Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the adding-some-depth dept.

Programming 320

First time accepted submitter clockwise_music writes "With HTML5 we're closer to the point where a browser can do almost everything that a native app can do. The final frontier is 3D, but WebGL isn't even part of the HTML5 standard, Microsoft refuses to support it, Apple wants to push their native apps and it's not supported in the Android mobile browser. Flash used to be an option but Adobe have dropped mobile support. To reach most people you'd have to learn Javascript, WebGL and Three.js/Scene.js for Chrome/Firefox, then you'd have to learn Actionscript + Flash for the Microsofties, then learn Objective-C for the apple fanboys, then learn Java to write a native app for Android. When will 3D finally become available for all? Do you think it's inevitable or will it never see the light of day?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (5, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | about 2 years ago | (#42934339)

I suffered through the VRML list back in the day when people first wanted to make 3D cyberspace.

There's a conflict: you either model 3D functional worlds, or the underlying structure, or you create a language which can draw things in 3D.

The problem with the latter is that it's not stand alone, but requires people to come up with an intersection of code, resources and aesthetics.

What people actually need is the former, which is the ability to create functional 3D models and describe them in a language like HTML, and have the browser itself create an interactive world from that.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (4, Interesting)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about 2 years ago | (#42934375)

I guess you might be stating my opinion; but my thought is why? What is the 3d web going to give me that 2d doesn't?

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (5, Funny)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 2 years ago | (#42934401)

A replacement for Unity.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934839)

try using MATE.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934405)

In my case, it'd give me headaches.

A plus for some people who clearly aren't me.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934437)

I guess you might be stating my opinion; but my thought is why? What is the 3d web going to give me that 2d doesn't?

Precisely one more D. More D's are better, just like GB's and WiFi's. And let us not forget 11.

Physics = Rock and Roll (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42934489)

I get it! I finally get it! String theory is just physicists turning it up to 11 !!!

(I admit I actually have replacement knobs on my Fender twin that do go to 11...)

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934751)

but do you really need more than DD's?

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 2 years ago | (#42934457)

There is a simple answer: Everything 3d you do now 3d on the desktop:
-Gaming. That is gaming without download a game client, natively in the browser.
-Fancy moving windows/text boxes arround. Like unity. Not because is is required to do your work, but it looks nice.
-Everything that now needs some kind of download.

Webgl seems the ony option. Maybe a simpler version might be required that can be implemented safely. But even then it is far away from using at every platform.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (3, Interesting)

TheGavster (774657) | about 2 years ago | (#42934723)

You're still downloading the game and resources, it's just disguised as the startup being painfully laggy, with the added fun of having to download it all again if you want to play on another machine or your browser decides to clean house.

Not in the present crop of browsers, tho (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#42934493)

3D can be very handy in architecture, or sculpting, or engineering

However, current crop of browsers just ain't there yet, for the power of 3D to shine

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (4, Informative)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 2 years ago | (#42934503)

Better porn.

Which is of course the answer to any question about when will the web have X? When the porn industry wants to make more money.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934783)

DD ought to be enough for everyone

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42934679)

I guess you might be stating my opinion; but my thought is why? What is the 3d web going to give me that 2d doesn't?

I've been around 3D for decades and I still don't know what people are imagining when they say "3D web!!"

(and AFAICT the people want it most are all stoners...)

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934777)

As far as information content is concerned, the answer is of course, nothing. Consider that the same argument can be given about 2D graphics versus plain text. Humans prefer what they consider a more pleasant experience. I played with 3D myself perhaps 10 years ago. I saw some rudimentary but cool things, things that I said, "hey, come look at this", to people. Unfortunately, given the accurate reasons already given by the samzenpus, it would currently be a waste of anyone's time.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934391)

We don't *need* it at all...

And this answers the article question, too.

Re:Underlying structure versus pretty pictures. (3, Insightful)

methano (519830) | about 2 years ago | (#42934521)

The whole bunch of people who think about graphics on the web are always behind. The underlying framework for 2D (.svg etc.) is just now being developed and embraced. Back in the 90's when we really could have used such things due to such low bandwidth availability, we were bit mapping everything.

Apple understood this back in 1984 when they did all the primitive stuff in ROM. But as Apple faded and MS took over in the early 90's, intelligent graphics for the masses went missing. MS even killed a Mac graphics capable database (FoxBase) by buying it and taking out it's graphics capabilities. 3D? not likely anytime soon.

Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934351)

Because you'd need 6 dimensions to fully simulate MY THROBBING FUCKING COCK.

Fascinating... (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42934433)

Oh, I get it. Like a tesseract. Everyone else sees it as smaller on the outside than it is from your POV.
 

