Google guys, where are you?

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NAV

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Dec 21, 2010, 10:22:05 AM12/21/10
to O3D-discuss, Gregg....@google.com, Lars....@google.com, pete...@google.com, Lu....@google.com
Dear O3D developers,
I cannot help to notice that people's activity at O3D-discuss dropped
dramatically last few months (comparing to the amount of messages for
the same period of time last year) - seems to me like you are loosing
your user base! And I think I know the reason behind this: people do
not want to use O3D any more. Well, OK, I do not want to talk on
behalf of all people (I am not a politician :) ), but at least I found
myself in this situation!

And the current situation is as the following:
- No single mainstream browser currently supports WebGL (just some
beta-versions), so WebGL version of O3D, being very promising, has
currently no real platform to run on.
- The old Plugin version of O3D is buggy, it has been deprecated for
more then a year now. Some bugs in this version (like
http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/o3d/samples/o3djs/picking.js?view=log)
make it unacceptable for my needs. Just as a favor Peterson sent me an
engineering release of the Plugin (thanks Peterson!!!) in August, but,
unfortunately, he cannot sent it to all my online customers ;o)
- ... and this left me (and rest of your O3D users) with nothing but
questions. What to do? We cannot wait - the company has some plans, we
have deadlines, and we want to keep our jobs - I think you are
familiar with the concept :). So, we stack in between the two
versions, and you offer nothing to fill this gap!

So, my question is: Would you please consider one more release of your
old O3D Plugin these days? This would ideally filled the gap and
helped keep the users like me on for a few months, until Chrome,
FireFox, Opera and Safari start officially supporting WebGL (which is,
what? end of 2011?). And at that time you'll see your users switching
to WebGL version in no time - nobody wants to force their customers to
install plugins! But meanwhile - we need something to keep afloat!

Dear O3D users (whoever is still reading the O3D-discuss), If you
agree with the above, please add your voice here.

Cheers,

Alexander :)

Lars Huttar

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Dec 21, 2010, 11:16:05 AM12/21/10
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com, pete...@google.com, Lu....@google.com
While I'm not in the same boat as Alexander, I definitely sympathize.
I'm more eager to see browsers supporting WebGL...

But when companies have committed their assets to O3D plug-in, and then
they are stuck with no bug fixes and no good platform to migrate to,
that's a big problem. I agree: given how long it's been, and how long it
will be before WebGL becomes a viable platform, there ought to be a
bug-fix release of the O3D plugin!

Thanks Google devs... we appreciate the work you do.

Lars

Remo

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Dec 21, 2010, 11:21:05 AM12/21/10
to O3D-discuss
Hi Alexander

I'm 100% agree with your post. I've started also similar thread in the
past:

http://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss/browse_thread/thread/9a33973ff13c6632/0589114a0faf9ce0?hl=en#0589114a0faf9ce0

Cheers,
Remo

On Dec 21, 4:22 pm, NAV <alexanderneshmo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear O3D developers,
> I cannot help to notice that people's activity at O3D-discuss dropped
> dramatically last few months (comparing to the amount of messages for
> the same period of time last year) - seems to me like you are loosing
> your user base! And I think I know the reason behind this: people do
> not want to use O3D any more. Well, OK, I do not want to talk on
> behalf of all people (I am not a politician :) ), but at least I found
> myself in this situation!
>
> And the current situation is as the following:
> - No single mainstream browser currently supports WebGL (just some
> beta-versions), so WebGL version of O3D, being very promising, has
> currently no real platform to run on.
> - The old Plugin version of O3D is buggy, it has been deprecated for
> more then a year now. Some bugs in this version (likehttp://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/o3d/samples/o3djs/pic...)

Nicolas Kassis

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Dec 21, 2010, 2:03:44 PM12/21/10
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
Don't all hate me for saying this but, while I understand some of the
concerns you all have about the plugin vs webgl, wouldn't it make more
sense to try and get people to install Chrome beta or Firefox beta
than to try and continue with the plugin? I know it's probably more of
a question of how to get users to accept to run on beta software but
that's what the plugin always was. Chrome 9 should be out in a few
weeks I think. That means a real stable implementation of WebGL will
be out. WebGL has a lot to offer that the plugin did not. Better
integration with the HTML on the page for example.

My bigger problem is that the O3D documentation and website are long
overdue for a revamp. This would go a long way in getting users to use
O3D, when I talk to other people who are interested in WebGL they seem
to think O3D is dead because the lack of info on what is going on
with the project.

The WebGL version works very well and compares favorably to the other
libraries out there. It just need a better facade. I'd be glad to help
out if need be. I was thinking of starting a wiki with the old docs
and just removing what is not there or different now.

