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xVRML

Extensible Virtual Reality Modelling Language

From http://www.xvrml.net/: '"This site provides access to the development of the xVRML specifications and related software technologies. The VRML97 specifications were created to put 3D worlds onto the Internet, and used an idiosyncratic notational system. The xVRML Project is focused on evolving this into a more modern approach based on using an XML-based notation and an XML Schema -based definition."

From http://www.online-deliberation.net/conf2005/viewabstract.php?id=32: "The xVRML Project has brought the software technology for Web-based 3D virtual environments into the age of XML. xVRML is being designed 'from the ground up' to support multiuser online virtual environment systems (MOVES), and thus to support group decision-making and cooperative work in virtual environments."

xVRML Is Just XML

In the end, xVRML is simply XML. As a webpage is just data for a 2D display structured by HTML tags, so an xVRML file is just data for a 3D display structured by xVRML tags. Classroom experience has taught that, if someone can read and understand .html files, then they can also read and understand .xwrl files.

I have tried to use the ideas from two complimentary educational theories: Constructivism and Constructionism. Constructivism would predict that, if xVRML seems "enough like" HTML then people who already know HTML will learn xVRML more rapidly. Constructionism would predict that, if I ensure xVRML basics can be learned easily so people can begin making things almost immediately then they will learn more effectively.

*ADD MORE MATERIALS HERE ABOUT ED THEORY BEHIND STRUCTURE AND SYNTAX CHOICES

What Does the Code Look Like?

Take a look at this file of xVRML code for displaying a glowing red box, and see if you can follow what is going on.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<World xmlns="http://www.xvrml.net/schemas/core"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.xvrml.net/schemas/core
  http://www.xvrml.net/schemas/xVRML.xsd">
  <WorldInfo>
    <title>A Glowing Red Box</title>
    <info>A simple demo file</info>
  </WorldInfo>
  <children>
    <Shape>
      <appearance>
        <Material>
          <emissiveColor red="1.0"/>
        </Material>
      </appearance>
      <geometry>
        <Box/>
      </geometry>
    </Shape>
  </children>
</World>

*ADD MORE MATERIALS HERE WALKING THROUGH THE ABOVE CODE

Contributors:
-- PeterThoeny - 21 May 2005
-- JeffreySonstein - 14 Nov 2005

Discussions

I got to know about this at the OnlineDeliberationConference2005. xVRML is fairly new and there is not yet much support from 3rd parties. I think it has good potential to gain traction. The Rochester Institute of Technology is currently working on a renderer in Java, that potentially can be put into an applet. Prof Jeffrey Sonstein is leading the xVRML project.

May be one day we will see a XvrmlDrawPlugin, similar in concept to the TWikiDrawPlugin? I can see that this as a useful tool to visualize domain specific content.

-- PeterThoeny - 21 May 2005

There is also a technology-demonstration viewer application named Carina (written in C) which is available for download (both binary releases and source under the GPL). The current (beta) release of Carina runs on OSX and Linuxoid systems. The next (still beta) release of Carina (currently in testing) includes a Windows version.

Information about the Project may be found at: http://xvrml.net/

The viewer and specifications and examples and so on may be found at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/xvrml

-- JeffreySonstein - 11 Jul 2005

The support for VRML is pretty light; I wonder if this new initiative is going to turn that around?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 11 Jul 2005

New release of Carina viewer app is out now, with Windoze and OSX and Linux ports. VRML support coming along nicely (finishing up static nodes, moving on to duynamic shortly). VRML and X3D import with xVRML export works nively.

Constructive feedback and comments from users very much sought after.

-- JeffreySonstein - 01 Oct 2005

I am not sure whether it is adequate to use constructivism and constructionism to distinguish XML from HTML.

-- AndyYeh - 15 Nov 2005

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Topic revision: r9 - 2005-11-15 - AndyYeh
 
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