Re:Niagra's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934461)

Because you'd need 6 dimensions to fully simulate MY THROBBING FUCKING COCK.

Is that your excuse? "Hey baby, it might look like I only have a two-and-a-half-inch cock, but it's actually eight-and-a-half when viewed in the fifth dimension, which you can't perceive, being only three-dimensional. Also, while my personality might seem to be that of a sad, basement-dwelling adolescent of repellent character with nothing better to do than post lame Slashdot trolls, I'm really incredibly charismatic when viewed in my full six-dimensional glory."

Re:Niggers (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#42934791)

Oh, great, another string theorist waving around his Calabi-Yau shaped penis. Let us know when science is capable of measuring your Planck length prick.

Still Doesn't work in Links (3, Funny)

Arab (466938) | about 2 years ago | (#42934353)

Unless it's supported in Links I'm not going to use 3D...

Re:Still Doesn't work in Links (1, Troll)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 2 years ago | (#42934419)

That was a great golf game......

Now, if you meant Lynx the browser, well, good luck with that.

Re:Still Doesn't work in Links (3, Informative)

FBeans (2201802) | about 2 years ago | (#42934497)

I think he means Links [wikipedia.org] . I think it's a valid point to raise, the web is great because you can access it with a large variety of browsers. Having 3D websites would force us to reconsider this, do we support just 3D or do we create both 3D and 2D website. More importantly, 3D is fundamentally flawed. I'm not sure how happy I'd be if I had to fight a headache every time I browse the web. The answer to the OPs question may well be, just because we /could/, doesn't mean we need or want to. The work required outweighs the benefits.

Re:Still Doesn't work in Links (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#42934477)

Unless it's supported in Links I'm not going to use 3D...

Bollocks to that, I'm not using it unless it's supported in *Lynx* running on an 80-column greenscreen terminal.

Re:Still Doesn't work in Links (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#42934699)

or a screenreader. just to use an actually usefull example.

Re:Still Doesn't work in Links (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934599)

Sort of like canvas or img? Go away, people are talking about modern features you fucking throwback trog.

A better question (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42934355)

Why should take off? What's the drive behind it? What need does it satisfy?
You can't push out something without a market. Flash created a market for 2D web graphics, and now HTML5 standardizes that based on the experience we had in the Flash years. Unity is doing the same thing for 3D, but it will take a while before 3D on the web becomes common enough to need standardization.

Re:A better question (1)

larwe (858929) | about 2 years ago | (#42934373)

I was just about to post the exact same question. I don't see a use case besides games. Gaming ecosystems are guarded by jealous dragons.

It has alwasy had a market (5, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42934551)

Why should take off? What's the drive behind it? What need does it satisfy?

I sold medical hardware through the web using a 3rd party plug-in 10 years ago, and it was wow. Here is a small list
Education - Planetary Systems, Engines, Inside Human Body
Lets Break out of 2D - Streetview 3D...or walk where it is unsafe...Warzones, Mars...or even oil rigs safety training ....or lets face it the only really one. SHOPPING, no more multiple static views of item.

As I said I did this years ago for a company, it looked great, but it was a clunky implementation.

Re:It has alwasy had a market (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42934789)

, but it was a clunky implementation.

Well, so's the webGL implementation.

I remember a story a while back about getting nearly 45 FPS on a shooter on a fast desktop (first gen Core i7) using WebGL.

Of course the shooter was Quake II.

Which was nicely playable (don't remember the exact FPS, though it didn't always maintain 45 in very large scenes) on my P133 with an Nvidia Riva128 graphics card.

Re:A better question (2)

leptogenesis (1305483) | about 2 years ago | (#42934559)

Google already wants to use it in maps. I personally would prefer if Google Maps worked like Google Earth. Online stores like Amazon tend to show multiple views of products. Why not just provide a 3d model users can rotate themselves? This is especially true for the sites providing models aimed at 3D printing.

Data visualizations use 3D all the time; it's built into most scientific plotting softwares.

Building 3D models of arbitrary scenes from just images is rapidly leaving the research world, as demonstrated by recent 3D reconstruction projects like Building Rome In a Day [washington.edu] (A research page, which, by the way could greatly benefit from 3D web). I wouldn't be surprised if artists start uploading their sculptures, or parents start uploading models of their kids' sandcastles.

And these are just the applications I can think of with dumb 3d models, no physics.

Re:A better question (2)

szquirrel (140575) | about 2 years ago | (#42934601)

Why? For e-commerce. Especially for products that are made to order, anything that cuts down on return rates ("this isn't what I thought I saw on the website") is worth putting some money into. I'm working on exactly this sort of project right now and we finally made the decision to cut 3D because support is so patchy.

