FRAK 2 is Much Cleaner Now

February 28, 2024

We have updated our WebGL rendering engine FRAK 2. Many old code parts have been removed and loading 3D models is now much faster.

Two months ago we released new version of our open-source rendering engine FRAK. As there has been many important changes, it is called FRAK 2 now. New FRAK engine can be used in 3D Wayfinder through “development” template. FRAK 2 will be more GLTF oriented and it is built for using AR (Augmented Reality) in 3D Wayfinder. This opens up a lot of new features we have been waiting to see in our wayfinder software.

FRAK 2 will soon be in all 3D Wayfinder templates. But before this, we still need some fixes and improvements. For now – we have mostly removed “old” code and made it better and faster for 3D Wayfinder. In the dynamic realm of technology, where innovation is the heartbeat of progress, the need to rewrite code has become more than just a periodic necessity — it’s a strategic imperative for us. As applications evolve and user expectations skyrocket, the demand for robust, scalable, and efficient wayfinding software has never been higher. As browsers and mobile devices develop constantly further, so are we, with our wayfinder software.

In this fast-paced landscape, clinging to outdated code can be a barrier to growth and a breeding ground for vulnerabilities. Let’s delve into why rewriting code is not just a luxury but a crucial step towards ensuring the longevity and success of any application.

Most important things we have done:

  1. Removing Hammer.js for touch events

We have been using Hammer.js for touch-enabled screens (wayfinding kiosks). The purpose of using hammer.js was lacking support for touch-devices. But nowadays many Windows and Linux devices have also touchscreens and browsers have much better support for touch events. So removing Hammer.js gives us cleaner code and better handling for controlling map movements.

2. Enabling parallel loading of 3D models and other files

Parallel loading of 3D models and other files gives faster initial loading for 3D Wayfinder. We are still capable of rendering maps before loading textures.

By loading larger 3D models simultaneously provides shorter overall loading time. Faster loading is better for wayfinding kiosks, but mostly it gives advantage for mobile devices. As modern mobile devices are quite good for showing 3D maps, we are focusing on making 3D Wayfinder to work on mobile devices also. Faster loading will also be important for AR and VR options, that will be soon available in our wayfinder software.

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