It would be cool to know what the future of O3D is. Is it still a
project that google has interest in continuing? I'm about to write
something about O3D for a website. A small tutorial but I would like
to know that it's still in development right now.

Also I was under the impression that the Body browser
http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html# project was developed
with O3D. Is that true? (btw that name is very similar to my year old
brainbrowser project that does something similar but for real brain
imaging data ;p It's already in production with real users for about 6
months now.)


Thanks,

Nic

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>
>

--
-----------------
Nicolas Kassis

Jeffrey Kesselman

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Dec 21, 2010, 2:17:22 PM12/21/10
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
My issue is slightly different.

I'm just really concerned about the WebGL based version's performance.  Performance was not great but acceptable with the native plugin.  If the WebGL one doesn't have at least the same performance level I don't think my app will function reasonably.

For this reason ive started exploring other technologies, like Unity3D.  I figure that, when the Web5 platform reaches acceptable performance levels, they will do the port of their system and I'll just ride along...
It's always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.

NAV

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Dec 21, 2010, 3:05:11 PM12/21/10
to O3D-discuss
Dear Nic,
It is very questionable to me that installing some beta-version of
browser is less (or comparable) invasive for the customers then
installing a plugin. How can I _convince_ them to install Beta? They
might be interested in clicking a link to my app (which is usually
just out of curiosity), but if then they face a requirement to install
some beta (and reboot!) just to see what is there, I think nobody will
follow! No, my friend, I don't think this is an option :)
Chrome 9 release, even if it'll happen tomorrow (no indications on
that though) also is not a panacea. You cannot expect all your
customers to switch to it immediately (and you cannot force them to).
Things may really change when 3-4 major platforms will start
supporting WebGL (namely, Chrome, FireFox, Opera and Safari for
Windows and mobiles). But even after this, there is a giant question
with IE - seems they'll never support WebGL. The only hope to handle
this - ChromeFrame or... the old-good O3D plugin! Both of them are
plugins, so both of them are equally invasive.

Therefore, if they'll release a bug-fix version of O3D plugin, then
we, the O3D developers, will have to support some kind of mixed/smart
mode for some time. I.e. we'll have to maintain code, which should be
able to detect if the platform supports WenGL, and if not, use the
plugin fall-back (thanks God the code difference is not that
dramatic).

And, yes, I agree - there is not enough documentation on WebGL
version. At least more samples would help a lot.

Yours,

Alexander :o)

On Dec 21, 2:03 pm, Nicolas Kassis <nic.kas...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Don't all hate me for saying this but, while I understand some of the
> concerns you all have about the plugin vs webgl, wouldn't it make more
> sense to try and get people to install Chrome beta or Firefox beta
> than to try and continue with the plugin? I know it's probably more of
> a question of how to get users to accept to run on beta software but
> that's what the plugin always was. Chrome 9 should be out in a few
> weeks I think. That means a real stable implementation of WebGL will
> be out. WebGL has a lot to offer that the plugin did not. Better
> integration with the HTML on the page for example.
>
> My bigger problem is that the O3D documentation and website are long
> overdue for a revamp. This would go a long way in getting users to use
> O3D, when I talk to other people who are interested in WebGL they seem
> to think O3D is dead  because the lack of info on what is going on
> with the project.
>
> The WebGL version works very well and compares favorably to the other
> libraries out there. It just need a better facade. I'd be glad to help
> out if need be. I was thinking of starting a wiki with the old docs
> and just removing what is not there or different now.
>
> It would be cool to know what the future of O3D is. Is it still a
> project that google has interest in continuing? I'm about to write
> something about O3D for a website. A small tutorial but I would like
> to know that it's still in development right now.
>
> Also I was under the impression that the Body browserhttp://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html#project was developed
> with O3D. Is that true?  (btw that name is very similar to my year old
> brainbrowser project that does something similar but for real brain
> imaging data ;p It's already in production with real users for about 6
> months now.)
>
> Thanks,
>
> Nic
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM, Remo <remo.eichenber...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Alexander
>
> > I'm 100% agree with your post. I've started also similar thread in the
> > past:
>
> >http://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss/browse_thread/thread/9a339...
> > For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss?hl=en.
>
> --
> -----------------
> Nicolas Kassis

Dave

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Jan 5, 2011, 11:37:21 PM1/5/11
to O3D-discuss
Hi all,

Firstly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. :D

The truth is, even though Google does not care O3D plugin, but also
the WebGL version of O3D have been rarely updated recently. Guess that
they had been putting more effort in Chrome to run WebGL smoothly
(which is still a good thing), I can notice big difference in terms of
rendering and performance in my project comparing to the previous
version of Chrome with the latest beta. But still, the real question
is whether Google is going to put any effort into O3D (plugin or WebGL
version) in the future? I really haven't see any update of the code
for months.

