What is WebGL?
WebGL 1.0 is fully supported by most modern browsers, including:
- Mozilla Firefox (as of version 4.0)
- Google Chrome (as of version 9.0)
- Safari (as of version 5.1, but must be enabled via the ‘Develop’ menu)
Google Chrome and Safari are based on the open source WebKit project. Most modern ‘smartphone’ mobile browsers are also based on this, so it’s fairly safe to assume that WebGL will be implemented on these devices in the near future. However for now, WebGL is limited to desktop browsers.
Is WebGL safe?
Recent concerns about WebGL’s security were mostly about a bug in Firefox. But that’s nothing new — bugs in browsers (and in Adobe Flash Player) frequency cause security scares. Chrome engineer Gregg Tavares claims that these issues were overblown by Microsoft to provide an excuse for not supporting WebGL.
Although IE’s market share is (very slowly) diminishing, WebGL won’t reach as many people as quickly as the upcoming GPU-accelerated Flash Player, aka Molehill.
We could now see in-browser MMOs like World of Warcraft appearing. Companies like Zynga have proved that there is money to be made in casual browser-based gaming so we may start to see more 3D games in that space. The mind boggles at the possibilities. We’ve only just begun!