WebAL - proposal

This is a little bit (OK…waaaay…) off-topic for this list - and cross-posted to the OpenSL-ES list, which is another sinful thing…but I need a little publicity for a proposal I have:

In the course of writing my WebGL game, it became painfully obvious that the audio capabilities of present browsers is woefully inadequate to the task of rendering game audio - and I’ve decided to try to evangalize what I think is the clear and obvious solution to the problem. I call it “WebAL”.

This is off-topic for this list - but I’m trying to propose a solution that closely mirrors WebGL, both in structure and in how it gets adopted and implemented and I presume that the people who inhabit this list will either be the right people to talk to - or will know who those people are.

I have written a white-paper describing why we need it, what it should be - and how I think it should happen:


Please SPAM it to anyone who will listen!!

I also created a mailing list to centralize the discussion:


Thanks in advance

– Steve

Yes good to see Steve, this is one thing that really needs too be done, Ive finished a couple of games with webgl but until sound support comes out I wont release them. Sound is absolutely vital.
whats everyone using ATM for sound?
Ive looked into 3 different things, IIRC the best options was some flash library (i.e. flash is making the sounds) which is terrible when u think of it, also IIRC that didnt work under linux when I tried.

Its just the movies again we have the silent film before the talkies (which I always thought wierd, as you’ld think sound would be easier than pictures, then again I understand moving images then were just a translucent film with light shining through (easy to understand) sound from a record is harder to comprehend.

Well my “BarFight” game uses the HTML5 <audio> tag. You can play it at:


However - as you’ll discover if you read my document (above) - it doesn’t really do the job. It’s ill-specified, ill-implemented and ill-conceived. Altogether “The Wrong Thing” for games.

Your analogy with silent movies is particularly apropos. Sound recording was known at the time of silent movies - the problem was how to synchronize the sound with the pictures. That’s exactly the problem we have here! There is a way to play sounds - but the synchronization is hopeless.

The good news (which you’ll learn more about with recent additions to the document) is that there are at least three efforts to fix the situation. Sadly, I’m not sure that they are all “The Right Thing” either - which is annoying because the “WebAL” approach seems easy to specify, easy to implement - and guaranteed to be good enough for the job. Sadly, the present efforts are all about reinventing the wheel - which (IMHO) is a stoopid way to approach the problem.