Today I’d like to announce a major milestone for the 3DR project: The ADL 3DR is now completely open source. This means that the community of users and other interested parties are completly free to review the technology; to modify, remix, and improve it. We hope that this step will lead to broader adoption and deeper collaboration between those interested in sharing and reusing digital content. The project is hosted by GitHub, the largest online code hosting service in the world. You can download the source code at https://github.com/adlnet/3D-
A major step in the 3DR development is the first version of the 3DR installer that can update an existing installation without loosing previously uploaded content. This important feature is necessary to allow partners to keep up to date with new development. In the future, you’ll always be able to download an executabe that will upgrade your installation to the most recent version.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (ARL STTC) has installed a private 3DR instance, with plans to create a public facing instance sometime in the future.
We have 2 major development efforts running simultaneously. First, we’ll drop support for the Google O3D plugin. This feature has been with us since the very beginning, but the technology behind it has been overcome by events in the web programming world, and is no longer a suitable choice for delivering 3D content to browsers. Removing this feature will streamline the technical architecture under the hood, as we previously relied on deprecated tools no longer supported by Google. We’ll continue improving the WebGL viewer, and replace O3D with a viewer based on Flash’s Stage3D. Importantly, this viewer will parse the same JSON representation that WebGL does- further simplifying the server side code. Expect the Stage3D viewer in the next few weeks – basic work is complete, and simply requires integration.
Second, we’re continuing work to make setting up and maintaining a copy of the 3DR software easier. The majority of the settings that previously required an administrator to edit config files manually will now be accessible through a web interface. Should configuration errors arise, the system will be smarter about aiding the admin in fixing them – even going so far as to detect database connection errors, and fall back to a recovery state that allows configuration changes even when the database is offline. Here’s a sneak peak at the configuration tools.
We hope these new features will continue to make the 3DR valuable to the training community. Please consider becoming a contributor to the project by downloading the source and improving it. As always, please let us know how we can serve you better.