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VRML spec to drive 3D on Net

The VRML Consortium lays out a road map for VRML specification designed to drive continued growth of 3D on the Internet.

The VRML Consortium today laid out a road map for VRML specification designed to drive continued growth of 3D on the Internet.

VRML, or virtual reality modeling language, is a markup language akin to HTML for the creation of 3D environments. The consortium's road map outlines a number of issues to be addressed by consortium task groups.

Some of the core issues cover the use of VRML as a lightweight, integrated media format for page animation; improved download time for VRML files by compression and streaming; interoperability of VRML content between clients and authoring tools; and the use of VRML in enterprise computing and database applications.

"Gratuitous 3D demos are dead," said David Ferichs, vice president of marketing for the VRML Consortium, in a statement today. "The growing momentum of VRML has led to an explosion of applications throughout the Web in advertising, page animation, online gaming, education, and enterprise systems."

Membership of the consortium task groups will include representatives from Oracle, Cosmo, Intervista Software, 3Dlabs, and other industry organizations.

Last month, Sun Microsystems joined the consortium, a move that could result in better integration between its 3D application programming interface (API) and the consortium's standard. The decision is also expected to help pave the way for development of 3D Web content using Java.

The VRML consortium is a nonprofit body with a mandate to develop and promote VRML as the open, ubiquitous standard for 3D content on the Web. The organization successfully got approval for VRML 97 as an international standard in last December.

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