> There is a LOT that can be done with shaders
Part of the problem is the shader language itself. For systems with no
OpenGL support, but with Direct3D support (say), you'll need some form
of shader language translation. Compatibility seems very hard to
achieve in the graphics world and therefore could take up a good chunk
of the project's dev time. OTOH, Adobe has done some of dirty work in
making its shader language runnable (using LLVM, I believe) even if no
GPU is available on the system. Apple's done that too, though limited
to the mac platform at the moment. My old PowerBook G4 which has a
graphics chip lacking hardware pixel shaders suddenly got shader
support in the gl driver after an OS update! Though it was done in
software, 640x480 at 15fps ran fine.
There is something to be said for making a raw binding of OpenGL to
others have accomplished so far.
Another significant point in favour of WebGL is that there are plenty
of app categories that can benefit from hardware accelerated low
complexity 3D scene rendering. For one thing, Flash-like stuff will be
a breeze from the rendering stand point. The web is now chock full of
photos, videos and music. me.com
's "gallery views" can be super slick
with hardware acceleration thrown in. There is much to gain from WebGL
even if it is insufficient initially for games. One argument not in
favour of WebGL is that a good part of such low complexity 3D apps
lies in resource management - when to load what into which texture,
when to release textures, managing system memory versus video memory,
etc. Textures tend to be large and polygons few. O3D seems be
slightly more oriented towards easy resource management.
Anyway, these are interesting times indeed! Now, ... to complete the
picture ... we need an audio engine don't we? How about SuperCollider?