Google Reader (59):

Steve Lacey: As a blogger I like to include a blogroll on my site so that friends, family and other readers can take a look at what I like to read. It's also a nice way to give a shout out to the authors of the blogs that I like. However, maintaining a blogroll can be a bit of a pain as your subscriptions ebb and flow.

I know that guy! Steve Lacy used to work at RenderMorphics just before it was bought by Microsoft. One of the things the RenderMorphics people (mostly Steve I think) had to do as part of making RL part of the Game SDK was convert it to COM. So they put COM interfaces on top of their stuff that just thunked into it. I had a game engine that used the RL code and later that same low level code was used in the Intervista VRML browser. Microsoft eventually bought the Intervista browser. Since I had code that used the RL standard "C" interface, I thunked my code into the COM interface layer.

So it went like this:

1 The VRML browser called into my code to render a scene.
2 My code called into original RL interfaces which I had rewritten to call into COM.
3 The Game SDK COM layer called back into the original RL interfaces.
4 The RL interfaces called down into hardware or software.

So basically steps 2 and 3 canceled each other out. When Microsoft bought the Intervista VRML browser, Steve Lacey looked at the code, and saw my interface layer calling into his interface layer and how they just canceled each other out and got a good laugh from that.

The Intervista VRML browser was downloaded at least a million times, but sadly it was built for IE 4 ActiveX interfaces and Document Object Model which Microsoft totally changed for IE 5. That killed off the VRML browser, sadly.

VRML was actually pretty fun and surprisingly fast considering all the work that went on to render a scene.

Ah, the good old days.