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History

VRML was developed through an open, collaborative effort that was sparked in 1994 by the first international World Wide Web Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland. Conference organizer Tim Berners-Lee, father of the Web and current director of the World Wide Web Consortium, invited Mark Pesce to describe the vision he and Tony Parisi had of an immersive, interactive 3D cyberspace. Their vision was presented to attendees of a Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) gathering at the conference, which was spearheaded by Dave Raggett (the individual largely responsible for driving the development of HTML at the World Wide Web Consortium). During the presentation, Pesce demonstrated Labyrinth, a prototype 3D interface for the then-new World Wide Web that he and Parisi had developed, as proof of their shared vision.

As it turned out, Pesce and Parisi weren't the only ones dreaming of a 3D cyberspace. During a BOF session following his presentation, Pesce discussed the future of Web-based 3D with a number of like-minded Internet developers and 3D enthusiasts. At the time, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) was the sole standard for encoding Web content. Although ideal as a glue language for creating Web pages composed of 2D content such as text and images, HTML lacked support for the third dimension, and so was useless as a 3D content development language. The BOF flock agreed that a new, common language was needed in order to bring 3D to the Web.


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