The next step is WebGL2. OpenGL ES 3.0 adds a bunch of new features that are sorely needed for modern games and applications. For instance, it allows drawing to multiple render targets, which is very useful for virtual cameras in video games (although the original WebGL software could access this as an optional extension when supported). The addition of “Uniform Buffer Objects” is a better example. This allows you to store a bunch of data, like view transformation matrices, as a single buffer that can be bound to multiple applications, rather than binding them one at a time to every draw that needs them.
It's hard to describe, but demos speak a thousand words.
The news today is that Mozilla Nightly now ships with WebGL2 enabled by default. It was previously hidden, disabled by default, behind an option in the browser. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but one of the largest hurdles to WebGL2 is how the browsers actually implement it. The shading language in WebGL was simple enough that most browsers convert it to DirectX HLSL on Windows. This is said to have the added advantage of obfuscating the ability to write malicious code, since developers never directly writes what's executed. GLSL in OpenGL ES 3.0 is much more difficult. I'm not sure whether the browsers will begin to trust OpenGL ES 3.0 drivers directly, or if they finally updated the GLSL translator, but supported implementations means that something was fixed.
Unfortunately, OpenGL compute shaders are not supported in WebGL2. That said, the biggest hurdle is, again, to get WebGL2 working at all. From my talks with browser vendors over the last year or so, it sounds like features (including compute shaders) should start flying in easily once this hurdle is cleared. From there, GPGPU in a website should be much more straightforward.
It’s cool, but what are the
It’s cool, but what are the practical applications? No one honestly still thinks there’s a market for web browser gaming right.
Bunch of answers to this.
Bunch of answers to this. First, yes. Flash and free-to-play developers are seriously looking at the Web, because it's the ultimate low barrier to entry. Second, it will be useful for interactive artworks that don't want to be supported cross-platform ad-infinitum.
Third: a lot of major game studios disagree. Epic Games is probably the largest, but certainly not the only one.
“Third: a lot of major game
“Third: a lot of major game studios disagree”. Disagree with what exactly? the web as a viable gaming platform, or the opposite? sry if its clear and im just not ‘understanding’ correctly. the second sentence about flash and free-to-play devs is throwing me off a bit, my bad.
the web browser as a platform makes completes sense, imo. i feel like steve jobs championed this idea back in ’07 when the first iPhones were coming out. its ironic, however, that it appears that we’re moving in the opposite direction. soooo many apps. the need for a LA Times app, or a USA Today app, is absurd to me. it seems to me, that adding an additional layer, between ‘customer’ and ‘product’, is just silly. but what do i know.
things like what this post is describing, sound promising.
Sorry, it was a bit of a
Sorry, it was a bit of a rushed reply — family was over for the holidays. A lot of major game studios disagree with that no-one could think there's a market for Web games. Epic Games, for instance, wouldn't make tools for people that they didn't think existed.
ah i see, thx! np btw. i
ah i see, thx! np btw. i assumed that’s what you meant, but i wasn’t sure. good point too btw. i hadn’t quite thought of it in that context. businesses don’t provide products for nonexistent customers. very good point indeed.
You’re welcome! Of course,
You're welcome! Of course, Epic Games, Unity, Three, Artillery, and others could be wrong / severely over-estimate. I don't think so, at least eventually, though.