Opera Prepares For The Hardware Accelerated WebGL Release

By | October 3, 2011 | 23 Comments


WebGL: iOS RAGE

A long time ago, Opera has released an experimental browser build that supports everyone’s loved hardware acceleration.

However, ever since then, there was little to no talk regarding estimated release date of the public build.

Well, things might change soon as the latest weekly Opera 12 pre-alpha snapshot includes few interesting additions (as spotted by our reader, MarkG):

If you type the following in the address bar:
opera:gpu
- Show an empty page, but it is a valid page nonetheless.

opera:config#GPU%20Style%20File
- Shows a GPU Style File (gpu.css) for some sort of configuration.

Thoughts?

Picture Source: FavBrowser


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Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Cp

    I believe we will HWA+WebGLwill be released sometime this october

    if my guesses are correct this is how i predict the snapshots 

    Alpha-Sometime in October
    Beta-November
    RC/Final-December

    copy/pste from someone in the desktop team blog

  • Przemysław Lib

    GPU  is NOT equal to WebGL!

    Opera have also build with hwd acceleration enabled, so guessing which one will get included in standard opera is pure guessing.

    On the other hand, either of them will benefit opera users.

    • http://my.opera.com/swapnil99pro Swapnil Rustagi

      Either Hardware acceleration and WebGL both will be in Opera 12 or neither Hardware acceleration nor WebGL will be in Opera 12 and postponed.

      • Przemysław Lib

        :D Nice recap.

  • Mikah

    I think Opera hope to release it when 12 goes final ,  when the snapshots & for which OS get it is anybody’s guess.

    Rijk works for Opera & he posted this on the Opera Desktop Blog

    ” Rijk # Sunday, October 2, 2011 12:49:59 AM
    ——————-
    Originally posted by Asires:”Opera is year behind others at HWA and opengl support and drop userbase because of this.”
    ——————
    Firefox: 4, March 2011, HWA and WebGL. Chrome: 9, February 2011, has WebGL, but no full HWA. IE: 9, March 2011, has HWA but no WebGL. Sites that can depend on their users having HWA and WebGL: 0 – if only because only users on newer systems with decent graphics cards and up-to-date drivers can benefit. Yes, HWA and WebGL will become important, and Opera will get it, when it’s ready.”

  • Anonymous

    Well. If they do NOT introduce HWA in the next release then the competition will be  too far ahead. Only the *ahem* HARDCORE of users will still find a reason to use the browser.

    • Mikah

       What sites do you use that have HWA ?
      Anyone using Windows Xp will have no reason to jump ship at the moment that’s about 50 % of PC’s.
      I think Opera have several months breathing space before lack of HWA  & WebGL will start to hurt market share.

      • Przemysław Lib

        Sites do not have HWA!!!!!!!!!

        Sites can use WebGL, but hardware acceleration of rendering webpages is TRANSPARENT.

        You just feel everything works faster.

        WebGL is 3D, go to google body browser to see the difference.

      • Anonymous

        Define Several.

        What websites have you seen that use HTML 5 Videos? Quite a few even though it is not a finished spec.
        HTML5 isnt the revolutionary thing it is meant to be (needs some time). It needs HWA

        • Mikah

           My guess is about 6 months

        • Anonymous

          HTML5 is much more important than HWA. HTML is the basic building block of all web sites. HWA is just a way to increase performance and/or add additional features to web sites.

          HTML will be used on every single site in the world, while HWA will not be required or even needed for the vast majority of them.

    • Swapnil

      Hey do you even know why Opera is taking so much time to develop HWA and WebGL. It’s because Google and Mozilla only offer partial hardware acceleration to Windows XP. While Opera supports full hardware acceleration not only on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac and Linux but also on Windows XP and OpenGL ES 2 capable devices such as recent smart-phones and web-enabled TVs.

      And Opera is still too ahead of Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla if consider other areas. 

      • Przemysław Lib

        Wish Opera were more open about how their OpenGL usage is better than Mozillas OpenGL usage.

      • Anonymous

        Hey! Sure I do.

        They are taking their sweet time since they obviously havent figured out a way to fulfil that promise.

      • Mikah

        “While Opera supports full hardware acceleration not only on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac and Linux but also on Windows XP ”
        Opera Hopes & is attempting to deliver HWA & WebGL to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac and Linux but also on Windows XP  I hope they succeed only time will tell how successful they will be.

    • Anonymous

      So the defining feature in a browser is hardware acceleration, something most people don’t even come close to understanding? And any browser without HWA is doomed? And there’s no way they can ever implement it in the future.

      Your logic seems fishy to me…

      I would be more worried if a significant number of real sites actually required hardware acceleration to work properly. That is not the case at all right now.

      • Anonymous

        Well I just tested Opera 12 snapshot and IE10 (with H/W accel) on the new Peacekeeper and Opera totally killed it in performance terms, when Opera gets H/W accel, it’s going to decimate everything else out there, simply because it’s currently in the same ballpark without it…

  • Anonymous

    Latest snapshot has a new HTML parser, which is REALLY fast, pages are even snappier than before.
    Also the opera:gpu page now has some info in there!!!!
    (and Discus comments work again!!!)