Feeds

Google ratchets interweb 3D on Windows

Open browser bling for the Microsoft set

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google has announced a new open source project designed to facilitate the use of WebGL, the browser-based 3D graphics standard floated by Mozilla and the Khronos Group.

Known as the Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine - ANGLE, for short - the project will allow the still-gestating WebGL to work in tandem with Microsoft's DirectX APIs, bringing WebGL to Windows machines otherwise unequipped for it.

WebGL - a means to providing hardware-accelerated 3D inside the browser - is designed to make graphics calls via the OpenGL desktop graphics interface. But as Google product manager Henry Bridge points out in a blog post, Windows machines aren't all that likely to include OpenGL graphics cards. "On Windows," he says, "most graphics-intensive apps use Microsoft Direct3D APIs instead of OpenGL, so OpenGL drivers are not always available.

"Unfortunately, this situation means that even if they have powerful graphics hardware, many Windows machines can't render WebGL content because they don't have the necessary OpenGL drivers installed."

ANGLE will allow Windows users to run WebGL without installing OpenGL drivers. It's meant to layer WebGL's portion of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API over DirectX 9.0c API calls. ANGLE has been released under the BSD license "as an early work in progress," and you can visit the code here.

According to Bridge, the project will implement almost the entire Open ES 2.0 API - not just the WebGL subset - so it may also be a handy tool for developers looking to build mobile and embedded applications. "ANGLE should make it simpler to prototype these applications on Windows," he says, "and also gives developers new options for deploying production versions of their code to the desktop."

WebGL is the brainchild of Mozilla and open standards consortium the Khronos Group, the organization that standardized OpenGL. A WebGL draft was released late last year.

As it champions WebGL, Google is also developing its own hardware-accelerated web 3D setup known as O3D. Whereas WebGL exposes OpenGL calls to JavaScript, O3D operates as a plug-in. Google despises browser plug-ins except when it doesn't. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.