To Jeffery:
WebGL version of O3D seems to be fine in terms of performance, I can
still run ok with a mesh having 650,000 polygons and very smoothly
with a 65,000 polygon mesh which is massive considering in a Web
environment. Plus I got a middle-low range graphic card that can't
even run most of the 3D games properly.

Actually, anybody knows when ANGLE project will be include into Chrome
and Firefox? Computers without OpenGL is going to be a pain without it
when running WebGL content (O3D content).

Dave
> > Also I was under the impression that the Body browserhttp://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html#projectwas developed

Nicolas Kassis

unread,
Jan 6, 2011, 8:56:30 AM1/6/11
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
>
> Actually, anybody knows when ANGLE project will be include into Chrome
> and Firefox? Computers without OpenGL is going to be a pain without it
> when running WebGL content (O3D content).

I think that this is already the case for chrome not sure about Firefox.

> For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss?hl=en.
>
>

--
-----------------
Nicolas Kassis

Vangelis Kokkevis

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Jan 6, 2011, 1:32:41 PM1/6/11
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 8:37 PM, Dave <doomt...@yahoo.com.tw> wrote:
Hi all,

Firstly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. :D

Happy New Year to you too!
 

The truth is, even though Google does not care O3D plugin, but also
the WebGL version of O3D have been rarely updated recently. Guess that
they had been putting more effort in Chrome to run WebGL smoothly
(which is still a good thing), I can notice big difference in terms of
rendering and performance in my project comparing to the previous
version of Chrome with the latest beta. But still, the real question
is whether Google is going to put any effort into O3D (plugin or WebGL
version) in the future? I really haven't see any update of the code
for months.


As you've correctly observed, we haven't made any recent contributions to the o3d-webgl project recently.  We've been mostly focusing our efforts on getting the WebGL implementation and the underlying GPU acceleration architecture in Chrome ready for primetime (WebGL is on track to be enabled by default in the upcoming Chrome 9 release). That said, o3d-webgl has always been an opensource project and we definitely welcome contributions from the community.

Actually, anybody knows when ANGLE project will be include into Chrome
and Firefox? Computers without OpenGL is going to be a pain without it
when running WebGL content (O3D content).


ANGLE is indeed the default path on Windows for Chrome.

Cheers,
Vangelis

NAV

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Jan 6, 2011, 2:29:53 PM1/6/11
to O3D-discuss
Dear Vangelis,
Happy New Year and thank you for your post - you are the only one from
Google team who answered some of our questions here.

> As you've correctly observed, we haven't made any recent contributions to
> the o3d-webgl project recently.  
Could you please consider to release a bug-fix version of the o3d
plugin while all your guys are still working on something else? You'd
make a lot of o3d people happy with this move! It would not take much
time or consume many resources - last August it took just a few
minutes for Peterson to put together an engineering build of the
plugin for me.

> That said, o3d-webgl has
> always been an opensource project and we definitely welcome contributions
> from the community.
About the opensource and the community contribution. I tried to build
the O3D plugin by myself last summer, spent a few days setting up your
build environment on my machine, and finally ran into a bug in your
build environment. This bug affects only the newbies like me (and the
rest of the community). but If you had already built the product
successfully at least once (which is true for all Google developers),
the bug never manifests itself (I wrote about this back in August).
Actually, after this Peterson sent me the engineering build of the
plugin (thanks, Peterson, once more, and happy New Year to you!).

And one more question you did not answer - could you give us a hint on
when Chrome 9 scheduled for release?

Thanks,

Alexander :o)

Vangelis Kokkevis

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Jan 6, 2011, 2:58:28 PM1/6/11
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 11:29 AM, NAV <alexander...@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Vangelis,
Happy New Year and thank you for your post - you are the only one from
Google team who answered some of our questions here.

> As you've correctly observed, we haven't made any recent contributions to
> the o3d-webgl project recently.  
Could you please consider to release a bug-fix version of the o3d
plugin while all your guys are still working on something else? You'd
make a lot of o3d people happy with this move! It would not take much
time or consume many resources - last August it took just a few
minutes for Peterson to put together an engineering build of the
plugin for me.

