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Firefox Programming Games Technology

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.

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Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox

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  • Re:I don't care (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:07PM (#43307255) Homepage

    A lot of plugins are only built for 32-bit browsers. It is a lot more work to get 32-bit plugins working in a 64-bit browser than in a 32-bit browser. Plus, there is no real advantage to using a 64-bit browser unless you want it to use more than 2gb of memory, and I thought one of the common complaints was that Firefox uses too much memory?

    I'm not sure what you think the big deal is.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:08PM (#43307259)
    Asm.js is *not* a "new JavaScript version". Asm.js is to JavaScript what Squeak Slang is to Smalltalk, what Richard Kelsey's Pre-Scheme is to RxRS Scheme, and, more remotely, what RPython is to Python (although RPython is much richer in comparison with the other restricted languages, and really not all that JITtable - the translation process is very slow).
  • Re:I don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:09PM (#43307275)

    I've ued 64bit builds of nightly for some time now.

    The issue is getting plugins to play nice.

    You can't really blame Mozilla for not wanting to jump the shark, when they will catch all the flames for plugin makers who refuse to make their plugins 64bit friendly.

    Right now, it's "whaaaaaa! I want 64bit builds!"

    They offer a 64bit build, and then its "whaaaa! Flash plugin doesn't work! Noscript doesn't work! Adblock Plus doesn't work! Its horrible, and it crashes to boot!"

    The market has to build up enough pressure to push out the colonic obstructions in the way of 64bit adoption as the new standard. It will take awhile.

  • by StoatBringer ( 552938 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:10PM (#43307291)

    When "browsers" were used for "browsing" the web, instead of being crappy application platforms with endless non-browsing-related features shoehorned into them? What happened to just browsing well instead of doing everything else poorly?

  • Not me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:18PM (#43307345)

    I for one won't ever buy any games that run in the cloud and/or you have to play through a browser.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:41PM (#43307495) Journal

    Considering the fact that Windows has had low rights mode for 6 years now and Firefox STILL doesn't support it? I don't know how much I'd trust running GPU code on their browser. Heck I don't know if I'd trust it on ANY browser but at least the Chromium based do sandboxing and use low rights mode to help minimize the risk.

    Just see my "Yahoo porn bug" to see why supporting low rights mode is good and not supporting it is bad, that trick that allows spammers to send spam to every address in someone's Yahoo email ONLY works on Firefox, not on Chromium based nor IE, because in those browsers the browser has less rights than the user.

    Lets face it we really only have 3 major GPU vendors now and modern GPUs have processors, memory, and firmware, so they are just ripe for being the next big attack vector. Running code from any old website straight onto the GPU is just asking for it IMHO, just as Flash games were often used as an attack vector in the past anything that lets you get close enough to bare metal to get "near native" speeds is gonna be a nasty security risk.

  • Re:Not me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. McGibby ( 41471 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:53PM (#43307931) Homepage Journal

    That's fine. Plenty of people are doing it already. So nobody that matters really cares what you think.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:57PM (#43307953)

    This. The web is popular because it's a simple way to deploy something that works across different OSes and different devices. On the users' part, no installation isrequired, and web apps are safely sandboxed. The web is thriving because of the shortcomings of native platforms.

  • by edxwelch ( 600979 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:31PM (#43308149)

    It says that it's twice as slow as native c code. This must be a new definition of the word "near".

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:37PM (#43308185) Journal

    And how many times have we heard those EXACT SAME WORDS said about everything from browsers to sandboxes like the JVM? This isn't like the old days ya know, they don't have to take over the system, hell they don't even have to make a permanent anything on the host PC for what they want to do, again see the Yahoo Porn Bug I wrote about. With that there isn't a drop of code left on the victim's PC which is why it took me awhile to figure out what they were doing, but all they cared about was sending spam through as many address books as they could and this bug allows that without having to do much of anything, much less actually get to bare metal.

    And finally don't forget that both Nvidia and AMD are rallying around GP-GPU and OpenCL so that you will be able to use that hardware for pretty much anything, heck a $45 HD4850 has something like 800 stream processors on it, the $100 HD7770 has 640 plus a GB of GDDR 5, so with GP-GPU code there really isn't any reason why they couldn't be playing the game WHILE doing something nasty in the background, hell any slowdowns and the user will blame it on the game or the system anyway.

    So I wouldn't be so quick to poo poo this if I were you, malware is a billion dollar business and this will open up access to a LOT of GPUs with a LOT of processing power just ripe to be used...somebody is gonna crack this, the only question in my mind is when. Hell with Google and MSFT pouring mountains of cash into it we still haven't solved the problem of how to run net code on CPUs without getting malware, you think GPUs are gonna get a free pass?

  • by tibman ( 623933 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:22PM (#43309065) Homepage

    "them" could be anyone, including you. Spinning up Apache is something any beginner developer can work through. Or even better, just pay 3$ a month for a place to host your stuff. Now you are one of "them". I understand your argument but it's like saying we shouldn't use wikipedia because they could nuke the website tomorrow to spite us. I don't want to go back to Encarta on a CD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:22PM (#43309067)

    In the computing world that's close enough that noone really cares. With a traditional interpreted language (like javascript interpreters used to be) you're looking at something more in the range of 100-10000x slowdown.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham