If you have been following 3DTin since beginning, you would know it was originally written on top of WebGL. That was back in early summer, in the first implementation of 3DTin. The second revision, adopted a cube based modelling approach and was written on top of Canvas 2D so that wider range of web browsers could run it. As we approach end of 2010, WebGL is going to be available in more and more browsers. Yesterday’s dev-channel build of Chrome turns WebGL on by default. Firefox 4 already has WebGL support. Now 3DTin is set to leverage that option too.
3DTin automatically checks if your browser supports WebGL and will use it if available. If it is not available, 3DTin will gracefully fallback to Canvas 2D. In fact, you won’t be able to tell what backend it is running on. If you are curious, you can press the ‘info’ icon and on the help screen check the bottom right corner.
With WebGL, you should also see some improvement in UI response. Albeit, the improvement is not as high as it should be. I will be working on the performance aspects in coming weeks, that should help the overall experience.
I have tested the WebGL rendering on latest Chrome and latest Firefox 4 builds. I don’t have access to a Snow Leopard box, so I can’t test it on Webkit’s implementation of WebGL. Please test it for me if you have it and let me know if you see any problems.
Also the WebGL backend is not yet implemented for widgets yet. It will be, in future.