End user support isn't the whole problem though. You also need 3D models with enough detail to look smooth but small enough to deliver over the web. If you can even get 3D models for a product they're usually the designer's CAD files which are huge and not easily converted to a format used by a gaming-type 3D engine.

Re:A better question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934605)

Well, marketing. Check out the examples in Three.js page [github.com] . The first one is from Disney, it loads slowly but shows the potential.

It just takes time to ripple for usage.

Re:A better question (1)

geogob (569250) | about 2 years ago | (#42934625)

This question : "Do we actually need this?" should be asked more often when new technologies are coming up.

If a new technology fails to come forward in today's world, I think the question is even more relevant.

(and sorry to the OP. I accidentally moded you wrong... you know... mouse slipped. Hence this somewhat pointless comment.)

Re:A better question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934703)

Why should take off? What's the drive behind it? What need does it satisfy?

Very good questions!
Of course, 3D graphics has its uses. It is popular in some games, and sometimes useful for science. But that doesn't mean it is needed in a web browser.

We have no need for running "everything in a browser". The browser is just one of many applications - and it is not the only one capable of communication over the internet either.

"Everything in a browser" sounds like someting a marketing person might like to say - but there is no substance to it, no need, no particular positive effect . . .

3D will come ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934359)

3D will come when it's worth a damn. Everything 3D is either FPS or gimmick. There are a few tiny edge cases, but everything else is FPS or gimmick. Given how much more 3D content costs to create and how tough it is to do well (only FPS and a few edge cases), it's not worth the trouble, kind of like 3D tv's.

Please define "gimmick" and "edge cases" (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42934553)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

There are a few tiny edge cases

What's with this recurring meme that I've been seeing on Slashdot lately that edge cases should be ignored? If everybody has his own edge case, then why not allow something that handles all the edge cases acceptably?

but everything else is FPS or gimmick.

True, one of the first video games with a 3D perspective (Battlezone) was the ur-first-person-shooter, but 3D games in other genres have been popular since the mid-1990s. Or is every other video game genre "gimmick" and "few tiny edge cases" to you? I'm not getting what you mean by "gimmick"; in the circles where I hang out, "gimmick" refers to a 2D platformer for the NES published by Sunsoft with a design aesthetic similar to that of the Kirby games.

kind of like 3D tv's

The "3D" in "3D TV" and the "3D" in WebGL are two different things. WebGL just defines a way to project 3D geometry into a display plane. This display plane may or may not be presented with binocular separation, which is what the "3D" in "3D TV" and "Nintendo 3DS" means.

Re:Please define "gimmick" and "edge cases" (1)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about 2 years ago | (#42934645)

The "3D" in "3D TV" and the "3D" in WebGL are two different things. WebGL just defines a way to project 3D geometry into a display plane. This display plane may or may not be presented with binocular separation, which is what the "3D" in "3D TV" and "Nintendo 3DS" means.

That was the most useful comment of all till now. Please, mod it up!

Re:Please define "gimmick" and "edge cases" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934805)

Why? Because edge cases are hard, which means expensive. An 80% solution is easy, fast and cheap. A 95% solution is achievable, but expensive. Your government keeps trying to spec and buy 100% solutions, which are impossible and send billions of dollars to defense contractors with nothing to show for it.

Oh, and the 3D in my eyeballs is the same as the 3D in my eyeballs. It's about the consumer, not the creator.

If it's anything like the Movies... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#42934361)

It'll be a niche market at home, initially attracting those who like to acquire the newest shiny tech just to have it.

blurb answers its own question (0)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42934365)

There are competing infrastructure proposals for how to get 3D onto the web, each of which has buy-in from some but not all of the major vendors. As a result, 3d hasn't taken off on the web because there's no widely supported standard.

Re:blurb answers its own question (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42934483)

More likely, it hasn't taken off because people haven't found the right way to use it. 3D file browsers [sourceforge.net] have been around since the early 90s at least (Jurassic Park anyone? "It's UNIX! I know this!"), and while they're kind of cool they're just not as fast and intuitive as the standard 2D systems.

Wrong question (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#42934379)

The question should be ..

What is the compelling user experience that would be enabled by 3D?

And what do you really mean by 3D? Do you mean projections onto a 2D surface of a 3D model? Or do you mean something like the spinning displays that render voxels that you can actually walk around? Because a genuine, cheap, ubiquitous 3D display would open up all sorts of possibilities.

Because... (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42934389)

First of all, it's NOT 3D. It's fixed optical stereo. Which leads to headaches due to many bad cues for your visual system, and only barely looks 3D if you hold still and pretend there's only one fixed viewpoint in the world. Which isn't true, and under the circumstances of pretending there is, you lose a great deal of interesting visual information. You get one view out of a huge number of possibilities.

Secondly because real 3D is hard; consumers don't have display devices for it yet.

Third, because real 3D is extremely data heavy at some point in the process; even if your connection was fast enough to get your POV out to the server and the server and connection fast enough to get the data back to you, the server still has to cough up a lot of data that's different every time from a very large base. If the display device is doing the job, it has to have all the data, all the time.

It's NOT 3D. You have been marketed.

Re:Because... (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42934439)

I don't think the submitter is asking about the optical-stereo kind of 3d (like what you get with "3d movies" and "3d glasses"), but rather just geometric projections of 3d scenes onto a 2d viewing plane, like you get in Leonardo da Vinci paintings or Quake.

Re:Because... (-1, Flamebait)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42934501)

Yeah. That's called 2D. :)

Re:Because... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42934655)

True, but there is some hardware and software infrastructure to accelerate that particular kind of 2d, namely GPUs and OpenGL. :)

As for whether we need access to it on the web, so far I haven't seen much in the way of a compelling case. Maybe in the future there will be more browser-based graphics-heavy games that need it. Or something like Google Earth could run in the browser, but it's interesting that even Google, one of the most pro-web companies, isn't running Google Earth on WebGL.

Noninteractive vs. interactive (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42934585)

Noninteractive "geometric projections of 3d scenes onto a 2d viewing plane", such as Mona Lisa, can be done server-side. Interactive ones, such as Quake, can be rebuilt for each client platform. True, duplicating effort for each client platform poses an entry barrier, but I can think of a few Slashdot users who regularly post comments showing a desire for entry barriers for anything interactive in order to protect end users from having their time wasted by a glut of novice productions.

Re:Because... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42934469)

this has actually nothing to do with stereo-vision.

it's just about why we can't add game like graphics into web pages in a standardized way.

the reason is that nobody gives a shit and the implementations are either shit world describing languages with shit implementations(vrml) or just opengl wrappers(webgl) that are good only for games.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934515)

I think this rant belongs on a thread where people are talking about stereo 3D display systems.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934547)

What in gods name are you going on about?

This is about 3D graphics, not 3D monitors!

That was plainly obvious in the summary.
Nobody was questioning whether it was real 3D or pseudo-3D using virtual depth.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934567)

yeah

wouldnt i need some 120 thing and use glasses i can notice the lack of 3d in things? have you seen a 3dmovie lately, hmm i've not seen that avatar lame ness, heard it was 3d

me i live in 3d world, i go to movies to suspend my disbeliefe, somehow 3d doesnt work, maybe in the future

Re:Because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934641)

As noted, the submitter isn't talking about this anyway, but just to offer an alternative opinion...

Stereoscopic 3D works well for me. It's a vivid, immersive sensation with tangible benefits in some scenarios. You also list limitations, many of which I agree with. However, calling it 3D seems both descriptive and fair to me. It does, for me, produce an image which is faithfully 3D. All 3D is created in the brain, it is a perception, and stereo vision is an important part of creating that perception. For me, the stereo component is enough for my brain to kick in the 3D illusion, making it *as 3D as any other image* (this does not make 2D sources "converted" to 3D look *good*, they look stupid, like popup books. But they do look 3D). I realise this is simply not the same for all people, some people truthfully do find stereoscopic images flat.

Those people are going to feel cheated by eg 3D movies, which are more expensive and can be less bright / lower contrast, which I feel is what you are talking about. I am not one of those people.

If stereoscopic 3D works for you, on computer monitors it is incredibly useful for scientific and medical imaging, where it has been continuously in use long before the current 3D movie phase. It is provably useful for eg keyhole surgery. Is is "true" 3D? No. Is it 3D? Yes - it is perceived as a three dimensional image.

TL;DR - you sound angry because you can't see the sailboat. But there really is a sailboat, for some people.

Is it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934393)

...because 3D on the web is- and always has been- one of those things sounds cool and cyberpunkish when seen in a film (*) or imagined, in reality it doesn't really add *that* much to the online experience and people just aren't that bothered about it in real life?

Remember the Second Life hype a few years ago? The media went on and on about that, but how many people actually used it when it came to the crunch? Relatively few. I never did, despite the fact that 15 years before I'd have thought the prospect of interacting with people all over the world in a virtual reality would be the coolest thing ever.

(*) They had pretend 3D graphics in the "hacking" scene in Cool Science in 1985, so this association has been around a long time.

