[whatwg] <model/>: A 3D Equivalent to <img/>

Brian Blakely anewpage.media at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 19:18:32 PST 2009

Perfectly aware Simon, hence the proposition; a 3D model element is not an
attempt to erase, but complement current efforts.

Let me take this opportunity to clarify.  <model/> is neither redundant nor
trampling current efforts, but filling an essential gap in the spec.

This is why:

1) O3D and Khronos/Mozilla's efforts are JavaScript-based hooks into
OS-level rendering APIs.  They are akin to <canvas/>, providing a
non-semantic "viewport" into content.  This is good, but a new element is
still necessary, even if you were to draw all 3D content into a <canvas/>.
The reason is JavaScript.

2) You should not have to write JavaScript to embed 3D content.  Imagine if
you had to set up a <canvas/> viewport every time you wanted to display an
image.  As it is in today's flatworld, developers should be able to convey
content with only HTML and CSS knowledge.

3) X3D is a 3D equivalent to <svg/>, not <img/>, as I am proposing.
<model/> does not define how your 3D content will look (how <font/>-like!
<svg/> is already flying too close to that sun).  It provides a hook into
CSS, as well as granular, semantic control of content.  The expectation is
that it would link to a 3D model as defined in the "src" attribute, no
further code required.  This source could be in X3D format, or 3DS, MA,
etc.  Whichever the vendors eventually decide to support (hopefully the same
format :)


On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Simon Fraser <smfr at me.com> wrote:

> On Oct 30, 2009, at 6:09 PM, Brian Blakely wrote:
>  To ensure HTML remains semantic as the web makes its gradual transition to
>> 3D rich interfaces and content, I am submitting a proposal for WHATWG's
>> consideration.  The below examples contain HTML as it exists now, the
>> current working standard, and finally, a combination of both concepts.
>> Please lend your thoughts and let's discuss a more semantic and accessible
>> use of 3D.  The fictional HTML and CSS above are just proposals, and I am
>> not at all asserting these ideas are the best possible solution, only that
>> there is a very real problem.
> Are you aware of the X3D and O3D efforts?
> <http://www.web3d.org/x3d/specifications/>
> <http://code.google.com/apis/o3d/>
> Simon
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