[X3D-Public] Minutes: HTML5 - X3D Working Group, February 16 2010

John A. Stewart alex.stewart at crc.ca
Wed Feb 24 07:04:10 PST 2010

What: 		Web3D HTML5 meeting February 16, 2010
present: 		John Stewart, Johannes Behr, Joe Williams, Don Brutzman,  
Anita Havelle, Leonard Daly.

Web page: 	http://www.web3d.org/x3d/wiki/index.php/X3D_and_HTML5


1) HTML5 mailing list Bug 8238 and Chris Marrin's comments on public- 
html, February 15, 2010.

Chris Marrin (one of the originators of the VRML suite of protocols)  
commented on the html-public list:

"The X3DOM experiment (http://x3dom.org) is a great proof-of-concept  
that X3D, as well as many other declarative 3D formats, can be  
accommodated in HTML 5 today without additional parsing in the  
browser. The reason for adding WebGL to WebKit and other browsers was  
to include the smallest set of 3D functionality possible and avoid  
locking in any one higher-level scene-based format. This both makes  
the implementation tractable and reliable as well as making it  
implementable on a wide array of devices.

X3D is only one scene-based 3D format. There are many others that will  
surely arise using the same WebGL based mechanism as X3DOM. Some will  
have a large set of wide ranging nodes like X3D, others will be much  
smaller, targeted at specific applications like games or 3D  
visualization. The beauty of WebGL is that is can accommodate all  
these formats without the burden of building any of them into the  

I worked on VRML, the predecessor to X3D, from its inception in 1994  
to 2000. I was one of the authors of the VRML 97 ISO spec and I'm  
editor of the WebGL spec now. I've seen lots of cool and interesting  
things with 3D embedded content and I'm convinced that keeping the  
native 3D browser support as small and lean as possible is the right  
approach to enable X3D and many other 3D apps in the browser.

With my WebKit implementor's hat on I can say that we wouldn't be  
interested in adding native X3D parsing to WebKit. But I would be  
extremely interested in seeing the X3D group put effort into improving  
X3DOM and creating other JavaScript layers on top of WebGL. I think  
there is huge potential there for all the 3D applications the X3D  
group is currently pursuing."

Discussion on this email:

Common threads on the teleconference call:

- Chris Marrin means X3D adoption is not widespread, not that X3D is  

- Chris means that there are other scene graphs, etc.

- Chris argues that you can layer everything on webgl

- we should argue that we see both webgl and a declarative layer.

- Chris sees it as another application on top of webgGL.

- Chris sees that you need a higher layer structure.


- must state that we are not fighting WebGL - there will be something  
like WebGL, and there will be an api layer and a  declaritive layer.

JohnS - view that html5 group is having difficulty getting a basic  
draft out that everyone agrees on, and that 3D graphics may be too  
much for them at this moment.

Don - Lack of progress is their history, as a legacy of other attempts  
at going through HTML, and they do know it.

Don - they do have a process, and we should be encouraged by Paul  
Cottons' reply.

Don - Paul Cotton's email is a good flowchart as to how to go forth  
and put forth our ISSUE. See the web site from Paul Cotton:

Don - We are in a good position here; they are trying to ship the  
first public release. But look at the options that we have laid out in  
our email to the list.

1 Nobody has challenged any of the centralized extensibility options  
we pushed.

2 As for decentralized - we have positioned ourselves for that, too.

3 - we have said "look, we have a working demo, and we are providing  
open-source code for your inclusion" that will put us one browser  
behind WebGL adoption itself.

Recommendation to us - lets look at the right way to graph the issue;  
continue thinking about member submission;(it would not hurt in any  
case - it is on record urging adoption) finally, would be wise if we  
say "We support html5 in every respect; any solution is ok for us. we  
are trying to eliminate any barriers and friction for successful  

Hopefully they will see us not as a threat but as a value added  
partner.  This is no loose secnario for us.

Joe -questioning centralized extensibility - will they do anything  
other than markup language? MAthML and SVG are now "foreign" elements.

Don - interesting how they reconciled lazy tags; DOM is the common  

Don HTML5 recommendation - chapters for HTML encoding; all different  
ways for authors to be sloppy. XML encoding not sloppy. Results of  
each become DOM tree.

John - how do we proceed?

Don - read email and draft ISSUE. Will have a draft for next week.

Don - thought question - when we say decentralized, for nested markup?  
Maybe we have this already - x3dom approach. Also, embedded plugin.

Joe - of 3 tags most are out; SBG and MathML are "out" - Ruby still in  

Anita - can we be proactive?

Don - we are not convinced everybody needs WebGL.

Don - if Microsoft wants "WebDirectX" - we would be able to say "sure  

DON - put this as an ISSUE inside our ISSUE.

Don - who wants to go on offensive?

ACTION: John - will draft something up in response to Chris Marrin and  
will pass it around for comments.

Don - place to reply to Chris's comment is both on bug and email list.  
We like WebGL and O3D and PixelPerfect and the Microsoft solution...

Johannes - working on x3dom fallback graph;  will update it on the  
x3dom site.

Joe - Safari, Minefield, and Google Chrome will soon be able to run  

Johannes - will have at least 2 major browsers supporting WebGL in  
time for SIGGRAPH, and some native code implementations.

Don - at block 5D in


we are going from 4 to 5d.

ACTION: Don will formulate words for this.

Don - ensure we have webgl spec in minutes - here is the link. Chris  
Marrin is sole editor.


John A. Stewart
Team Leader: Networked Virtual and Augmented Reality
alex.stewart at crc.ca

Network Systems and Technologies -
         Systemes et technologies des reseaux
Communications Research Centre Canada  |
          Centre de recherches sur les communications Canada

3701 Carling Ave.  |  3701, avenue Carling
PO Box 11490, Station H  |  CP 11490, succursale H
          Ottawa ON K2H 8S2   |  Ottawa (Ontario) K2H 8S2


More information about the X3D-Public mailing list