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Re: [xml-dev] 2007 Predictions - losing the PC

3D makes sophisticated 2D possible. Apple proves this daily - and most of the core changes occuring on the Linux and even MS side visually are due to the integration of 3D processes into the daily workflow. Sure, many of them are just "effects", but its remarkable how effective those effects can be for making metaphors believable.

With 3D there are effectively two metaphoric systems at play. The first is the Sims reality - Second Life, et alia. This is the walkthrough model of the universe, you are in the perspective of the world, and it is what people commonly conjure to mind when they bring up "3D". Cool, processor intensive, and difficult to do without specialist tools - though even that's not that big a deal any more. Spend some time looking at renderosity.com; admittedly a lot of crap, but a fair amount of just jaw-droppingly stunning work done largely be artists who wouldn't know a for(){} loop if it bit 'em on the ass. This is where the reality is moving towards - learn to render static, then learn to animate, then learn to build worlds. The GIS folk are there big time with this, they understand that the world is three dimensional, and they consequently must be as well if they are to survive in the next generation.

The second metaphor is more subtle - it is the mathematical domain that 3D opens up; fractally effects, vapors, applications that are able to twist and distort and reform because they are rendered onto a mathematically complex domain. The 2D desktop's not going away, but the ability to organize in 2.5 space (i.e., z-ordered content, not something with a fractal dimension of 2.5) is significant, even with a static viewpoint. Data visualization comes from this, and data visualization is frankly the great unexplored world where XML should, by all rights, excel. Why? Because data visualization typically requires the ability to transform content on the fly, sometimes radically so, with the presentation layer being built in ways that can't necessarily be predicted a priori. XML is superb at that, whereas related technologies such as Flash are only good so long as you stay within the fairly limited confines of what a packaged toolset can provide.

This is really where I see the crux of X3D, and where I think the hard won lessons from SVG really do apply. SVG is a favored technology in GIS, because of that malleability, but outside of that fairly narrow domain, there were too many different people that wanted to stretch SVG too many different ways to truly become useful, often attempting to make it into something it wasn't. I think that because of the parsing issues and constraints on the X3D model wrt world views, trying to build #1 in X3D will likely be an interesting exercise but something that may take 5-10 years of technology coming to fruition to make pervasive. If you look at the low hanging fruit, though - data visualization, largely planar structures (architecture) and so forth you can get a lot of mileage from X3D.

On 1/17/07, david.lyon@preisshare.net <david.lyon@preisshare.net > wrote:



To quote:

"Macintosh computer sales also surged, rising 40% to $2.4 billion,
while Mac shipments rose 28% to 1.61 million units, more than double
the growth of the overall PC market. The Mac results were a slightly
below many analysts forecasts, as several had expected Apple to sell
between 1.75 million and 1.8 million Macs during the quarter."

Using OpenGL I'm sure has had something to do with it....

Obviously people like this stuff...


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Kurt Cagle

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