Re: PHIL: Meeting People in VRML space

Mark Waks (
Thu, 16 Jun 94 17:03:42 EDT

Ray writes:
>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.

I think you may be mixing up two concepts. On the one hand, we have the
language VRML; on the other, we have the browsers that the user will
be working with. IMO, they *must* not be too firmly linked. The idea
here is that a browser should support VRML fully, but *may* also
support other programs.

So a given browser, a year or two down the line, might be handling
two very different data connections. On the one hand, it will be
sending and receiving http packets in VRML format; these will
*describe* the world around you as you wander through it. On the
other, it will have a more dedicated connection to something that
is more-or-less a MUD. Every time you move significantly, the
browser would relay that movement to the MUD, and tell other
browsers (and other users) who are nearby that you have moved.
The MUD might communicate your movements via VRML, or via a
language better for interactive operation. (Personally, I suspect
that it will be via something a little different, but it might
be a subset of VRML.)

This isn't anything terribly new -- for example, Mosaic balances
at least a couple of different languages. (HTML, GIF, X bitmaps --
are there others?) Some simpler browsers also exist (eg, Lynx,
which supports HTML but *not* the image formats); which browser
you use depends on your needs.

The underlying idea is that different formats and languages are good
for different things. That's a principle worth bearing in mind as we
design: we don't need to create a language that will do

-- Justin
Who is concluding that VRML is *really*
an Object Description Language, and is
starting to ponder the implications...

Random Quote du Jour:

"What is the world's oldest profession? Economics, of course, quip the cynics:
only economists could have created the chaos from which God created the
-- from The Economist