The primary purpose of the Open Design Alliance is to keep up with advancements in the DGN and DWG file formats. In addition, the technical organization branches out into other areas, like PDF import-export and other libraries, such as those from C3D Labs and Ledas.
A survey found that ODA members are most interested in the following future technologies:
40% - doing renderings on remote servers (cloud)
40% - 3D PDF (no surprise, PDF has become the ASCII format of graphics)
30% - Point cloud data stored in DWG files
30% - Model documentation (where 2D drawings are generated from 3D models)
We're now learning the technical details about Web services from ODA. As Randall Newton tweeted,
"Autodesk has big job turning client apps into bits running as Cloud deployment. ODA perhaps more nimble in this regard. #ODA15."
TC uses LLG [low level graphics] metafile format that contains geometry and rendering instructions; users can create their own metafiles. The renderer uses NodeJS for Linux and ASP.Net on Windows; the functionality is similar and so users can switch between them.
We are now getting a demo of the Web renderer with a 10MB drawing. You can specify the layout and the type of rendering, then it takes a few moments for the rendering to show up. Switching between rendering modes is instant, as is 3D rotation.
The presenter has the Web renderer working on his tablet, and will demo it later. Future pans include sockets support for communication with TxHost instances, and stream GS data to clients.
PRC is short for "product representation compact," and not People's Republic of China. It is a file format that encapsulates 3D PDF, and just last December became an ISO standard.
The great thing for programmers end users about formats becoming ISO standards is that the format is fixed. For programmers, they are no longer chasing a moving target; for end users, they no longer need to purchase software updates. In the case of PDF files, old versions, like Acrobat 9, work just fine. Same for DOCX files: no need to ever get another update to Word. This is probably why Autodesk refuses to make DWG an ISO standard.
ODA supports PDF import and export inside of Teigha. I asked why write their own, instead of using an existing library. The problems with licensing someone else's library are lack of control, and complexity: drawings need to be exported far more accurately than other kinds of documents, and so writing their own code gives the ODA better control over the process involving complexity of drawings.