Re: PHIL: Meeting People in VRML space
Thu, 16 Jun 1994 13:42:46 -0700

Justin writes:

> Specifically, when you use http and the Web, the servers do *not*
> have any idea "where" you are. The connection is strictly
> unidirectional -- your *browser* knows where you are, and queries
> for pages as you track around. Those pages are served to you, but
> once a given service is done, http stops trying to keep track of you
> -- if you want more information from a given service, you need to
> ask again.

> I've been assuming that we will be using http, or something pretty
> similar, for vrml. That is, we will follow the same model that the
> only responsibility of a server is to send you the information about
> a given scene and its object, and once that's done, it can forget
> about you and go on to something else.

> A properly interactive system, on the other hand, needs to know
> where all of the people in it are. If I say something, the server
> must know who else is in the room with me, so that they can hear
> it. This concept of tracking locations is integral to MUDs, but
> *very* different from the Web, where only your local machine knows
> your "location".

Yes, I agree with you here, which is why I posed my first question as
to the intended nature of VRML. I have a lot (one could say near
infinite) more experience with M*'s than with WWW and html (although
I'm striving to remedy this ;) and so my first orientation is towards
an interactive net-vr. My concern is that it may not be possible to do
both - write a language in the same vein as html that can be then used
in a mud server for interactive operations. Concievably though, if the
language is concise enough it will, as you say, merely be an issue of
how the individual clients/servers use it.

> Let us develop the tools for navigating and showing the world here,
> and let others develop the tools for interacting *in* that world on
> top of it later...

As long as the tools allow the later development without causing
excessive overhead, which is my (hopefully unfounded) concern.

Brian says:

> For VRML 1.0, because we want to get this out soon and particularly
> get clients available across ALL platforms, all we want is the
> ability to download a museum a room at a time, and walk through it
> using a mouse and the keyboard.

Do you mean here by walk through the ability to manuver in the room
freely, having the scene rerendered as needed, or just a still scene
with various points that can be interacted with via mouse? I guess its
not really in issue from VRML design standpoints, but I'm still not
clear on what exactly you want. (although i can theoretically wait for
a FAQ ;)