Re: Non-geometrical things

Brian Behlendorf (
Fri, 24 Jun 1994 10:20:08 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 24 Jun 1994, David Cake wrote:
> >We have only vaguely discussed non-geometrical elements of VR. We should bring
> >up ways to incorporate things like audio into VRML. Either through imbedding
> >the audio tracks directly into the VRML file (a special node?) or by having
> >some sort of link to the audio files.
> How does HTML do it? What is the standard for audio? (I am sorry
> for revealing my ignorance)

HTML doesn't specify any standard for audio (or video, for that
matter, or any media). I could write an HTML file that references any
type of soundfile I want, and as long as I'm reasonably sure that
my audience has its MIME-type matched to some sort of external player,
then I can do anything. Same for images - in fact I could even inline
any type of image I want, it's simply that NCSA Mosaic and most other
browsers will only inline GIF's and XBM's for the time being.

I think we should allow a similar flexibility, though I don't think
we need to mandate sound capacity in browsers at this initial stage.

> > One thing different from HTML's dealing
> >with audio is that we might want to be able to loop audio.
> For sure, and have audio that responds to location?

And direction, and decay, and echo, and... it's a *huge* problem,
depending on how realistic one wants to get.

> > Does anyone have
> >any thoughts on this? What other non-geometry things might we want to imbed
> >(not link to) in a VRML file?
> >
> Should we allow bit mapped faces? I think so, and I do not know how such
> bit maps should be handled. What about text on a face? Maybe even HTML
> embedded on a face of a poly. If we are to allow bit mapping, maybe even
> simple animations.

Bitmaps could/should be handled in the same way as they are currently
in most web browsers - i.e., people could run with "auto-load bitmaps
off" and when they "pick" a square representing a bitmap, it would get
downloaded and materialize. This is more of a browser issue, though -
all we have to be able to say in the language is "this polygon is
mapped by this bitmap" and we're fine.