WebGL around the net, 26 May 2010

A Chrome special today:

  • Great news today — Chrome 5.0.375.55 is the new stable version for Linux, the Mac, and Windows, and it supports WebGL! This means that every Chrome user in the world who has OpenGL 2.1 drivers will soon be able to run WebGL content just by setting the appropriate command-line flags. My own experiments show that you still get the best results using both --enable-webgl and --no-sandbox — some pages, including my own lesson 16, still show problems if you don’t use the latter, or if you use --in-process-webgl instead. [UPDATE I should say that I'm not saying that you should use this in preference to a Chromium nightly — at least not yet! It's just cool that the WebGL support is out there on millions of desktops.] [UPDATED AGAIN I've checked with Ken Russell on the Chrome team, and he confirms that Chromium nightly builds are still what we should be using for WebGL development.]
  • Once you’ve downloaded Chrome stable and configured it as above, here’s a new page to try with it: the English-language version of the Japanese Twitlife site I mentioned the other day.
  • Sadly, it’s not all sweetness and light with Chrome. Andor Salga points out that the transpose parameter to uniformMatrix4fv doesn’t work; when you pass true, you get an INVALID_ENUM error. This oddity was also mentioned on the forums a while back, and we discovered something surprising — the OpenGL ES 2.0 spec, on which WebGL is based, explicitly says that transpose must be false! So Chrome’s quite right to complain about it, but it does make one wonder why the parameter is there in the first place… perhaps for future use?
  • On a more cross-browser note, here’s something else from Andor — the results of some stress tests dealing with hundreds of thousands of points using Processing.js, across WebKit and Minefield.
  • Finally, continuing the large scene theme, Charles Cliffe is continuing to test loading meshes into CubicVR, with an impressive a 34k-triangle cityscape.
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2 Responses to “WebGL around the net, 26 May 2010”

  1. Benoit says:

    While it’s great that a stable release of Chrome ships with experimental WebGL support, it’s important to stress that the WebGL specs aren’t even final yet, and that in all existing browsers offering experimental WebGL support, there remains a pretty long TODO list before one can be comfortable calling that stable!

  2. giles says:

    Absolutely! I note that every time someone asks for timelines for a 1.0 spec and production releases on the Public WebGL list, there’s complete silence — which presumably means that it’s far enough away that no-one want’s to make predictions because they might be taken as a promise.

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