[x3d-public] [x3dom-users] Call to Progress on X3D V4

John Carlson yottzumm at gmail.com
Mon Jan 11 03:04:15 PST 2016

What are the advantages of XML3D over glTF?

John Carlson

> On Jan 11, 2016, at 2:09 AM, Philipp Slusallek <philipp.slusallek at dfki.de> wrote:
> Hi Leonard, all,
> Kristian Sons is currently finishing his PhD in which he has done an
> extensive analysis and evaluation of the available options for adding
> interactive declarative 3D to HTML.
> Because of this analysis, the solutions that he came up with (all
> implemented in XML3D) are quite a bit closer to HTML and uses a more
> generic and orthogonal design approach than X3D, which allows for more
> easily building new functionality on top of the basic tools provided
> (one of the key design decision).
> Prime examples are the generic data model (think generic buffers used in
> GPU API today), the Xflow mechanism for dynamic and programmable
> functionality (animation, image processing, AR, etc.), and its
> connection to the graphics/rendering side (with optimal support for
> programmable GPUs in mind). This approach provides many advantages that
> are worth looking into. Unfortunately, they seem difficult to achieve
> based on the current design of X3D (which is why he started fresh to
> begin with).
> As an example for this flexibility, together with Intel we are currently
> looking into how to link Xflow directly to upcoming features like
> SIMD.js and WebAssembly. It seems that very little (nothing?) needs to
> be done at the format level to enable that. Being able to support these
> browser features out of the box would dramatically help VR/AR in the
> browser.
> In several areas XML3D actually goes significantly beyond what X3D and
> other approaches provide today (e.g. programmable materials that adapt
> to the variability of assets). I believe there are many things in this
> approach that should be strongly considered in your V4 discussions.
> Kristian is currently putting final touches on his thesis and he could
> probably make an early draft version available for this discussion here.
> BTW, please do not see this as an anti-X3D post. We care strongly for
> declarative 3D on the Web. We actually started based on X3D back then
> but saw too many issues with X3D and the emerging mapping to HTML based
> on X3DOM (all detailed in the thesis). So, XML3D is our vision of how
> X3D could evolve. All of our code is out there as Open Source to use and
> integrate.
> Best,
> 	Philipp
> Am 11.01.2016 um 07:04 schrieb Leonard Daly:
>> Last week I sent a message to the X3D WG about my concerns on lack of
>> progress for developing a V4 specification. This message is expanding
>> the reach of the original message and providing additional requested
>> material, specifically examples of situations where I would want and/or
>> expect X3D to run in a browser. The list of examples is being expanded
>> as developments occur.
>> The marketplace is making significant progress in commercialization of
>> virtual and augmented reality. There is no standard format for
>> expressing 3D content. The marketplace will choose at least one format
>> and it will not likely be X3D.  Already there are alternative markup
>> languages emerging that attempt to do what X3D has been doing for
>> decades: create an HTML like language for 3D graphics.  GLAM is an
>> example proposed by Tony Parisi, and most recently Mozilla’s A-frame,
>> released 3 weeks ago, both attempting to speak in the language of web
>> developers to bring VR/AR to the browser.
>> I am very frustrated in the lack of progress of the Working Group in
>> developing a specification for X3D V4. There are number of issues that
>> have been raised about the fundamentals of designs of X3D that appear to
>> be incompatible with an HTML/DOM environment. A partial list includes
>> the following:
>> * name-scope handling
>> * scripting
>> * interfaces to the nodes and fields through the DOM API
>> * event handling
>> * profile structure and contents
>> * newly supported formats (geometry and media)
>> Examples of X3D/X3DOM: http://tools.realism.com/x3d-v4-issue-examples
>> There are other concerns about event model that are not expressed in
>> these examples mostly due to being unable to create an example that
>> clearly shows the problem. It does exists and you may see some of that
>> in sporadic or jerky movement in the animation examples using X3DOM.
>> I have a concept specification that is getting updated at
>> http://tools.realism.com/specification/x3d-v40. The was first sent to
>> the X3D WG in November and has had a couple of other discussions.
>> My specific technical concerns with the specification are listed in the
>> Author's Notes at
>> http://tools.realism.com/specification/x3d-v40/authors-notes
>> Most importantly, it is not clear to me who the WG believes is the
>> target audience for the specification and how the specification will
>> meet that audience’s needs.
>> As Co-Chair on Sabbatical and current member of the WG, I need to take
>> some responsibility for not getting there. I have been working on
>> developing a new specification and the beginning of an open-source
>> web-based application for building scenes in the new specification. The
>> web application is called “Basx3D - 3D the HTML Way”. I have posted an
>> article about it’s initial release - http://realism.com/blog/basx3d.
>> This post and one describing the X3D V4 proposal are publicly available.
>> The application is targeted at web developers who do not need to know
>> the details of creating an X3D by hand. The concept was based on Unreal
>> Engine and Unity editors. I will be continuing development of both the
>> application and proposal on a frequent and regular basis. Basx3D and the
>> proposed specification function as a two-way development effort with
>> Basx3D reflecting the proposal and providing implementation information
>> and experience back to the specification.
>> Although outside of its scope, the WG must be aware of the audience to
>> which the standard is written, and the audience to which the standard is
>> being promoted.  This concept is crucial to the future adoption of X3D
>> and should ultimately be agreed upon by the BOD, but the WG needs to
>> understand and follow this strategy which will ultimately influence
>> prioritization of WG activity.
>> I am firmly committed to an open, royalty free, ISO ratified standard
>> that communicates 3D data and its behaviors over networks, especially
>> the dominant global network which is the internet, and which universally
>> supports HTML5.  I don’t want to see the decades of work and passion
>> that have been invested in the standards maintained and promoted by the
>> Web3D Consortium relegated to the corridors of obscurity.  Because of
>> many trends in software and hardware, a nexus of opportunity has been
>> created like never before of which we can take advantage to catapult the
>> Consortium’s standards to significant global adoption.  Let’s not miss
>> this chance!
>> Leonard Daly
>> Basx3D and X3D V4 Specification Proposal Author
>> In Full Support
>> Mike Aratow
>> Treasurer, Web3D Consortium
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