[whatwg] XHTML + X3D (was Re: Web Applications and 3D)

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 29 07:25:02 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 29 Apr 2005, Matthew Raymond wrote:
>>Well, in situations with Javascript off, the benefits are obvious. 
> I don't mean to be obtuse, but: they aren't to me. I guess I could imagine 
> wanting declarative 3D for when you want to show someone around your 
> office or something like that, but I can't say I've seen much demand for 
> that, and even less integrated with HTML.
> In any case, that would be something to be addressed by another 
> specification, like X3D. HTML (specifically XHTML) already supports 
> integrating with other namespaces.

    I'm not suggesting integration with HTML5. I'm perfectly happy with 
using X3D (or some other separate language, like XGL). My concern is the 
lack of analysis of how these technologies fit together. It's like 
fitting an engine to an airframe. I don't want the engine to necessarily 
be part of the airframe design, but they still have to work together, 
and you won't know where the problems are until you try fitting them 

>>There's also the potential to use XBL to apply special behavior to 
>>specific tags. For instance, instead of having a static Sun in the sky, 
>>you could have it rise and set by using XBL to pull in code that moves 
>>the model and lighting around.
> What sky? :-) I haven't seen many applications with skies...

    I'll try to come up with a less game-like example next time...

    Question: Game != Application?

>>I'm not saying there's a problem with X3D. I'm just trying to make sure 
>>there is a clear idea of how to make XHTML + X3D compound documents. In 
>>other words, I'm trying to find the weak link, if there is one, and at 
>>the moment that seems to be a lack of examples on the Internet.
> The biggest problem with integrating X3D and XHTML is, as far as I can 
> tell, the lack of a namespace to identify X3D content. (This is similar to 
> the problem preventing Docbook integration.)

    Good, now we're getting somewhere. Let's say X3D did have a 
namespace, like "x3d". Could we use <x3d:x3d> or <x3d:scene> as the 

> If you want declarative 3D integrated into the Web browser pipeline, 
> alongside the DOM, JS, XHTML, SVG, CSS, XBL, etc, I encourage you to bring 
> this up with the Web3D consortium.

    Very well. I'll also look into competing languages being developed.

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