Decora <> Open Shading Language?

joe andresen joseph.andresen at
Thu Feb 14 15:05:56 PST 2013

On 2/14/2013 2:43 PM, Jim Graham wrote:
> I think a first task should be to get to the point where "Jim" isn't 
> the only engineer with more than a passing understanding of what goes 
> on with Decora under the hood - particularly since I don't have much 
> time to do a more indepth analysis of competing technologies like 
> this.  Any volunteers that are fascinated by the world of shaders? 
My understanding has been purely from a Prism rendering perspective, I 
have looked into a number of possibilities into extending JSL, like 
adding vertex shader support and whatnot. But again, my focus has always 
been "what can JSL and the decora-compiler do for ES2 and D3D projects 
moving forward", which i admit is a bit limited in scope.

I agree with what you said about the problems. There is also the issue 
that decora "doing only what we need" is starting to become incorrect 
(as in we need more). Our current 3D implementation makes no use of the 
decora-compiler translator, which means that the 3d shaders are hand 
written which means they are different, and theoretically could 
introduce a bit of shader code that isn't as well tested (In practice it 
isn't that big of a deal). Prism's use of JSL itself is also in need of 
work since writing a shader is only half the battle. We need to be able 
to provide flexible vertex data objects/interfaces and manage these in a 
way that is simple and flexible if we are to provide shaders to developers.

As for the languages themselves, different engineers here have differing 

Some think we should stop using JSL and concentrate on GLSL and HLSL 
specifically, maybe providing a bridge so we only expose one language in 
the API.

Some think JSL with a little love could be upgraded to fill that need.

OSL is an interesting thought.


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