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Re standards: note that good content standards
can struggle in a market not ready because the
platforms can not do the job properly. VRML is
a pretty good example of an open standard (ISO)
that while holding a sizable following, has
not prospered economically because the major
market for online 3D (games) has such stringent
performance requirements, a general language
fails to perform adequately. The solution is
proprietary languages and implementations built
over 'closer to the metal' standards such as
OpenGL and its like.
With the advent of the P3s and P4s, high
performance graphics cards and cheap memory,
the performance of the worlds built five
years ago in VRML is acceptable today. But
the gaming community has moved on to even
higher fidelity requirements. Even with
an X3D (an XML version of VRML), it will be
tough for the language to emerge because
it not only has to hatch, it will have to
crawl on its fins across six acres of muck
on its way to the ocean.
The other problem is the size of the early
adopting community and how fast they scale.
Real-time 3D requires talent, talent requires
tools, and tools require developers and developers
require money. Getting the suction hose started
today is a lot tougher than it was five years ago.
Economics aside, the platforms and the languages
have to converge in an easy to apply form. Standards
should not be created before their time and they
should be created by the industry that needs them
for the public that wants them. It is a problem
when well-intentioned amateurs get into that game.
From: Bill de hOra [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Martin Soukup wrote:
> The biggest problem with large open standards is that they must serve a
> wide community of users and through that an even wider range of
> customers. I guess the issue here is that one should have the option of
> doing things either way. Wouldn't that serve the most people?
Possibly not. The thing with open standards is that they act as a
public good (if you like, they have macro-economic value) as well as
serving to increase the size of market by drawing in more buyers.
Not everyone gets served equally by them (there will be
detrimental, micro-economic consequences for individuals). If there
is a bias in standards, it's usually towards consumers of the
products the standards target, not the sellers - arguably by the
time a sector needs standardizing, the sellers have made sufficient
margin as opaque markets tend to favour sellers. Fwiw, Eric
Newcomer's article which Len linked to is a resonable portrayal of
what goes when standards come to town, though I agree that the
choices are not so clear cut - differnt areas and verticals will
move at different rates.