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Mozilla Proposes "Obsidian" Low-Level Graphics API For The Web, Based On Vulkan

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  • Mozilla Proposes "Obsidian" Low-Level Graphics API For The Web, Based On Vulkan

    Phoronix: Mozilla Proposes "Obsidian" Low-Level Graphics API For The Web, Based On Vulkan

    Mozilla has laid out a proposal for a new low-level graphics API for the web dubbed Obsidian...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...n-Graphics-API

  • #2
    The point of Vulkan was to get "bare-to-metal". This comes with the increased risk of something doing wrong and hosing your system since the application, not the driver, must do all the work.

    I'm 100% OK with OpenGL being used for web browsers and other high level uses, and Vulkan for games and rendering tool applications. Might be hard to pool off a "stable" use of Vulkan in a browsers.

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    • #3
      Web browsing happens on a lot of devices, which often have pretty much nothing in common. You can't really have one low-level API. You may have 200 low-level APIs for the most popular devices. Still, what's the point?

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      • #4
        I love it. Apple and MS try to push away Vulkan with a low-level abstraction, and Mozilla comes back in with a Vulkan based API.

        Thank you Mozilla, I love you.

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        • #5
          I really don't see the point in having a low level graphics API for the web, and I say that as someone who always defended adding WebGL.

          I guess the point is to more easily allow compiling desktop apps for the web? I'm not sure that's a good enough reason.

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          • #6
            Vulkan is not "low level".
            Obsidian is not Vulkan.
            An API can be based on Vulkan, excluding critical stuff, including e.g. sane memory management etc.
            WebGL ain't much better either when there are crappy shader compilers with drivers hooked up deeply into the system that can't even parse shit and pull the entire system down instead.

            The same points as already discussed when Apple published their proposal, aside from the fact that noone is going to tell Mozilla to get lost because they don't support the APIs everyone else already agreed upon.

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            • #7
              With Obsidian, WebAssembly and Servo it looks like web applications are getting really fast. Maybe this could be the foundation for desktop-mobile(-VR) convergence. These applications could run everywhere instead of just Ubuntu phones + Ubuntu or Windows phones + Windows and with WebAssembly you wouldn't be locked into certain programming languages like C++ for Qt.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Maxjen View Post
                With Obsidian, WebAssembly and Servo it looks like web applications are getting really fast. Maybe this could be the foundation for desktop-mobile(-VR) convergence. These applications could run everywhere instead of just Ubuntu phones + Ubuntu or Windows phones + Windows and with WebAssembly you wouldn't be locked into certain programming languages like C++ for Qt.
                That's sort of the idea behind Progressive Web Apps.

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                • #9
                  Well Internet Explorer 11, Edge, and Chrome all have much better WebGL performance than Firefox. So I don't know if Mozilla is the right candidate to propose any graphics API.

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                  • #10
                    'Low level' API's like Vulkan are not necessarily more dangerous.
                    Just have a mandatory extension where crashes and memory acquisition can't affect other GPU processes/applications in a bad way.
                    Modern GPU API's should be made with simultaneous multi-application use in mind.
                    E.g. a heavy game and a few browser windows.

                    Obsidian is a temporary code name, signifying the Vulkan roots of the API:
                    Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.
                    A web API with no web in the name? Oh come on Mozilla, should have called it Websidian.

                    The API is designed for WebAssembly, modern GPUs, and multi-threaded environment in mind.
                    Yes, this! A focus on these in API design is what we need for Web GPU API's!

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