Microsoft has released a component of the WebGL renderer in the Edge browser as open source in another example of how the firm is gradually embracing the open source world.
The company's latest move involves the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) to HLSL transcompiler, a component of Edge used when rendering graphics content.
Specifically, this takes content created for GLSL and converts it to HLSL, a Windows-specific shading language used by Edge to render content.
"Microsoft Edge converts WebGL content to DirectX equivalents to display it. The WebGL renderer converts WebGL calls into DirectX equivalents, and the transcompiler converts GLSL shaders to HLSL shaders," said Frank Olivier, Microsoft's principal programme manager lead for Edge.
Olivier explained that the HLSL to GLSL transcompiler is the most critical component of the WebGL stack from an interoperability perspective, and that Microsoft decided to release it as open source to help developers working on similar WebGL projects, and to drive greater performance, correctness and interoperability for WebGL.
"We expect it to be the most interesting for the specialised audience of engineers who maintain WebGL implementations on different platforms. We may expand the scope of the release to other sub-components over time," he added.
However, Olivier was adamant that this will not extend to making the entire Edge application code open source.
"At this time we have no plans to open source Microsoft Edge or EdgeHTML, but we understand and value the importance of being more open with our roadmap and our core technologies," he said.
"We continue to be committed to even more transparency with the engineering of Microsoft Edge in the future."
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