RE: Content, net-distribution aspects of VRML/Inventor/HTML/WWW (fwd)

Kevin Goldsmith (
Mon, 26 Sep 94 14:13:06 TZ

posting from work, ignore the return address please...

| First of all, with the navigator standing at street level in the
cityspace, we
| would expect the various buildings to be independently owned, with an
| appearance determined largely by the owner, and with a straightforward and
| consistent interface to the surrounding public infrastructure (parking lots
| attached to streets, sidewalks to building entries, etc.). The VRML
| here would seem to demand that private and public building and
| representations be maintained independently across the distributed
Web space,
| while simultaneously linked seamlessly together in the spatial environment.

Try this HTML anologue. Off my web pages, I have a page of "cool
links" where I make links to other web pages I have (and feel other
people might also) an interest. Now the same thing could be done with
VRML. I have my VRML "cool links" space where I layout an area and put
links to other peoples VRML pages. Their links would be represented by
their geometries or possibly (depend on how close we want to be to
HTML) my geometry. In HTML I decide how a link looks, how do we plan
to do this in VRML?

| Similarly, while it's clearly advantageous to see a building's entryway and
| other surface-features from a distance of 10 meters, it's clearly
| *dis*advantageous to have all building features represented from the
| fly-over scale, as we quickly reach intractibility from a graphical
| perspective, not to mention the net-bandwidth limitations stemming from the
| distributed nature of the constituent scene-space elements.
Culling and level of detail management will be crutial to VRML I
think, both of which are somewhat provided for in Inventor.

| There's a quick example of the distributed-elements/spatial continuity
| concern. Equally fundamental is the set of bindings between the information
| represented and the information itself. Granted, some spaces may be
| constructed for their entertainment value, but at least as often it seems
| visual spaces would be designed as semantic carriers for information best
| viewed in native form (e.g., traditional HTML/Web content). If I wish to
| cross-link the visual/acoustical/etc. representations of the above-said city
| buildings with some non-spatial HTML multimedia presenting a more prosaic
| expression of the building's content/meaning/etc., how am I to make the
| expression?
I think we could avoid that problem by saying you can't, or by popping
up a HTML external viewer in the same way Mosaic pops up external viewers now.


Yes my opinions are mine, no they are not Microsofts, I promise I promise.