Re: Scripts vs APIs

David Cake (
Wed, 7 Sep 94 12:47:53 WST

> I think the issues are getting confused. I don't think that
> there is a half and half approach. VRML is a description language.
> There could be an API which would aid you in creating / editing and
> dealing with that language, but there shouldn't be anything you could do
> in the API that you couldn't do in the language. Look at Inventor or
> OOGL for an example of what I am talking about. The inventor file format
> encapsulates 3D and some interaction. The Inventor libraries let you do
> operations on the scene described by the file format. You can create an
> Inventor scene by entering in the file format directly or via the API.

VRML should be a description language. Given that, there are obviously things
that cannot be done directly in a description language (like talking to other
programs, etc.) and this is what we want an API for.
Basically VRML should be a language for making scenes, with some
interaction ability added for convenience. A VRML client only needs to read
that scene, and maybe be informed of changes to the scene.
A VRML server app, on the other hand, like a VR MUD or any other nifty
tool, is probably best done with some sort of API for allowing other more
complex forms of interaction.
> I think we are getting beyond the scope of VRML again. Reread
> the charter of what VRML is supposed to accomplish. I think a MOO/MUD
> scritping language could be built on top of VRML later.. If we keep
> adding things onto what VRML is supposed to do, we'll never actually
> create it.
Exactly. An API is a hook for the future, not a major issue right now.
> Kevin