LANG: Binary formats.

Mark Pesce (
Tue, 28 Feb 95 01:13:17 -0800

Folks -

I know this subject has been brought up before, but I think this is a good
time to begin discussion of a binary format for VRML. Whatever we decide
upon will be several times more efficient than ASCII, and that will quickly
become a very important issue.

As there is no published standard for the binary format of OI, we have no
easy solution; I would suggest that we solicit proposals from the
membership, which can be evaluated at leisure at the VRML*Tech web site.
I'll set up a page for this at on
Wednesday, and this can serve as a focal point for the discussion.

I bring this issue to your attention because, as I'm beta-testing one of the
soon-to-be-announced VRML sites, I've noticed that worlds are averaging 300
- 400 Kbytes. Working in the XOF format (which is a possible candidate for
a binary shape format), I've been able to get worlds of similar complexity
in 80 - 150 Kbytes. That's the difference between one minute and five at
14.4 Kbps, and the difference between success and failure to us.

I look forward to your comments on this question.

Mark Pesce
Mark Pesce
General Partner,
The Community Company * * 415.621.6390 *
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