What is Angle?

Overview of conformant OpenGL ES implementation for Windows, Mac and Linux, developed by Google
27 October 2017   261

What is Angle?

ANGLE stands for Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine. The goal of ANGLE is to allow users of multiple operating systems to seamlessly run WebGL and other OpenGL ES content by translating OpenGL ES API calls to one of the hardware-supported APIs available for that platform. ANGLE currently provides translation from OpenGL ES 2.0 and 3.0 to desktop OpenGL, OpenGL ES, Direct3D 9, and Direct3D 11. Support for translation from OpenGL ES to Vulkan is underway, and future plans include compute shader support (ES 3.1) and MacOS support.

ANGLE v1.0.772 was certified compliant by passing the ES 2.0.3 conformance tests in October 2011. ANGLE also provides an implementation of the EGL 1.4 specification.

ANGLE is used as the default WebGL backend for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox on Windows platforms. Chrome uses ANGLE for all graphics rendering on Windows, including the accelerated Canvas2D implementation and the Native Client sandbox environment.

Portions of the ANGLE shader compiler are used as a shader validator and translator by WebGL implementations across multiple platforms. It is used on Mac OS X, Linux, and in mobile variants of the browsers. Having one shader validator helps to ensure that a consistent set of GLSL ES shaders are accepted across browsers and platforms. The shader translator can be used to translate shaders to other shading languages, and to optionally apply shader modifications to work around bugs or quirks in the native graphics drivers. The translator targets Desktop GLSL, Direct3D HLSL, and even ESSL for native GLES2 platforms.

Links

If you are interested, you can learn more at:

  • Website
  • GitHub

New Drivechain proposals submitted for Bitcoin

Drivechain protocol presented for Bitcoin main network to enable alternative functions
04 December 2017   147

The so-called Drivechain protocol is an extension to main Bitcion network. It can be forked into the base Bitcoin operations, adding new features, e.g. sidechains to enable faster transactions, smart contracts, faster block processing. And while new features are added, it's not an altcoin, but a tethered add-on to main protocol, working side-by-side with mainstream blockchain.

Drivechain had a very shaky foundation because all of the previous variants were considered a pipe dream, but right now everyone can get a look at the existing code, courtesy of Paul Sztorc. He has a reputation as a developer of Bloq, enterprise-grade blockchain technology, and Hivemind chief scientist.

Now Sztorc proposed a set code for implementation of sidechains augmenting existing blockchain network and currently asks for code review from his peers. One of the current Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP) focuses on the hashrate escrow concept, which essentially is a variation of multisignature escrow, signed by the third-party miners not by a private key but by dedicating their hashpower to the transaction. Second BIP revolves around Blind Merged Mining. According to Github proposal, it allows for 'extension blocks' to be used in two or more sidechains for mining without any need for validation, it produces strong guarantees that the block is valid according to any set rules because of the multichaining.

As of now, two new BIP are awaiting formal numbers from developer community. Many people believe that the sidechain technology can be beneficial and will remove the need for many altcoins employed today by providing the same features in mainstream Bitcoin network.