Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Balanced Commentary on WebGL

No matter how frustrating the process, after a while one learns what can be done with a system and how to get around whatever it is you need to get around.   In this case the surprise was that I simply did not realize to what extent programming WebGL meant actually also working with both Html and the DOM, even though in retrospect it is obvious, and even more than that, this is what you would want.

You want it to be involved with HTML and the DOM or how could it all be integrated into the browser otherwise.

So its all good.  

There are some mysteries in the direction that OpenGL ES 2.0 has taken.   These mysteries can no doubt be explained by the designers, but they haven't done so, not that I have been able to find.  The specific questions involve the extreme position they seem to have taken to remove many things that people who program graphics use.   Its not so hard to implement your own versions of these things, e.g. a perspective matrix, a uniform variable to put it in, etc.   But it does make one wonder why they took it out to begin with?   Maybe they are just trying to be minimal?   That could be good.  But it is a little puzzling when you know the earlier versions of OpenGL and just leap into this and can not find things you expect.

Same question about perspective matrices also applies to lights.

And they seem to have some major browser architecture issue which I will call "the problem of the lost context".   Its annoying but can be managed.

On the positive side, by being so integrated with Html and DOM it is trivial to do multiple window layout and such things as scrolling text windows that might otherwise be difficult.

So far it seems to work and browser incompatibilities between Firefox and Chrome have been minimal.

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