newbie questions

I need to find a way to use 3D graphics on a web browser and I have seen papervision, but this is to be in conjunction with my iphone app Voxel, which already uses OpenGl for the phone. WebGl seems like a better fit.

But is webGl a working thing? The information about it is so confusing, I guess it is not part of people’s browsers yet? Is there some estimation of when it will be? If it isn’t soon, how do people do 3D on the web now? I can barely find any working examples.

Assuming I try to develop something with WebGl, how do I get it working on an iMac running Snow Leopard?
I didn’t see an FAQ, sorry if I missed the answer to this.


Hi Bob,

It all depends on your timelines. WebGL works very well, but only in the development versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome. The specification isn’t at version 1.0 yet – there’s a working draft here: There’s no public date about when they expect to reach 1.0, but to judge by the discussion on the mailing list, it may be a while.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop any of the browser makers from releasing a version before the draft is completely finished. But it seems unlikely to me that it will be in the release version of any of the browsers before the end of the year.

Here are some instructions I put together on getting WebGL working in Safari on Snow Leopard; If you find anything wrong with them, please do let me know!



There seems to be a fairly good website that checks a devices/browsers compliance to HTML5 including WebGL aspects.

The website is:

This can test if your device supports WebGL. Obviously checking out the WebGL examples is another way to test.

Be aware that the browser that you use, even on mobile devices, can make a huge difference. I realize that WebGL is only a tiny part of the HTML5 standard but when I tried the compliance on a Windows Mobile device using its embedded Internet Explorer it scored about 25 points (out of 475). When I download Mobile Opera and re-tried, it scores around 125 points.