Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Feb 2006 12:01 UTC, submitted by Christopher Cook
Mozilla & Gecko clones "uBrowser is a simple web browser that illustrates one way of embedding the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine into a standalone application using LibXUL. In this case, the contents of the page is grabbed as it's being rendered and displayed as a texture on some geometry using OpenGL. You are able to interact with the page (mostly) normally and visit (almost) any site that works correctly with Firefox 1.5."
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RE:3D Browser Built Upon Firefox 1.5
by TusharG on Fri 24th Feb 2006 13:14 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

Simply awsome! This shows that Gecko rendering is far superior then thought.
Hello? Where is IE7? Bring it on ;)

Reply Score: 1

Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

To what I understand, pages are rendered as textures by OpenGL, so Gecko haven't much to do with it.

As for IE7, these effets are probably doable with Aero Glass, but why would they bother. The utility of browsing 2D in 3D is debatable... It's a nice technology demo, but that's about it.

Reply Score: 5

dmdavis Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree that in general, the use of browsing 2D in 3D is typically minimal. However, according to the article, he made this so that people can access web sites from within an mmorpg, SecondLife specifically. I think that sounds pretty cool.

Reply Score: 2

JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, it's good... but it's not rocket science... It's almost like Firefox rendering the website to a Textures (like a PNG) and them the program on top of that displaying this renered texture in a simple 3D cube.

I'm sure they have their reasons to choose Firefox the be the basis of their browser, like everyone that uses Firefox for example, but still, it's something that could be done with IE (even current and old ones) and probably with other browser engines.

That said, I hope this study bring some good additions for 3D interfaces. =]

Reply Score: 1

kamper Member since:
2005-08-20

Yes, it's good... but it's not rocket science... It's almost like Firefox rendering the website to a Textures (like a PNG) and them the program on top of that displaying this renered texture in a simple 3D cube.

Not 'almost'. That's exactly what's going on ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Awesome
by muggsy on Fri 24th Feb 2006 13:16 UTC
muggsy
Member since:
2006-01-01

A lot quicker than I thought.... quite amazing really..

just gave it a quick 5 mins run and I am impressed

Reply Score: 1

3d
by yanik on Fri 24th Feb 2006 13:19 UTC
yanik
Member since:
2005-07-13

The linux desktop is really going 3d these days!

Reply Score: 1

RE: 3d
by jamesrdorn on Fri 24th Feb 2006 13:46 UTC in reply to "3d"
jamesrdorn Member since:
2005-07-27

Maybe you were sarcastic... You do know this is Windows Only... Right?

Even if this was just a ref. to the Mozilla code used... it's all based off the source from Netscape... witch at the time was a Windows/Mac only product.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 3d
by Peragrin on Fri 24th Feb 2006 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: 3d"
Peragrin Member since:
2006-01-05

Okay I know there are gaps in my Netscape history, but I clearly remember using netscape 3.5 on a Unix box,and going home to use netscape 3.5 on my win 3.1 box.

Was it with Netscape 4?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: 3d
by jeremywc on Fri 24th Feb 2006 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 3d"
jeremywc Member since:
2005-08-02

Every version of Netscape has had releases on Linux, Unix, or both.

There was never a version 3.5, though. ;)

Edited 2006-02-24 15:03

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 3d
by fredb1974 on Fri 24th Feb 2006 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 3d"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

No. I think the only .5 version is 4.5 ;)

/me remembers good old time of NS 3.0 ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: 3d
by kmarius on Sun 26th Feb 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 3d"
kmarius Member since:
2005-06-30

It wasn't good (and not very old either). The browser went downhill right after the "gold" edition of NS2. IE3 was much faster than NS3 on my 486.

Edited 2006-02-26 00:02

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: 3d
by Peragrin on Fri 24th Feb 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 3d"
Peragrin Member since:
2006-01-05

I see your quite correct. It must of been netscape 3.0

either way I was right about the cross platform ability

Reply Score: 1

Netscape 8 onwards is a Windows-only app
by rklrkl on Sat 25th Feb 2006 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 3d"
rklrkl Member since:
2005-07-06

> Every version of Netscape has had releases on Linux, Unix, or both.

Not true - Netscape 8 onwards is a Windows-only app (and requires IE to be installed!) and therefore pretty irrelevant nowadays.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 3d
by yanik on Fri 24th Feb 2006 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: 3d"
yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

Maybe you were sarcastic... You do know this is Windows Only... Right?

