Re: LANG: Dynamic characteristics

Thomas Churchill (
Thu, 14 Jul 1994 12:05:08 -0700

> Basically, the topic being discussed here is how we deal with these
> more-sophisticated cases, where the basic Inventor-style engines
> aren't sufficient. I'm arguing that we shouldn't write these matters
> directly into the language (as Meme does), but will probably want
> a standard interchange language for them in the long run, and that
> that probably does *not* want to be C.

One thing I like in favor of this argument is that it is more likely
to succeed in an "object-centric" model. What makes MEME and (especially)
TSIPP somewhat poor for our purposes is that the behavior and appearance
of an object are not divorced. Forcing behavior to be dealt with at
a latter time ensures that the two are seperate. Someone else pointed
out that libraries of both are likely to be developed, and that this
is probably the best model. (I agree)

I agree also that 'C' and 'C++' are both terrible languages to
consider interpreting. (Both, but particularly the latter, would
be a bear to interpret.)

> BTW, people should bear in mind that, although we *do* probably have
> to decide now whether or not the dynamic language is integrated with
> VRML per se (because it affects the design of VRML), we do *not* have
> to choose which language to go with if it's outside of VRML. We can
> decide during this first cut that the dynamic language will be some
> sort of object-manipulation language, and leave it at that until later.
> I actually lean towards this; while I have some strong opinions, I
> think it's a shade premature to decide on the dynamic language now...

I think I can live with this, and I think a good suggestion might be,
as the format gets more developed, to have a seperate "language group",
which attempts to deal specifically with that issue.

My initial fear, and the reason I brought this up early, was that
by delaying the decision to incorporate a language, or even by not
standardizing on *one*, that developers of VRML objects and scenes
would write for the "lowest common denominator", and that some of
the more interesting aspects of this would be lost.

I am now inclined to think, however, that if we make this language
support "optional", BUT all of the first generation browsers we
write support it, that it will become a "de facto" standard. The
role of the language group would be to write a PD interpretor that
has a fair amount of group consesus, and encourage browser writers
to incorporate it.


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