Firefox tagged news

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 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.

One of Mozilla's Principal Engineers, Vladimir Vukicevic originally wrote the Canvas3D extension, which was a precursor to the WebGL work. Fairly wide support for the HTML5 Canvas element by modern browsers, along with increasing support for OpenGL ES by various hardware drivers, lead us to conclude that the time was right for a 3D drawing context within the HTML5 Canvas element.

3D-Test interviewed the developers behind GLGE, a higher level API using WebGL, with a declarative xml format to remove the chore of creating 3D scenes via javascript alone. GLGE hides the GLSL shaders from the developer by implementing common use shaders within the API, various lighting types, normal maps, shadows, fog, etc. This frees the developers up to create actual content, games and applications with WebGL. Read the interview and visit the GLGE website.

Being able to export your Spore Creatures into .dae COLLADA format was a pretty cool trick. However, you could only preview your creatures as 2D images in your browser. Over the weekend, Mozilla was hard at work, fixing a few bugs in their implementation of WebGL. Over the weekend Vladimir Vukićevićwas was also busy putting together a very cool demo that will let you view your COLLADA exported Spore Creatures in 3D, right in your browser. If you have a browser with WebGL enabled, here is the demo page in action.