Feeds

Google splits with Mozilla on 3D interwebs

VRML 2: Electric Googaloo

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.