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WebGL support makes first appearance in latest Firefox 3.7 nightly builds

Google Chrome and other WebKit-based browsers aren't the only ones getting improved 3D graphics handling capabilities. As of September 18th, Firefox trunk builds include support for WebGL.

Developer Vladimir Vukićević refers to the project as "essentially a way of accessing OpenGL from within the browser, through the HTML5 canvas tag." Together with the recent leaps in Javascript performance, it's hoped that WebGL can a whole new - pardon the pun - dimension to our experience of 3D graphics on the web.

Progress is coming quickly, but there are still plenty of issues to address before WebGL support is ready for prime time. Vukićević cites security and portability issues with shaders, as well as the problem of what to do on platforms where OpenGL is not available. He also promises some simple demos that will arrive in the near future. If you've seen some already, we'd love to hear about them in the comments! Apart from the Webkit globes, cube, and teapot, that is.

The Minfield (currently Firefox 3.7) builds are available from the Mozilla FTP. To enable WebGL support, head to about:config and change the webgl.enabled_for_all_sites value from false to true (double-clicking the value will change it).

Tags: 3d, firefox, gaming, graphics, opengl, web-browsers, webgl