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Google Trying Anew for a 3-D Web

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O3D beach sample

O3D lets browsers show accelerated 3-D graphics such as this island scene.


Google is breathing new life into its effort to bring hardware-accelerated three-dimensional (3-D) graphics to the Internet. Google is rebuilding its languishing O3D browser plug-in for accelerated 3-D Web graphics using Mozilla's WebGL standard. The result could bring 3-D graphics on the Internet closer to practical realization while also forging more cooperation between Google and Mozilla.

Performance is one issue of concern for the rebuilt O3D plug-in, with Google programmer Gregg Tavares citing WebGL's reliance on JavaScript to execute an application's scene graph. Employing WebGL entails that tasks O3D performs are written in JavaScript as well, and programmers generally agree that JavaScript is not fast in comparison to compiled software. Furthermore, for those who have coded software using O3D, it is unclear how many of its interfaces will be available.

Nevertheless, Google is committed to bringing 3-D technology to the Web. "We are strong supporters of 3D on the Web and are working hard to bring this functionality to browsers through technologies like O3D and WebGL," says Google's Eitan Bencuya.

From CNet
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