGL is indeed fully cross-platform thanks to its 
> use of JavaScript and to its out-of-the-box support in Firefox/Chrome. 
> You just have 1 target to support as long as the GUI is concerned, 
> which directly leads to huge economies of scale.
> It seems to me that the potential of WebGL as a cross-platform tool 
> for visualizing 3D scientific data is very important (think of medical 
> imaging, CAD, physics simulation,...). As far as medical software is 
> concerned, the emphasis is currently more and more put on Web-based 
> solutions that are immediate to deploy in an homogeneous park of 
> desktop computers. So, the weak proportion of mobile devices that may 
> currently benefit from min/max blending should not hide the fact that 
> almost any desktop computer can immediately benefit from it.
> Cheers,
> Sébastien-
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