Google has also been working on an alternative, called O3D.
Let’s first talk about the technical differencies between the two projects.
*) do all parent-child matrix calculations for a transform graph.
*) all culling calculations (bounding box to frustum or other)
*) all sorting calculations for dealing with transparent objects.
*) all animation calculations.
will be able to do that anytime soon and if it can then just add more than one kitty to pass its limits.
Also we have to keep in mind that not all hardware supports OpenGL ES.
Furthermore Google has open-sourced O3D through its Google Code website. Which means we can all have a look at their code and participate in the project. This resulted in a lot of documentation being available. For a full overview of how O3D works check out the technical overview on the O3D project page.
Do you think that this is the making of a new “Standards war”? Both Google and Khronos are adamant that they are not competing. However I believe that ultimately only one project will come out as a standard. As the complexity of 3D web applications increases it is not feasible to write code for both “APIs”. The only question for me at this point is who will come out on top.
To answer this I would look at the audience of the two projects. OpenGL has been out in the wild for a long while and many developers of videogames, or general graphic application, are already familiar with the APIs and the way it works, therefore it would probably make sense for them to embrace WebGL.
Nonetheless O3D still stands a chance. For a very simple reason. It’s the web we’re talking about.
Frankly I can’t see myself playing a big videogame like fallout in a browser window anytime soon. These APIs will be used to enrich web application. Some examples are already coming out using O3D. Have a look at this Home Designer. Can’t you already see IKEA using it.
My point here is that we’re not likely to see game developers switch to the web. We’re much more likely to see web developers start working on games or application involving 3d graphics, and this is where Google wins.
What do you think?