[webkit-dev] WebKit and Khronos Group

Chris Marrin cmarrin at apple.com
Mon Aug 10 07:19:57 PDT 2009

On Aug 8, 2009, at 7:02 PM, Jeremy Orlow wrote:

> 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.  :-)

It was the OpenGL conference and they showed a working implementation  
of WebGL (with some unknown vintage of the current API) at the OpenGL  
BOF. It was well received. But they were also showing O3D on the  
exhibition floor. So they are apparently pursuing both approaches. As  
far as I know they are not attempting to move O3D through any  
standards body. So for now it is just a Google experiment.

cmarrin at apple.com

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