[x3d-public] Essential Characteristics of X3D

doug sanden highaspirations at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 19 05:54:26 PST 2016

If it conforms to a formal x3d specification by the web3d consortium and the specification was developed through web3d formal processes, and registered as an iso standard, then its x3d.
Otherwise its not.
But that raises a few questions:
Q1. what should all (growing list of) the derivatives / offshoots be called?
Q2. should web3d specs be adapted to allow them to be called x3d? 
X3Daly, X3Dom, X3Doug - maybe 'derivatives' or 'offshoots' but not x3d spec conformant.
Lets say hypothetically someone wants to write a new book. They anticipate the publisher will want something 'new, hot and here to stay'. A totally new version of X3D, authorized by web3d.org as their new standard, deprecating all their old standards, would be a great topic. Books would fly off the shelves. 
But what if the formal process of web3d was focused on keeping together a broad community of content authors and app developers. Incrementalism would work better than hot and new. And incrementalism might be too boring for a publisher.

A few optional tactics we might see: 
a) someone might try to usurp/bypass the web3d process to have their derivative declared - by popular vote or trick leading legal questions - the new standard, or a valid x3d. 

However there are too many competing derivitives to declare a winner, and each derivative serves a good audience and needs to be there, and helps ensure a healthy 'big-tent web3d community' future by covering more technologies

b) writing a book about what's really happening. "YAW3D - Yet Another Web3d Derivative - an insider look at the exploding field of realtime 3D graphics' and then an intro chapter showing a map of where it all started, and derivatives forming, a chapter on each derivative -maybe one on X3Doug- and a chapter on how to develop your own derivaive. And what's common: learn one and the rest are easy.

From: x3d-public <x3d-public-bounces at web3d.org> on behalf of Leonard Daly <Leonard.Daly at realism.com>
Sent: November 18, 2016 8:26 PM
To: X3D Public
Subject: [x3d-public] Essential Characteristics of X3D

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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