WebGL comes

The recent release of Chrome 9 includes a built-in module for WebGL. The result is quite impressive! Have a look at these few examples (you need either Chrome 9 or a nightly build of Firefox or Safari):

Chrome WebGL Experiments

Body Browser

ibiblio examples

Shortly, WebGL is the web version of OpenGL and provides the following features:

  • Everything runs in the browser with plain text scripts (no compilation necessary)
  • Each graphic is rendered in an HTML5 canvas (seamless integration in the HTML page)
  • Computing intensive operations such as vertex transformations or texture processing are done by the WebGL module or directly the GPU (limited interactions with Javascript for higher performance)
  • The GPU is programmable in GLSL (compiling and linking controlled from Javascript)

WebGL will obviously brings a new dimension to the web, but the fact that the GPU can be very simply controlled and programmed makes it possible to deploy almost any kind of computer intensive application simply via the web browser. I would not be surprised to see the next SETI@Home based on WebGL. A massively distributed effort to compute e.g. factorization of large numbers would be an interesting project.


  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: