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WebGL Standard To Bring 3D Acceleration To Browsers?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the need-faster-delivery-of-js-already dept.

Graphics 239

Several sources are reporting that while native audio/video support has been dropped from the HTML 5 spec, the Khronos Group has released a few details about their up and coming WebGL 3D acceleration standard. "The general principle behind WebGL is to offer a JavaScript binding to the group's OpenGL ES 2.0 system, allowing code run within the browser to access the graphics hardware directly in the same way as a standalone application can. As the technology would rely solely on JavaScript to do the heavy lifting, no browser plugin would be required — and it would be compatible with any browser which supports the scripting language alongside the HTML 5 'Canvas' element."

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239 comments

Finally (0)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991497)

They're waking up and coming up with excellent ideas.

I've got an idea! (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991715)

Let's abandon decades of fast native APIs and move all our applications to a browser where they will be dependent on the fluctuating feature set of the browser wars, will require programming in JavaScript, and won't have a standard GUI framework to use so that we'll have to code our own from scratch every time as if it's MS-DOS all over again. This way, people will have a pointless, non-native middle-man between their operating systems and their apps!

I've wanted nothing more than to program 3D in friggin' JavaScript. OUR 3D WEB GAME IS COMING FOR YOU, ID SOFTWARE.

Re:I've got an idea! (5, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991919)

will require programming in JavaScript

Why is this a bad thing? Or what would you suggest as a better language?

Most people who hate Javascript don't really understand it. I qualify that as "most" because a few people do know enough about it to actually have good reasons for hating it.

won't have a standard GUI framework to use

HTML is more standard than about any other GUI framework, even if less featured.

In fact, something to notice -- most people seem determined to style away the standard GUI elements. Below this message, you'll almost certainly see a "Reply to This" button and a "Parent" button, and unless you've disabled your CSS, they probably look nothing like your standard native buttons.

The issue is that most web designers hate these things, and think they're "ugly". Whether actual users care is up for debate -- they don't seem to have a problem with Google's homepage, for example.

we'll have to code our own from scratch every time as if it's MS-DOS all over again

You mean the MS-DOS, where the network was nearly nonexistent, and applications would largely be written in C or assembly?

I understand your sentiment that the browser feels like a step back, but hyperbole doesn't help your argument.

This way, people will have a pointless, non-native middle-man between their operating systems and their apps!

Better this than Java or C#.

What's more, it's hardly pointless. Or would you rather go back to the days when if you wanted something cool, like the ability to check the weather, receive email, or watch TV, you'd have to download an untrusted (possibly virus/spyware infested) binary .exe, run it on Windows, and hope it doesn't have some weird incompatibility with everything else on your system?

I much prefer the ability to try out pretty much anything I want, in my browser, without having to download/install anything, or uninstall it later. Worst case, I reload the page, or close the tab. Absolute worst case, I have to kill the browser, but no permanent harm.

Oh, and they're portable. I can play with the same apps on Windows, Linux, OS X, an iPhone...

You could argue that the browser isn't the best possible way we could've accomplished that, but those are real advantages it has over the vast majority of desktop apps, especially "fast" ones.

I've wanted nothing more than to program 3D in friggin' JavaScript.

Better than programming 3D in friggin' Flash.

If people are going to insist on taking the Web in this direction, wouldn't you rather it be based on cross-platform open standards?

Re:I've got an idea! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992075)

The very name "JavaScript" confuses uninformed people who assume "Java" and "JavaScript" are the same thing. Despite posting as Anon, I can say I've never had much problem with JavaScript as a standard. (I know, I know. The name is really ECMAscript these days, but who calls it that?)

The other side of using JavaScript is that it was slow -- so the 'interpreted versus native' argument would come back up, like it did back in the days of Visual Basic versus Visual C++. But with the advances made in the last... what, year? Two years? JavaScript interpretation is fast. Damned fast.

So I really don't see the problem. But more than anything I'm hoping Adobe finally works in basic 2D (nevermind 3D) acceleration into Flash. Stupid Flash Video redlines my CPU, but I can watch 720p Hi-Def h.264 no problem.

