[whatwg] Proposal: Add CanvasRenderingContext2D.currentTransform for reading and writing the current transform matrix

An important canvas use case that arose during the development of pdf.js[1] is implementing a "fill-to-current-clip" operation.  In PDF, the shading fill operator, "sh", requires this.  In the cairo library, cairo_paint() is this operation.  The operation can be implemented by tracking the current transform matrix (CTM) in script, then at paint time, inverting the CTM and filling the canvas bounds transformed by the inverse CTM.  However, tracking the CTM from script is cumbersome and not likely to be performant.  It's also not always possible for script to track the CTM; for example, if an external library is passed a canvas to draw to, the library doesn't know the initial CTM.  Another use case that requires the CTM is creating a minimal temporary surface for a fill operation that's bounded by user-space coordinates, for which canvas doesn't have native support for creating the contents of what's to be filled.  This case also arose in pdf.js.

To that end, we propose a canvas interface that allows querying the CTM.  The concrete proposal is

  interface CanvasRenderingContext2D {
    attribute SVGMatrix currentTransform;  // default is the identity matrix

The first use case above is satisfied by |inverseCtm = context.currentTransform.inverse();|.  This attribute also serves as a convenience attribute for updating the CTM.  The |currentTransform| attribute tracks updates made to the CTM through |setTransform()/scale()/translate()|.

Note: a similar API is implemented in Gecko as the sequence attributes |mozCurrentTransform/mozCurrentTransformInverse|.  This violates WebIDL rules and will be updated.  SVGMatrix was chosen as a replacement since it already has the |inverse()| method and so results in a smaller API surface area.  Mozilla will update Gecko when this proposal stabilizes.


[1] https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js

Received on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 23:26:40 UTC