CNET reviews WebGL draft and progress : compares WebKit browsers

in macOS edited January 2014

Someone needs to tell the Author that WebKit status on all WebKit browsers are at varying degrees of completion.

Either that or he doesn't get that Chromium has their own port of WebKit.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Yeah, hardly any browsers have WebGL support enabled. To see the demos, Mac users can download Chromium here:

    Then right-click the chromium package, show package contents. Go to Contents/Mac OS and drag the Chromium file there into a terminal. Then type:

    --no-sandbox --enable-webgl

    and hit return to launch. Don't visit untrusted sites with the browser like that, just use it to try out the demos at the following page:

    They are all pretty sluggish considering what is normally possible on the GPU and it still uses close to 100% of a CPU core. Perhaps it's being rendered in software OpenGL for now.

    I can see there being a lot of work before it gets into mainstream browsers because they'll have to make sure developers can't accidentally crash display drivers by just visiting a website or hang your interface so you can't close a page.

    I don't see this being good enough for games for a long time because the load times will be too long as you can see on the last collada demo. I think server-side rendering and streaming is how most 3D content will be delivered over the web.

    Here's a recent video from Perlman about that:

    Interesting what he says about Apple being resistant to implement video as they wanted the Mac to be for desktop publishing.

    So, I guess the WebGL system will be mainly for fancy web pages and advertising and possibly simple games - stuff that would normally be done in Flash. Just like with Flash, as long as it can be turned off, it'll be a nice addition to the browser. What would be really nice is if you could layout an interface graphically in WebGL using a WebGL site (think of iWeb but web-based) and then that site just works right away without slicing and building HTML and worrying about cross-browser layout issues.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    WebGL itself isn't anything more special than a slower OpenGL that responds to Javascript calls instead of C/C++ calls. It has excellent longer term potential though with a more designer friendly API siting on top of it. XFreedom has an inline HTML5 draft spec 3D browser in demo now and something like this will allow truly transparent integration of 3D into web pages because the 3D XML code literally is part of the web-page, not slaved to a plugin. The XFreedom animated demos are running now in Webkit nightlies and Mozilla Minefield builds.

    Take those Collada XML files WebGL touts, import them to the X3D XML format via Blender or any of a couple other modeling tools and get access to all the animation and runtime support available to make something other than a static rotating 3D shell. Its not ready for prime-time yet, but those folks at Fraunhofer are pretty good and show how 3D on the web can get going quickly without plugin hell.
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