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Chapter 20. WHY X3D? > Size Matters

Size Matters

Netscape Navigator at one time included a VRML browser in their standard distribution. Internet Explorer also came standard with a built-in VRML browser at one time. Today, VRML browsers are relegated to full installations (no longer part of standard installations) for one simple reason: VRML browsers are too big, most weighing in at over 3 MB in size.

VRML browsers became so large and complex because the VRML97 specification is so large and complex. The VRML97 specification defines a dazzling array of 3D capabilities and requirements that browser vendors must implement in order to be considered "spec compliant." Those requirements ultimately translate into lines of code (which in turn contribute to a browser's size) and CPU cycles (which means speed, or lack thereof). All the will and skill in the world can't reduce those lines of code and those CPU cycles below a certain number.


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