Feeds

Google splits with Mozilla on 3D interwebs

VRML 2: Electric Googaloo

Business security measures using SSL

One of the most heavily-flogged dead horses on the internet is getting 3D graphics into web browsers. But with Google now at the reins, maybe the old girl will actually come back to life.

The Mountain View search firm this Tuesday afternoon released an experimental browser plug-in called O3D, which it hopes will get developers freshly-excited about collaborating on a unified standard for three dimensional interwebs.

As Google describes it, O3D is an open source JavaScript API for making interactive 3D applications on web. It also takes advantage of a computer's graphic chip for fancy things like shader effects.

Making an open 3D graphics standard for web browsers sounds awful similar to the project Mozilla and the Khronos Group announced they were working on last month at GDC09. (And Google even chimed in with their support for the project as well).

Yet oddly, Google's O3D API isn't compatible with Mozilla's current implementation. Google choosing to do their own thing doesn't sound like a terrific way to promote a unified standard at first blush — but the company seems to think an actual standard for 3D is a few years off and common ground will be arrived at later.

O3D currently works on systems running Windows XP/Vista, Linux, and Mac OS X using common browsers like IE, Firefox, Safari, and Google's own Chrome.

Those curious about the project can download the test plug-in here to try out some samples of what O3D can do.

For the rest of us, Google has provided a video to see the plugin in action:

Of course, the argument here is that 3D web browsing standards have been attempted before and all (like VRML and X3D) failed. Google and other 3D-proponents counter that one should not to underestimate the demand for spinning 3D cubes on webpages, and claim it's a lack of suitably powerful machines and speedy internet that's kept the technology back.

Google doesn't say when it thinks the standard will come about, but it does say it's actively working with Khronos and the broader development community to see it through. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.