[webkit-dev] WebKit and Khronos Group

Jeremy Orlow jorlow at chromium.org
Sat Aug 8 19:02:58 PDT 2009

On Sat, Aug 8, 2009 at 2:02 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> On Aug 8, 2009, at 11:39 AM, Harry Underwood wrote:
> Thanks for the link. Didn't even know that WebGL is being considered by
> WebKit.
> What Oliver showed you is patches to pretty much fully implement it, done
> by an Apple employee. So we're doing more than considering it. I expect
> there will be more to announce when the patches land.
> But another question, if you don't mind. Is O3D considered as a technical
> competitor or conflict with Apple's CSS and SVG extensions, or should it be
> considered as such?
> We do have some extensions to do 3D transforms with CSS, creating "2.5D"
> visuals with flat CSS boxes manipulated in 3D, and fully integrated with the
> page content. For example, you can use it to apply 3D effects to a
> navigation menu or a video. O3D is much more about creating full 3D models
> and scenes, without tight integration with the Web content. In that respect,
> O3D is more of a competitor for WebGL than 3D transforms/transitions.

I'm not personally involved in the WebGL or O3D efforts, but I can speak to
some of this.

I agree that O3D and WebGL are more similar to each other than the CSS 3D
transforms.  Both are fairly low level, though they take fairly different
approaches to rendering.  O3D is a retained mode API (somewhat like SVG)
whereas WebGL is an immediate mode API (much like Canvas).  In other words,
for O3D, you use JavaScript to build up a scene and transform it between
frames.  In WebGL you use JavaScript to explicitly render each frame.  The
latter gives you more control but is more limited by the speed of JavaScript
and the WebGL bindings.  I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that
all three technologies are actually complementary to each other.

Incidentally, it's my understanding that Google showed off a prototype
version of Chrome running both O3D and WebGL at some conference last week.
 It's pretty cool how fast things are moving with respect to 3D on the web.

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