[webkit-dev] WebGL on by default?

Anatoly Ropotov anatoly at innowate.com
Sun Apr 6 08:38:48 PDT 2014

Hello WebKit,

With the advent of Emscripten, a lot of production quality products are
starting to appear utilizing WebGL as the rendering front-end. While the
technology is already enabled by default in Chrome, Firefox and even IE has
bumped spec support to 1.00 in the recently announced update of IE11,
WebKit still doesn't have it enabled by default on OS X and makes it very
cumbersome for end-users to enable it.

In our products during early tests, only 3% of Safari users have managed to
follow instructions on how to enable WebGL inside the browser - we've tried
multiple A/B tests from step-by-step guide with animated GIF overlays
explaining how to enable the technology, to step-by-step video, to
plain-text instructions. OS X/Safari users expect things to "just work" and
are super confused when they are asked to touch any settings.
Unfortunately, we had to revert back to "Please switch to browser X/Y to
use this product" landing page as it showed better conversions.
(The product, a cross-platform game, works really well across dozens of
test machines when WebGL is turned on and works silk smooth in all other


Is there a hope that either the next minor release will have WebGL turned
on by default or we'll have to wait for the next OS X to have WebGL enabled
by default (due to system-level security/sandboxing/energy consumption
concerns?). I've seen some recent commits on utilizing ANGLE here and
there, is there any ETA on rolling these things live and having WebGL
turned on by default?

WWDC is still months away, so I hope we could get some ETA/roadmap hints to
make a promise to our users and properly convey information on Apple stance
for this tech.

Anatoly Ropotov
Chief Experience Officer, Game Insight <http://www.game-insight.com>
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