I don’t like using this blog as a bully pulpit. I really don’t. Especially since my kid is now attending mandatory anti-bullying classes. I know it’s not the fashion. But in this case I have decided make an exception.

Unfortunately I had to miss last night’s “launch event”– dubbed #launchalready and announced, like everything else they have done, with much fanfare– because I had to stay home to take care of my sick wife. (And watch the US continue to flail in Sochi but that’s another story).

As it turns out, according to an anonymous source who shall remain nameless, it’s OK because I didn’t miss anything. Yet again, Founder Steve Newcomb cavorted onstage showing info-viz demos mislabeled as 3D, took potshots at the DOM, CSS, basically anything a browser actually does today. He also poked his cattle prod at AngularJS and PhoneGap for good measure. (Guys maybe I missed that class in startup school, but I don’t see how maligning the technology your prospective users rely on to earn their daily bread is a viable strategy for winning them over.) According to my source, the event was “underwhelming,” came off as “arrogant,” and Newcomb came off more like the “Justin Beiber of the Internet” than a serious player.

At the end of the day, code talks and bullshit walks. I might forgive all of the above if they had actually released the product. Go to their site right now and you’ll see the same message I have been looking at since I signed up for the beta nearly two years ago:

sign up for the beta

Go ahead, sign up. Maybe in two years it’ll actually be out.

In the meantime I will continue to ask Why Do We Need This? Especially when you can render D3 to WebGL and use Three.js to create CSS 3D presentations without having to throw out everything else you know.

And I only have one thing to say to Steve Newcomb at this point:

Your lunch money. And I’ll be back tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “

  1. I was there. Mr. Newcomb’s behavior was cringeworthy and his dismissive attitude towards all the hard work the community puts into frameworks was egotistic and borderline self-absorbed sociopath. It made me ashamed to be a part of the event, so I left shortly after they started demos as did the rest of my team.

    I don’t care what you’re building or how cool it may (or may not) be. I’m not interested in supporting a brat.

  2. The point of creating is to get good performance on mobile devices.Most of them today has no support of WebGL, or support is poor, not performant and unstable, rendering performance of DOM is pretty bad even on desktop, look at all those infinite list pages, they got slow after few ‘pages’.
    The thole point of creating was that native browser renderers are slow on desktop and horribly slow on mobile devices, and that is more important it has unpredictable performance. is not a ‘3d engine’ nor ‘game engine’, it just uses some ideas from it to optimize things. It was made to make rich ‘native level” UI, not for games, not for demos, not for web pages. So even if we assume that three.js renderer works faster than, Three.js is still rendering engine, and you would have to do a lot of stuff by yourself to make a fancy UI.

    1. Hi Yamato – I understand the company’s goals. But my points are threefold: 1) They’re not doing it on internet time or internet terms. They are pushing for perfection for the first launch… nobody expects that these days. The net result as a developer is that I’m waiting two years and basically have lost interest; 2) They have raised the bar ridiculously high with their behavior. If this thing doesn’t solve world peace and world hunger on day one, they’re in trouble; 3) And here’s the big one: they have randomized the conversation about 3D on the web by claiming that they are 3D. I agree that they’re not a 3D engine. They just need to stop saying it. They’re on my turf and I take that one personally… otherwise I would have stopped paying attention them a year ago. Cheers

  3. I hear you Tony. I once invested hundreds of hours in an open source 3D technology called Flux, only to see it suddenly become proprietary, destroying my promising business in the process. You simply can’t know which platform to plum for.

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