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Epic and Mozilla Bring HTML5 OpenGL Demo To the Browser 77

sl4shd0rk writes "Mozilla and Epic (of Epic Megagames fame) have engineered an impressive First Person OpenGL demo which runs on HTML5 and a subset of JavaScript. Emscripten, the tool used, converts C and C++ code into 'low level' JavaScript. According to Epic, The Citadel demo runs 'within 2x of native speeds' and supports features commonly found in native OpenGL games such as dynamic specular lighting and global illumination. This concept was previously covered on Slashdot, however the Citadel demo has just been released this week."
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Epic and Mozilla Bring HTML5 OpenGL Demo To the Browser

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    For some reason the people here don't understand immediately what this is: A tech demo.

    asm.js is experimental. html5 is very new. WebGL is not that widely used yet. emscripten. This is just demonstrating what is possible with what we have today.

    I tried it on linux with intel 4000 with mesa git master and firefox nightly.

    I haven't looked into why the rendering in the default settings is bad. Maybe they still blacklist it.

    To get decent performance I had to go to about:config and set layers.acceleration.force-

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      "This is just demonstrating what is possible with what we have today."

      so ... how does one demonstrate something not possible today without demonstrating it today

      blah blah bla , no input


  • Let me get this straight.

    They (the asm.js [] nutjobs and the vendors who trot along) are proposing to take programs written in C or C++, "compile" them to the fascist brother of Javascript (I won't call it a "subset" of the language because it actually works by adding boilerplate code) so that supported implementations can recognize that the Javascript source has all the boilerplate cruft in place and try to compile the damn thing back to machine code.

    Rube Goldberg would be proud.

    Besides, I can see the secu

    • I wouldn't so much as call it a security chasm, as a slow descent into the fissure that is known to some ancient civilizations as The Crack Of Oblivion.
    • All JavaScript engines compile to machine code; it's not something specific of asm.js.

  • What the hell does "within 2x of native speed" mean? Is it 2x faster? Is it 2x slower? Is it 200% faster/slower? Is it 50% slower?

    If only there were a marketing-to-English dictionary, or perhaps a school we could send people to ...

    • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

      Heh... The English isn't the best (It's proper and valid- but I wouldn't have put it in the somewhat confusing manner that they did...), but they're talking about being about half as fast as native, based on what I've been able to ascertain playing with the demos and a bit with emscripten. Considering what I know about's not half bad.

      It's a clever hack- but it's still a hack. It'll let vendors make casual games and light MMOGs easily playable with more than just one platform- no Flash or

  • I just tried, and I was able to "play" the demo, walking around the environment, etc. I ran the benchmark, and got 57fps, and although I have 120hz monitors, I suspect something is limiting most of the rendering to 60hz. TBH, this is amazing to me. I tested under windows 7 with firefox 20.0.1 however, so I'll have to try booted into Ubuntu and see how it works there.

  • All we've ever really wanted was a unibiquitous software development platform that wasn't bloated as hell and allowed optional access to the local file system (for save data / load data). Java could have been this, but they didn't make Applets be trimmed down lean and mean for the web, and included the kitchen sink so the attack surface was too large. HTML+JS is becoming what we want, if it wasn't for the horribly designed scripting language -- Its design had no concern for speed since all the heavy lift

    • by roca ( 43122 )

      Leaked IE11 builds support WebGL.

      Chrome has some pretty bad bugs with the element in gaming contexts. But the real solution to audio in HTML5 games is the Web Audio API. This is still a work in progress, but we'll get there. The Citadel demo uses it. If you stand on the bridge over the river and turn around 360 degrees, you should get a nice stereo effect.

    • by ardor ( 673957 )

      Lua would be so cool as scripting language. (Well, except for this crap about arrays starting with index 1 by default.) Just by looking at the HUGE amounts of performance optimizations that LuaJIT is able to pull off shows why.

  • Tried the demo and it's actually pretty surreal being able to play a game like that in a web browser. I hope the technology improves further as time passes. One issue is that it cannot capture the mouse in fullscreen meaning you have to click in order to turn the camera. This would be a big problem playing windowed of course but in full screen, it's more intuitive just to move the mouse to turn around (like every FPS has implemented).

  • I tried the demo. It feels extremely slow despite very low CPU usage (15%) and a high-end graphics card.
    It might be a problem with latency or responsiveness, but it's definitely not as smooth as an AAA game.

    Graphics-wise it also feels like an Android game.
    Shitty flash games actually look better than this.

  • Apparently this is another proprietary codec. Brendan Eich considers this unimportant because "consumers" won't get sued for using the browser, but it leaves people who want to participate (by encoding their own material) my have the same limitations that h.264 users do - no participating unless you pay the Intellectual Property Poll-Tax.

    It sounds like they're still in "discussions" about the licensing of the codec itself. Unfortunately I'm not too confident that Mozilla is concerned much about that these d

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