[X3D-Public] authoring environments and browsers: why both?

Joe D Williams joedwil at earthlink.net
Tue May 12 15:37:57 PDT 2009

>> Why are there both authoring environments and browers/players?

Yes, it is great when the authortime and runtime are 

>> Shouldn't a browser be able to support/deliver an authoring 
>> application?
>> I realize the same dichotomy has existed with HTML as well--but 
>> there
>> are HTML browsers which support editing, right? Is there something
>> missing from VRML/X3D which only authoring environments provide? 
>> Would
>> providing these within the context of VRML/X3D make a better 
>> standard?
>> I can use vim to write vim, emacs to write emacs, eclipse to write
>> eclipse, netbeans to write netbeans. Would the combination of 
>> netbeans,
>> Xj3D and X3D-Edit be considered the solution of choice? What is the 
>> best
>> way to author 3D authoring environments? Is it just that we aren't 
>> there
>> yet?
>> Relieve my ignorance, please. I'm sure there's some history I have
>> forgotten.
> Mostly because there's no defined mapping from arbitrary world state 
> to a serialized form.
> As an example, suppose a Script node has a vrmlstring of the form 
> "PROTO Foo [] { Group {} } Foo {}" and it adds this resulting node 
> to the scene.  Where, lexically, does the definition of Foo live?

It doesn't live anywhere in authortime. OK, something with potential 
is in the script but it can't be evaluated until rentime. In runtime, 
it has a place in the scenegraph. In this example the  Here the 
scenegraph does not look the same in authortime and in runtime

Sure it is a deep problem but in XML, if the scenegraph and eventgraph 
are reasonable, the language and the SAI should give anyone the 
ability to build a fairly complex authoring tool. For example the X3D 
authortime is DOM, so you could build a user code editor using DOM 
interfaces to create and edit a scene.
Likewise, with a live scene, sensors and scripts of the SAI could 
produce a creation environment. Did you see the Ajax3D examples? Tony 
showed a simple X3D scene editor in X3D. Either editing the user code 
with DOM or creating a scene using SAI, I think it is the test of a 
standard to produce a language that can be used to produce instances 
of itself. I think the X3D standard is very close to that ideal.
Thanks and Best Regards,


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