Oups, no I didn't know.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 3d
by somebody on Fri 24th Feb 2006 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: 3d"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

RTFA

From article
How?

I wanted something cross platform since our client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux (alpha version) and ultimately this has to work on all of them. I wanted a way to be able to create and move around various pieces of geometry. There had to be a way to "pick" points off of the geometry in 3D space accurately. I wanted some GUI that would facilitate movement, allow entry of URLs and provide a place to display feedback - progress and status text for example. Eventually I settled on a combination of my own code for picking, GLUT for window management and rendering and GLUI for the UI. There are a couple of minor niggles but for the most part, things worked out really well. Thank you to the developers for making my little a bit easier.

Reply Score: 1

Very Cool
by richmoore on Fri 24th Feb 2006 13:21 UTC
richmoore
Member since:
2005-08-06

This is absolutely useless, but very cool. A pity that it doesn't support proxies at all though - it means I can only see our intranet with it here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Very Cool
by locohijo on Sat 25th Feb 2006 00:04 UTC in reply to "Very Cool"
locohijo Member since:
2006-01-03

This is absolutely useless

For now, yes, but it could spawn a lot of other UI design and functionality in a browser. Like say for example, an expose like functionality (a la FF Reveal extension) , a cube (a la compiz cube plugin) functionality and a lot more.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Very Cool
by cerbie on Sat 25th Feb 2006 09:19 UTC in reply to "Very Cool"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

It may be useless, but that's a UI issue, not a technical one. Allowing one more graphical thing to be offloaded to the video card is a good thing.

Now, someone with actual vision on how it could be used needs to come along, see it, and go, "ah, ha!", figuring out how it can actually help.

Reply Score: 2

Angel--Fr@gzill@
Member since:
2005-12-23

I guess this is the future of Web browsing, but...

But considering the hussle that javascripts, DirectX, and Flash, bring to the Internet users, that could represent also a danger. Maybe more than a benefit...

Unless, until the future time when the average desktop of every Joe is a Pentium 6 6000 Mhrz-128bits, or an AMD 5500 Mhrrz 256bits...

Then with such powerfull hardware, FLash etc. , will be less annoying.

But do not worry... another technologies will arise to f--k you up, while navigating, and to show the power of the market system...

I mean, the 3D browsing looks a very attractive technology, and the work of this guy looks pretty nice to me..., but as usual it will be used ultimately by the "Big Dinosaurs" to impose their "way"to the market and the masses... And it will likely to be without your consent as a user...

...or hopefully not... ????

Angel

Reply Score: 1

RE:
by hyper on Fri 24th Feb 2006 14:14 UTC in reply to " I guess this is the future of Web browsing, but.."
hyper Member since:
2005-06-29

i guess you do not understand that this is only demo application for libxul. how might this be the future if it does not add anything useful to browsing experience? or did i miss something in that app? :]

Reply Score: 1

Angel--Fr@gzill@ Member since:
2005-12-23

huh...

" i guess you do not understand that this is only demo application for libxul. how might this be the future if it does not add anything useful to browsing experience? or did i miss something in that app? :] "

Well.. Not sure who is who do not understand...

It's pretty obvious to me that in the future (not the long one ...) browsing will be made in 3D...

Everything or almost will finish being 3D and interactive. We only have to wait for the appropiate hardware to be created, that will allow the 3D sotfware of the near future to run smoothly...

But, I wanted to remark that it will not be done without the annoyeances that undoubtly those new technologies will bring with them... Like we have to stand the annoyances existant in Flash, Javascript... today !!!

Appart for that, is a step in the right direction.. that's to say: progress... Whether it is libxul, OpenGL, Mesa, DirectX or whatever...
(...Hmm, No, Not whatever. DirectX No, sorry... ;) )


Angel

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]:
by subterrific on Sat 25th Feb 2006 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "
subterrific Member since:
2005-07-10

The "future" is here, go look at SecondLife (what this demo was made for). It is a 3d world with integrated tools for creating content. It is absolutely amazing what people have done with it.

Reply Score: 1

Not Impressed
by cchance on Fri 24th Feb 2006 17:38 UTC
cchance
Member since:
2006-02-24

Ok if this is considered good i should slap someone...

Rotating the entire texture gets weird and greened out and cant see anything....

