Intent to unship: WebVR

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Kelsey Gilbert

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Jan 20, 2022, 5:46:25 PMJan 20
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As of today, I intend to remove (disable) WebVR. Status in other browsers is "removed or never supported": https://caniuse.com/?search=webvr

Bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1750902


Background:

WebVR is related to WebXR, but they are distinct.
WebVR was the original API, but was deprecated and replaced by WebXR, which is where active development and use is today.
Chrome and Edge previously shipped WebVR: https://caniuse.com/?search=webvr
But both unshipped it after supporting WebXR instead.
Firefox does not support WebXR, and still ships WebVR. (On Release for Windows and Mac, on Nightly and Dev everywhere else)

Part of the reason for replacing WebVR with WebXR was related to privacy. Even when not using the API, it had an unfortunate API design that causes unnecessary and user-surprising prompting for website access to vr hardware. Indeed this is an annoyance in Firefox today, where even non-vr websites will cause a "website wants access to your VR devices" permission prompt, which is bad user experience, and feels invasive.

Since the web has moved on past WebVR, we too are disabling it in line with the rest of browsers, even though we unfortunately are not replacing it with WebXR support at this time.
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