Personally (1)

james_van (2241758) | about 2 years ago | (#42934399)

I don't think it will take off anytime in the near future. The way that we interact with computers is so ingrained in us that the 3D paradigm is just to foreign for the average user. Sure, movies make it look cool and easy, but out side of gaming and CAD, there just isn't an accepting market. Meanwhile, if you do want to get into 3D development (dons flameproof suit and hunkers down for the inevitable explosion), Flash is still a viable option. Using the Air platform you can target Windows and Mac desktop, Android and IOS (as apps), and with little to no code change, also target any browser that still has the Flash Player installed. At the moment, that's the best option for developing 3D and hitting the highest number of platforms. However, expect much hate and discontent from nerds and fanbois when you mention developing anything in Flash.

After all, we live in Flatland (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42934463)

the 3D paradigm is just to(sic) foreign for the average user.

Yes, yes, this is it. Every day I am thankful that my life consists of no more than navigating a 2D space. WTH would you *do* with a third dimension, anyway?

How's the incomestream on your Second Life store? (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 2 years ago | (#42934607)

Precisely. What do I want to do with a *virtual* 3D space? Or, what do *I* want to do with a 3D space.

Simulation of virtual spaces, games, showing 3D objects.I think this is what 3D might offer. Until now, quite poorly. But not a great deal of need for me to do that. I suspect for most people it's just not a bit deal. So there's no money in it. How's the income on your Second Life store these days? Selling many sports shoes / domestic electrical goods / holiday packages to Australia? Why *don't* 3D spaces work?

For the majority of the time, I use the web as an information gathering and dissemination environment so 2D is just fine. Searching for journal articles just works better in text, don't give me virtual bookshelves to fly around, they don't give me any advantages. Posting messages to my professional colleagues works in text. Finding out about the weather works in 2D graphics. I think people need to see some advantages that they can't get from 2D or in any other communication format to take up 3D.

I've played around with 3D spaces since the mid-90s (SGI Indigo2 can do 3d graphics! let's experiment!) up to having a go at Second Life a few years ago. The big question in my mind has always been "what does it give me that other formats don't give me?". Up to now, I've not seen the "killer app". Any thoughts on what it might be? I am still racking my brains. For an engineer building models, yes, but for general users... I am still looking.

I live in a real 3D space and interact as embodied being in this space. You are correct, I can conceptualise this kind of environment. But I do so because I have to, and it doesn't mean it's ideal for some tasks. If I could avoid long haul flights by pressing a button rather than catching a taxi, sitting on a train, waiting in an airport, sitting on a plane for 12 hours - great! You and others who believe in 3D need to come up with the advantages over 2D.

Real life is a fairly flat land (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42934617)

Every day I am thankful that my life consists of no more than navigating a 2D space.

The everyday life of the majority of people has a fractal dimension [wikipedia.org] far closer to two than three. When you navigate the real world, you navigate in a plane, with one dimension north and south and the other dimension east and west. Even when you go up and down, it's typically in discrete units called "floors" or "stories" (spelled "storeys" in the Commonwealth) which can be regarded as separate planes.

Re:Real life is a fairly flat land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934755)

Interesting, but incomplete. Every time you pick something up (or otherwise manipulate with your hands/body), every time you navigate traffic, and with lots of other interactions with the world, you actually do operate in 3 dimensions.

Re:Real life is a fairly flat land (1)

baffled (1034554) | about 2 years ago | (#42934843)

So you typically traverse paths within a 2d plane, and your vision is presented in essentially a 2d plane with 3d cues embedded. Your perspective of your traversal path limits your view of that space to a small section of it, whereas a 2d working plane on a computer monitor is wholly existent, and the user typically brings objects into and out of that space.

It seems to me there is much to be done in bringing our physical interaction and our visual interface with computers into a mode that is more intuitive and similar to how we interact with physical reality. Once we reach that milestone we can still take it further by maximizing the efficiency of how our minds track and model concepts that we are working with in tandem with a computer. My guess, at that point we'll need some kind of neuro-interface for sufficient feedback to the system to achieve satisfactory coupling of mind-machine.

It is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934403)

It is! It's called Unity

Well...I'd hope it better stays away. (4, Funny)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#42934409)

Because people will start abusing the hell out of it [stackexchange.com] .

Re:Well...I'd hope it better stays away. (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#42934813)

Well, that post sounds like a pretty cool idea.

If your use case relies more on beeing cool than being productive. (Don't get me wrong: this IS a valid use case category. Think of games or design heavy sites)

Gosh, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934411)

The Web is already as bad as it gets.

I seriously hope it takes as long as it takes.

Or... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#42934413)

To reach most people you'd have to learn Javascript, WebGL and Three.js/Scene.js for Chrome/Firefox, then you'd have to learn actionscript + flash for the microsofties, then learn objective c for the apple fanboyz, then learn Java to write a native app for Android.

You could do all of that and get crappy 3D (except for maybe the last one), or you could just write something in OpenGL and compile and run it anywhere you want natively. If there was a demand you could even skip the compiling (there are JIT OpenGL compilers). Why must we shoehorn every last thing onto a platform that was meant to display text?

