Re: Standardizing coordinate systems, units of measure

D. Owen Rowley (
Wed, 3 Aug 1994 10:49:21 -0700

I feel like I've slipped through a time warp.
years ago i switched to threaded news readers because I couldn't
stand seeing replys to base articles that i hadn't read yet.

I'm seeing this phenom here in this list now.
perhaps its a function of autodesks connectivity, I don't know,
but its disconcerting and makes substantive discussion difficult.


> From: "Gavin Bell" <>
> I vote for meters being the standard of measure (that is the OI
> convention, and works well for most real-world objects). I think
> millimeters are too small, kilometers are too big, and not using the
> metric system would be stupid.

I vote we don't articulate votes until there is a clear slate of candidates to
vote on and the issues involved discussed.

Human political interaction is based on primate social order, which deliniates
that the biggest and strongest win.

I'm pretty big and strong, and have accelerated primate instincts.
I don't think anyone on this list would want to see me go into
*political mode*, specially me, I was raised alpha-male in a mafia town :-)

> We should also decide which way is up. I like the OpenGL coordinate
> system, which has X increasing to the right, Y up, and Z coming out of
> your monitor.

We all like what we are used to, and unlike our objective space, we
actually get to determine what way is up !
( its a joke in objective space to say someone DOESN'T know which way is up)

I've been trying to argue for abstractions that would allow local users to
use what they are used to in filling out the details of the abstracted values.
whats wrong with up down left right forward and backward yaw pitch and roll.
Any local system is gonna have to deal with these concepts one way or another
so why do we have to settle on specific systems.
as for units of scale, smaller units allow non-floating point systems,
to play too.
(Set-tops may not all have FP capability, 3dO's don't I believe)

SGI and OI are being represented as an 800 pound gorilla in this process.
Personally, I think that OI is prettyy nice and does a great deal of what
I want a local system to do, but it doesn't cover all the things i want,
and I'm not ready to get married to it.
( I'm more into bears anyway :-)

Beyond that I think that no matter how good and complete any local system is
there will always be a significant number of people who want to do things
differently, and have the capability of engineering those differences.
We must accomodate them, or understand that we have created our virtual
worlds as fascistic.

Those of us who are travelling the leading edge of the graphics curve
see SGI at every turn, but the hard reality of the *iron-game* is that
SGI has only a small segment of the pie, and the competition are getting
a clue about graphics. I would be remiss to my own employer if I didn't
point out that the line between graphics workstations and well equiped
*PC's* has overlapped by significant margins. Any SGI-centrics who think
otherwise need to see Criterions PC*MAC*SUN*SGI demos, to realise that great
things can come from the outside too.

the vast majority of VRML users will be running *PC* class machines.

At teh BOF, we seemed able to stop the banter and get down to substantive issues
It seems to me that the list-format actively works against any substantive
work getting done. I think that this process has suffered from too-much
anarchy, and anyone who knows me , should know how significant it is for ME
to say something like that.

I think that we need some mangement aplied to this process.

Mr list managers are you listening.

LUX ./. owen