Re:I've got an idea! (2, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992245)

Absolute worst case, I have to kill the browser, but no permanent harm

I don't think "absolute worst case" means what you think it means.

Re:I've got an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992583)

Or what would you suggest as a better language?

Visual Basic, of course.

Re:I've got an idea! (3, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992699)

I miss VRML.

j/k j/k in all seriousness, the uses for 3D support in a browser is pretty limited I think. I can think of a few corner cases, such as large set data visualization, but for general use, I think it will end up being misapplied everywhere.

I did some web programming in JavaScript years ago when browser compatibility was a serious problem and I hated it. I've heard it has gotten much better now, but I don't do web design anymore so I don't really care.

I find myself in agreement with the GP though that there is a general trend of moving traditional desktop applications to web apps in cases where it makes little sense. Developers are working hard to come up with ways to preserve functionality and use these applications even while disconnected from a network. I think the whole thing is an exercise in futility because there will always be people like me who demand snappy, native applications that are locally stored. For security, privacy, responsiveness and other reasons, I don't see myself changing my mind on this topic any time soon.

Re:I've got an idea! (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991943)

HTML+Javascript /is/ the standard GUI framework, that's the point.

If you want something to be pixel-perfect, oh no, it may look a bit off.
If you want something to be useful, HTML has been the way to go for at least a decade.
This, like everything else ever, is not a "let's add this so people can do this" thing, but a "people are doing this, let's make it easier/more standardized by writing down what people are doing and recommending that future browsers be sure to support this"

And of course, like everything else ever, most people aren't going to code to the low-level, but will use higher-level libraries since they care more about functionality than "control".

As for "friggin' JavaScript"... what? When I have problems with writing javascript, it's because of IE6 or Firefox-specific bugs, what's your problem with it? Just don't want to share your source code?

Re:I've got an idea! (2, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991967)

What needs to happen is that the OS needs to become more browser-like not vice versa (bare with me here). Modularity and separating the parts of the OS into distinct UI, data, and code structures offers amazing customization and extension (CSS jQuery), and is something browsers do right. How does that apply to the OS, you say? Imagine a modular OS encompassed basically by 1) a semi-p2p database file structure (like the web basically, but not HTML - something closer to XML), 2) modular code er "pieces" - both compiled and script, but seamless from the end user perspective (plug in compilers,etc), and 3) a standardized UI structure, like HTML but as an OS API that uses modules to style UI elements (like CSS). Don't get me wrong - I'm not talking about cloud computing - I'm talking about total API abstraction for the entire OS. The end of applications per se and the dawn of the module. But whatever, maybe I'm just high.

(Hell, and maybe security should be a fourth modularized component at OS level...)

Re:I've got an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992181)

But whatever, maybe I'm just high.

Indeed.

Re:I've got an idea! (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992665)

I looked at a demo of this a few weeks ago, and even in the current state and on a OS the technology doesn't really support yet (Mac OS X 10.5) it's plenty fast enough to be useful.

Re:Finally (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992529)

Why do I get the feeling that if this does become workable and widely used a certain other company is going to come up with its own version that only works with its products?

i for one ... (4, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991543)

>>> Does WebGL sound like your dreams come true, or are you frightened by the thought that all those hideous Flash-only marketing pages will now have access to 3D acceleration?

... am frightened

Re:i for one ... (1)

isama (1537121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991555)

How about a simple plugin like flashblock? in this case GLblock.

Re:i for one ... (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991593)

Since the GL wouldn't be a plugin; but rather javascript accessible, you'd probably want something along the lines of a greasemonkey script that stripped all references to webGL from site scripts before execution. Not total rocket surgery; but could be tricky if you want webGL features and want to avoid the webGL ads. On the plus side, adblock-style URL based blocking would still work, since(unlike flash blobs) the webGL stuff would just be part of the HTML/javascript/CSS of the page...

Re:i for one ... (1)

isama (1537121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991779)

But it would be nicer if it would edit the js so that the user could still start the webGL code by clicking a button or something ala flashblock. That way the user can decide weaher something is an ad or not :)

Re:i for one ... (1, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991969)

Flashblock is horribly inadequate. I'd prefer a solution that didn't involve "yes, I've wasted your bandwidth and other resources loading this flash for you- OH CRAP WAIT, IT'S FLASH! I'll tell it to go away now..."

