|Original author(s)||Mozilla Foundation|
|Developer(s)||Khronos WebGL Working Group|
|Initial release||March 3, 2011|
|Stable release||1.0.2 / March 1, 2013|
WebGL grew out of the Canvas 3D experiments started by Vladimir Vukićević at Mozilla. Vukićević first demonstrated a Canvas 3D prototype in 2006. By the end of 2007, both Mozilla and Opera had made their own separate implementations.
In early 2009, the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group started the WebGL Working Group, with initial participation from Apple, Google, Mozilla, Opera, and others. Version 1.0 of the WebGL specification was released March 2011. As of March 2012, the chair of the working group is Ken Russell.
Early applications of WebGL include Google Maps and Zygote Body. More recently[when?], Autodesk ported most of their applications to the cloud running on local WebGL clients. These applications included Fusion 360 and AutoCAD 360.
Development of the WebGL 2 specification started in 2013. This specification is based on OpenGL ES 3.0.
WebGL is widely supported in modern browsers.
- Mozilla Firefox – WebGL has been enabled on all platforms that have a capable graphics card with updated drivers since version 4.0.
- Google Chrome – WebGL has been enabled on all platforms that have a capable graphics card with updated drivers since version 9.
- Safari – Safari 6.0 and newer versions installed on OS X Mountain Lion, Mac OS X Lion and Safari 5.1 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard implemented support for WebGL, which is disabled by default.
- Opera – WebGL has been implemented in Opera 11 and 12, although disabled by default.
- Internet Explorer – WebGL is partially supported in Internet Explorer 11, even though Microsoft has never supported the OpenGL ES it is based on. It is said to have partial WebGL support because it fails the majority of official WebGL conformance tests. WebGL support can be manually added to earlier versions of Internet Explorer using third-party plugins such as IEWebGL.
- Android Browser - Basically unsupported, but the Sony Ericsson Xperia range of Android smartphones have had WebGL capabilities following a firmware upgrade. Samsung smartphones also have WebGL enabled (verified on Galaxy SII (4.1.2) and Galaxy Note 8.0 (4.2)). Supported in Google Chrome that replaced Android browser in many phones (but is not a new standard Android Browser).
- Internet Explorer - WebGL is available on Windows Phone 8.1
- BlackBerry PlayBook – WebGL is available via WebWorks and browser in PlayBook OS 2.00
- Firefox for mobile – WebGL is available for Android devices since Firefox 4.
- Firefox OS
- Google Chrome - WebGL is available for Android devices since Google Chrome 25 and enabled by default since version 30.
- Maemo - In Nokia N900, WebGL is available in the stock microB browser from the PR1.2 firmware update onwards.
- Opera Mobile - Opera Mobile 12 supports WebGL (on Android only).
- Ubuntu Touch
- iOS - Officially only available through iAd on iOS 4.2 and higher, for all devices except for 2nd Gen iPod Touch or iPhone 3G and earlier. However, there is a tweak for jailbroken devices to enable functionality for Mobile Safari and all other WebKit browsers.
Near Future: Apple has officially announced that iOS 8 will support WebGL with its new mobile Safari set to release this fall.
However its availability is dependent on other factors like the GPU supporting it. To check if a determined device supports WebGL, anyone could go to: Your browser supports WebGL.
Additionally, Mozilla Firefox implemented built-in WebGL tools starting with version 27 that allow editing vertex and fragment shaders.
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