Feeds

Google ratchets interweb 3D on Windows

Open browser bling for the Microsoft set

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.