An open source grab for 3D web power

An open source grab for 3D web power

Summary: The struggle to define and control a standard for 3D on the Web has just begun with this announcement.

TOPICS: Open Source, Browser

Khronos' move to accelerate development of Web 3D based on Javascript, supported by Mozilla's Firefox browser as early as this summer, looks like a laudable attempt to get ahead of a rapidly developing trend.

But is it also an attempt by OpenGL to take the equivalent of proprietary advantage under the flag of open source? (Hope so.)

The annual Web3D Symposium is still soliciting papers, and is scheduled for June in Germany. This is the traditional venue for advancing the cause.

But Khronos and Mozilla have their own timetable. Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard writes on his blog of making the new 3D software  "base functionality in the release after Firefox 3.5," based on the OpenGL standard.

OpenGL competes directly with Microsoft's Direct3D software, so the struggle can be expected to be ongoing. Wikipedia maintains an ongoing comparison.

Vladimir Vucicevic is Mozilla's point man on the project. He writes, "From looking at the available 3D APIs, I settled on exposing the OpenGL ES APIs through an HTML5 Canvas context, enabling access to OpenGL from within Javascript."

In a post datelined Tuesday he writes, "I think now is the time to bring this out into a wider audience, and to figure out what an initial take of 3D on the web should look like. "

The key word there is initial. The struggle to define and control a standard for 3D on the Web has just begun with this announcement.

As Sherlock Holmes might say, "the game's afoot."

Topics: Open Source, Browser

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  • So open source wants to "Lock in" 3D web standards. Great.

    How do you take a technology and make it go nowwhere for 20 years? <br>
    The answer: make it open source.
    That is just factual history, not something I'm saying to be "anti open source". It's reality. <br>
    When do we as IT professionals start listening to the customers, the end users? Customers were very vocal about wanting interoperability. As much as open source people are disgusted by it, many companies or most companies have closed source as part of the IT plan. Long term. They are not just "tolerating it" as I've heard ABMers say, they are embracing it. It does the job they want and it does it very very effectively and cost effectively *over time*, which is how you measure IT. Not up front costs. And they love the idea they are dealing with one entity. Now those same people want to use Linux too where it has it strengths.
    But what is the open source response to what the actual users want? Well I'll tell you, create a new GPL license that essentially says you cannot interoperate with Microsoft code. But then the EU cries foul at MS for the lack of interoperability!! Sweet Mother of God when is that kind of stupidity going to end. <br>
    It's no different than a group of 6 year old boys making a club and declaring that "girls are not allowed". That is how insane and petty that is. <br>
    But this business of trying to gain "lock in" by declaring ownership of "standards" is worse than anything MS has ever done. It limits the solutions and ingenuity of the people around the world who have a full right to make a solution of their own that doesn't comply to any standards but the ones they use in their code. <br>
    standarization leads to parity which leads to mediocrity. period.
    • Where has Microsoft's 3D technology gone?

      Not very far.
    • Fortunately...that is just your opinion.......

      OpenGl has been around for many years, longer than MS DirectX has been. And OpenGL has been supported in Windows for many years. So in fact, it already is an established standard whether you like it or not.

      So you can stay in your own "girls not allowed" club while the rest of the world goes merrily on, leaving those like you with the true lock-in you get from Microsoft.
      linux for me
  • RE: An open source grab for 3D web power

    OpenGL will sure take on the 3d web. exit reality is already on web.