Re:i for one ... (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991971)

either that or an option in the browser to disallow it or allow it based on the site, ala noscript, just a little more fine grained.

Re:i for one ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992109)

Just plain noscript does pretty well

Re:i for one ... (2, Funny)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991613)

I already have enough trouble shooting the monkey in 2d. I'll never win that free IPod now.

Could someone explain... (1, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991575)

... who the Khronos Group is, exactly? The linked article refers to them as 'a consortium', but I've never heard of them.

Basically I'm wondering if this is any different than my friend Jim announcing a web standard.

Re:Could someone explain... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991601)

The khronos group is a working group behind the opengl standard iirc

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Informative)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991629)

read about them...here [wikipedia.org] They appear to be the people who run the OpenGL standard; Apple, Intel, and several others are members.

Re:Could someone explain... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992657)

I see Google and Opera as members as well.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

pburt (244477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991633)

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992229)

Thanks to all for the replies and Google proxy searches. I guess I should have been more direct, though, and simply said:

Shouldn't Slashdot submitters or editors provide an explanatory link when referencing a group/individual when it's probable a large number of readers won't have a priori knowledge of the group/individual? Alternatively, if I'm going to have to do some background research anyway - then a submission like this could be distilled down to the single sentence "The Khronos Group did something interesting today" with no further explanatory text. I'm sure in Googling the group, I'd quickly find the interesting item on my own.

Re:Could someone explain... (-1, Troll)

Kr4u53 (955252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991643)

ever heard of the 5 jew bankers. they're like that but for graphics.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991675)

The Khronos Group is the body behind the (current) further development and standardization of OpenGL. In terms of getting this adopted on the web, the support of the browser guys is what counts; but Khronos is the standards group of note behind OpenGL.

Javascript and direct hardware access. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991603)

What could possibly go wrong?

What's next, a way to make web browsers faster by making /dev/kmem remotely writable?

Re:Javascript and direct hardware access. (3, Interesting)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991711)

"What could possibly go wrong?"

WebGL is based on OpenGL ES and together with javascript bindings its a really neat way of expand the usage of a browser without the need for a multitude of different plugins (each coming with their problems and security issues). Standards is good for you, and to make certain applications we will need 3D directly in the browser (I'm not just thinking geek stuff here, lots of stuff like you need a standalone program for today could run directly in the browser, planing your home, drag around those furnitures and when your happy, just click order !).

The Guy Was Just Karma Whoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991735)

Unless he is actually dumb enough to believe what he wrote. If so, and he really believes a browser having access to the GPU is such an obvious security risk, just imagine what a security risk having access to the CPU would be?

Let's deny access to both the CPU AND GPU in browsers. Then we would have amazing security.

Re:The Guy Was Just Karma Whoring (0)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991939)

I wonder close to the GPU you are getting here. If you can only access through a set of APIs then that seems pretty safe, but if you can run arbitrary code on the GPU, maybe you can get it to do some funky stuff. CPUs have different rings to keep programs from accessing resources that they shouldn't, but does a GPU? I doubt it.

I really don't know... just thinking.

Re:Javascript and direct hardware access. (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991777)

This isn't such a bad idea, to be honest. OpenGL shaders can be made using almost any language in existence, including(but not limited to) C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby, etc. etc.

I can see more problems with letting a website block keyboard presses and mouse buttons, and that doesn't seem to be hugely abused in Firefox.

I do hope there's some sort of filtering for malicious content. Up until now OpenGL has been run from "trusted" programs that already have full access to your computer. I remember a while back when I messed the order on some OGL calls, it completely froze the rendering thread. (by "design" - not a "bug" :P )

Re:Javascript and direct hardware access. (5, Insightful)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991865)

It's "direct hardware access" in the same sense as the 2D accelerated DrawRectangle() is "direct hardware access".

Re:Javascript and direct hardware access. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992017)

It's "direct hardware access" in the same sense as the 2D accelerated DrawRectangle() is "direct hardware access".

