[X3D-Public] X3D + HTML5: report from W3C Advisory Committee meeting, Boston March 2010

Don Brutzman brutzman at nps.edu
Tue Mar 23 09:41:42 PDT 2010

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is working to lead the Web to
its full potential.  They originate a large number of critical
XML recommendations including HTML5.  Twice a year, I have the
responsibility and privilege of representing Web3D Consortium at
W3C Advisory Committee (AC) meetings where all W3C member companies,
W3C Team staff and organizational liaisons are represented.

Our X3D working group has been working on X3D + HTML5 issues for
some time.  Frequent contributors at our Tuesday teleconferences
include Johannes Behr of Fraunhofer, John Stewart of CRC Canada,
Joe Williams of Hypermultimedia, Anita Havele Web3D Executive
Director, and myself.  Others have also participated - thanks.
Minutes are posted to the x3d-public mailing list, and details
are found on the X3D + HTML5 public wiki at

HTML5 is progressing steadily.  The cochairs were applauded for
their professionalism and endurance in challenging roles.  There
are many bugs that continue to get submitted and issues that need
to be resolved before HTML5 can progress to Last Call Recommendation.
Nevertheless there is a strong sense that work is proceeding well.
The W3C member-only HTML5 status report is available at

I was able to speak about Web3D efforts to elevate X3D on a par with
SVG and MathML with 2 of the cochairs, lead of Khronos' WebGL group,
Microsoft, SVG cochairs and the full AC.  People are noncommittal
(of course) but willing to listen.  I believe that we are also
making progress in this arena.

The HTML5 cochairs indicate there are now 4 proposals for decentralized
extensibility and think the most recent might be a good fit for X3D.
They encourage us to continue participating on the HTML5 mailing list,
and keep sounding off to ensure our requirements can be met.  We will.

CRC's FreeWrl browser is now following the trail blazed by Fraunhofer's
X3DOM project to be a working X3D viewer in HTML5 pages without requiring
preinstallation of a plugin.  This provides good coverage for the Chrome,
Firefox and Safari browsers.

I invite Web3D browser companies working with Internet Explorer and Opera
to talk to our HTML5 team.  We would like to establish similarly
unencumbered plugin-free support for X3D + HTML5 in those browsers.
Of recent interest are recent developments by Microsoft at their MIX
conference which mentioned GPU-powered graphics and compiled Javascript.
If your company is upgrading your X3D plugin for IE, we need to talk.

Also noted at this meeting is that Microsoft intends to natively support
W3C's Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) standard in the IE Browser.  That
milestone now occurs 11 years after SVG's initial release.

However HTML5 plays out, whether X3D ends up as an "approved" aspect of
that recommendation now or later or not, we are working hard to ensure that
X3D interoperates well in rich-media HTML5 pages for authors and users.
Redoubled efforts by Web3D members and the public community are helpful
and welcome and (frankly) suggested.  Please engage and let us know what
you think, on the x3d-public mailing list, on the html5 mailing list, or
on the weekly calls.

Our progress has been great.  More work needs to be done.  Membership in
Web3D Consortium also helps to advance this important work.

Looking forward to further efforts together to deploy X3D graphics scenes
widely to users all across the Web.  Thanks for considering these many
possibilities and all work to help.

all the best, Don
Don Brutzman  Naval Postgraduate School, Code USW/Br           brutzman at nps.edu
Watkins 270   MOVES Institute, Monterey CA 93943-5000 USA  work +1.831.656.2149
X3D, virtual worlds, underwater robots, XMSF  http://web.nps.navy.mil/~brutzman

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