Re: Open Inventor *as* VRML

Kevin Goldsmith (
Fri, 9 Sep 1994 23:12:48 -0700 (PDT)

> I am concerned that once you agree to read Inventor file format,
> you will discover that you will have to use Inventor source code
> to visualize the stuff. You will not be able to create a radically
> different visualization library underneath the veneer. And if you
> can't do that, you can't performance tune, and therefore, you
> can't market your viewer as "faster" or "better". Your only choice
> is to license your code from SGI, and you'll learn to love it, warts
> and all.
Not true, it's a file format. A new parser can easily be written
and an the internal format, once loaded, can be tuned easily. I have
written softImage parsers for Inventor and a Renderman translator for
Inventor as well.

> I beleive that similar remarks apply regarding extensions &
> enhancements. I've even gotten Gavin Bell to admit that its
> hard to add a new primitive to the system (I apologize that
> I have to quote you, Gavin).
yup it is. In the file format. Defining and reusing objects in
the file format is not hard at all. If we can come up with a way to
define new primitives using the Inventor syntax, we can add them to the
VRML specification. I don't think there is any plan to limit us to
Inventor. It's just a good starting off point.