PanoTools mailing list archive
|Date/Time:||16-Dec-2011 20:17:47 +0000|
|Subject:||Re: HTML5 panorama viewers|
1. No shipping mobile platform currently has WebGL enabled in the platforms consumer Web browser - the lack of support is largely attributed to the security concerns with allowing OpenGL in a browser context - the Web browser is an enormous attack surface, so browser vendors are understandably reluctant to deploy a proposed standard in the wild that has well-known and fundamental security issues. It should be noted that many of the same concerns have come up with Adobe's CSS Shaders spec, and it's not just Microsoft, and there's no reason to think it's an issue of control, it's simply an unfinished spec that engineers from all the major players are looking at actively.
2. All the major platforms have long had OpenGL(ES) bindings from native apps, so the level of effort is comparable regardless of which platform you develop for.
3. iOS has WebGL within WebKit itself, so *native* apps using a WebUIView can enable WebGL support within that view. This is what iAd is doing - since iAd content is heavily vetted (not unlike the vetting a native app gets) the security concerns can be mitigated in a way that content in a general browser cannot.
4. It should be reasonably straightforward to patch PhoneGap, for instance, to use a WebUIView with WebGL enabled - that topic has come up many times over the past year in PhoneGap circles. This would allow building PhoneGap-based apps, using WebGL content. There's no official patch for this, however.
5. If you're going to go to all the work to develop this from scratch, why limit yourself to WebGL, which is not really viable right now? It's not like it's dramatically simpler than OpenGL accessed from any other language/binding. The bulk of the code should be fairly straightforward to port between Java and C/Obj-C; wrap in a PhoneGap plugin and you can use it from PhoneGap apps on either platform - it'll probably be less trouble that depending on WebGL, which is just not ready for primetime.
There have been many apps over the years to use tiled multiresolution images within OpenGL. One obvious example that comes to mind is Google Earth, but it's by no means the only one.
It's not clear if Jeffrey is looking to build a one-off application with this functionality, or looking to hatch a project to build an OpenGL-based zoomable component that can be reused across apps. There are many examples in the wild of multiresolution, tile-based viewers - that's the easy part for most of us
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