[webkit-dev] XHR responseArrayBuffer attribute

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Tue Sep 28 11:26:48 PDT 2010

On Sep 28, 2010, at 11:05 AM, Kenneth Russell wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 9:45 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
>> On Sep 28, 2010, at 7:15 AM, Chris Marrin wrote:
>>> On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:37 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>> On Sep 27, 2010, at 3:19 PM, Michael Nordman wrote:
>>>>> Webkit's XHR currently does not keep two copies of the data that I can see. I think we should avoid that.
>>>> We could keep the raw data around, which hopefully is directly usable as an ArrayBuffer backing store, and only translate it to text format when/if the client requests responseText.
>>> Yes, the raw data should be usable without translation in an ArrayBuffer. But we'd still need to make a copy of the raw bits when a new ArrayBuffer is created via responseArrayBuffer(), because that object is mutable.
>> Is there an immutable variant of ArrayBuffer? If not, we really need one. But even without that, note that you don't necessarily need to make an immediate copy, you can use copy-on-write.
>> The immutable variant would be helpful since we could avoid implementing threadsafe copy-on-write just to allow efficient passing of ArrayBuffers to Workers.
> Chris has raised this issue on the public_webgl list, and we've begun
> discussion there, but I would like to point out that having an
> immutable ArrayBuffer and views on it does not help with the situation
> of passing data to or from a web worker. The side that constructs the
> data will necessarily have a mutable view, so it will be able to cause
> changes that can be seen on the other side even if the view on the
> other side is immutable.

Not if the side that got the data got it in immutable form in the first place. For example, if you get an immutable ArrayBuffer from XHR in a Worker, then you can pass it to another Worker or to the main thread without the need for any copying or copy-on-write.

> We have a design that will allow efficient zero-copy producer/consumer
> queues to be implemented using TypedArrays while maintaining
> ECMAScript's shared-nothing semantics. I'll be happy to sketch it out,
> but it's probably most appropriate for a mailing list like
> public_webgl.

I'm curious to hear it and I don't follow public_webgl.

I'd specifically like to handle the following case:
- You obtain a chunk of binary data from the network or filesystem and want to pass it to another thread without copying.


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