AutoCAD is now available in the browser!!


I just saw the video on this page:

Google IO

I wonder what repercussions that has for the computing world in general, and, CG in particular as well…?


As I said in earlier threads, WebAssembly or “Wasm” is intended to do exactly this:

You can program a complex software once, then run it at good speed in any browser on any OS. So the idea of powerful software running in a browser is coming closer and closer.

The good news: When you need to remote-access a 3D or CAD or video editing software over the web, through a browser, that will now be possible.

The bad news: Everything will go cloud - someday, you may not be allowed to even install software on your local device anymore. They will force you to access it remotely over the internet.


I think I’ll start a thread where people can list their favourite web-based digital art softwares… I already posted a whole bunch once, but - mods, any chance you could make this a sticky?


Bro - because it’s coming down from a server does NOT mean it can’t get installed locally, as I said in the other thread. It would surely be EXTREMELY wasteful for the whole damn thing to download every time someone wanted to use it. I think Javascript “localStorage” is what makes this possible - if you’re a JS guy, you could Google it or something - I’m not knowledgable about it myself - yet.


In 2025 you may still have 95% of AutoCAD, Maya, Max or any other software sitting on your local computer. But very likely, the 5% of critical core code that makes the application work in the first place you will need to load off of a cloud server - in a few seconds and heavily encrypted - each time you run the software by then. Stuff just won’t run locally like today anymore.

The chief reason useless cloud gaming services like Steam, UPlay and Origin were built & financed in the first place was to get maybe 500 to 700 Million young gamers used to the idea that anything you own software wise in the future - whether game or productivity software - has to be bought with a credit card and tied into the internet cloud in some way or the other.

By the time these kids are in their mid 20s or early 30s, you can bet your ass that no major software will work without an internet connection and the cloud at all anymore.

Literally the only stuff that will work like today will be open-source software then, and maybe some smaller softwares trying to stay old-fashioned.

You may think “Surely nobody will take things that far?”

The answer is yes, very likely they will take things that far. Software that doesn’t run at all unless you are internet connected each time you load the software.

Internet connections by then will probably be 10 to 20 times faster than today, and internet will be everywhere. So loading CAD or 3D software off of a remote server will take seconds - no more than loading off a harddisk or SSD today.


well if that does happen, then old dinosaurs like myself will buy the last hard copy version and pull the internet plug when we want to use it.


If this is perhaps indeed where software is heading then I for one will stop using software that requires a continuous connection to the internet. No one needs to think to hard to know why this is rather ridiculous. So what options? Use what software is left that stays off of the internet, use older software that is still useful or find another occupation. Either way I do not look forward to the future of software use. The cloud could vaporize as far as I am concerned. The last thing I need is to be connected to the internet more then I want to be. It seems like an additional invasion of privacy, lack of freedom to use what I want and a violation of property rights based on something I purchased which I supposedly own.


Yeah - so? I’m not seeing the problem…that prevents piracy, doesn’t it? I see no reason it will take a net connection to run, it’ll probably just take one to authenticate, from some serverwhen it starts up, ie. just to verify that you’ve paid your bills. Which is a concept that I kind of happen to [i]LIKE!! :slight_smile:

[/i]I agree with you that Steam is useless (though I’ve used it very little) - I saw no point of the thing when I first saw it - like, you can d/l games off of the web itself, right? So…I never got what the thing actually was, and hence, never used it.

You don’t know what speed internet will be - do you really wanna take out all the Fiber that’s been laid underground and underwater, and do the whole thing AGAIN every couple of years? Or mobile towers??


Once again - it will NOT! I think this is already testable - if you have Chrome, click “Apps”, get something, then switch off your net and try running it - it damn well SHOULD work. Of course, it depends how each software has been programmed by its programmers, but at the very least Chrome will show you what apps you have installed. INSTALLED. No net required to use it again!!


…and I just read this:

Progressive Web Apps

The “What’s also cool is that if” part under the “Let’s talk about progressive web apps. Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly are they?” question basically confirms what I said, above.


OK, I looked it up, it wasn’t localStorage, it was something called “Application Cache Manifest”, if there are any coders here.

…and I TESTED it - with a game called “Swoop” I had d/l’d, worked just fine… :slight_smile:


I disagree personally.

More likely, in my opinion, well see hybrid solutions where offline is always an option…but online tools and processing be made available for everyone to access


[quote=]Yeah - so? I’m not seeing the problem…that prevents piracy, doesn’t it? I see no reason it will take a net connection to run, it’ll probably just take one to authenticate, from some serverwhen it starts up, ie. just to verify that you’ve paid your bills. Which is a concept that I kind of happen to LIKE!!
No. It does NOT prevent piracy. Even Adobe eventually admitted that their CC move had little to do with preventing piracy. The move to “cloud only software” (which, I tend to agree w/Skeebertus that sometime in the next 10-15 years we will see a move to thin clients on the user side of things) is 100% about gaining more control over the paying user base, while also no longer needing to work as hard at innovation to get folks to pick up new releases.


If we were in the 1990s where software users had far more user rights/ownership rights, I would agree with you.

Unfortunately graphics/audiovisual software has become such a big global business since then that that the CEOs, Business Managers and MBAs call the shots at these companies - not the engineers or designers of the software.

For those CEOs, Business Managers and MBAs, the only thing that really matters is how many Dollars any “market move” or “market strategy” brings in. Inconveniencing you or me or 200,000 other users in the process does not bother these people one bit.

So be mindful - I am talking about the software companies of the 2020s, not the much nicer, more idealistic AV folks of the 1990s or very early 2000s.

The world of audiovisual software has changed tremendously since the “golden days” 2 decades ago, because in situations where money is measured in Billions of Dollars and shareholders have to be pleased, the CEOs, Managers and MBA types will take over.


Makes sense…though there are massive hurdles to clear. A lot of software is dependent on one another, and larger companies have developed inhouse solutions to feed data back and forth for their specific production lines. These are also the companies that pay the biggest fees for the software. The devs wont br able to ignore that or simply abandon it without pissing off companies and opening the door to easy competition.

Archviz might nearly be impossible. Between the stamping architect and engineers livelihoods on the line and Gov. Agencies not even accepting most of the data produced with even today’s options (still relying on archaic stuff from 40 years ago as millions of documents and formulas are based on them and tested)…getting them to change and simply trust outside companies for the majority of their livelihood will be pretty tough. Granted visuals are a bit separate but almost all of them share data and some software to complete their tasks. Additionally, the first time the cloud is down and a client doesn’t get his image or video for funding will result in a lot of heads getting lobbed off lol. Finally, the server farms yo handle the level of data and the manpower to protect them as most data is very sensitive will be enormous. Bigger than anything amazon, switch, google operate in my opinion. My company alone, spread across the us…has several thousands of teribyts of shared data just by ourselves. Couldn’t imagine if all data…personal included…was in our servers.

You might be right…but the hurdles are higher in my opinion than most think