Wild Tangent: DirectX for the Web

In June, I spent a fair amount of time looking at Web Driver, a new tool from a company created by former Microsoft employees. The group, which calls itself Wild Tangent and is led by Alex St. John, the man who created the now defunct MS-Chromeffect, is set to move animation technology to the web.

Webdriver lets Web developers access DirectX APIs through a combination of XML tags and JavaScript, giving developers a change to create online game and graphic-rich environment on the web. While it only runs on Windows platforms right now, this is a significant development because it allows any web developers to create software offerings that are now as graphically rich as any games you can find. Overall, this is great for games but I doubt it will catch fire unless they develop a version of it for other platforms.

However, if the WebDriver components become packaged with the most popular browsers, they could herald the arrival of the much talked about 3D environments we’ve read about in Gibson’s and Stephenson’s books. If you are running a windows machine, I’d recommend you download those drivers and try out their demos. They, not I, best showcase what this technology can do.
ivering a richer web experience if they get browser support. Until then, though, it will remain as exciting as VRML: great looking but still hanging out at the starting gate.

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