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Thread: Firefox May Support LLVMpipe For WebGL

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    Default Firefox May Support LLVMpipe For WebGL

    Phoronix: Firefox May Support LLVMpipe For WebGL

    Benoit Jacob of Mozilla is looking at the possibility of using Mesa's LLVMpipe Gallium3D driver as a means of WebGL software rendering within Firefox...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA2NTk

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    ...with a performance level at less than 30% of Microsoft's Direct2D implementation, upon which by that time Windows will have left the open world well behind in its wake with even more improvements to Direct2D for Internet Explorer?

    Wow, what an 'achievement'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    ...with a performance level at less than 30% of Microsoft's Direct2D implementation, upon which by that time Windows will have left the open world well behind in its wake with even more improvements to Direct2D for Internet Explorer?

    Wow, what an 'achievement'.
    Clueless...

    WebGL = 3D rendering inside the browser. Letting you run 3D games, Google 3D maps, etc. It has nothing to do with Direct2D or acceleration of normal drawing. Microsoft doesn't have anything that supports WebGL yet, meaning you have to choose Chrome, Firefox, or a webkit browser to use the feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    ...with a performance level at less than 30% of Microsoft's Direct2D implementation, upon which by that time Windows will have left the open world well behind in its wake with even more improvements to Direct2D for Internet Explorer?

    Wow, what an 'achievement'.
    Confusing 2D (Direct2D) with 3D (WebGL) is like confusing a bike with a car. Not to mention that WebGL also provides 2D, but you don't really need using that directly since you can use the HTML canvas drawing API for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    ...with a performance level at less than 30% of Microsoft's Direct2D implementation, upon which by that time Windows will have left the open world well behind in its wake with even more improvements to Direct2D for Internet Explorer?

    Wow, what an 'achievement'.
    Please do let me remind you of the following:
    LLVMpipe = very clever 3d rendering using the CPU! No hardware acceleration here!
    Direct2D = using the hardware (graphics card!) for rendering

    So if LLVMpipe manages to get at 30% of the performance of Direct2D then its in fact a very nice result!

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    Quote Originally Posted by markg85 View Post
    Please do let me remind you of the following:
    LLVMpipe = very clever 3d rendering using the CPU! No hardware acceleration here!
    Direct2D = using the hardware (graphics card!) for rendering

    So if LLVMpipe manages to get at 30% of the performance of Direct2D then its in fact a very nice result!
    You're missing the point. LLVMPipe gets infinity times the performance of Direct2D, because it is performing a completely different task. Direct2D (which is also used by Firefox on Windows) is used to accelerate drawing in the canvas. WebGL is used to draw 3D graphics, such as this demo which shows a Team Fortress 2 level in the browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQrC5YLKFUY That's something Direct2D will never be able to do (by design) since it is a 2D acceleration API.

    In case it wasn't clear from Michael's post, Mozilla is primarily interested in using this on Windows, by the way. Since that is where the vast majority of their users have drivers that are blacklisted (mainly old Intel drivers). The idea is to create an extension that would download the llvmpipe windows binary and have firefox load it instead of the system opengl.dll. However, at that point it should be fairly simple to do the same on OSX and use the system libs on Linux, so that will likely get supported as well.
    Last edited by smitty3268; 03-05-2012 at 06:18 AM.

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    Michael you missed the point. This feature isn't about un-blacklisting LLVMPipe, it is about using this software rendering driver when your hardware driver is blacklisted, so that WebGL can be used on every computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    ...with a performance level at less than 30% of Microsoft's Direct2D implementation, upon which by that time Windows will have left the open world well behind in its wake with even more improvements to Direct2D for Internet Explorer?

    Wow, what an 'achievement'.
    This is false. Firefox is on par with IE9 in this field, in many tests they both manage to run at 60 FPS. Indeed in a lot of tests Firefox is faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    You're missing the point. LLVMPipe gets infinity times the performance of Direct2D, because it is performing a completely different task. Direct2D (which is also used by Firefox on Windows) is used to accelerate drawing in the canvas. WebGL is used to draw 3D graphics, such as this demo which shows a Team Fortress 2 level in the browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQrC5YLKFUY That's something Direct2D will never be able to do (by design) since it is a 2D acceleration API.
    Whoa, slow down there. The line between a 2D and 3D API isn't nearly so clear as that. It's true that it's not fair to compare Direct2D with WebGL as they are different APIs with different goals, but that does not mean there cannot be any crossover. WebGL can be used to render 2D scenes (with an orthographic projection) and Direct2D can render 3D scenes (if you run most of the graphics pipeline through software and use the API more like an rasterizer ala video cards before hardware T&L). For example, see the Canvas demos here: http://mrdoob.github.com/three.js/

    Short version, a lot of convenience is lost if you use 3D for 2D, and a lot of performance is lost if you use 2D for 3D, but it absolutely can be done.


    Anyway, cheers for LLVMpipe as a fallback driver. I've had a lot of trouble getting WebGL to work under linux even under the nvidia binary blob, and pretty much not at all on my AMD machine. So, a good fallback is well appreciated until the open source driver can handle it.

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    llvmpipe does some wacky stuff still. At least it does for me, though my experience with it is exclusively through F17-alpha....
    On Poulsbo hardware.... with the reverse engineered driver.

    Crazy thing cuts off the bottom [about] 1/6th of the screen and mixes it into the top 1/6th and flickers it. Everything outside of that area works fine.

    Oh well, I don't care for gnome-shell anyway...
    I just hope that firefox doesn't FORCE llvmpipe down our throats.

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