updated 06:20 pm EST, Thu December 10, 2009
Khronos details in-browser OpenGL tech
The Khronos Group today published the draft specification for WebGL, its universal standard for accelerated 3D graphics inside web browsers. The initial format takes advantage of HTML5's canvas support to draw OpenGL ES 2.0-level graphics without having to use a plugin. Besides simplifying the use of modern 3D hardware, it lets 3D interact more closely with web pages themselves and supports tasks like scripting to automate events or even test graphics before they're put into finished code.
Support often exists those browsers modern enough to recognize HTML5 but often requires a pre-release build, including for Apple's Safari 4, Google's Chrome 3, Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and Opera 10. The use of a mobile OpenGL standard should eventually permit WebGL in mobile browsers that recognize HTML5 and use OpenGL ES for rendering, though neither Android 2.0 nor Safari on iPhone are known to recognize WebGL so far.
The code platform still has to be completed and ratified by the member group, which includes major firms like AMD, Apple, Google, Mozilla and NVIDIA, before it can be implemented on a broader basis. Khronos expects the first publicly available WebGL support to arrive in the first half of the new year.