> flash plugin object (like youtube videos) that plays opengl scenes using
> some native format similar to how flash uses SWF files, or whatever?
First of all you don't run anything through anything. Web/OpenGL (ES) are in effect just a bunch of commands sent to the driver. It is not really impacted by the language from where you call it. It is just a graphics library
Second OpenGL scenes are not played, they are interactive.
Third people don't want to deal with (buggy) plugins they want sh!t that just works across browsers.
> It seems like almost the web browser is trying to become Emacs,
> everything and the kitchen sink, though...
Maybe, but "direct" (yeah I know it's not really direct, that's what Vulcan is for) access to your graphics card inside the browser is IMHO a nice feature.
> If it includes opengl or webgl, and video players
That's what your graphics card/chip gives you even on low end systems like the pi out of the box, so why not expose this inside the browser?
> under the sun.. it makes me wonder whether we should really not be going
> back to exe's again... I.e. if you want to download a opengl
> application, you just download an exe/elf program instead of running it
> in the web browser ;-)
Only that the stuff in the browser seldom is what you call an OpenGL application (whatever that term means) and as noted above people are not going to download apps for stuff like this.