Apple's WebKit team today proposed a new Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) focused on discussing the future of 3D graphics on the web. The goal of the group is to lead to development of a new Web API that would better prepare web browsers to take advantage of modern, and future, GPU technologies on a variety of platforms.

safari
On the WebKit blog, Apple's Dean Jackson says new software APIs "better reflect" modern GPUs, but that many of the major ones -- Direct3D 12 from Microsoft, Metal from Apple and Vulkan from Khronos Group -- aren't available on all platforms. While the success of the web requires common standards, Jackson argues, these platform-specific APIs make following a single API, like OpenGL, impossible in the future.

Instead, Apple's WebKit team is proposing that a new standard is needed. The new standard needs to provide a "core set of required features," an API that can be implemented on a variety of platforms with different system technologies, sitting on top of technologies like Direct3D, Metal and Vulkan, and the security and safety required for the Web.

While being a new open standard that's compatible with platform-specific technologies, Apple says the new standard must also be easy to to adopt, "expose the general-purpose computational functionality of modern GPUs," and work well with emerging standards like WebAssembly and WebVR.

Apple's initial proposal, which it calls an experiment, is "WebGPU." Apple says WebGPU started out as a mapping of Metal to JavaScript, and some graphics programmers are calling the proposal "Metal on the Web." Apple says it doesn't expect WebGPU to become the actual API in the new standard, but it does think there is "a lot of value" in its prototype.

Jackson says that WebGPU is much more object-oriented than WebGL, which is why Jackson says grants WebGPU its efficiencies. For instance, WebGPU handles "states" differently, reducing the work needed before a drawing operation.

The WebKit team will share its prototype with the Community Group, and is also inviting everyone with interest or experience in GPU web technologies to join the group.

Tags: WebKit, WebGPU, W3C

Top Rated Comments

Cougarcat Avatar
94 months ago
How about striving for more powerful graphics on your computers, Apple? Total War: Warhammer, Hitman, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided are all ports Feral is putting on pause until Metal becomes usable.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bustycat Avatar
94 months ago
How about striving for more powerful graphics on your computers, Apple? Total War: Warhammer, Hitman, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided are all ports Feral is putting on pause until Metal becomes usable.
Blizzard even stopped developing Overwatch for macOS because of outdated OpenGL and poorly-functional Metal. Apple, however, said Macs are really good for gaming. #AlternativeFacts
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
94 months ago
Hmm, do I want ads that use more of my GPU?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scottsoapbox Avatar
94 months ago
We have 3 standards the solution is a 4th standard. :D
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
commander.data Avatar
94 months ago
The major platform technologies in this space are Direct3D 12 from Microsoft, Metal from Apple, and Vulkan from the Khronos Group. While these technologies have similar design concepts, unfortunately none are available across all platforms.
While I'm not one of those who are annoyed that Apple developed their own proprietary low-level graphics API in Metal, it's ironic that Apple points to there not being a single API available across all platforms as a problem when the reason that's the case is because they choose not to implement Vulkan which is available everywhere else.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnf1285 Avatar
94 months ago
Wow, mapping Metal to JavaScript in their prototyping. Exciting stuff!

Curious how this aligns with Web Assembly:
http://webassembly.org/
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...
top stories 20apr2024

Top Stories: Nintendo Emulators on App Store, Two New iOS 17 Features, and More

Saturday April 20, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
It was a big week for retro gaming fans, as iPhone users are starting to reap the rewards of Apple's recent change to allow retro game emulators on the App Store. This week also saw a new iOS 17.5 beta that will support web-based app distribution in the EU, the debut of the first hotels to allow for direct AirPlay streaming to room TVs, a fresh rumor about the impending iPad Air update, and...