[Molvis-list] Stereo-3D in a Window: Not in MacOS X Tiger?!!

Warren DeLano warren at delanoscientific.com
Thu Jan 13 20:58:50 EST 2005

Fellow Visualization Software Users:

My #1 gripe with MacOS X Panther has been the lack of support for
industry-standard stereo-3D graphics (in a window).  So far, I and others
have been unable to convince Apple that this feature matters enough to their
bottom line to merit implementation.  Candid discussions this week at
MacWorld confirmed that Tiger (OS X 10.4) will likewise ship without this
essential capability at a time when the opportunity for Apple is at its peak
in this market.  I believe this would be a serious error, and that Apple
must now hear from us on this issue.

If you agree, then please reply directly to me, RIGHT NOW
(mailto:warren at delsci.com) with the words: "Stereo 3D matters to me."  Your
response will be printed, and I will hand-deliver them to Apple management
in nearby Cupertino at the end of the month.  We need AS MANY responses as
we can get (ideally 1,000+), so please forward this email to all of your
visualization-oriented colleagues (in any sector), and ask them to submit
individual emails to me as well.  Here's why: 

Stereoscopic 3D visualization increasingly matters in science, medicine, and
engineering.  Though arguably the ultimate technical computing platform, the
Mac remains hopelessly crippled in this key respect when compared to Sun,
HP, Dell, or IBM workstations running Linux, Solaris, or even Windows.
Dual-Xeon and dual-Opteron systems now ship stereo-3D-ready thanks to
powerful nVidia/Quadro and ATI/FireGL graphics cards.  Thus, the competition
WILL OWN THIS MARKET if Apple doesn't support stereo-3D in a window on MacOS
X, ASAP.  The disruptive market opportunity created by the implosion of SGI
and the stopgap adoption of "home brew" Linux systems is about to end.
Professional-grade stereoscopic visualization is now a standard OpenGL
capability, it is vendor-supported on a variety of hardware, and it is
present on every platform EXCEPT THE MAC.  None of those "amazing features"
in Tiger matter one bit to technical users whose basic needs remain unmet.

Stereo-3D inadequacy is a show-stopper for many scientists and engineers.
The Mac will not have a fair shot at this market unless Apple quickly
follows though on it's assumed responsibility to support all OpenGL
features, including quad-buffered stereo-3D graphics in a window.  Case in
point:  my company just spent $5k on a dual-Opteron Sun workstation instead
of a dual-G5 Mac solely because stereo-3D in a window is absent from MacOS
X.  This pattern will surely be amplified many thousand-fold if Apple does
not take immediate corrective action.

Responding together, we can insure that Apple understands what this
deficiency means for the future of MacOS X in scientific, medical, and
technical visualization.  I do not believe that Apple management has made an
informed decision regarding stereo-3D, and I think this is our last best
chance to change things before the issue becomes moot.  

Please share your concerns by responding to this email
(mailto:warren at delsci.com).  It will only take a second, but the benefits
could last for years to come if Apple listens well and then acts decisively.

Input from current Linux and Windows users is especially welcome, since
Apple would love to sell you the visualization platform of your dreams if
you're willing to help define it.  Thank you for your time.

Author of PyMOL: http://pymol.sf.net (Note that MacPyMOL is currently shown
on http://apple.com/science under "The Tools" -- cool!) DeLano Scientific
LLC company profile: http://delanoscientific.com/about.html 

PS. An alternate way to be heard is to post on the Apple SciTech or Sci-Vis
mailing lists, but please CC me too to be sure that you're counted.


Warren L. DeLano, Ph.D.                     
Principal Scientist

. DeLano Scientific LLC  
. 400 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 213           
. South San Francisco, CA 94080    
. Biz:(650)-872-0942  Tech:(650)-872-0834     
. Fax:(650)-872-0273  Cell:(650)-346-1154
. mailto:warren at delsci.com      

More information about the Molvis-list mailing list