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7 Future Development of VRML

7.1 VRML 2.0

The Virtual Reality Modelling Language is still being developed and refined. The first version of VRML describes static worlds, you can move around them, but other than following the hyperlinks, nothing happens. However, there is a demand for fully interactive, multi-participant 3D environments. It is intended that with the next version of VRML it will be possible to create and view such worlds.

Features of VRML 2.0 will include:

The process of drawing up the VRML 2.0 specification is now under way. Interested parties, which now includes most of the major computer companies like Microsoft, Apple, Sun, as well as SGI, have been invited to submit their proposals for the standard. The relative merits of each of the proposals will be discussed on www-vrml mailing list. After a set period one of the candidates will be chosen as the basis of the specification through reaching a consensus or by taking a vote. The first draft of the VRML 2.0 specification should be published by the spring of 1996. The VRML Architecture Group (VAG) will act as the focus during the debate. The role of the VAG as the standards body, may soon be replaced by the establishment of a more formal VRML Consortium.

7.2 Participating in the Development Process

If you are interested in the development of VRML then the main forum for debate and information is the www-vrml mailing list. To subscribe, email In the message body write:
		subscribe www-vrml your-email-address
This is a heavily used mailing list, with sometimes many hundreds of messages a week, so the digest version may be more suitable. Instructions on how to receive the digest version and to unsubscribe from the list are sent when you join.

For more information about www-vrml go to

Hyper-archives of the mailing list can be found at the following locations:

7.3 More Worlds Needed

Whatever the outcome of the VRML 2.0 specification process, VRML 1.0 provides a solid foundation for creating and viewing three-dimensional worlds on the WWW. Although the number of VRML sites is increasing rapidly, people have only just started to discover what is possible. The infrastructure and tools are in place, now it's really up to the world builders to use their imagination and create. This report has provided a few examples of how VRML can be used in art and design higher education, but VRML has many more potential applications: as a method for the public exhibition of work, or in teaching and research, or as an art-media in itself. There are numerous possibilities.

Of course there are problems, such as the slowness of downloading some models, particularly from across the Atlantic, or the difficulties some VRML browsers have in viewing complex worlds and the fact that not all are fully compliant with the VRML 1.0 specification. But it does work, three-dimensional cyberspace is becoming a reality.

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