Also its DOG SLOW! Lord if i had to browse in that i'd slit my wrists

Reply Score: 0

RE: Not Impressed
by rm6990 on Fri 24th Feb 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "Not Impressed"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

It wasn't slow for me. With the flag effect turned on, it was still almost as fast as Firefox and IE are normally for me. I found that the 3D didn't make up for the lacking features in the browser though, so I returned to firefox (which is what I expect most people to do).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not Impressed
by snozzberry on Fri 24th Feb 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "Not Impressed"
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

"Rotating the entire texture gets weird and greened out and cant see anything...."

I had the same problem with a Radeon 7000/VE card and as soon as I fired up IE to do something else, Microsoft Update informed me there was an updated driver for the card; I DLed it and rebooted and the problem went away. In general the documentation says this is an artifact of the 3-pass system the author uses to render the texture to OpenGL, but could be a symptom of not enough power/memory in your card. Note I said "could be."

Most impressive part of the demo: Leave the image on a flat surface, but rotate it 180 degrees so it's completely backwards. Now navigate to a website with a text entry field in a form and enter some text. Select it. The selection cursor works, even backwards.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not Impressed
by monkeyhead on Sat 25th Feb 2006 04:00 UTC in reply to "Not Impressed"
monkeyhead Member since:
2005-07-11

uh... did you read the part where it was made clear that it is a proof of concept and that it isn't intended to replace your regular browser? Or maybe the part about it being a good guide for developers looking to embed the gecko engine in their own application?

Sorry the application that was intended to help other developers didn't meet your end user experience.

Reply Score: 2

Strange.
by Jedd on Fri 24th Feb 2006 21:21 UTC
Jedd
Member since:
2005-07-06

I looks good and all that, but...

This is REALLY bizarre! I see no usee for this other than the old "I did it because I could".

Reply Score: 1

Not for you
by Lamego on Fri 24th Feb 2006 22:06 UTC
Lamego
Member since:
2006-01-12

If someone did something which seems to look nice for him and for some other people why do you care so much if it has any use for YOU ?

Reply Score: 1

Scriptability
by math0ne on Sat 25th Feb 2006 01:44 UTC
math0ne
Member since:
2006-02-25

Now if this kind of thing was scriptable via javascript THAT would be cool.

Imagine having the ability to apply OpenGL effects to divs and break navigation components out into separate 3d objects.

It would be like the matrix!

Reply Score: 0

Looking for a different feature.
by hraq on Sat 25th Feb 2006 03:10 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

Though this might be cool, I personally don't look for such features in my browser; I'd rather have a browser that can render 2 pages side by side of the same web site, much like adobe reader when you use Views>Page Layout>Continous-Facing. I have a big monitor that can show 2 pages side by side (23" widescreen) and I feel it's unconfortable switching it to vertical position just to have extra view of a long web site and back then to portrait to see a movie. I think most of developers out there don't really take advantage of real cool hardware and try to integrate their codes with the best available hardware; Do they expect all users to have 15" monitors like the ones they code on? I don't know!
My advice to developers who ran out of juice, to set with some users and brainstorm together.

Reply Score: 0

re: I don't need this.
by rdwtux on Sat 25th Feb 2006 03:25 UTC
rdwtux
Member since:
2006-02-11

blah blah blah... the technology is fun, the users are already whining... the point is, the library is mature for other applications.. nobody cares that "i don't think i need this". Those aren't programmers, those are half-assed users bitching that their illegal movie torrents aren't downloading fast enough. Those ppl aren't part of the target audience. Taking the mature lib and making use of it in this way is taking OS software and showing that it can be used for other applications. This type of application of the OS libs shows that the libs themselves have matured. But definately not the OSNews crowd.

Reply Score: 2

v Bah!
by ApproachingZero on Sat 25th Feb 2006 05:45 UTC
RE: Bah!
by fredb1974 on Sat 25th Feb 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "Bah!"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

What about getting AIDS too ?

ActiveX are like HIV : a plague which kills your computer. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Not useless
by mikehearn on Sat 25th Feb 2006 19:37 UTC
mikehearn
Member since:
2005-12-31

As already pointed out, this was done by corporate developers for the Second Life virtual universe. So not useless at all.

Reply Score: 1

3D Browser based on IE
by duskyyyyyy on Thu 2nd Mar 2006 19:04 UTC
duskyyyyyy
Member since:
2006-03-02

check this 3D browser based on IE. it's called the SphereXPlorer.

www.spheresite.com

Reply Score: 1