Kevin Goldsmith (
Wed, 15 Jun 1994 13:33:15 -0700

On Jun 15, 11:17am, Lar Kaufman wrote:
> I'm delighted to see Eliot "Dr. Macro" on www-vrml, and his proposal for the
> use of HyTime as the technical foundation for VR authoring makes a LOT of
> sense. Let's go over the issues.
I've only seen the paper on HyTime that was in Intermedia (or was it
Multimedia) '93. Are there any other references?

> 1) Hardware. Religious wars here... I have a Mac Quadra AV, and an...
not an issue, that is a browser issue, not a VRML issue

> 2) OS. Nobody has mentioned this yet. I wonder if everyone assumes that...
same as above

> Now, back to the initial premise. HyTime is the right technology to go with.
> It addresses current issues of real-time communications, supporting graphics,
> animation, audio, event synchronization, etc. (I'll let Eliot expound on this
> further) and is a logical extension of SGML. The technology is scalable and
> practical; we can start with current SGML/HTML authoring tools and build from
> there. This permits us to begin RIGHT NOW with existing tools, such as
> and Lynx, and emacs/w3/psgml/html-mode, and begin practical work immediately
> and to bring existing documents into the polyverse. (Polyverse = polymorphic
> virtual universe.) I suggest that we begin by adopting SGML and HyTime
> philosophically, and begin with an HTML+ DTD which we extend (and stay
> compatible with, since HTML+ is still not yet fully developed) for VR
> applications.
make it as a language suggestion, but I would rather shoot myself in
the head many times than use SGML.

> So, we need to start with functional technology: SGML.

depends what your definition of functional is. Right now the best way
to create a SGML document is to send it to a company whose job it is to
translate various formats into SGML.

> I'm not saying that we couldn't devise a fine VR system without SGML/HyTime,
> I'm just suggesting we should adopt these practical hypermedia standards that
> exist, as a starting point.
HyTime is not a standard yet, it is a proposed standard and as far as I
know, is still under development. You are writing the book on it, so you
probably know better, but that's the last I heard.

> Final suggestion: I think emacs offers the only portable, extensible,
> available platform for building a system such that you can both create and
> view multimedia documents at this time, so I seriously suggest that we look
> at adopting GNU Emacs as a technology to extend and implement a first-
> generation VR solution. This finesses the GUI issue a bit, and allows us to
> make rapid progress - down a mainstream of technological development, rather
> than up a blind alley (if I may mix my metaphors).
I don't think there should be a "specified" development platform, and
if there was one for VR, it wouldn't be emacs. Anyone that has ever tried to
model in Inventor without a modeler will agree with me, I think. I think that
is should be possible to create a scene for VRML in emacs, but I personally
would probably write programs to convert from softImage and such.


The wages of sin are death, but after they take the taxes out, it's more of a tired feeling really.  - Paula Poundstone Web Home Page: