VRML and XML (Editors)

len bullard cbullard at hiwaay.net
Sat Jan 17 00:47:18 GMT 1998

Michael Rose wrote:

Michael Rose writes:

> Len Bullard writes:
> >Building a production-worthy useful language
> >is not a theoretical exercise however.  For an XML version of
> >VRML to be useful, there must be some requirements for it which
> >ISO VRML (VRML 97) does not meet.
> 'Different views of the same information' is applicable here. We're
> writing some 'avatar generation' software where users can make their own
> avatars. In the first instance the avatars will be 2D, with the later
> possibility of 3D and VRML avatars. The obvious choice is to have an XML
> based avatar description with can then be viewed via either 2D or VRML
> rendering depending on which XSL is used.
> Is anyone doing anything similar?

Not in XML.  Producing 2D and 3D from XSL is a neat idea.
Are you working with H-ANIM spec?

The issue of domain-specific editors is a 
hot one in VRML for sure.

VRML is scene description language consisting of 
a set of geometric primitives, indexed face sets, 
extrusion, texture, script nodes, routes, anchors, etc. 
A file contains multiple hierarchies of group types 
(eg, groups, transforms, etc) in nested coordinate 
spaces.  This is very good for describing the world 
generically, but at a level of abstraction not 
quick to learn or use.  It requires a critical 
skill of geometric decomposition and assembly 
that takes considerable practice to master. 

Higher level editors are needed.  Yet, I really 
don't want to have to keep integrating multiple 
editor sources.  An editor that can be initialized 
for diffent types of work in VRML would be 
a very good thing.  Personally, I like the 
V-Realm Builder tree interface combined with 
the visualization and dialogs.  That works 
very easily.  XML can be a way to 
create differnt tree types so that not only 
avatar makers, but many kinds of higher level 
objects can be created in the same interface.

One big bonus of SGML and I hope XML tools 
are DTD-enabled editors.  But the one level 
of abstraction typical of DTD design of the 
eighties and early nineties has been a limit 
on what we could express.

What is the status of architectural forms in XML 
right now?  

My question:  this kind of editor depends on 
a relatively fast rendering response as 
the editing tools are used.  I wonder how 
much that slows down if XML editors are 
used with VRML/OpenGL rendering systems.


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