Back to basics

Mark D. Pesce (
Tue, 21 Jun 1994 14:53:58 -0700 (PDT)

VRML Listers:

Once more the discussion has wandered into the woolly thicket beyond the
bounds procscribed for it by the list moderators. These bounds have been
defined to provide some cohesion in what would otherwise be a rather, um,
anarchic process.

We have three goals, just as we did when we began the list:

1) A definition of a geometric description language for objects
2) A definition for a scene placement language for these objects
3) Lingustic constructions which can anchor these objects into the Web

As I have stated previously, although there are other issues which may
appear relevant (and which should be kept in mind as we review our various
proposals), they must be dealt with in a substantive way after we have
defined these basics. They are second-generation features, which, as long
as we maintain flexibility in the specification process (something that
is neither difficult nor overlooked) will be incorporated into later
revisions of VRML.

Realistically, very few list members will implement VRML parsers/viewers.
Most list members are interested in tools, using VRML to augment the web.
I believe it has been adequately demonstrated (in theory and in practice)
that the very modest goals outlined above will keep VRML users happy
for quite a while - at least several months, while we work to extend VRML
to encorporate new features AND feedback from the user base.

It is my strong opinion that putting too much into VRML will cripple or
kill it - we must leave it lean and simple so that it can evolve quickly
in response to the needs of its users. This is an evolutionary model
borrowed from nature, so I can't question its validity.


Where we are now:

We are still in the period of time where we should be receiving proposals
for languages (so far we have five on the table). List members
should be reviewing them, by making frequent visits to our WWW page.

We are interested in recruiting individuals who have had experience with
any of the proposals to submit "white papers" discussing the strengths
and weaknesses of any proposal, so that they too can be reviewed, in the
light of experience, by list members.

We will use these papers to open debate on a specification, and use them
to frame the debate about the relevant points.

If any list members are interested in being so deputised, they should
contact me ( directly.

Thank you.

Mark Pesce
VRML List Moderator

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