Re:Or... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 2 years ago | (#42934563)

Because it's the only piece of cross-platform middleware that's taken off. Cross-platform compiled apps are a lot harder to do than web apps on a more or less common platform. The differences between IE, Firefox and Webkit browsers are far smaller than the differences between Windows, OS X and the various Linux distros.

Permission boundary (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42934639)

or you could just write something in OpenGL and compile and run it anywhere you want natively.

Running something natively generally involves crossing an end-user permission boundary. Remember ActiveX? Furthermore, more and more often, running something natively requires gaining permission from a multinational company to whom device owners have delegated the power of curation, such as Apple or the game console makers.

Why must we shoehorn every last thing onto a platform that was meant to display text?

Because it provides a sandbox such that the permission boundary of downloading and installing a native application is not necessary.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934685)

Why must we shoehorn every last thing onto a platform that was meant to display text?

+1. (or it would be if I was logged in and had mod points)

I'm all for web standards. I love the fact that we are finally able to create web sites that can be viewed by all the browsers in common use without having to resort to browser-specific hacks.

But while the push for web standards was a wonderful thing, it seems to have been hijacked and turned into a new browser war masquerading as standardisation.

The browser makers are using their rendering engines to push their own agendas, and it's starting to get annoying.

Web will have to go on a technology diet first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934415)

It was bad enough coding for web in the late 90's with the differences between the few different browsers that are available. With the plethora of technologies that are running, I'm glad I'm out of it now. However, the future will probably be with the browser being passive, simply showing what some remote system feeds it (even if that remote system is running locally) rather than having its own 3D engine.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Re:Web will have to go on a technology diet first (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#42934849)

It was bad enough coding for web in the late 90's with the differences between the few different browsers that are available. With the plethora of technologies that are running, I'm glad I'm out of it now. However, the future will probably be with the browser being passive, simply showing what some remote system feeds it (even if that remote system is running locally) rather than having its own 3D engine.

That's how I see it, anyway.

If you're still looking for a name for that concept, you might want to try "XServer"....

Passing fad (1, Insightful)

kylegordon (159137) | about 2 years ago | (#42934427)

3D is a passing fad generated by the media companies to try and push more units. Consumers haven't picked up on it as they hoped, and the web is unlikely to do so either. The real future is in higher definitions and larger screens.

And anyway, who needs 3D when you've got this? https://github.com/404.html [github.com]

Re:Passing fad (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | about 2 years ago | (#42934519)

Exactly. Just leave me allone with 3D. Regarding content, it doesn't add much to the experience.

Re:Passing fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934615)

You are a goddamned moron, right? Try reading the fucking article before drooling on the keyboard.

Re:Passing fad (3, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42934733)

Article isn't about stereoscopy, it's about OpenGL style 3D (hence webgl).

When there is an App that NEEDS 3D (2)

ocratato (2501012) | about 2 years ago | (#42934441)

Until very recently there was very little use for 3D for most people. Those few doing CAD, and some games were the only users, and they are not enough to bring 3D into the mainstream.

However we now have relatively low cost 3D movie cameras and 3D printers are also beginning to become common. I think 3D will finally start to take off.

For the same reason... (1, Offtopic)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42934455)

...it hasn't taken off in TV, video games (how many people with a 3DS just leave the 3D turned off all the time? I do), or even in movies aside from a few isolated successes. Because it's inconvenient, expensive, and doesn't add anything really compelling.

Two different definitions of 3D (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42934651)

You appear to be confusing two different definitions of "3D": projecting geometry onto a plane vs. display with binocular separation. See my other comment [slashdot.org] .

WebGL is the most promising (1)

Ajay Anand (2838487) | about 2 years ago | (#42934459)

If JavaScript API can sucessfully become universally supported then why not WebGL code which is essentially supposed to be written in JavaScript. The interpreter should take care of underlying platform. Solution is simple but we can't expect Microsoft to throw away DirectX syntax for a better cause.

The look the feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934467)

You have seen the 3-d of the movies. just imagine the headaches you could get with 3d on the web. Funky red/blue,grainey fuzzy all the factors that drive migranes.
The first sign that 3d would work nice would be a modern porn shot in the 3d. Make those tit/and appendages into real looking, not imaginary appendages. But there is the reason, porn has not addapted to 3d in a fun way. And I could not imagine the size of the screen to show it lifesize, which prn, demands.

It's not 3D, plus sucks (-1, Offtopic)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 years ago | (#42934471)

To reiterate: all images are pseudo-3D. This stuff is stereoscopic, and all it does is provide a ridiculous amount of front-back magnification. Why would anyone want "3D" content on the 'net anyway? Oh, right, because stupid.

