Re: OI as VRML

John W. Barrus (
Wed, 14 Sep 1994 09:54:36 -0400

>Ok I buy that: Open Inventor and a VRML. Now were can I get some info
>on OI so that I can use it?
>Peter Johnson

By Friday, I will try to make available most of "The Inventor Mentor" Summary.

Several people have summarized various chapters of the book and SGI (Gavin
Bell specifically) has volunteered disk space for the summary.

I will post the URL to this list as soon as it is available.

Inventor licensing:

Adam McClure asked about Inventor developers licenses. However, I think
that we need to _not_ use Inventor because we don't want everyone who runs
the VRML browser to have to buy the Inventor library (which only comes free
with SGI machines). The only reason we would use Inventor at this point is
to get a version of a VRML browser running on an SGI (or Windows NT) as
soon as possible.

I think what we have been talking about is using the Inventor file format
combined with some HTML stuff as VRML. We then have to write the graphics
code, calling the appropriate graphics libraries for our machines, that
display the information in the VRML file appropriately for a VRML file

Perhaps the best approach at this point is to try to get copies of the
Inventor Mentor to learn about nodes, etc. An overview can be had from the
summary on-line (Real Soon Now).

[ Afterthought: Perhaps I worded the above paragraphs too strongly. We
could use Inventor for the SGI browser, but since we have to compile on
other platforms which do not have OI available yet and where OI will cost
money, we might as well write the functions we need for all browsers and
use those same functions on the SGI as well. However, if the SGI users
want to get together and write a browser, and the HP people want to write
their own and the PC and Mac people write their own, I guess there is
nothing wrong with that. ]

John B.


John Barrus Research Scientist

Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc. voice 1.617.621.7535
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Cambridge, MA 02139