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Summary

Extensible 3D, better known as X3D, is the next generation of VRML. As such, it is motivated by both the successes and failures of VRML97. As the first international standard for 3D on the Internet, VRML succeeded in becoming today's dominant Web3D technology. It didn't reach the ubiquity that everybody had hoped for, however. It failed to do so in large part because the specification was ahead of its time. As a result, browsers were overly large and complicated, comprehensive authoring tools were difficult to produce, and end-user systems at the time weren't powerful enough to handle rich VRML worlds.

Currently under development by the Web3D Consortium (the same organization that developed VRML), X3D is being designed to solve these problems while introducing new features and capabilities. Originally known as VRML Next Generation (VRML-NG), the name Extensible 3D reflects the close relationship this forthcoming technology has with the Extensible Markup Language (XML).


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