Somehow I don't see anything other than perhaps online games hooked into goggles to provide an "immersive experience" making sensible (!!) use of this tech.

Yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934529)

Just from an economic perspective, I don't see it happening other than with a few big players with big budgets. Once you start talking about 3D programming, you're pretty much writing games or at least simulations or scenes like games. A more rational approach would be to create a branded stand alone game instead of trying to hack flat media into a 3D world. I'm reminded of all the terrible simulated "3D" interfaces that educational games tend to have.

nobody cares (0, Offtopic)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#42934539)

3d hasn't 'taken off' for television or computer games (or really even movies) despite million$ in promotion and efforts to sell new hardware.

3d is really a solution in search of a problem, particularly on the web.

The fact is that 3d today badly suffers from perspective and quality issues, and most consumers see it as pointless fluff.

In my own narrow perspective (see what I did there?) I have minor amblyopia so I TRULY don't care (obviously, I'm part of a small minority with this). I *can* force it so I can see things in 3d without too much effort. Nevertheless, I've occasionally gone to 3d movies and been totally unimpressed.*

*an experience shared by my binocularly-functional friends.

For movies, it's astonishing to me that they'll spend dozens of million$ on meticulous art design and set work to make sure the slightest detail is accurate in a film, and on imax theaters with fantastically comfortable seating and near-perfect sound...and then present it in a format that suffers badly from ghosting, bad lateral/peripheral perspective, and force the audience to watch in tremendously uncomfortable disposable, usually scratched-to-hell 3d glasses.

Re:nobody cares (3, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42934841)

If you had even read the summary, you'd know this is about 3d graphics a la OpenGL, not stereoscopic "3d" a la 3d movies.

Been there, done that (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#42934561)

Didn't VRML already proof that noone needs content that is hard to create and carries no additional information?

I can teach a 4th grader to create simple, but complete and useable websites in notepad. Even creating fancy websites is easy with Wordpad, Joomla, Frontpage, Dreamweaver, you name it.

But did you ever try to create 3D content? And it's definitly not the lack of tools for creating it.

And what kind of content would you expect in 3D anyway? Back during the VRML hype, the standard rationale why you need it were either games or 360 degrees product views. Add 3D-charts if you want. And now look at the most frequented websites today: In what way would Facebook or Twitter and whatever webmail client you're using need it?

Re:Been there, done that (4, Informative)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 2 years ago | (#42934647)

But did you ever try to create 3D content?

Yes I did. And it is not that hard either. VRML is a great language, I still want language designers to learn from its event handling system. What killed VRML in my opinion, was that the standards body was taken over by a company that wanted to push its own format. Killed by commerce.

Simple: Nobody needs it (-1, Offtopic)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#42934579)

And content creation is hugely more effort for very little benefit. The whole 3D thing is basically a fad that cannot compete with established techniques. It will go away soon.

Side note: Even asking the question is pretty stupid.

Why? (1)

danhuby (759002) | about 2 years ago | (#42934583)

I don't see why we would need pages of information to incorporate 3D elements. The only two uses I can think of are games and gimmicky UI / animations. The former would be better served via native code with a browser plugin (e.g. Unity3D) or a virtual machine (e.g. Java applets). The latter - gimmicky animations - we could probably do without.

A better use of 3D might be to use XML/HTML/HTTP type technologies to model virtual worlds that can be linked together in the same way we link pages together with anchors. We already had this with VRML and it didn't take off. It might have been ahead of its time, as bandwidth was much lower back then and hardware 3D acceleration was less common. I'm not convinced, though.

C++, OpenGL ES (2)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#42934603)

You don't have to use the languages the story states for the various platforms. You use C++ or C and OpenGL for the library and use the same code for all 3 platforms. I know because I've done it.

SAO hasn't been created yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934631)

Because there aren't yet helmets such as those in Sword Art Online

What about 4D!!? (1)

ixarux (1652631) | about 2 years ago | (#42934633)

How about a 4D space-time interweb? Where we can travel through space and time, fight gladiators, ride dinosaurs, wrong our rights, and vanish in a poof of temporal paradox

Because rasterization is the wrong model. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934643)

Second Life was capable of subsuming the browser. But it didn't. Rasterization is the wrong way to do 3d. Of course, it was the only way to do realtime 3d until recently. This year, long before the comet hits, spasim will come online: a, or actually THE, persistent toy world.

spasim.org

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61ITeNlJibQ

3-D is content creation and gaming ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#42934657)

The primary uses for 3-D are content creation and gaming. The amount of content creation done on the web is limited, primarily due to performance bottlenecks. Simply put, you don't do engineering or video production or create games on the web. The other big application is gaming. That being said, consumers seem to be happy with downloading and installing games on their computers or mobile devices.

