Why Choose WebGL

February 18, 2015

A free, cross-platform API, WebGL is primarily used to render 3D graphics on web browsers. WebGL is based on Open GL ES 2.0 and utilizes the OpenGL shading language (GLSL). Its functions are similar to that of standard OpenGL API. Since the basic framework it utilizes is HTML5, WebGL offers complete integration with all interfaces available under Document Object Model (DOM). Being a DOM API, WebGL can be utilized with any DOM compatible languages such as Java or JavaScript. It also works in cases where you integrate WebKit with an application running on a Mac – Objective C. 

Some key advantages of WebGL

Vendors of popular web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are part of the Khronos consortium’s WebGL Working Group. A number of leading 3D graphics developers are also members of this group. Since WebGL is based on OpenGL and can be integrated across all major web browsers, it offers a range of advantages, as listed below:

  • An API that offers features and functionalities similar to that of the prevailing 3D graphics standards
  • Cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility
  • Effective integration with HTML components; some examples would include layered compositing, and utilization of standard HTML event handling systems
  • Hardware-accelerated 3D graphics meant for browsers
  • A unique scripting platform that makes it easy to test 3D graphics; you can view the rendered graphics and debug it without having to compile and link it

Why WebGL is better

WebGL is more than just a plugin, and there are several reasons for this. One key reason is that it runs directly in the browser. It is also a public standard, as developed and maintained by the Khronos group. Another reason is that it’s low level, which means that it can be utilized for advanced and complex coding needs. Experienced programmers can do a magnificent job with WebGL, even though it is deemed tricky for newbies. It can be effectively utilized to create a variety of interactive apps, webpages, presentations, games, and other functionalities, all of which can be run directly in the browser.

The current release of WebGL is quite stable, and works perfectly fine with popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. It works fine even on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but the ActiveX plugin IEWebGL needs to be installed, prior to running any WebGL code. WebGL has also demonstrated its superiority across a plethora of mobile devices such as Android based mobile devices and iPhones as well. Currently, there is a great demand for WebGL, as evident from the huge number of downloads and interactions on forums and support channels

Is WebGL the future?

If we talk about the current options for rendering 3D graphics directly in browsers, then WebGL would definitely be the leader. However, it too has issues, something that has been seen with most of the popular technology platforms. Apart from that, and as things currently are, we can clearly say that WebGL can be utilized to create some truly amazing user experiences. To say anything more would be inappropriate at this point of time.

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If you have any queries, or if you need help with WebGL development, do give us a call or drop us a line so that someone from our team of experts can get back to you with the best solutions for your specific needs and requirements.


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A seasoned Internet Media professional with more than 10 years of experience in varied domains such as website design & development, digital imaging, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. We are intrinsically technology geeks with an insatiable appetite for new developments in the digital landscape.