go to www.geomview.org home page



Mailing List

Geomview For Windows?


Bug Reporting
Contact Us



Site Search



About the software@geom archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

VRML Request For Information period

A two week RFI period is about to open for VRML (virtual reality  
markup language).  This phase of VRML is only intended to cover  
object geometry and URL associations -- in other words precisely the  
stuff that OOGL + Tamara's VR module are intended to elegantly  


From: mpesce at netcom.com (Mark D. Pesce)
Subject: ADMIN: VRML List Goals
To: www-vrml at wired.com (vrml)
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 1994 21:40:26 -0700 (PDT)

Goals of the VRML Mailing List
 This list has been established for a single purpose; to
develop an open,  platform-independent specification
for a Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML).  This
language will be used in conjunction with WorldWideWeb
to provide an standard to which viewer and editor
applications and tools must be written.

We are extremely pragmatic; although it is often
expedient to develop standards away from public view,
and then announce them, fully formed, by fiat, this is not
the way that the Web or HTML have developed.  Given their
success, it seems reasonable to want to emulate them.

We are starting out with some prejudices.  

First, we don't have any language prejudices; we are open
to all proposals.   We consider ourselves as starting from
a position of ignorance, so we won't  arbitrarily dismiss
any proposal because we think we know better.  The wider 

the net we can cast, the more successful our search for
knowledge is likely  to be.  

We feel, very strongly, that a solution which is
proprietary,  which is "owned" in any sense by a
commercial organization,  is unacceptable, and
introduces complications greater than the task  at hand. 

Therefore, as proposals are made and reviewed, remember 

that private solutions have a very poor history of
success on Internet.   Nevertheless, the strength of a
commercial proposal might rely on what  it can contribute
to our own specification; we needn't steal from anyone's 

work in order to benefit from it.  

Finally, we feel it is important to establish a baseline
specification  in front of and with the support of the
people most likely to be using it.   To benefit from the
thousands of years of experience within the subscriber 

base is one of the most compelling reasons for having a
list at all.

We wish to propose a process which we feel will result in
the development of an effective, if bare-bones
specification, by the first of August.  The process has
the following parts:

1) Request For Information

Within the next day, a post will be made the list outlining
the requirements for information on _existing_
languages which can fulfill the needs of VRML. We ask that
you DO NOT MAIL TO THE LIST, but, rather, send mail
directly to Brian Behlendorf (brian at wired.com), who
will take the RFI traffic, compile it into a daily (or
twice daily) digest, and post it to the list.

We will give this process two weeks, from beginning to
end.  By then, all interested parties will have made their
contributions to our search for information.  This is
just a request for information on existing languages; if
we, as a group, decide to write our own, that process would
occur after evaluating existing alternatives.  We would
prefer to avoid re-inventing wheels.

2) Languages Review

We will be implementing HyperMail and WIT technologies
on www.wired.com as quickly as we can.  The responses from
the Request for Information will be integrated with
these browsing tools, and we will then enter a process of
evaluation, as the relative merits of the various
proposals are considered. We expect that only a few
subscribers will contribute to this portion of the
discussion, and that most will simply review it from the
daily digest postings on www-vrml-digest.

This is the time when the list traffic will be heaviest;
very little can be done about this.  If you wish to be
actively involved in the formation of the
specification, you have to expect to spend at least a few
hours a week, during the review process, reading
documentation and email.

3) Specification Drafting

Finally, the review period complete, it should be
possible to begin drafting a very basic specification. 

The first pass of the specification will not need to
describe every possible condition within a virtual
environment; it is enough to provide a static interface
between the Web and three dimensional geometry.  The
first specification should concern itself only with the
description of objects (including lights), and the
scenes into which they are placed.  An object has no other
behavior than that it can serve as an anchor to another
data source in the Web.  The existing VRML specification,
at the VRML Forum WWW page, covers most of this territory. 

It is not necessary to extend the scope of VRML
functionality significantly from what has already been

A specification document will be drawn up and submitted
for review.

4) Testing

List members will begin to write VRML compilers,
parsers, interpreters, and so forth, and will, from
that, begin to have an understanding of the shortcomings
of the initial design pass.  This information will be used
in the draft of a subsequent VRML 2.0 specification,
which will also handle "active" environments, where
objects can be both dynamic _and_ communicative.

This process can be completed in the 7 weeks until the
beginning of August, and there is good reason to be quick
about it; we want to finish our our VRML viewer so that we
can release it into the public domain, and actually have
people begin benefiting from the fruits of our labors.

We understand that this is possibly a more restrictive
methodology than some of you may have expected.  While an
absolutely free discussion of ideas and  techniques is a
good thing, it is beyond the capacity of the more than 500 

subscribers to this list.  Our goal is to establish common
ground quickly, and use that as a basis for future work,
without becoming bogged down in procedural or
prejudicial environments.  Nonetheless, we actively
invite you to organize yourselves, if there are specific
areas of interest which you have a desire to focus upon.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Mark Pesce (mpesce at netcom.com)
Brian Behlendorf (brian at wired.com)

|| * That's AL * WorldWideWeb  

Home | Overview | FAQ | Documentation | Support | Download | Mailing List
Windows? | Development | Bug Reporting | Contributing | Contact Us | Sponsors
site hosted by
SourceForge Logo