Hi Alexander,

Pushing a new release is surprisingly complicated.  It takes more than just building the binary.  Among other things, since the O3D plugins autoupdate we'll need to make sure everything is still functioning and that existing content doesn't break.  We simply don't have the resources to do this properly.  At this point it would be easier to try and troubleshoot any issues you're having with building the plugins.  Would you mind posting a pointer to the discussion you're referring to? 

Chrome 9 will be out soon.  Chrome has a 6-week release cycle and Chrome 8 came out a couple of weeks before the holidays.


NAV

unread,
Jan 6, 2011, 5:59:22 PM1/6/11
to O3D-discuss
Hi Vangelis,

> Pushing a new release is surprisingly complicated.  It takes more than just
> building the binary.  Among other things, since the O3D plugins autoupdate
> we'll need to make sure everything is still functioning and that existing
> content doesn't break.  We simply don't have the resources to do this
> properly.  
Oh, if that backward-compatibility (and luck of testing resources) is
the major problem here, you can just release it "as-is" under new name
(e.g. "o3d-plus") and just make it clear in the release notes that
this is the last "bug-fix" release, no auto-updates for it, and no
backward-compatibility is guaranteed. You have nothing to worry about
- just make the installable plugin binaries available for downloading
from your site!
That's easy! :o)

> At this point it would be easier to try and troubleshoot any
> issues you're having with building the plugins.  Would you mind posting a
> pointer to the discussion you're referring to?
You can find all details of my battle with the build environment in
the following thread:
http://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss/browse_thread/thread/843c50916085d41b#

Answering your implicit question - yes, after some help I most likely
will be able to build the plugin by myself. And - yes, with some extra
help, I will be able to have it downloadable (under different name)
for my customers from my own server. But what is really important here
- is to have this plugin downloadable from Google website, not from
some 3-rd party server. And I think this is in your interests too to
maintain control over the content downloadable over Internet. You do
not want to see a scattered number of uncontrollable versions of
something very similar to your product and yet not your product...

> Chrome 9 will be out soon.  Chrome has a 6-week release cycle and Chrome 8
> came out a couple of weeks before the holidays.
Thanks for this, Vangelis, it's a good info for all of us!
What we need to know now is - when FireFox, Opera and Safari-for-
Windows will start supporting WebGL?
And, of course, when ChromeFrame will be ready? ;o)

Cheers,

Alexander :o)

Vangelis Kokkevis

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Jan 6, 2011, 7:43:39 PM1/6/11
to o3d-d...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 2:59 PM, NAV <alexander...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Vangelis,

> Pushing a new release is surprisingly complicated.  It takes more than just
> building the binary.  Among other things, since the O3D plugins autoupdate
> we'll need to make sure everything is still functioning and that existing
> content doesn't break.  We simply don't have the resources to do this
> properly.  
Oh, if that backward-compatibility (and luck of testing resources) is
the major problem here, you can just release it "as-is" under new name
(e.g. "o3d-plus") and just make it clear in the release notes that
this is the last "bug-fix" release, no auto-updates for it, and no
backward-compatibility is guaranteed. You have nothing to worry about
- just make the installable plugin binaries available for downloading
from your site!
That's easy! :o)

There's always going to be a need for the mythical one additional "last" bug fix release, unfortunately.  :)

 

> At this point it would be easier to try and troubleshoot any
> issues you're having with building the plugins.  Would you mind posting a
> pointer to the discussion you're referring to?
You can find all details of my battle with the build environment in
the following thread:
http://groups.google.com/group/o3d-discuss/browse_thread/thread/843c50916085d41b#

I wonder if the problem you're having here is that the depot_tools directory isn't in your PATH.
 


Answering your implicit question - yes, after some help I most likely
will be able to build the plugin by myself. And - yes, with some extra
help, I will be able to have it downloadable (under different name)
for my customers from my own server. But what is really important here
-  is to have this plugin downloadable from Google website, not from
some 3-rd party server. And I think this is in your interests too to
maintain control over the content downloadable over Internet. You do
not want to see a scattered number of uncontrollable versions of
something very similar to your product and yet not your product...


We've made a conscious decision to discontinue support for O3D.  I really believe that WebGL is the right way forward.

> Chrome 9 will be out soon.  Chrome has a 6-week release cycle and Chrome 8
> came out a couple of weeks before the holidays.
Thanks for this, Vangelis, it's a good info for all of us!
What we need to know now is - when FireFox, Opera and Safari-for-
Windows will start supporting WebGL?
And, of course, when ChromeFrame will be ready? ;o)


Don't know about other browsers but ChromeFrame Beta already supports WebGL.  Try it out by installing:


and of course add the appropriate meta tag in your content to enable it:



Cheers,

Alexander :o)
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