WebGL around the net, 11 Nov 2009

A busy two days since my last “around the net” post: one great demo, one great game now available to Firefox users as well as WebKit, and some potential changes in the WebGL API.

  • First off, a truly gorgeous demo from Jacob Seidelin: A Musical Solar System. Prepare to be awed!
  • If it weren’t for Jacob’s demo, this would have been the headline: Yohei Shimomae has updated his great Cube Defense game so that it works on Firefox as well as WebKit. This is excellent news not just because those of us on Firefox can now play it, but also because he gives a list of hints and tips for those trying to make sure their WebGL code is compatible with both browsers. One of the performance hints he mentions is to use WebGLFloatArray instead of CanvasFloatArrray. This is interesting in the light of the next link for today:
  • Over on Twitter, Oliver Hunt mentions that he’s renaming the WebGL classes in WebKit, so that (for example) CanvasFloatArray becomes WebGLFloatArray, and apparently this is to match the latest version of the (still private) specification [UPDATE later on it changed once more, to Float32Array]. My initial worry was that this sounded like we’re all going to have to support different class names in different browsers for a little while, but if Firefox already supports the WebGL- prefixes, perhaps it’s not a problem. Time to investigate.
  • At the risk of getting too “meta”, Mark Steele has published a “WebGL around the net” kind of post :-) He lists Yohei and Jacob’s demos (and mentions Learning WebGL — thanks, Mark!), and also mentions that some of Yohei’s points about WebGL arrays might be confusing; I’ve asked for more info in his comments, so perhaps he can clarify the situation. He’s the guy who’s writing the Firefox WebGL implementation, so if anyone knows about this stuff it will be him.
  • Finally, Ilmari Heikkinen has updated the Metatunnel WebGL demo so that it now works on WebKit as well.
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