Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the latest URL is:
I'm new to specs and WebIDL, my intent was to say those are new methods on
ImageBitmap. Is "partial interface ImageBitmap" the correct way to say
that? (I updated the URL to say that instead)

The wording of "undue latency" in the ImageBitmap spec does not appear to
rule out ImageBitmap storing its encoded image data, and lazily decoding
it. However I'm not sure what the point of that would be, since it seems to
be how drawing HTMLImageElements to a canvas already works. I see a couple
of options:
- allow lazy decoding in ImageBitmap, and therefore converting to ImageData
is an explicit request to decompress
- require ImageBitmap to decompress its contents, and make it available
through a read-only Uint8ClampedArray like ImageData has. Therefore,
converting to ImageData indicates the intent to modify this content,
therefore a copy is warranted.
- provide a way to "neuter" the ImageBitmap when converting it to
ImageData, transferring its contents and avoiding any copy, which is useful
if the ImageBitmap is a temporary object only being created for the
purposes of getting the ImageData. I guess this would be similar to
transferrable objects with workers.
- add some kind of "load" method on ImageBitmap. It may store its contents
in compressed form, but calling "load" causes it to be decompressed (or
loaded from somewhere else). The ImageBitmap is only guaranteed to be drawn
with "undue latency" after the "load" call. Therefore for the use case of
low-latency rendering "load" can always be called immediately after
creation, but for conversion purposes not calling "load" avoids duplicating

Note for devices with discrete GPUs, it's possible that ImageBitmap stores
the decompressed image data in a GPU texture but does not have it in system
RAM. In this case making a copy for the ImageData is also warranted.

I'm a web developer proposing this because it would be useful for my
purposes, I've no idea which of these would be favoured by implementors or
the spec process. I'm happy to get involved in spec work though so please
let me know if you have any feedback/suggestions on anything I'm doing here.


On 24 June 2015 at 19:12, Boris Zbarsky <> wrote:

> On 6/19/15 5:43 AM, Ashley Gullen wrote:
>> I've not done this before, so I've no idea if this is the right/useful
>> approach, but I drafted a spec for it here:
> Ashley,
> We at Mozilla were just discussing this proposal, and we have a concern.
> With this proposal, going from an <img> to an ImageData requires
> conversion of an intermediate ImageBitmap.  Unfortunately, an ImageBitmap
> is specified to be paintable "without undue latency", which we interpret to
> mean it needs to have decoded image data, and the ImageData will end up
> needing to copy said data in practice (because it needs an editable copy).
> That creates two copies of the decoded image data in memory, which seems
> fairly undesirable on memory-constrained devices.
> -Boris

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