While the technology itself is not ready for the masses, you can already start playing around with it in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari’s latest development releases. Information on how to implement WebGL on each browser can be found on the Khronos website.
WebGL is a low-level API. OpenGL’s shading language, GLSL, is itself an entire programming environment. As a result, even simple things in WebGL take quite a bit of code. You have to load, compile, and link shaders, set up the variables to be passed in to the shaders, and also perform matrix math to animate shapes. Basic areas you’ll need to be familiar with include:
- GLSL, the shading language used by OpenGL and WebGL
- Matrix computation to set up transformations
- Vertex buffers to hold data about vertex positions, normals, colors, and textures.