WEBGL VERSION OF FIREFOX 4 RELEASED – Native Web3D in a Browser- Finally

Well it only took 15 years of bad techie politics and egos to get us to a place where 3D rt media plays natively in a popular browser. Firefox 4.0 with webgl support active has shipped and as of last night demos of “slow” but working web3d content can now be seen as easy as a jpeg or gif or html file. Now the game is to get exporters for the most popular 3d apps like Max and Maya, and Im sure thats only a few weeks away. Blender has a web3d exporter for download offered today, and I need to go find the old “o3d” files I had made when Google was the buzz around its O3D initiative before it tossed its support toward the Mozilla/ Kronos/ WebGL players.

It’s all so tiring and late by a decade, but it’s good to finally start the interface media change over on the web. Since it’s already beginning to excite those on mobile devices. The shame is that it’ll be the  mobile devices that make 3d interfaces mainstream, and that the same people who fought over tech issues for 15 years may be involved again in holding back creators visions of user experiences, for their own coder religious ego based biases.

The next steps. already announced by companies like Unity3d are to make “actual” real-time 3d content authoring tools ( for sale-not sas) and allow them to compete via price and capabilities in a free market that serves designers and their clients. A system that allows a full ecosystem for RT3D media to flourish.

Let’s hope that dosen’t take another 15 years.

 

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2 Responses to WEBGL VERSION OF FIREFOX 4 RELEASED – Native Web3D in a Browser- Finally

  1. Pingback: WEBGL VERSION OF FIREFOX 4 RELEASED – Native Web3D in a Browser- Finally | thewikipress.com

  2. Viveka says:

    Actually the deployment and authoring story isn’t as bad as all that, thanks to the fine folks at Fraunhofer and Media Machines.

    Deployment: x3dom is a freely available implementation of X3D written in JavaScript that runs on top of WebGL. Sounds cumbersome but in fact it’s the same stack as ever, just at the browser level instead of the OS level, and it works fine. One line of code in your HTML head to include the x3dom .js file and you’re up and running.

    Authoring: Everything exports VRML geometry. And Flux Studio, a full VRML/X3D authoring environment, is available for free; jettisoned from the Media Machines mothership prior to their sale to Microsoft.

    So, author in Flux Studio and deploy with x3dom, and your VRML or X3D worlds will finally run natively in a browser. Firefox 4 and Chrome out of the box. Safari and Opera have it built in but not turned on; to test on Safari download the latest Webkit nightly build and for Opera you need their preview edition. Hopefully they’ll switch on at some point. It’s unlikely that Microsoft will ever support WebGL in IE, but hopefully they’ll come out with their own thing while Fraunhofer is still interested enough to extend x3dom to support it.

    So, Web3D is finally where the Web was in 1997: you can deploy a site using open standards and it will Just Work – except in IE.

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