O3D and WebGL as JavsScript Library

Google announced today that its O3D online 3D graphics API is changing directions to a JavaScript library that runs on top of WebGL. Users and developers will still be able to download the plug-in and source code for a year or better, but Google will stop developing O3D as a plug-in and focus on improving WebGL and o3D as a library.

“We did not take this decision lightly,” says the company. “In initial discussions we had about WebGL, we were concerned that JavaScript would be too slow to drive a low-level API like OpenGL and we were convinced that a higher level approach like the O3D scene graph would yield better results. We were also cognizant of the lack of installed OpenGL drivers on many Windows machines, and that this could hamper WebGL’s adoption.”

“Since then, JavaScript has become a lot faster,” Google adds. “We’ve been very impressed by the demos that developers have created with WebGL, and with the ANGLE project, we believe that Chromium will be able to run WebGL content on Windows computers without having to rely on installed OpenGL drivers.”

The O3D proejct site can be found here. It shows some samples from a WebGL-enabled browser.

Developers are calling the O3D move to a JavaScript library a “great win for WebGL and standards.”

By Chris Crum

Chris Crum is a staff writer and content coordinator for iEntry.

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