Feeds

Google, Mozilla back 3D interwebs

Accelerated API

High performance access to file storage

GDC 09 Open-standards industry consortium the Khronos Group is forming a working group meant to bring accelerated 3D graphics to the interwebs.

Known as Accelerated 3D on Web, the working group was announced on Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The goal is to create an open, royalty-free standard that will 3D-ify what is now a flat, essentially rectangular web.

An established, open set of 3D APIs (application programming interfaces, which are essentially agreed-upon sets of commands that software developers use to communicate with hardware) that's agreed upon by all browser developers could not only provide the web with a new visual dimension, but could also support applications not yet imagined.

The working group was formed in response to a request from Mozilla and has already attracted another heavyweight member: Google. In a statement, Google engineering director Matt Papakipos said: "With more and more content moving to the web and JavaScript getting faster every day, the time is right to create an open, general-purpose API for accelerated 3D graphics on the web."

During the announcement at GDC, Mozilla's Vladimir Vukićević - who holds the sublime title of Infrastructuralist - cited three reasons that "now is the right time to look at adding 3D to the web."

The first, Vukićević said, is the continuing increase in JavaScript performance. The second is the ongoing increase in the hardware and software available to support web 3D. The third, he said, is that "The browser market right now is a pretty vibrant space."

Vukićević is upbeat about the competition among browser developers. "We coexist in a kind of an interesting environment," he said. "We certainly compete - there's a lot of competition going on, especially in performance and user experience - but at the same time we often cooperate and collaborate in making sure that new capabilities are exposed across browsers in a uniform fashion."

The goal for the new working group, Vukićević said, is "to make sure that current web applications can be enhanced with improved user experience and an improved visual experience, but at the same time to also enable new innovations and new classes of web applications."

The working group will explore incorporating the capabilities of the Khronos Group's open-sourse OpenGL desktop-graphics and OpenGL ES 2.0 embedded-graphics standards with the widely used web-scripting language ECMAScript, a standardized outgrowth of JavaScript. The working group will also accept and explore other proposals from its members.

Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group said that the announcement was a "call to participation," adding that "Anyone is welcome with open arms to make sure we get a quorum of the industry to bring 3D to the web."

And Trevett had a favor to ask: "If you know anyone who's interested in the web, let them know that this is ongoing." So, Reg readers, call your chums at Apple, Opera, and Microsoft - the developers of Firefox and Chrome already being on board - and point them to the Khronos Group's member-info page.

Apple, by the way, is already a major Khronos Group member, being the initiator of the group's OpenCL standard, but no mention was made at the announcement of its possible participation in the Accelerated 3D on Web working group.

The Accelerated 3D on Web working group will start up next month. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.