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Thread: webGL support

  1. #1

    webGL support

    Im wondering if theres a site that lists webGL compatibility info
    Not just the browsers but the hardware as well

    eg Does webGL run on intel onboard graphics + what mobile phones, the ipad etc

    ta zed

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    207

    Re: webGL support

    Well, the Khronos wiki: http://www.khronos.org/webgl/wiki/Main_Page has some of that stuff.

    As far as I know - as of today, you need Chrome-9 or later, Firefox 4(beta) or later, Safari-6 (nightly builds only) or Opera 11.1 (no public download yet available). Forget any idea of ever running it under Internet Explorer - although maybe Google's plugin that essentially makes Chrome run inside an Explorer window somehow counts!

    In principle, any "WebKit"-based browser will soon be able to support WebGL on "suitable hardware". So, for example, my Kindle eBook reader uses WebKit - but there is no way it'll run WebGL because the underlying hardware is utterly inadequate to the task!

    The only public version of WebGL running on a phone is on the Nokia N900 - but both Android and iPhone versions are in development...you'll just have to be patient.

    On laptop/desktop, any hardware capable of supporting OpenGL 2.x or later with GLSL shaders (ie, going right back to the nVidia GeForce 6 series) runs it pretty well - I'm not sure which ATI graphics cards that includes - but I'd guess that it would run on ATI cards that are less than 6 years old.

    The major pain is with Intel graphics hardware - which is not only horribly nasty - but Intel doesn't bother to support OpenGL beyond 1.2 - which isn't good enough. So browsers under Windows have to fall back on a package called "ANGLE" which attempts to work with Intel hardware using a Direct3D emulation of OpenGL. In my experience, the results on Intel hardware are patchy at best. Even fairly modern Intel GPU's are flakey as all hell. When they do work, they are amazingly slow and consume way more CPU time than you'd expect.

    On Linux, you really need an ATI or nVidia GPU because there is no Direct3D for ANGLE to use. However, you can probably enable the Mesa software implementation of OpenGL - and that should work (albeit unbearably slowly) on any graphics hardware whatever.

    As for phones and such - WebGL will eventually run on anything with OpenGL ES 2.x support - but not on phones such as the iPhone 3 that only have OpenGL ES 1.x. But I'd expect most Android and Apple 'smart-phones' purchased in the last year to gain WebGL support within six months. I would be surprised if any Win7 Phones will ever run it. I would expect any halfway decent 'pad' computer to run WebGL without problems.

    -- Steve

  3. #3

    Re: webGL support

    Cheers Steve, Are you sure about the intel onboard support
    I dont know how accurate this table is, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA
    The last time I used a intel onboard was a few years ago, a GMA 950. Speedwise I didnt find it *that* bad (better than my early nvidia cards) Im not sure if this was on windows or linux.
    Also if you see here, http://www.realtech-vr.com/glview/
    theres support for gl stuff thats after 2.0 on some intel drivers.

    Perhaps we could find someone with an intel onboard GPU to test out a webgl page?

    (offtopic) WRT sounds I think Im gonna go with
    http://chromium.googlecode.com/svn/trun ... index.html
    for sounds, firefox users are just gonna have to suffer in silence

    PS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webgl thats your game in the screenshot aint it? Nice

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    207

    Re: webGL support

    Quote Originally Posted by zed
    Cheers Steve, Are you sure about the intel onboard support
    I dont know how accurate this table is,
    The last time I used a intel onboard was a few years ago, a GMA 950. Speedwise I didnt find it *that* bad (better than my early nvidia cards) Im not sure if this was on windows or linux.
    My son's netbook has a GMA 950 - it's pretty spectacularly slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by zed
    Perhaps we could find someone with an intel onboard GPU to test out a webgl page?
    I've tried it on five different Intel motherboard chipsets mostly under WinXP - only two out of five ran WebGL out of the box...one other could be pursuaded to run it by upgrading drivers directly from Intel rather than from Dell's official site - but it took me the best part of an hour messing around trying to find the right driver. I wouldn't expect Joe Public to do this successfully. All three ran abyssmally slowly - and I had to write much simplified shaders (eg without normal mapping) specifically for Intel hardware because none of them could cope with shaders that my ancient nVidia 6800 card was quite happy with. When the shaders fail to compile/link on the Intel machines, there was no useful error message of any kind.

    Since releasing our game last month, I have had dozens of emails from people trying, unsuccessfully, to run it on their machines. Overwhelmingly these are from people with Intel graphics.

    So, yeah - you might get lucky - and with a simple enough set of shaders, there are some WebGL apps that'll run - but it's not something you can bank on.

    Quote Originally Posted by zed
    (offtopic) WRT sounds I think Im gonna go with
    http://chromium.googlecode.com/svn/trun ... index.html
    for sounds, firefox users are just gonna have to suffer in silence
    Yeah - we desperately need a cross-platform audio solution - but it seems to be an unloved topic. I really wish we could just do to OpenAL what we did for OpenGL. It's an established API that works and which game developers like...why re-invent the wheel and risk problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by zed
    PS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webgl thats your game in the screenshot aint it? Nice
    Yeah - it's a shot from the "Design-a-Cowboy" tool. A greatly improved version of the game is up and playable now BTW. Check it out at http://www.tubagames.net - we've just entered it into the indiepubgames SXSW contest.

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