Re: WEB : Mapping out communal cyberspace

Eugene Chalfant (
Wed, 15 Jun 94 17:16:56 PDT

My .2c on coordinates:
I think that the web "page" metaphor works well extended to "universes" in VR
which may be hosted on a local machine. The caretaker/developer of a "home
universe" determines local coordinates, local wormholes, etc. If I am
visiting someone's VR universe, I'd like to stroll around the town, but
to go to another site, I don't really need to see the scenery in between,
just like I'd rather fly to Chicago than walk. The hierarchical paradigm
for coordinates, where we get to a universe which has its own local geometry,
physics, zoology, etc. works well because it pushes complexity down to the
local level as much as possible (as well as decisions about appearance
and behavior of the virtual site, which should not be regulated).

On objects:
I am opposed to a central registry of objects. I believe there will be an
enormous trade in objects (like there is in files/sound samples/clipart now)
and these objects can be freely distributed, sold on CD, or net-accessed.
The objects should also contain behavior as well as appearance. For example,
I may choose to cast myself as a purple talking alligator who says "Ouch!"
when kicked. All this can be self contained (inanimate objects are even
easier), and can be downloaded to you if you wanted to "meet" me in VR,
as well as cached. A user can cache as many objects as they want, or their
system can hold.

In fact, as someone else pointed out, movies can be built as plays with
characters and sets. The VR environment can be distributed and played out
with far less bandwidth than the movie, and additionally it can be made
interactive by built-in behaviors.

-- Gene Chalfant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA