IMPORTANT: WebGL is coming to WhiteBox

WhiteBox Learning is in the process of updating all of our applications to use WebGL, a built-in technology of modern web browsers that will allow students to use WhiteBox applications without installing any plugins - including the Unity Web Player.

As WebGL is a newer technology, it is not quite as efficient with computer resources as the plugin. However, in our early testing this only seems to be a problem with much older machines with limited resources, specifically RAM. Although not a hard requirement, if your computers have at least 2GB of RAM it should be fine. Another requirement is an up-to-date version of video card drivers. The big three vendors are Nvidia, AMD/ATI, and Intel. A generic video driver such as one for a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox, VMWare, etc.) may not be supported by the browser and/or the Unity platform.

As an aside, our early testing has also worked on Chromebooks, even some older models.

At the present time, Firefox is by far the best with regards to WebGL performance. Chrome also works fine, but you may have more success with older machines using Firefox instead.  Although Internet Explorer 11 officially supports WebGL, it does not appear to be powerful enough for Unity apps. For this reason we plan to continue to provide a plugin version and WebGL version to support customers who must use Internet Explorer, or those who have older machines that would benefit from using the plugin. We encourage customers to use WebGL as they are able and we will eventually transition away from the plugin altogether.

As part of our upgrades, a final requirement is that Internet Explorer users must use version 10 or higher, even if using the plugin.  If you are using Windows 7/8/8.1, you can upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 and are likely already using this version.  If you are using Windows Vista or XP, you will need to use Firefox or Chrome since you cannot upgrade to IE 10/11 in these versions of Windows.

Our goal is to have WebGL working for all of our applications by the start of the school year. An official release date for each application will be announced in the coming weeks on our support page.

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4 Comments

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    Jennifer Warren

    Jody,

    My computers are being updated this school year with Mac's.  If I have my students log in with Firefox on August 24, 2015, will the website work automatically without downloading the Unity Web Player?  It will save me a lot of time if I don't have to download it to 30 computers.  I am assuming if students have an older computer at home, they will still need to install the Unity Web Player.

    Thank you.

    Jennifer Warren

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    Tom Robertson

    I would estimate that about half of our applications will be available by late August, but admittedly it is a bit of a risk to count on that without sufficient testing with your computers at your school. I would recommend that you go ahead and install the Unity Web Player to be safe, but please continue to reach out to us as we get closer to the start of school. We are working hard every day to bring in WebGL.

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    Donald Robbins

    How do I go about trying out WebGL?

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    Tom Robertson

    If you want to try the new WebGL interface, just email us at support@whiteboxlearning.com and let us know which applications you would like to try. Note that as soon as WebGL and the new UI has been sufficiently tested, we will transition all customers over to all available applications. This "opt-in" period is temporary.

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