Diving into webgl — man is this stuff fun!

webglPlaying with shadertoy, threejs, kineticjs, chrome experiments. I can feel my macbook heat up and i can watch the battery drain! Pretty stunning what you can do with webgl.

I am trying to figure out the best practice for integrating webgl with a webpage, in particular text. Overlay of CSS/HTML on a webgl element? Stuffing the text right into the webgl? Does the next version of webgl change anything? What lib to use on top of wegbl to make this easier?

Historical aside — what a huge missed opportunity for Microsoft, read for instance Alex St John’s story of the early days of really expressive content on the web. Microsoft had a browser code-named Chrome in the 90s that had the idea of webgl built into it. Sadly internal machinations killed it — political infighting about ownership of graphics leadership within the company, and a lack of vision in senior management — not enough people were excited about the idea of a browser and web content that brought a PC to its knees, failing to understand that thanks to Moore’s Law, this problem would go away within a short time.

One Reply to “Diving into webgl — man is this stuff fun!”

  1. Ah, so true. It went away fast too. Three years after Chrome the entire PC market was shipping 3D HW accelerators with all new consumer PC’s. We shipped VRML support with IE 3.0 as well which was an early precursor to WebGL. WildTangent had 120 Million active 3D Web drivers while Microsoft was embroiled in the DOJ trial. The market clearly wanted it then as well.

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