A couple of comments on this post.
- We want to support COLLADA, but we do not want to spend the resources required at this point, because it requires a disproportionate amount of work compared to other formats, which are more useful in a real-time, runtime, Flash context. Please see this thread for a discussion concerning the effort and benefits of COLLADA support: http://away3d.com/forum/viewthread/346/
- COLLADA support in Prefab is a great idea (because Prefab is a tool, and it runs locally.) COLLADA support in Away3D 4 is less important in our point of view. However, once it makes it into one it will likely make it into the other. Still however, Prefab 2.0 will not go live for a fair amount of time, so don’t hold your breath. Away3D might have a COLLADA parser before then.
- COLLADA may have been written by GPU experts, but that does not mean that it is tailored for use with Stage3D. A lot of the data structures in COLLADA (and general GPU programming) require a lot of marshalling by the parser before the data can be fed to the Stage3D APIs (which are very limited in terms of the way data has to be structured.) That’s not the case for AWD2 for instance, which was designed with the limitations of Stage3D in mind (while open to advances to these APIs in the future.) So while we have never said that COLLADA does not work with runtime environments (which would be a silly statement) it is incorrect to imply that COLLADA is perfect for use in a Flash context.
- “Won’t use resources” is not what I said, and definitely not what I meant. We are an open source project. All of us have day jobs and we provide our community with Away3D for free, without being compensated (financially at least) for our time. It’s not a matter of “won’t use resources”, it’s a matter of not having any resources. If we had significantly more time, we would use those to implement COLLADA support. But in the situation we are in, allocating that time would mean that we would have to kill or postpone a number of other internal projects that we think are more important for the evolution of the Away3D platform.
- We are not saying Away3D will not support COLLADA. We are saying that at this point we can’t accommodate this request. If you are working for a large game studio which desperately needs this, consider using the very powerful, plug-in parser architecture to create your own COLLADA parser. The power of open-source really is being able to extend your tools to fit your own requirements; saving a couple of bucks in the process is just a lucky bonus. If your studio really needs COLLADA, you could also help us allocate time to create a COLLADA parser by contracting one of our developers.
Lastly, please do not misunderstand us. We want to support every file format, and every feature that one can imagine, and we appreciate every bug report and feature request. But there are essentially 5-10 of us working on this project mainly in our spare time, and we have to continue to focus our effort on what we think will benefit the platform the most. Right now that is getting 4.0 stable and out the door. COLLADA support will have to come after that (e.g. in 4.1). You are very welcome to continue to share your opinions, and more than welcome to help us out through donations, code contributions or by contracting one of us.