Oh, sorta like GDI? :)

We went through a few bad years when the .jpg libraries had buffer overflow vulnerabilities on platforms from Linux to Solaris [sun.com], and on Windows, this was further compounded by GDI+ [microsoft.com] vulnerabilities.

The GDI+ vulnerability was particularly annoying; it wasn't specific to web browsers, but any JPEG viewer that used GDI was vulnerable. (Hey, make sure to update your copy of ACDSee or IrfanView before viewing that .JPG you downloaded off alt.binaries.goats.e.e.e, even though not a single packet traveled over port 80 in the process. Are you sure the guy who wrote some obscure shareware game where you could replace a bobblehead-doll target with a URL pointing to a pic of your favorite celebrity didn't use the wrong version of the library? Did he release a patch, or has he been out of business for 5 years...)

This has the potential to repeat that mistake: untrusted third-party content will be thrown at libraries (and drivers) that, up until now, had been written with at least the tacit assumption of console access being the normal use case.

Yes, I know OpenGL doesn't strictly require console access -- it works over a network in a way that DirectX never could, so there's some abstraction going on, and those extra layers of abstraction might provide a little bit of protection.

But the people who write the drivers for ATI(AMD) and NVIDIA - a market in which every frame per second counts - probably took the odd shortcut from time to time. Hell, even the people writing the drivers for Intel and VIA's integrated graphics chips took shortcuts for performance. 99% of the users will use the app from the console, and the remaining 1% running OpenGL apps over a network aren't plentiful enough for malware writers to develop exploits. OpenGL calls spawned from web content changes that balance.

Re:Javascript and direct hardware access. (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992489)

What could possibly go wrong?
What's next, a way to make web browsers faster by making /dev/kmem remotely writable?

Next, a way for HTML emails to crack your encryption using your GPU.

Port 80 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991631)

Does EVERYTHING need to be reinvented (poorly) on port 80? Really!!!???

Re:Port 80 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992043)

Nope.
JavaScript + ports FTW.
Make it so, gentlemen.

I'd rather this than have it all in one port.
And add in some native protocol management.
And with file management coming with localStorage, let the good times roll.

Or, in other words, add in some of the good parts of Java to JavaScript.

Re:Port 80 (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992285)

It does when firewalls block everything but ports 80 and 443 and software restriction policies block the installation of any software. There's just a lot less bureaucracy to deploy a web application than a desktop application nowadays.

I cut off my penis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991635)

And kdawson is going OM NOM NOM NOM NOM on its bloody remains.

umm... (0)

Kr4u53 (955252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991637)

Wouldn't this be better to be made as a java library of some form that allows for java applets to have direct access to opengl in browser? It seems like java would be better for programming real 3d applications (read as games) than javascript...

For the love of god replace javascript (3, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991639)

Is anyone at all working on something that is not as loosy-goosy and hokey as javascript for client-side computing?

I've used Adobe ActionScript (stricter variant of JavaScript) and it is getting a little better, but why do we think "oh, it's the client-side. Let's go back to (essentially) Basic for programming."

(Still moping I didn't get my Applets.)
(Ok, Java is a bit too ugly (accessor hell)
but a language with a little rigidity, checking, and simplicity to it wouldn't hurt, would it?)

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (0, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991667)

Because you can't fucking trust the client for shit, anything client side should be minimal.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991887)

Sorry. What can't you trust on the client, specifically?

Also, what you are saying is going against the trend, which is to richer functionality on the client for better interactivity, while getting data and
some heavy-duty processing and identities etc from the server.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (2, Insightful)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991907)

The client can't trust the server any more than the server can trust the client. Powerful tools and healthy suspicion is needed on both ends, always has.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991765)

Personally, I write my server-side code in PHP or Python... which are about as "loose" as Javascript. If you want to do client-side scripting in a strict language, perhaps you should try GWT [wikipedia.org] which lets you write client-side scripts in Java which gets compiled to Javascript.

