[Public WebGL] Re: webgl/swiftshader

John Tamplin [email protected]
Tue Feb 21 07:36:19 PST 2012

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM, Steve Baker <[email protected]> wrote:
> If you're doing something like selling widgets on the Internet - then
> users with GPU's should get a 3D rendering of your new SuperWidget-3000
> that they can spin around and interact with - and low end users should get
> a movie clip or a photo gallery of still images or something.  If you care
> enough about getting your message to all of the users out there then this
> is a small price to pay.
> But - if you're a game designer - there is nothing worse than to find a
> valid WebGL environment and then discover that it takes 30 seconds to
> render a single frame and to have to resort to disgusting timing tricks to
> try to deduce whether this is a GPU or not.  I'd *much* rather a system
> report "Sorry, you need a machine that can run WebGL" than to have it try
> to run my game at 0.03Hz.

Maybe the answer is to have some way to ask the question "I have x
triangles and need y fps and features z, what is the likelihood this WebGL
implementation can deliver that".  Given that, the app can make a
reasonable decision of telling the user "sorry, you need to upgrade to use
this app", running as-is, or scaling back.

As I understand it, there isn't any way to do this now other than to try it
and time the result, which gives a poor user experience anyway.  The
alternative is to detect and whitelist configurations, or leave it up to
the user -- "here is the known-good version, you can try the WebGL version
if you are brave".

John A. Tamplin
Software Engineer (GWT), Google
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