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WebCL: OpenCL For The Browser

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  • WebCL: OpenCL For The Browser

    Phoronix: WebCL: OpenCL For The Browser

    First there was WebGL to bring OpenGL to the web-browser, and now there's WebCL to do the same for bringing OpenCL to the web. The Khronos Group is getting ready WebCL, to bring OpenCL to modern web browsers with JavaScript support. Early WebCL support is already available for the WebKit rendering engine...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTYzNA

  • #2
    Isn't this a bit overkill? Why would anyone use opencl on a webpage?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wpoely86 View Post
      Isn't this a bit overkill? Why would anyone use opencl on a webpage?
      It would actually be kind of cool. Upload a data set to your webbrowser and let it crunch away instead of having to install an application on your system first. Also I could also see distributed projects liking this as well. Open up your browser, navigate to a page, and bamm you have another client on the swarm crunching away.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
        It would actually be kind of cool. Upload a data set to your webbrowser and let it crunch away instead of having to install an application on your system first. Also I could also see distributed projects liking this as well. Open up your browser, navigate to a page, and bamm you have another client on the swarm crunching away.
        No doubt about the coolness of this but... since it's totally unpredictable how long you stay on a site, i doubt that this useful for distributed computing. Not to mention that javascript is not a very efficient tool to do heavy number crunching, even with webcl.

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        • #5
          This is really getting stupid.
          Web browser has no business in dealing with complicated processor hungry tasks, and too much worry is being made over getting the processing off the processor onto the GPU. You know, with these big fast multi-core CPUs, you can whip off a lot of numbers... its what they're there for, USE THEM and quit worrying about GPUs.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wpoely86 View Post
            No doubt about the coolness of this but... since it's totally unpredictable how long you stay on a site, i doubt that this useful for distributed computing. Not to mention that javascript is not a very efficient tool to do heavy number crunching, even with webcl.
            The client versions of distributed computing that are not browser based have no way of knowing how long you keep crunching as well. Many people with desktops have their browsers open 24/7.

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            • #7
              You can use OpenCL from within OpenGL to do different things - so I can see why you might want to have the same abilities within WebGL. I suspect it probably won't be used very much, though.

              It could be cool to do some crowdsourcing with it. For example, put up an OpenCL algorithm in javascript on a webpage, and let a bunch of people hit it with different hardware. Serve up different versions, or even let them edit parameters in the javascript to find ideal splits based on what hardware you have. So i guess I can think of a few cool things to do with it.

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              • #8
                Nokia team give Image procesing as example

                of WebCL use.

                And WebCL can be 100x faster than JS!
                And if GPU is idling then why not use it for some computing?

                And WebApps may need some extra horse power. (stfu, those of you that forbid web apps to become complex stuff).

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                • #9
                  Yyeah, I'm totally gonna give a random web page access to my gpu in order for it to mine bitcoins on my electricity.

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                  • #10
                    Even when OpenCL-over-Gallium3D is there, it won't do any good for those with the Intel classic driver or those just wishing to use OpenCL on the CPU;
                    This is true, but I don't see why the browsers couldn't use a CPU-only implementation such as AMD's APP SDK (fka Stream) or Intel's CPU-based OpenCL run-time library.

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                    • #11
                      Security Nightmare!!

                      I really don't get all this excitement about WebGL and now WebCL. Its a totally insane, at least when viewed from a security standpoint. Allowing a website/server direct access to your gpu, be it for webgl or webcl or whatever, means giving it full read/write access over your main memory (something everybody agrees on is bad), opening the door wide open for exploits and other malicious code. There's an ongoing discussion about this, and especially Microsoft's decision not to support hw-acceleration in their browser is often seen as FUD and as an attack against there competition; I believe that they've gathered enough experience in battling ie's and window's security flaws the past decade to know when something is a bad idea on the conceptual level. I know that by writing this, I can't stop the title-wave. but I find it important to voice my concern over something that on a purely technological-level is really neat, but when brought out into the harsh reality will cause so many headaches (and maybe worse..) in the future.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hungerfish View Post
                        I really don't get all this excitement about WebGL and now WebCL. Its a totally insane, at least when viewed from a security standpoint. Allowing a website/server direct access to your gpu, be it for webgl or webcl or whatever, means giving it full read/write access over your main memory (something everybody agrees on is bad), opening the door wide open for exploits and other malicious code. There's an ongoing discussion about this, and especially Microsoft's decision not to support hw-acceleration in their browser is often seen as FUD and as an attack against there competition; I believe that they've gathered enough experience in battling ie's and window's security flaws the past decade to know when something is a bad idea on the conceptual level. I know that by writing this, I can't stop the title-wave. but I find it important to voice my concern over something that on a purely technological-level is really neat, but when brought out into the harsh reality will cause so many headaches (and maybe worse..) in the future.
                        You've got a point here, but I believe that at least the Open Source stack has some of this taken care of. The CS checker that resides in the kernel DRM (at least for Radeon) does memory access checking (or at least I'm pretty sure it does). This is actually an improvement over Nvidia's OpenCL run-time, which doesn't do access checking.

                        I'm not sure if AMD's GPU OpenCL run-time checks for memory access violations. The CPU-based OpenCL run-times all are subject to the standard memory access rules for a program, so they should be restricted to the current process's memory space.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                          It would actually be kind of cool. Upload a data set to your webbrowser and let it crunch away instead of having to install an application on your system first. Also I could also see distributed projects liking this as well. Open up your browser, navigate to a page, and bamm you have another client on the swarm crunching away.
                          the dream of a bitcoin farmer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                            It would actually be kind of cool. Upload a data set to your webbrowser and let it crunch away instead of having to install an application on your system first. Also I could also see distributed projects liking this as well. Open up your browser, navigate to a page, and bamm you have another client on the swarm crunching away.
                            This is nothing that a Java Applet could not do, given the proper libraries were built.

                            The sooner we stop trying to make an HTML parser and viewer a full blown operating system the more sanity we will preserve.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by locovaca View Post
                              This is nothing that a Java Applet could not do, given the proper libraries were built.
                              True enough. You know what else could be done in a Java Applet? This entire forum, and the Phoronix website. "Could" isn't a good reason for why it "should".

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