There are other scripting languages supported in some browsers like vbscript, jscript, and tcl, but getting anything added to all browsers is rather difficult and an entire scripting language is a pretty big piece. I am not sure what existing language would even meet your requirements.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991809)

the limitation is you, not the language.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991843)

The problem with Actionscript is Adobe can't be trusted to not break your scripts in a future version of Flash. They've done it once, they will do so again.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (5, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991897)

While JavaScript is not perfect, it is actually a nice little language. It's just that every retard can "program" in it, and then thinks because he wrote a for loop, he is entitled to an opinion about it.

Few people actually know how to program properly in JS. And the only problem is that JS is too forgiving. Just as the rendering engines for (X)HTML and CSS. But that was the original point. And it's not that bad of a point either.

Because simple scripts are way easier than people think. Every person who can play a shooter, puzzle game, or configure some stuff on his computer, can write acceptable scripts. And even total noobs can write bad ones. I think that is a nice thing.

And this is why you can ignore the (non-pro) masses, ranting about JS.

If it were for me, the scripting interface in browsers would have to support multiple high-level languages anyway: Python, Haskell, Java and Ruby would be those that I'd introduce. But others might want Erlang, Ocaml, and maybe even C++. Why not? If the API is clean, the interpreters work as expected, and everything is sandboxed as it should anyway...

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992065)

but a language with a little rigidity, checking, and simplicity to it wouldn't hurt, would it?)

Given the history of the web, browsers and multiple companies injecting their own funky little APIs and features, I think a strictly-typed, more "structured" language wouldn't have cut it.

...and you're right, a VM based solution like Java clearly didn't work back in the 90s when PCs were too slow to handle it.

Re:For the love of god replace javascript (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992695)

but a language with a little rigidity, checking, and simplicity to it wouldn't hurt, would it?)

nope. lets get a simple C JIT compiler into the browser! It wouldn't have to do everything, just compile function by function as needed. These functions could be called from javascript so you'd have speed and scripting in one small tidy package - its not as if the C runtime is a large library by today's standards.

Slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991651)

If everybody starts sticking opengl into their webpages, tjhen won't it severely slow down the web browsers, especially on older machines? As if javascript doesn't slow down things enough.

Fast enough for web browsing??! (5, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991661)

There goes the "fast enough for a little browsing and office apps"-computer. Yes, yes, I know, hardware acceleration will render the pages faster - but more and more sites will include 3d junk.

Praise be to Moore and his irrefutable law:

We are doomed to use faster and faster Computers and more and more energy, to read pages that might - content wise- just as well run on gopher.

Wait, what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991937)

Yes, yes, I know, hardware acceleration will render the pages faster - but more and more sites will include 3d junk.

So, we shouldn't try to come up with faster and better technologies because people would end up using more of them and as a total, it would eventually slow things down?

Honestly, do you really think that this is a good argument?

Re:Fast enough for web browsing??! (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991983)

I have an idea, 3DBlock plugin for Firefox.

Actually, I'm going to register the name.

Re:Fast enough for web browsing??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992431)

"We are doomed to use faster and faster Computers and more and more energy, to read pages that might - content wise- just as well run on gopher."

I know what you mean, but meanwhile computers are doomed to become faster and faster while using less and less energy. Works our kind of well dont you think?

Also, how many sites do you go to regularly that fill your page with junk and clutter, animated or otherwise? Personally i avoid sites that don't treat me well, and that especially includes design and layout. I for one am glad to see what 3d rendering will provide through JS in well designed sites.

Re:Fast enough for web browsing??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992759)

"but more and more sites will include 3d junk."

Bad design is bad design... A tacky designer will do tacky things with a new tool. A tasteful designer will do amazing things with a new tool. I can't wait to see what people come up with as 3d interfaces become more common. Also don't forget 3d displays, as in displays with depth are just around the corner with no glasses needed. I don't think people fully appreciate what this means for media design and even story telling techniques.

Its just a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991663)

These days everything needs to have a browser window around it for some reason. Ordinary folk won't even download things anymore - it has to be inside a browser. Don't ask why this is, but i'm sure people will come to their senses soon enough and HTTP/HTML will be just the boring static page delivery mechanism it was always intended to be

Re:Its just a fad (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991885)

Getting everyone used to not downloading stuff is step 1
Step 2 is making it impossible for anyone to download anything
And step 3 is pay-per-use of the glorious cloud and all of it's constant revenue stream goodness.

