[x3d-public] Essential Characteristics of X3D

Leonard Daly Leonard.Daly at realism.com
Fri Nov 18 19:26:08 PST 2016

Please read this all of the way through before commenting.

There is lots of interest in providing for the display of 3D data in the 
browser. This includes both "flat" 3D (3D monoscopic displayed) and 
stereoscopic  displays (aka VR or immersive). Libraries such as X3DOM, 
Cobweb, THREE.js, and Babylon.js have pretty much addressed flat 3D.

There are several active efforts to address the VR display. All of the 
work supports both flat & VR displays. Some of the efforts are 
procedural (e.g., WebVR, THREE, etc.) and others are declarative (e.g., 
X3D, A-Frame).

The larger community is beginning to realize the need for a single 
declarative means for handling the display, animation, and interaction 
of 3D content. Most of the community is not a member of the Consortium, 
and many are not familiar with X3D (in any form). There already is a 
proposed path that starts with A-Frame. The discussions as to what the 
declarative language will look like and how it will work will be 
extensive and probably contentious (at least at times). There are a lot 
of very large players (Google, especially) involved so it is important 
to resolve difficult issues first before people (and organizations) 
become too entrenched.

All of that was introduction to the main point: What do you (meaning the 
reader) think are the essential characteristics of X3D when running in 
an HTML page? I know that the answer is not everything because (1) as a 
standard, X3D does not run in the web page; (2) X3D supports multiple 
encodings, some of which are not HTML compatible (e.g., binary ones); 
(3) X3D has Profiles and Components and no browser supports all Profiles 
and Components. There are several other reasons that the answer is not 
everything, so that doesn't count.

I can think of several things that are important. I'm not sure if these 
are essential, or how to quantify or better state them

1) long-lasting (read and display 20 year old stuff)
2) extensible

Other items that might be important to people
3) modeling
4) feature-rich (at least in some areas)
5) platform-neutral
6) volume displays (not just surfaces)

I am looking for a collection of items that are so important to X3D that 
if removed, you would not have X3D, and when present you would recognize 
it as X3D or at least a close relative. I would expect the list to vary 
from person to person, but I also expect some characteristics to be 
present in many people's list. The items on your list are likely to 
reflect your personal interest and work with X3D and other 3D content.

*Leonard Daly*
3D Systems & Cloud Consultant
President, Daly Realism - /Creating the Future/
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