[owen@autodesk.com: Re: More questions.]

Tue, 6 Dec 94 17:05:59 -0600

> 3D interactive graphics is great stuff, whether its called
>VR or not. I feel, although not all agree, that the term VR
>should be reserved for immersive environments.

I wholeheartedly agree. I define VR as the *subset* of interactive 3D
graphics that deals with immersive environments. Using the two as
synonyms will hasten the descent of the phrase "virtual reality" into
the content-free buzzword zone. IMHO interactive 3D graphics is the
greatest thing since sliced bread, there's no need to make it sound
"catchier" by dubbing it VR.

>> A note, vrml is really a 3D specification language with URLs thrown in.

Precisely. I've always thought the format should be called 3DML
instead of VRML. I didn't have the energy to _start_ a flamewar on the
subject, but now that Al has struck the match I'll throw my sticks
into the fire.

By now, however, there's too much inertia to change the name. If
we're lucky, VRML will catch on as the standard 3D scene description
interchange format, which will be a great boon to toolmakers,
worldbuilders, and general users alike. Some unknown percentage of the
tools will actually immerse the user in 3D worlds.

>People seem to be all caught up in the limitations of VRML 1.0. Folks,
>review the history a little. This is a first cut -- nothing more, and
>it has never been billed as more. It's intended as a rudimentary first

Although I rarely post, I'm quite aware of the history. "VR-ness", as
measured by immersivity, is determined by which browser/viewer is used
on the client side, not by the version of VRML. The issue of
behaviors, which was wisely deferred until a later version, does not
change this.

Tamara Munzner The Geometry Center (612) 626-8325
munzner@geom.umn.edu http://www.geom.umn.edu/people/munzner.html