Make this now!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991693)

So we can have "Punch the Monkey" ads in 3D!

Honestly? (4, Insightful)

Iwanowitch (993961) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991705)

I like this. Why not? It can be expected that web browsers use decent security practices, 3D drivers are already doing a fairly good job of providing a stable API via OpenGL, and everything is floating towards web browsers as new deployment platform, also for games and 3D applications. Better have an open 3D standard than a need of all sorts of plugins where everyone comes up with his own half-working solution. This is the indie game developer's wet dream coming true.

Of course, that's the best scenario. How it plays out in practice, we will have to see.

Re:Honestly? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992355)

This is the indie game developer's wet dream coming true.

No, the indie game developer's wet dream coming true would a mass-market PC marketed to be connected to an HDTV. Then they could get away from the dichotomy of "consoles are for sofa multiplayer, PCs are for indie games".

VRML (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991725)

Anybody remember how awesome and important VRML was supposed to be? They just forgot to convince users.

Re:VRML (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991767)

Anybody remember how awesome and important VRML was supposed to be? They just forgot to convince users.

What? No way! I was definitely convinced! I distinctly remember running a VRML plugin at one time, and trying one of a very limited number of available example pages for it with some limited measure of success...

If I'd had tools like (today's) Blender back then, and the hardware to back it up, I might have done something with VRML...

Re:VRML - side note (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991775)

Anybody remember how awesome and important VRML was supposed to be? They just forgot to convince users.

What? No way! I was definitely convinced! I distinctly remember running a VRML plugin at one time, and trying one of a very limited number of available example pages for it with some limited measure of success...

I feel compelled to add, this was a point in time at which streaming audio over the internet was still a big deal.

Re:VRML (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991947)

VRML is alive and well ... and living in a group called "Kronos". It's every bit as awesome as it ever was.

Re:VRML (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992565)

The difference is VRML sucked. OpenGL doesn't suck.

If you want more detail: VRML was based on a scene graph. Scene graph APIs have proven over time to be the Wrong Way to do real-time graphics. They are complex to implement, inflexible, and slow. The alternative is immediate mode rendering APIs like OpenGL and Direct3D, which are fast, flexible, and relatively simple to implement, and have been very successful. For an analogy to 2D graphics, VRML is like SVG, while OpenGL is like the Canvas element in HTML 5.

fucking faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991787)

i love how uptight you faggots are about using linux. it makes me laugh.

nigger.

take it up the ass and get aids faggots. i hope you all die.

Browser = the new runtime environment? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991791)

So the web browser, in the end, will just be one big common runtime environment? That's one way to get compatibility across OSes I guess. If proprietary plugins were to be written to run entirely in a W3C compatible environment, then we'd be better off.

But it still seems like there will always be some sort of proprietary extension that one group will try and control. Businesses will want to set up tollbooths just for the sake of a "guaranteed revenue stream". What this really means is a tax that doesn't benefit anyone else. How can we stop rewarding these groups? Is the only way to prevent such tollbooths from being viable and desirable? If so, how?

For example: A standard gets defined, then tools become available to produce content which includes a proprietary method of achieving a result, but this fragments the audience. Why do sites and users put up with this?

O3D? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991859)

WebGL Standard to Bring 3D Acceleration to Browsers?

Except for the fact that it's already there. [google.com]

But by all means, let's introduce another incompatible 3D graphics API into the mix...I'm sure it won't be anything like the whole OpenGL/DirectX mess.

STOP! (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991879)

Meanwhile I am trying to find a way to get Firefox to STOP automatic animation. It used to be easy- don't use Flash and disable animated GIF's. Now with Ajax and Javascript, it is nearly impossible.

* Many people (myself included) can't stand movement on pages while we are trying to read things.
* Some people are using thin clients and animation destroys network bandwidth or overloads the main server.
* Still others are on slower, older computers and animation slows their system to a crawl.
* And many more are on laptops/netbooks and animation pegs the CPU and quickly drains the battery.

