cscheid, 14 Nov 2011

Facet is a Javascript library I’m writing, part of a research project on high-performance visualization and graphics on the web. It’s peculiar how historical accidents are opportunities in disguise. If everyone knew Lisp, and if Javascript and the WebGL shading languages were Lisp, Facet would be what everyone would write. But Javascript is no Lisp, and WebGL’s vertex and fragment programming languages aren’t Lisp either, and many people still don’t know about Lisp.

There’s a massive opportunity, then, to narrow this chasm between the Javascript and the WebGL worlds, a chasm that’s currently giving every WebGL programmer out there a world of hurt, even if they don’t know about it. This chasm must be narrowed by programming language technology: WebGL embeds a set of programming languages into Javascript, and it is the mismatch between the two that causes much of the pain.

Facet is a Javascript library to bring high-level, composable primitives to high-performance graphics and visualizations on the web. Facet is an embedded, domain-specific language in Javascript, and it is built around an optimizing source-to-source compiler.

Facet is still very much work-in-progress. But if you care about this sort of thing, jump over to the Github page, or just fork Facet directly; I’d love to hear your feedback.