20151020 - GLSL Language Evolution


Feel free to post in comments, I'm always attempting to collect feedback from other developers. Often the missing link between getting the priority for changes is community feedback!

Curious where developers feel GLSL needs to go in the future. Specifically what are the desired improvements to the base language for continuing use in WebGL or in OpenGL, or even using GLSL to translate into SPIR-V. Guessing the listing of requested changes by the recent twitter thread on GLSL spec strictness is as follows:

(a.) Would like GLSL to not require the "U" appended on unsigned integer literals.

(b.) Would like GLSL to support automatic scalar to vector, or smaller vector to larger vector, conversion by implied repetition of last scalar value, when there is otherwise no ambiguity possible. For instance if GLSL can spit out an exacting error message telling what conversion is required, it could in theory be modified to just do the conversion.

(c.) Might like other forms of typecast to work automatically. Would be good to get a listing of these.

Some of the desired reasons for these changes are that they improve programmer productivity and portability of source code across languages. Perhaps a good compromise for those who still desire to not have implicit conversion/typecast, is to still support that via some enable (many of those looking to use implied conversions have the need to minimize total shader size in bytes).