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RE: XML multimedia specs -- help for the bewildered, please?

It's simple:  comply and compete.  XML has nothing 
in the way of semantics, real time 3D interoperability 
depends on semantics for behavioral fidelity.  A single 
source codebase is the sword cut to the Gordian Knot 
of interoperation and behavioral fidelity.  Vendors such as 
Macromedia recognize the conflict for what it is.

The X3D effort is being revamped.  XML is still there 
as an encoding, but the emphasis appears to be changing. 
To what is somewhat undetermined.  A closed Browser 
Working Group has been announced with details on the 
W3DC homepage.   There was heavy resistance to changing 
the syntax of VRML (what X3D is basically) and more to 
the idea of using the DOM.  This has to be overcome 
with reliable conformant performant implementation. 
So far, no one has stepped up to that except the 
Xj3D group.   

XML doesn't add much to the issues  
of ubiquitous real time 3D at the browser level. 
On the front end (transformation of data sets 
for visualization and high level authoring 
languages) it can be very useful, but at this time 
3D is mired in the interoperation, fidelity, and 
ubiquity of rendering plugins.

Note:  Microsoft has yet to field a successful 
real time 3D application.  It seems to be a 
dead spot in their pool of otherwise enormously 
successful applications.   My guess is that they 
may acquire rights to one of the VRML survivors. 
Their own Chrome effort which was the incindiary 
that illuminated XML in the 3D universe died a 
quiet ignominous death.  Someone ask why.

Other issues:  why 3D at all?

Without very good authoring tools, real time 3D is 
very costly to build and worse to maintain in the 
face of inconsistent browser behavior.  Complex 
content such as demonstrated by the IrishSpace 
project isn't viable until those challenges are 
met and overcome.  If all you need are rotating 
objects, you don't really need real time 3D.  If 
you want to build large integrated worlds, say 
compelling entertainment applications, real time 
3D is a good bet.  The authoring tools must enable 
easy production and intergration of 3D audio, 
avatar behaviors, movie or storystyle framework 
scripting, and over time, should incorporate the 
voice technologies being pioneered at AT&T to enable 
reuse of live and deceased actors voices.

Then you need a much larger and more productive 
talent pool.  3D is hard.  Weirdly, it is easier 
than 2D but no one notices.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck White [mailto:chuckwh@pacbell.net]

As for 3D, currently, there are two areas of activity that I'm aware of (but
there may be more): the X3D spec you mentioned and a 3D language being
pushed by Viewpoint and Adobe
(http://www.viewpoint.com/developerzone/5-0.html). Naturally, these groups
don't seem to be working together, but I could be mistaken.

I don't know if this helps at all, or if this just served as an opportunity
to voice my displeasure over the way companies handle spec development. If
it's the latter, my apologies, but these things need to be said from time to