Skip to main content

Browser tagged news

With the launch of My Robot Nation almost anyone can now go online and create the droid of their dreams. My Robot Nation is from Kodama Studios, a Silicon Valley startup founded by two longtime video game industry veterans. The service offers a chance to craft your own robot design and have it quickly 3D printed and delivered to your door. The service uses WebGL, and since WebGL is integrated with the latest HTML technology, we can provide you with a seamless creation experience, meaning that the robot you see on your screen is just like the one you will receive in the mail. If you want to learn more about how My Robot Nation uses WebGL, they will be the guest speaker at the San Francisco WebGL MeetUp this Thursday October 27th. Learn more about My Robot Nation and let us know what you think.

Opera Software took the hardware acceleration plunge today with the release of its first alpha version of Opera 12, code-named Wahoo. Opera uses hardware for everything its Vega display engine handles—font display, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) effects, Canvas 2D graphics, and WebGL 3D graphics.

Leveraging the power of WebGL and its supported browsers, OurBricks allows users to examine a full 3D version of any model uploaded to the site with no need for any plug-in. Visitors to the site can download content, embed it in any webpage as easy as embedding a YouTube video, or drop it into Katalabs’ multi-user 3D sandbox for a ‘virtual world’ type experience.

In its 10th year of operation the Khronos™ Group today widened its call for participation in its two newest working groups: StreamInput™ and WebCL™. StreamInput is defining a cross-platform API for advanced sensor processing and user interaction, and WebCL is creating JavaScript bindings to OpenCL™ to enable heterogeneous parallel computing in HTML5 Web browsers. Any interested company is welcome to join Khronos to make contributions, influence the direction of specifications and gain early access to draft standards before public release for any Khronos working group.

Hardware acceleration is all the rage right now among browser makers: it can speed up everything from animating graphics to laying out all the elements of a Web page. Tapping directly into the hardware at a low level not only speeds things up, it saves precious battery power, too. If you aren’t sure what WebCL is all about yet, hop over to cnet where they have written up a well rounded review of this latest Khronos Group API.

Dr. Jon Peddie from Jon Peddie Research has tried to make sense of the recent WebGL security issues raised by various companies. He writes “If we can never expose any graphics drivers to the web - we can never have ANY GPU graphics in the browser - and that’s not going to happen.” Jon Peddie was recently named one of the most influential industry analysts, who is frequently quoted in trade and business publications, and contributes articles to numerous publications as well as appearing on CNN and TechTV.

Avi Bar-Zeev, a Principal Architect at Microsoft, was disappointed by recent Microsoft headlines parroted from a recent security scare report. He writes “Is WebGL actually harming your computer in any way? I doubt that’s a serious or credible claim. And, frankly, if Microsoft has taken a formal position against WebGL, no one I know got the memo.” Avi goes on to express his thoughts on the pro’s and cons of Microsoft supporting WebGL vs running away from it. If you have only 5 minutes to read something today, make it this well thought out article on the future of WebGL and your 3D user experience. Avi’s article ends with “There is clearly only one direction forward for Microsoft and 3D on the web. WebGL is the way.”

WebGL pays strong attention to security - just as any web technology should. With growing recognition of WebGL in the press, we thought we would summarize Khronos’ work and stance on this important topic.

  1. Khronos agrees that security is a vitally important consideration for any web standard. WebGL was architected with security in mind from the ground up.
  2. All WebGL implementations already necessarily contain safeguards which prevent out-of-range memory accesses during rendering operations and access of uninitialized memory; please see here and here. These safeguards are tested by the WebGL conformance suite.
  3. Defense against denial of service attacks is still evolving in WebGL implementations. Khronos has specified an extension to OpenGL and OpenGL ES, GL_ARB_robustness, designed to prevent denial of service and out-of-range memory access attacks from WebGL content, preventing any possibility of using WebGL to execute malware on a user’s machine.
  4. GL_ARB_robustness has already been deployed by some GPU vendors and Khronos expects it to be deployed rapidly by others. Browsers can check for the presence of this extension before enabling WebGL content. This is likely to become the deployment mode for WebGL in the near future.
  5. The ability to incorporate cross-domain images into WebGL scenes provides great utility to developers, but the WebGL working group is considering requiring Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) opt-in or other mechanisms to prevent possible future abuse of this capability.
  6. The WebGL working group has been working closely with the GPU vendors in the Khronos group to make accelerated WebGL implementations secure and WebGL is influencing GPUs to provide even more flexible security options in the future.
  7. There are no known WebGL exploits and Khronos will continue to place close attention to technical and ecosystem opportunities to ensure WebGL is a secure technology that can be used with confidence.

Additional information can be found here.

Updated May 16 2011

The WebCL extension provides OpenCL bindings for JavaScript, allowing web developers to tap into the massively parallel computational resources of modern GPUs and multicore CPUs. The extension is currently available for Firefox 4 on Windows and Linux. Further development will take place in open source, and in cooperation with the Khronos WebCL working group.