[semantics-public] Film and Shape languages, what are they?

John Carlson yottzumm at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 21:38:41 PDT 2020

We have very good languages for describing virtual worlds in text or
binary, VRML, X3D, JSON, ...

Those are a combination of 3 mechanisms, symbols, objects and arrays.  What
I would like to discuss is describing virtual worlds in film and shape
languages, essentially, the snake eating its tail.  We have seen
recursive/meta aspect of the computer language, but do we really have a
concept of the recursive/meta aspect in film and shape languages?

This was one of the things I wanted to explore at the DSVL 2001, but that
workshop mostly focused on the meta-object (and perhaps meta-text)
languages, of course, it was at OOPSLA, so that's probably understandable.
What is meta-film?  What is meta-shape? equations?   Are these metas mostly
ignored by the object and object-language communities?

One thing that comes to mind for film is the storyboard, or shapes
describing the film.

Another thing that comes to mind is fractals and procedural generation.
How can we describe procedural or fractals in a drag and drop fashion?
I've seen it done.

I am primarily interested in generating artifacts, but the other side,
which is recognizing artifacts, is also worth examining.  There have been
strides gained in computer vision with neural networks.  Can we convert
these to code with something like TransCoder?

We've all probably all seen video feedback, and it was featured highly in
Douglas Hofstadter's book, "I am a Strange Loop."  Is this the only video
self-reference we can achieve?

What would shape feedback be?  Is this essential to robotic sensors?

What would X3D be like if we had a video encoding for virtual worlds? *as
input* to the computer.  This is where OpenAI is moving with gym and

What exactly is shape encoding?

Just to be clear, I am speaking of a concrete specification instead of an
abstract specification.  I'm asking if we can translate the X3D abstract
specs into movies and shapes.

This would be primarily for people with reading difficulties.

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