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   RE: [x3d-contributors] Re: geometry first, MathML, CAD, etc

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  • From: "Paul Fishwick" <fishwick@cise.ufl.edu>
  • To: "Jean-Marc Vanel" <jmvanel@free.fr>, <xml-dev@xml.org>, <x3d-contributors@web3d.org>, "Frederic ABIVEN" <Frederic.ABIVEN@teaser.fr>, "Patrick Laug" <Patrick.Laug@inria.fr>, "Amine Hassim" <Amine.Hassim@inria.fr>, "Jean Marc VANEL" <jean-marc_vanel@effix.fr>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 10:22:33 -0500

Dear Jean-Marc:
 I find myself agreeing with you but am seeking technical alternatives. Let's
put X3D on the table and analyze it. The next questions that both of us would
raise are:
 1) What is wrong with it?
 2) What explicitly would we change in X3D?
 I still am hoping that there exist evolutionary methods that will allow X3D and all of
the other XML implementations to co-exist and co-operate. This hope may not be
justified, but I am ever the optimist (for some unknown reason). Namespaces are
proposed as something we should consider to aid in bridging gaps.
 Len has made some really valuable suggestions, and I am fascinated with the
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) that he referred me to in another email. My feeling
is that we are just at the beginning of this revolution. The revolution is not to
immediately cause everything to be suddenly integrated. Instead, I see it as a
revolution to surface semantics in a human-readable and highly accessible form (through
XML). It is a bit like learning to speak for the first time; everyone is speaking and saying
"here is how I code the structure of my part of the world". The difference, now, is that
these structures will use the same lingua franca (XML). Currently, they do not:
IGES, STEP, DXF, OBJ, COB ... add the hundreds of others that exist.
-----Original Message-----
From: x3d-contributors-approval@web3d.org [mailto:x3d-contributors-approval@web3d.org]On Behalf Of Jean-Marc Vanel
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2000 3:01 AM
To: xml-dev@xml.org; x3d-contributors@web3d.org; Frederic ABIVEN; Patrick Laug; Amine Hassim; Jean Marc VANEL
Subject: [x3d-contributors] Re: geometry first, MathML, CAD, etc

Paul Fishwick wrote :
When Henry Ford built his first automobile,my guess is that he had to hand-construct many of the components since theredid not exist a supply-chain for carburetors, brakes, wheels and so forth. As timeprogressed, these supply-chains multiplied in what might be called a Darwinianor Capitalistic evolution---thus, providing ways to make automobiles whosecomponents are now "outsourced" to other companies, forming a huge tree or graphof industrialization.   X3D is similar. There has to be a seed, or coherent entity where we begin.
The seed, VRML, has existed for years, and has not met the success of the T model ! The current X3D seems merely a word-for-word translation of VRML97 in old XML monolythic DTD style. It's more than time to have a modular state of the art XML VR vocabulary, with all the facilities of XML Namespaces, XML Schema, and possibly XSLT, SMIL, etc.

 It's also more than time to search other partners for the 3D geometry subset outside of the video circle, notably CAD and scientists involved in numerical simulations, and biological descriptions.

Think of the advantages of being able to import directly shapes from manufacturing industry, and use them in animations!

Also there is a big oportunity to have skilled computer scientists from the numerical simulations domain join the design process. They are shure, like I am, discouraged by the current poor design of VRML, and its too narrow scope.

this is similar to Ford acquiring the company thatmakes carburetors and integrating it within his own company.
I have another comparison that applies better, sadly. The situation with VRML/X3D is like if the whole car was moulded in one single piece. As a positive example, think of XSL-formatting and XSLT (transforms). In the begining, they were together, but soon enough, the designers realized that it has a huge usefullness to make transforms without the formatting aspect. And now we have a good W3C recommandation for XSLT, with several good implementations, that is much more frequently used (e. g. by current X3D implementation) than XSL-formatting . The analogy is strong with our domain: VR's core is 3D geometry, and it has a much larger usefullness than VR. And a modular design can create synergies with other domains and industries. If you don't do this now, X3D will never get big.

  <project>Worlwide Botanical Knowledge Base -
      making botany available on Internet
    <a href="http://wwbota.free.fr/" >site</a>
  <a href="mailto:jmvanel@free.fr">mail (eventually put "wwbota" in subject to route your mail in relevant folder)</a>


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