WebGL is now enabled by default in the latest FireFox Beta 8 browser. Principal Firefox Engineer Vlad Vukicevic commented on his blog "3-D games, interactive product displays, scientific and medical visualization, shared virtual environments, and 3-D content creation all become possible on the web." Unlike desktop or mobile OpenGL development, it’s very easy to get started with WebGL. Some simple HTML and JS content lets you immediately start writing WebGL code. Firefox 4 Beta is available here.
Google has taken the first step in getting wide spread public acceptance of WebGL by shipping their Chrome browser with WebGL turned on by default. To show you some of the possibilities of WebGL, Google labs also launched a Google Earth for the human body, dubbed Body Browser. There are other WebGL demos available from Google and on the official WebGL website.
The Khronos Group is hosting a Khronos Developer University co-located with SIGGRAPH Asia. Numerous Khronos members have joined together with each member taking a demonstration suite to create a large number of exciting demos in the Khronos Pavilion on the SIGGRAPH trade show floor. On December 17th Rightware is sponsoring a Beer and Demo Social. Complete dates, and schedules are available on the Khronos website. The Khronos Group has just wrapped up very successful events in Beijing and Tokyo.
An amazing showcase of WebGL in the scientific community. Using earth imagery and data from NASA with earthquake data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Dean McNamee and Marcin Ignac have created a must see visualization of earthquakes over the past 30 years.
Vladimir Vukicevic, Work Group Chair for WebGL thanks everyone for their contributions and support of WebGL over the past year. Further, Vladimir is requesting that everyone try to update their WebGL demos. Especially if you have a demo that is listed on the WebGL User Contributions page. "If you have time, please try to update your apps so that they will run on a recent Firefox or Chrome nightly build. If you're unable to do so, it would be helpful if you could add a note to the page saying that it was written for an earlier version of WebGL, and is not expected to run on 1.0." wrote Vladimir Vukicevic, "Also, if your app is listed on http://khronos.org/webgl/wiki/User_Contributions please try to update it! We'll be going through that page soon and removing entries that don't work with the current spec."
If you missed the first WebGL camp, no worries, videos of the eleven talks are online. The videos cover O3D, GLGE, COLLADA, WebGL and Sirikata. WebGL #2 is just around the corner on December 14th 2010. There will be live streaming of the whole event so there's no missing it this time.
The WebGL working group recently announced the availability of the WebGL extension registry. The current URL is not permanent and will most likely changed. "The WebGL extension registry contains specifications for extensions to the core WebGL API. Most of these extensions are incorporated directly from the OpenGL ES or OpenGL extension registries, and refer to those extensions for their behavioral definition. Because WebGL extensions are specified as Web IDL interfaces, each specification also includes the IDL to which each implementation will comply."
Katalabs is excited to announce the release of KataSpace; a WebGL/HTML5 front-end to the Sirikata based multi-user 3D environment. The application allows you to build MMO or Second Life style virtual worlds and deploy them on any web page available to anyone running a modern web browser--including the one on your smartphone or iPad.
cnet's Deeptech is taking an indepth look at 3D on the web, Flash versus WebGL. With Flash's Molehill beta due out mid 2011, and WebGL 1.0 Spec due out shortly, the article covers most of the traditional arguments from both sides. Of note, Vladimir Vukicevic from Mozilla, states "it's unlikely that the standard will move from within Khronos, however we expect the standard to be published by both Khronos and eventually the W3C. We're working to make that happen in time for the 1.0 spec release."