WebGL in Chrome Stable!

Great news — Google have just released Chrome 9, with WebGL on by default! This is huge news, as Chrome auto-updates and so every Chrome user on the planet will now get WebGL over the next weeks. It’s finally arrived.

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10 Responses to “WebGL in Chrome Stable!”

  1. pyrotechnick says:

    Long Live WebGL!

  2. jd says:

    The tidal wave begins! This is gonna rock!

  3. SHOWONDER says:


  4. kaj says:

    +1 for webgl!!!

  5. Nielsle says:

    This is supercool. I am looking forward to the day that I can view webgl using debian sid.

  6. brainjam says:

    “every Chrome user on the planet will now get WebGL”

    Well, sort of. I sent a WebGL experiment to a friend the other day, and even though he had the right version of Chrome, no joy. All he got was a massive GLSL compile error message. Presumably because he’s on Windows XP and because his video card is old and crappy.

    I wonder how much this is the norm. Everybody who comes to learningwebgl.com probably has good video hardware, but what about the rest of the world? I wonder whether Google (or anybody else) has any statistics on this sort of thing, the way they have general statistics about browser profiles and capabilities.

  7. Alvaro says:

    Yes, my biggest concern with WebGL since its inception was its dependency on specific hardware with virtually no possible fallback. No other Web technology is like that (canvas or video may use acceleration but work fine without it). Using Mesa is currently not supported AFAIK, and even if it were, software rendering with programmable shaders is normally ultra-slow.

    Maybe implementations should try to find workarounds for hardware/driver bugs or make well optimized CPU renderers (JIT-compiled shaders?) or a lot of people will be disappointed with the technology.

  8. brainjam says:

    Shadertoy is a great webpage with lots of examples of fragment shaders – http://www.iquilezles.org/apps/shadertoy/

    A scary number of them, though, don’t compile/work on my MacBook Pro. It really makes me think that making a WebGL app that ‘plays’ on a maximum number of systems is a crap-shoot. And it probably helps to develop your app on a lowest-common-denominator machine, rather than one with lots of fancy OpenGL extensions and advanced GPUs. And then have your community test it on as many machines as possible.

    Anybody else out there have opinions or guidance on this matter? I’m guessing that perhaps the situation is similar in the OpenGL shader world.

  9. giles says:

    Agreed, cross-compatibility is a huge issue with WebGL. I think all of the browser makers are aware of the problem, and trust me — it’s much much better now than it was even six months ago. It may take a while before things get good enough for adventurous shaders to work everywhere, though — and I think there will still have to be a certain amount of checking for WebGL capabilities on the part of the page developer, too.

    One thing that’s worth noting: for Windows users, installing the Microsoft DirectX runtime as suggested by Vladimir Vukicevic really does seem to fix a lot of problems.

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