3 releases

0.0.2 Nov 30, 2019
0.0.1 Nov 30, 2019
0.0.0 Dec 31, 2018

#738 in Graphics APIs

37 downloads per month

MIT license


Rust 1K SLoC // 0.1% comments GLSL 143 SLoC // 0.2% comments Shell 5 SLoC // 0.4% comments


A small, swift 2D graphics rendering library written in Rust.

Currently, this is essentially an implmentation detail of ggez. It's not really designed to be used as a general-purpose thing, but other people may be interested in it (ie, other people making 2D games or game engines in Rust) but want to otherwise make different design decisions than ggez does. So, here it is.


Currently it is a simple 2D-only(ish) quad renderer using OpenGL. It uses glow as a thin OpenGL portability layer, and takes a somewhat Vulkan/WebGPU-y approach of render passes containing pipelines containing draw commands.


  • Work on desktop, and web via WASM with minimal extra effort
  • Work on OpenGL 4 and comparable API's -- OpenGL ES 3, WebGL 2.
  • Draws textured quads and maybe arbitrary meshes.
  • Support user-defined shaders and render passes.


  • Absolutely cross-platform with no effort involved. Weird platforms are always going to require extra work to build for and integrate. This should make that process easy, but doesn't need to try to make it invisible.
  • General-purpose. Avoid success at all costs. Most people should not need to use this directly.
  • Support every hardware ever. Sorry.
  • Include windowing, input, etc. Those are the jobs of other tools.
  • Sophisticated 3D rendering. It'd be nice if this were extensible enough that you could add your own such things, but currently, "textured geometry with shaders" is minimum viable product.
  • Absolute top-shelf performance. It should not be gratuitously slow, and should draw fast enough to be considered Pretty Good, but it doesn't need to be gratuitously fast.

Maybe someday goals

  • Mobile devices as a first-class target
  • Use gfx-hal, rendy, wgpu or some other next-gen graphics portability layer. Currently, the portability is not there. :-(
  • Work on OpenGL 2 and comparable API's -- OpenGL ES 2, WebGL 1.



Notes on portability

glow does its best to make the differences between OpenGL variants invisible, but this is basically impossible, so these are the things we need to be aware of.


WebGL 2 uses GLSL ES 3.00, with some small restrictions. WebGL 1 uses GLSL 1.00 ES, with some larger restrictions. Sources: https://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/specs/latest/2.0/#4.3 and https://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/specs/latest/1.0/#4.3. Per these specs, these restrictions are strict, so WebGL 2 should not accept GLSL ES 3.10. (Of course I bet it sometimes does anyway, but fuck that.) So, to make a shader that works anywhere, write your shader to target WebGL first, and then it should work on other targets.

GLSL ES 3.00 is based on OpenGL GLSL 3.30, see https://www.khronos.org/registry/OpenGL/specs/es/3.0/GLSL_ES_Specification_3.00.pdf part 1.1. It removes a fair pile of stuff though, and adds a pile of other stuff ranging from as simple as "line continuation" to as ominously broad as "GLSL ES 1.00 compatibility".

Wikipedia claims that OpenGL 4.3 covers all features of OpenGL ES 3.0 and hence WebGL 2.0. Looking at the GLSL specs, 3.30 is a strict subset of 4.00, 4.00 is a strict subset of 4.10. 4.10 to 4.20 and 4.20 to 4.30 say "no features were deprecated" but there are some minor breaking changes (making variable scoping saner, making #ifdef behaviors more C++-y and thus insaner) -- however, GLSL 4.3 explicitly allows you to specify #version 300 es and get GLSL ES 3.00 shaders out of it.

GREAT! If you write OpenGL ES 3.0 shaders, and they work on WebGL 2, then you should be able to use them anywhere.


~170K SLoC