After the previous day’s excitement of seeing AutoCAD Web on mainstage at the Google I/O developer keynote, on Wednesday our very own Marcus O’Brien, Senior Product Line Manager in the AutoCAD team, took to the stage during another session at Google I/O – entitled “Building the Future Web with WebAssembly” – to talk a bit more about AutoCAD’s history and the path that led to this latest incarnation of AutoCAD Web.
Here’s a video of the session. It’s probably worth watching more of this one, but for your convenience I’ve set the below video to start with the AutoCAD segment.
This is, once again, great recognition of the amazing feat the Fabric team has pulled off over the last few years. Taking a multi-million-line, desktop-centric codebase built and refined over 35 years and getting it to work in a browser is simply incredible. And it wasn’t an easy process: it took a lot of hard work and dedication to make this happen.
I’ve seen a few comments from people saying “what about Firefox support”? This is (as far as I’m aware) coming… it made sense to focus on Chrome first – as it’s currently the most popular browser and has first-class WebAssembly support – but my understanding is that it’s basically a question of resources and time before we’re able to support other major WebAssembly-capable browsers. We’ll get there.
Some people have interpreted this single-browser focus as some kind of political (or even religious) choice. It isn’t… this is not about big company stuff, it’s just about doing what you can, when you can. The whole discussion reminds me of Louis C.K.’s rant on Late Night with Conan O’Brien (presumably no relation, Marcus?) about the fact that “everything is amazing and nobody is happy”. (I know Louis C.K. has since been disgraced, but that particular rant was completely on-point.) Let’s please remember the miracle that is AutoCAD working in a browser, and cut the team a little slack. (Update: Marcus tells me Firefox actually works, even if not officially supported… you just have to click “ignore” on the prompt.)
Congratulations to the AutoCAD team for this well-deserved recognition. I hope you’re all enjoying your moment in the spotlight!