Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Google Technology

Google Launches 3D Driver Project For Chrome 63

Posted by timothy
from the disintermediation-nation dept.
CWmike writes "Google has launched a new project for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers. The open-source project, called ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), seeks to let Chromium run WebGL content on Windows computers, wrote product manager Henry Bridge on the Chromium blog. WebGL is still-developing a cross-platform Web standard for accessing low-level 3D graphics hardware based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 API (application programming interface) that can be implemented directly in a browser without a plugin. 'ANGLE will allow Windows users to run WebGL content without having to find and install new drivers for their system,' Bridge wrote. Because ANGLE aims to use most of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, it may help developers working on mobile and embedded devices, Bridge wrote. 'ANGLE should make it simpler to prototype these applications on Windows and also gives developers new options for deploying production versions of their code to the desktop.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Launches 3D Driver Project For Chrome

Comments Filter:
  • API (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @03:39AM (#31548116)

    It's an API that uses OpenGL. It isn't a driver.

  • Re:Oh. (Score:4, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @03:54AM (#31548144) Homepage

    Why would it double the download size? Did you RTFA? ANGLE is a translation layer that converts OpenGL calls into Direct3D calls. That is probably going to be "largeish" but it doesn't mean actually bundling drivers with Chrome itself.

    The problem this solves - in many cases OpenGL drivers on Windows don't actually exist or are unusably bad. If I was feeling uncharitable, I'd say the web/html5 community seems to be doing another video tag fiasco, in trying to set another standard that ignores marketplace realities (cross platform opengl is dead). By releasing ANGLE Google is trying to make Web3D not entirely irrelevant. This is only one of the many hurdles [google.com] originally identified by the Chrome 3D graphics team.

  • by slashbart (316113) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @04:00AM (#31548158) Homepage
    From TFA

    Many Windows machines can't render WebGL content because the OpenGL drivers aren't installed, even though the computer has powerful graphics hardware, Bridge wrote. Computers running OS X or Linux are fine, however, since those operating systems use OpenGL as the primary 3D API, Bridge wrote.
    "ANGLE will allow Windows users to run WebGL content without having to find and install new drivers for their system," Bridge wrote.
    Because ANGLE aims to use most of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, it may help developers working on mobile and embedded devices, Bridge wrote.
    "ANGLE should make it simpler to prototype these applications on Windows and also gives developers new options for deploying production versions of their code to the desktop,"

    So WebGL works fine on real operating systems that already have OpenGL, and because Microsoft suffered from its not-invented-here syndrome, Windows computers typically can not do WebGL because they have no OpenGL stack. That't the driver TFA is talking about.

  • Re:Oh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @04:26AM (#31548230) Homepage
    In fact if you read the source [google.com] you'll see it was developed by TransGaming.
  • Re:API (Score:4, Informative)

    by jonwil (467024) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @04:30AM (#31548236)

    The problem is that the drivers typically installed by Windows (and that exist on many machines) dont include all the OpenGL bits that the proper vendor drivers contain, hence the need to download drivers from the ATI or NVIDIA or Intel site to get good OpenGL support.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Saturday March 20, 2010 @04:47AM (#31548290)

    My computer has a opengl32.dll, and it has a Microsoft copyright. However, it does require the graphics card manufacturer to provide a driver for their card. I don't know which graphics card would not come with one these days. Have a look at Windows Vista and OpenGL - the facts [opengl.org].

  • by KibibyteBrain (1455987) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @05:20AM (#31548378)
    Parent is totally inaccurate. Windows supports OpenGL fine.
    The issue is that Microsoft usually ships Windows with subpar distributions of graphics drivers for 3D support in general(not just OpenGL) compared to actual vendor drivers in terms of feature support beyond what you need to use basic Windows programs. Probably in some attempt to provide marginally more stable drivers historically under the assumption most users wouldn't need anything more than basic API support and everyone else would have their apps somehow manage to install/warn them to get a better driver package. This doesn't really work for WebGL, however.
    Google could just have their installer get you to update your GPU driver, but overall this is probably a cleaner solution for long term support since you have about +/- 10 year support expectations for Direct3D on a GPU in a way that is far better tested than OpenGL for "last years model".
  • Re:API (Score:3, Informative)

    by scdeimos (632778) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @05:49AM (#31548450)
    Actually, when Mozilla started implementing WebGL for Firefox last year they found a number of Intel cards don't have OpenGL drivers available for them. Users finding themselves in this position can use Mesa (software rendering) drivers instead, albeit slower. Users of Safari, which also has a WebGL implementation, won't have that issue since OSX has such good OpenGL support for Apple hardware.
  • by slashbart (316113) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @05:57AM (#31548470) Homepage
    Historically Microsoft has pushed very hard for their own DirectX 3D api. This happened after the OpenGL standard was already common for Unix workstations and such.
    So wether or not it's the card vendors or Microsoft, it's a fact that Microsoft created the non-uniformity of the 3D api world, by introducing its own non-open non-crossplatform standard.
    So ofcourse one can run OpenGL on Windows, but it's not easy, not standard, and often works badly. Which is exactly what Microsoft wanted when it created DirectX. A new 3D standard, that would be used in gaming, and that would make it harder (i.e. more expensive) for applications to be crossplatform; it thereby served its purpose: continuing and extending the dominance of the Windows platform.
  • Re:Oh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @09:17AM (#31549312) Journal

    I played with an OpenGL on Direct3D layer back in 2000. It existed because, back then, a lot of games used OpenGL but OpenGL drivers tended to be a bit worse than their Direct3D versions. I don't think the project still exists, but it's not a new idea.

    I found that Serious Sam works beautifully in WINE on OS X, but only if you choose Direct3D mode. The OpenGL version seems to use the wrong winding rule, so you get transparent triangles in all of the wrong places. From this, I conclude that it must be easier to implement Direct3D on top of OpenGL than it is to implement OpenGL on top of OpenGL.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

Working...