[whatwg] Web Applications and 3D

Burak Emir Burak.Emir at epfl.ch
Tue May 16 07:29:36 PDT 2006

Ian Hickson wrote:

>On Thu, 28 Apr 2005, R.J.Koppes wrote:
>>[...] So apart from high end application like games, I think it could be 
>>useful to have some generic 3d drawing canvas
>Yes, I think you're right. We just need someone who understands 3D to 
>write up the spec for it! :-)
Recently I had gathered some info on 3d visualization (but then gave up 
on the project). Here's my thoughts (but I am not a specialist)

The Canvas3d should probably expose some standard(=already 
deployed,known,used,loved) 3d API in the form of JavaScript objects.

Choices are:
* OpenGL API is vertex based, procedural. present on virtually all 
platforms, hardware support. quite low-level.
* Java3D API more high-level, user has to set up some object-oriented 
model in scene-graphs
* some trickery using X3D

On X3D, this is a declarative XML applications like SVG so it's not 
clear to me how it relates to an API.
Whatever one comes up with in that respect, intuitively X3D should be to 
Canvas3D what SVG is to Canvas2d.

Java3D is built on top of OpenGL, and messing with gazillions of objects 
and interacting with a heavyweight Java library is probably out of 
question for a Javascript environment IMHO.

There might be more, I only looked at these.

My personal conclusion was that anybody who wants to do 3d in a browser 
must have thought "if there only was a way to expose OpenGL API to 
JavaScript (and have browsers implement this as thin wrappers around the 
C library routines)".

my 2 centimes,
Burak Emir

Burak Emir


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