IMHO, a well-designed site will never create movement unless the user asks for it (with a mouse-over or click or whatever). But that would be a "in a perfect world" type fantasy.

Please, don't bother replying suggesting "noscript"- it breaks necessary functionality of sites horribly.

Re:STOP! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991895)

[quote]Please, don't bother replying suggesting "noscript"- it breaks necessary functionality of sites horribly.[/quote] ur doin it rong.

Re:STOP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992235)

Oh, the delicious irony.

ur both doin it rong

Mark, learn how to use NoScript before your whining.
Or, y'know, get Lynx / Elinks / other text browsers here.

Re:STOP! (2, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992019)

On my netbook I don't have any problems with Web animations. Most of the stuff is properly blocked by Firefox plugins. Just try to configure them better, it's worth the time.

Re:STOP! (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992217)

Please, don't bother replying suggesting "noscript"- it breaks necessary functionality of sites horribly.

That's what the white list is for.

Re:STOP! (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992333)

Eventually, noscript + AdBlock.

I've yet to find anything functioning better, and I'll rather have NoScript breaking things over meaningless blinkenlights.

Re:STOP! (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992595)

If you want browser control over animations, then take a look at WebKit's CSS Animation proposal [webkit.org]. Instead of driving animations with opaque Javascript you can specify them declaratively in CSS, and as a side effect the browser gains control over the implementation.

Re:STOP! (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992621)

Meanwhile I am trying to find a way to get Firefox to STOP automatic animation

yep, and when this is a true standard, I've no doubt there will be options to control it better. That'll be far better solution than adblock or other 'all or nothing' (relatively speaking) filtering controls.

Re:STOP! (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992739)

controldescripts [mozdev.org] allows what your asking for (well the disabling ajax and javascript animations, othertools will block flash and esc will stop gifs), unfortunately setting it up was beyond me, but the functionality to restrict the js commands a site has access to is there, so i just use noscript+temporarily allow default domain.

Re:STOP! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992843)

One word: NoScript

Re:STOP! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992853)

Ooops missed the last sentence of your last post. Oh well, I don't agree with it anyways. Whenever a site seems broken I automatically add it to the whitelist. Of course half the time that doesn't fix it and the site is just plain broken, but at least it's not NoScript's fault then.

VRML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992027)

Any one else remember VRML in netscape? Is this really going to be better? (read in any way useful)

those are some awfully dry pipes you have there (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992271)

does anyone believe that at any point the hardware would be the bottleneck?

Re:those are some awfully dry pipes you have there (1)

Rozine (1345911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992539)

My hardware is the bottleneck on the current web. Flash + Linux + P4 = slow. So yes, I believe it.

Exploits for the future (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992283)

OK - I'm predicting what will happen a few years down the road - Browser based OpenGL exploits based on browsers and/or OS and/or Graphics Vendor Driver and/or GPU hardware bugs in OpenGL implementaiton.
Fast forward a few more years and exploits in OpenGL spilling over into running OpenCL / DirectX? code on the graphics cards. Which by then will be defacto and be running some core OS services.

Boy things are going to get interesting....

Re:Exploits for the future (2, Funny)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992795)

Yeah... it would be real nice if the general public had access to the source code in some kind of Open fashion regards to browsers such as Firefox or Webkit/Safari/Chrome so that stuff like exploits can be patched, making it would be possible to have tons of eyeballs pore over the code and be able to submit fixes on behalf of the community, or point out bad stuff that perhaps some other developers may have missed.

That would be cool.

Non-standard, but you can do GL in a Java applet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992457)

Years ago when I was messing around with Java bindings for OpenGL, I discovered that it's fairly trivial to write a browser applet that uses GL.. However the user has to put the right .jar and .so/.dll/dynlib (depending on platform) in the right directory to make it work.

So I have to ask -- why is this remarkable? I had GL in a browser many years ago.

Re:Non-standard, but you can do GL in a Java apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992617)

uh, because putting the right jar in the right folder is beyond 99.9 % of computer users.

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