remove / stop shipping the shader editor

NEW
Unassigned

Status

2 years ago
a month ago

People

(Reporter: clarkbw, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Depends on: 1 bug, Blocks: 1 bug)

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

Lets remove the Shader Editor from DevTools.  

I do think this use case is important and we need to continue to support the ability for tools like this to be created, however I don't think that currently we're adequately addressing the needs of this use case and more importantly we are shipping a bad product.

This tool is fairly broken, does not (nor planned to) support WebGL2, sees very little usage, and is not actively maintained.

We are able to get intermittent errors like the following when running on basic WebGL pages:

TypeError: replayContext[name] is undefined
Stack trace:
replayAnimationFrame@resource://gre/modules/commonjs/toolkit/loader.js -> resource://devtools/server/actors/canvas.js:598:9
generateScreenshotFor@resource://gre/modules/commonjs/toolkit/loader.js -> resource://devtools/server/actors/canvas.js:79:22
handler@resource://gre/modules/commonjs/toolkit/loader.js -> resource://devtools/shared/protocol.js:1082:19
onPacket@resource://gre/modules/commonjs/toolkit/loader.js -> resource://devtools/server/main.js:1769:15
receiveMessage@resource://gre/modules/commonjs/toolkit/loader.js -> resource://devtools/shared/transport/transport.js:761:7

There 32 open bugs https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?component=Developer%20Tools%3A%20WebGL%20Shader%20Editor&product=Firefox&bug_status=__open__&list_id=13457985 plus others (like bug 939602) which are reported incorrectly.  

The triage owner no longer works on DevTools and we don't have anyone else who can take over.

Over a 90 day period Telemetry reports 1800 opens on release, 25 on beta, 125 on aurora, and 8 on nightly; those are just opens, not usage numbers but they are incredibly low. Only the web audio editor is opened less than the shader, but the web audio editor is still working fairly well.

A possible second life for the editor could be on GitHub where people interested in it could work together to improve and maintain it as an extension. The code is already available to those who want it and will continue to live in the source code record.
One thing that would be interesting to think about for this issue is the usage relative to other tools. If there are 1800 open events on release, how does that number compare to the other more popular panels?
Flags: needinfo?(clarkbw)
(Reporter)

Comment 2

2 years ago
Yes, sorry that's a good question.  In the same period of time (on release) we see these numbers for other popular panels.

Inspector       Console         Debugger        Network
4,553,729	3,435,693	1,030,222	572,219

So 1800 opens is very very low.
Flags: needinfo?(clarkbw)
(In reply to Bryan Clark (DevTools PM) [:clarkbw] from comment #2)
> Yes, sorry that's a good question.  In the same period of time (on release)
> we see these numbers for other popular panels.
> 
> Inspector       Console         Debugger        Network
> 4,553,729	3,435,693	1,030,222	572,219
> 
> So 1800 opens is very very low.

Part of why the Shader Editor is less used than the 4 other tools is that it's disabled by default, and a lot of people don't know about it.
The webgl shader editor tool for chrome has 4800 users[1] despite very good reviews. I think there is a relatively small group of developers who are interested in I've editing shader programs in browser devtools - in chrome or Firefox. Offering this functionality in an extension might actually improve its discoverability, but I think only to a point.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/shader-editor/ggeaidddejpbakgafapihjbgdlbbbpob?hl=en
(Reporter)

Comment 5

2 years ago
(In reply to Tim Nguyen :ntim from comment #3)
> Part of why the Shader Editor is less used than the 4 other tools is that
> it's disabled by default, and a lot of people don't know about it.

That's part of it. But the storage editor is 12,039 opens (12x the shader) and it is also off by default so it doesn't explain all of it.  Its more of a niche panel.
Duplicate of this bug: 1403940

Updated

8 months ago
Depends on: 1444755

Updated

5 months ago
Product: Firefox → DevTools
No longer blocks: 1402832
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