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Rita knows a lot about the going's on at the Web3DC these days. I just
lurk and hack a bit but I learn more about the web watching them than I
do watching HTML. Nothing against, HTML, really. It is just a model I
To give a little data for why 3D or any application on the web that
requires serious technical chops doesn't scale up like HTML (again,
intelligence doesn't scale), see
Note that with the requirements for messy protocol code and the ability
to think in a multi-dimensional application (XYZ + Time(User-intent +
Sentient Environment), you have to have professional 3D graphics chops.
This isn't the world of 2D vector or pngs although you have to have
these too (textures and 2D layers). Given the figures in that article
cited above, one begins to understand why comparing the HTML authoring
and the X3D authoring communities concludes that all they have in common
is XML skills and that is trivial in the sense it is assumed. All of
that is needed before you even get to semantic domain technology (what
are the rules of emergency responders in a situation of type zed). This
is why tool support and libraries are so critical. Fortunately, the
consortium has stepped up to these and gathered support across different
organizations and companies to get X3D into export packages and
authoring suites. Companies like Media Machines have made their brower
code open source so the 'softies have a basis to get started. Companies
like Yumatech have stayed the course with open source libraries for
Java. The US Navy at the Naval Postgraduate School has done herculean
work to provide libraries, guidance, projects, research and leadership.
There are many others. Comparing them to web page companies is like
comparing Juliard to your local technical college.
This is not easy work. The artistic worlds are hard enough but the
serious apps require serious effort. In the breezy land of 'make a
company fast; flip it and move on', this is too hard. For the companies
and individuals with depth and commitment, it is a satisfying challenge
and there is increasingly good money to be made because there are RFPs
on the street that cite X3D and budgets to back them up. You have to
compete against the likes of David Colleen at Planet9 and that won't be
easy. It will help if you come from a university that made VRML
coursework part of the curriculum and those tend to be in Europe where
VRML never went off the radar. It is tougher in the US where commercial
authoring packages, not languages, tend to dominate 3D coursework.
You don't use X3D because you want to build the next WoW game site. You
can but you won't. You use X3D because you have a real time web capable
application that needs royalty free technology using scene graph
technology that is reliable and repurposable for a long time regardless
of the fortunes of the company that provides your tools or browsers. It
isn't perfect because there is still work to do on the standards, but
because that has been going on below the radar with a smaller dedicated
team of companies and individuals, it didn't suffer the hysteresis that
has ensnared too many W3C efforts. There are advantages to being
considered 'dead'. It keeps the work focused on staying alive.
Nothing worth having is easy to get. Real time 3D challenges web
mythology at every level.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 12:18 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: Why is there little usage of XML on the
Thanks Len, for all the good support you have given us. On our updated
web site, www.web3d.org, you will find many new case studies and blogs
detailing the Consortium's recent efforts and successes.
Note that not only we will be at Siggraph in early August "with bells
on" doing both an exhibit booth and Tech Talk not to be missed, but we
also will be featured in an IEEE Computer article come September.
It's been 6+ years since Web3D (then the VRML Consortium) has been so
highly publicized, but this year, many have come forward in Web3D to
bring out the best in XML support within X3D, and in interactive,
immersive real-time good looking 3D. Bringing 3D and XML together on the
web finally is a reality.