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   Re: Premature standardization considered harmful

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  • From: Len Bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: "John D. Gwinner" <JGwinner@dazsi.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 19:39:08 -0600

John D. Gwinner wrote:
> I agree, but I'd add WITH Implementation; I learned that from VRML.  A spec
> can be hashed out quicker in an open process (with some semi-formal
> procedures, IMHO), then published as a standard, but it's got to have
> working implementation.  VRML did all of this except the last, and it was
> barrier to successful user adoption (regardless of discussions about the
> merits or lack of the spec itself)

Be fair John.  It was implemented by Live3D, Cosmo, WorldView, IDS, and 
half a dozen others easily.  The nit was the spec wasn't edited fast 
enough so it bogged down because the undefined areas caused serious 
content interoperability problems.  The problems of the event model
were and are mind boggling.  

The market issues were different;  cost of maintenance of content for a 
spec that did not provide a stable semantic, not enough 
3D talent (pay attention SVG fans:  tools make or break graphics 
apps.  everyone can write but not everyone can draw), 
the machines weren't up to the rendering required for compelling worlds, 
and complete support of the spec meant a seven meg download for a

Then there was the BrowserWarz.  

Consider, it is five years later, it is still the only 3D spec for the
and they are still arguing over explicit vs implicit children which
XMLization a knotty issue (say, context free parse and click your heels 
together three times).

Reference implementations are political beasties as you well know.
Maybe SVG will be extended to 3D.  That would be fun to watch.


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