Of course the other issue is that the Internet remains an content delivery medium. A big part of the reason for limited interactivity is that content production is hard. Text is easy to do. Photographs, recorded audio, and recorded video is only slightly challenging. Yet anything beyond that takes too much effort for most end users to care about. That's true when it comes down to editing audio and video, and it's even more true when it comes down to 3-D modelling.

No reason for corporations to embrace it (0)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#42934711)

The main push for 3D movies hasn't been audience demand but a means to prevent people from shooting the theater screens to pirate. That isn't an issue for computer monitors so there's no real advantage. For a 3D environment Apple does have Core Animation which performs those functions but it's a lot of coding to make it work. They have some cool examples of 3D databases but until it's user friendly I don't see many applications using it. I can see it a fun way to rifle through image files and some of the new Mac interfaces use it for things like flip books for viewing items. I don't see a driving need for most applications. It's already hard enough searching for files since everyone both Microsoft and Apple decided to hide more and more files for our own good. It's still quicker and easier to do a search string than spinning file trees in 3D.

Web= text plus some dressing (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 2 years ago | (#42934717)

The web is mostly just textual information. There's dressing and markup. There's an isolated video embedded in the text, but mostly it's text. And text is 2D. What is everyone going to create complicated 3D interfaces for?

WebGL sucks in most implementations (0)

allo (1728082) | about 2 years ago | (#42934773)

From time to time my android hangs, when loading a webpage, even in background ... after checking why, its every time a webpage with some WebGL-experiment.

As long as it can make your browser so unstable, its better not to use WebGL.

Web3D was horribly mismanaged, that's why... (3, Informative)

dryriver (1010635) | about 2 years ago | (#42934795)

Around 10 years ago, there were some promising Web3D technologies around. VRML was easy to create VR walkthroughs with. But there was no unified VRML browser plugin - there were multiple plugins, each with its own quirks - and it was hard to create meaningful interaction with it. Shockwave3D was introduced with Macromedia Director 8.5. It was great for creating Web3D applications. It failed on 3 counts though. 1) It had no 3D creation UI whatsoever. Everything had to be scripted by hand with Lingo code, which made it a "programmers only" 3D solution. 2) The Flash crowd put a lot of pressure on Macromedia not to develop Shockwave3D further, and to instead put a 3D engine into the Flash plugin. 3) After Adobe bought Macromedia, nobody updated the DirectX 7/OpenGL based Shockwave3D engine for several years. The engine fell behind the state-of-the-art in graphics quality, and the handful of people who were capable of using Shockwave3D stopped developing web3D apps with it. --- Then there is the sorry story of Virtools 3D, now owned by Dassault Systems. Virtools had a great 3D engine, coupled with a visual-programming paradigm that was as easy to program with as connecting visual flowchart elements with lines. Virtools failed terribly in the market because the ahead-of-their-time French company that created it insisted on pricing Virtools at 25,000 Dollars a seat or thereabouts. That was so expensive that Virtools never attracted more than a handful of users, even though it featured a powerful & easy to use toolset. ----- One more case. Quest3D combined a great-looking, web-capable 3D engine with a visual programming paradigm. But Quest3D's connect-the-nodes programming paradigm was not intuitive at all. Even though it was cheaper than Virtools, the idiosyncratic, and some would say eccentric - way you had to program Quest3D caused it to fail. ------ To sum it up in a few words, the companies that WERE capable of creating Web3D authoring tools in the early 2000s made mistake after mistake, eventually causing Web3D to fail completely. Shockwave3D had no GUI for 3D work. VRML was too simple, no good for anything more than interactive walkthroughs. Virtools was great, but cost as much as a fricking car to buy. Quest3D failed on the user-friendliness front. Flash never got a usable 3D engine integrated. ---- Basically, Web3D had lots of potential as far back as 10 years ago. But the lack of user-friendly or affordable tools caused Web3D to fail. ----- Today there are powerful and easy to use 3D engines like Unity for web development. But it took way too long for it to arrive, and the Web3D market went flat - as in "flat coke" - during the years that passed without any progress being made on the Web3D tech-front. ------- Web3D may eventually come back because of another trend, and that is "Augmented Reality". But nobody knows that for certain.

3D programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42934821)

I think at the heart of the problem is the nature of programming 3D graphics itself. Generally, to get the performance one expects out of a 3D application a lot of close-to-machine-level optimization is required. In other words, it requires the sort of access to the machine that you normally don't want to give to web-programmers for security reasons. If you write a JOGL applet, for instance, it has to ask the user for all sorts of scary access to the machine.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?