What does hit a snag mean

Have you had this problem: “Rats! WebGL hit a snag.” Usually, you get this message in the error bar on Google Chrome. So what is it all about? Before we tell you about it, let’s understand a little about WebGL.

WebGL or Web Graphics Library is a JavaScript API that helps with rendering interactive 3D computer graphics and 2D graphics on any compatible web browser, without requiring the use of plug-ins.

It enables GPU accelerated image processing and the use of physics. WebGL programs consist of code written in JavaScript and are executed on the computer’s GPU or Graphics Processing Unit.

The non-profit, Khronos Group designs and maintains WebGL.

WebGL works as a thin wrapper around OpenGL. OpenGL is a low level library used for drawing 2D graphics. Basically, OpenGL gives us the ability to push data to the GPU, and then to execute specialized code on the GPU itself rather than on the CPU.

WebGL helps to optimize the performance of browsers, JavaScript and graphics drivers when it comes to 2D and 3D graphics. In fact, WebGL is the best way to bring 3D everywhere. It allows you to write once, run everywhere.

When using WebGL, you may have had a problem with a site falling back to canvas rendering if WebGL is not supported or is found to have an error. When using WebGL in Google Chrome, an error message bar appears – “Rats! WebGL hit a snag.” It does not disappear till you do something about it.

If you try reloading the page or navigating to a different one, the message reappears the next time you use WebGL. In fact, you get the error message every time a web page tries to access WebGL. And once the error occurs, Chrome will not use WebGL on the same site again, until and unless you specifically reload it.

So, the “Rats! WebGL hit a snag” message does not indicate continuous errors, but just that you have been making continuous attempts to use WebGL.

You can fix the problem and solve your page rendering issues by disabling hardware accelerated graphics from the settings in Google Chrome.

How to Disable Hardware Accelerated Graphics In Chrome:

  1. chrome://settings -> Show advanced settings.
  2. Here, you will find an option “Use hardware acceleration when available”.
  3. Just uncheck it and restart the browser. This should solve the problem.

Another option is to go to chrome://flags. Here you will get an option, “Disable WebGL”. Click the checkbox next to that, and restart the browser.

The two methods given here are simple and work well to get rid of the error message, “Rats! WebGL hit a snag” on your Google Chrome.