>Inventor also has a binary file format that is not documented and is
>intended to be read and written only by applications using the
>Inventor library. The only real advantage that the binary format has
>over the ASCII format is that reading a binary file is faster, since
>less parsing must be done. Binary files are about the same size as
>compressed (using any of the popular compression utilites) ASCII
>files, so transfer time should not be a reason to want to use the
>binary format. We do not intend to make the binary format open.
How do SGI feel about making competing binary formats available?
My feeling is that this is not a particularly important issue - due to the
general state of the net, sending ASCII back and forward is probably a much
better idea than any binary format, and easier to track down
standardisation problems, and implement parsers for. So binary file format
is not an issue except for things like efficient implementation of VRML
servers, and we can always make our own later. It does mean that SGI have
an initial advantage, but not that much of one.
I guess we have our answer. Now we might actually have to look at
Inventor on technical grounds.