While X3D isn’t one of our ‘core’ web standards, Tony has been working on standards — and on making them commercially successful — long enough to have some good insight on the relationship between standards, ‘killer apps’ and commercial success:
Standards don’t matter because it’s the applications that matter. … But try to scale these applications up, and try to reuse your content, across an enterprise or over the Internet, without standards. Just try. And even if you don’t want to use standards, your customers will eventually make you, because by now they have gotten tired of paying you too much money to rewrite the same content over and over and over again for each new application use, each new platform.
His article also has some interesting thoughts on the history of VRML, why it failed, and why every other attempt at real-time 3D over networks has suffered the same fate. The comments also include some interesting ruminations on current standards, like SVG, and proprietary ‘standards,’ like Flash.
The impetus for Tony’s post is the 3D Industry Forum‘s competing U3D format. The 3D Industry Forum is lead by Intel, and counts Microsoft among their members. They appartently intend to submit U3D to the ECMA, and ultimately perhaps the ISO, for standardization.
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