Coffeehouse Thread

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Google "maps" the human body

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  • User profile image
    Bass

    A new WebGL/HTML5 app from Google, designed to be Google Maps but for the human body:

    http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/">http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    Ha, think of the pain the developers had to suffer, the horror. I would have done it in 1/6 the time and cost with silverlight. Standards, shmandards

    Just joking. BTW I have nothing against SL and fans EXCEPT that it's not a standard, not open and it's patent encumbered.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    I though WebGL wasn't a standard either, and that it is just a thin wrapper around OpenGL ES. OpenGL was never designed as a web-based API to begin with, but as a native API.

    Wasn't MS berated for not following true standards in the past? Just curious...

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I didn't really want this to turn into another Silverlight vs Web technologies war, but I suppose that would be silly of me to consider. 

    WebGL is a standard defined by the Khronos Group, a very large industry wide consortium (that Microsoft strangely isn't a member of) that defines varies graphics standards including OpenGL. There is also an effort to turn WebGL into a W3C standard as well. 

    The resemblence to OpenGL is intentional - it allows the same skillsets people have in OpenGL, as well as many of the algorithms to be reused on the web with little to no effort. OpenGL is a standard graphics API to draw 2D and 3D objects onto a screen in a cross-platform manner, it has bindings to a hilarious number of languages and frameworks (including C#). Of course, calling it a "native" API is meaningless.

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    Sorry @Bass for having brought Silverlight into this thread, I just thought i'd mention it since I saw a human body demo (a lame mockup) done in Silverlight. IF it was similar to Google's it would have been nice, but read my views below.

    Also, let me change my statement on SL a bit: "I have nothing against Silverlight and its fans, BUT i hate it when they hide the fact that it's not a standard, not open and it's patent encumbered, oh and i hate it when they try to make it look like its x-platform. IT IS NOT WEB(tm)."

    WebGL >> Silverlight (yes, yes, i know they're different, i'm talking openess)

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    @Bass: I think it's a cool app. While I was rotating the model, I thought: "This would be so much cooler if it had a search-function". And then I noticed the Search-box in the upper-right corner. If they could now only create localized versions, this would be perfect to teach kids all over the world about the human body.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    , Bass wrote

    I didn't really want this to turn into another Silverlight vs Web technologies war

    Of course you didn't.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*

    Of course you didn't.

    Correct. 

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    @Bass:

    Pretty much every post from you has an its signature anti-MS message, whether direct or indirect. This thread is about MS not supporting something that isn't a web standard.

    Why would this time be any different than all the other times? At least be honest about the fact that you posted this knowing it can't work in IE Wink

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    Guys, I mentioned Silverlight first, not @Bass, so flame me instead. Sorry for all the trouble.....

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    Let me pour some more oil (yes, i said i'm sory, but this just springed into my mind, couldn't help it):

    Google: creates Human 3D Browser to promote the (arguably) open WebGL (maybe even the model is open, i don't know)

    Microsoft (rather BillG): Buys the Feynmann lectures to promote Silverlight 

    Right there is the difference....  Sad

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    Native library shims don't belong on the web no matter how cool the tech demos may seem.  They have a great opportunity to make a sensible 3D web platform that considers the skillset of the web development community, the methodologies already in use, need for security, and other requirements, that's the high bar. But instead they just throw some shim over a 20 year old graphics library and call it a day, that's the low bar.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @CreamFilling512: It was tried with VRML already. I personally think the WebGL approach is better, because it represents how people ACTUALLY write 3D apps and doesn't add multiple layers of abstraction in the picture.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @BitFlipper:

    So you know that I think IE is an inferior web browser, and a lot of Microsoft technologies are garbage. That might be "anti-Microsoft" (debatable, but who cares).

    However, this is just a cool demo that has nothing to with IE or Microsoft (gasp!). Major difference.

  • User profile image
    contextfree

    native library shims are great, because you can wrap them with the higher-level abstraction of your choice and are not limited to a single language/framework/whatever. I hope this and Google's Native Client catch on, we could even port Silverlight/Moonlight to it!

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