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Chapter 20. WHY X3D? > Ten Pounds in a Five-Pound Bag

Ten Pounds in a Five-Pound Bag

The VRML file format is based on plain text. The best thing about that is that anybody can code a VRML world. The worst thing about it is that anybody can code a VRML world. And many of them did. Designing good VRML worlds takes time and experience, particularly 3D experience, something many early VRML content developers didn't have. As a result, a tremendous amount of poorly designed (and often downright ugly) VRML content is floating around on the Web today. The harsh but true reality is that only a very small percentage of the worlds on the Web today are really impressive; the rest usually aren't worth the download time.

Today's VRML authoring tools are a major advance over those available just a few years ago, and many content developers are beginning to embrace them (see Chapter 10, "Creating New VRML Worlds," to learn about visual authoring tools). A good deal of VRML content produced in the past, however, was actually exported from traditional 3D tools such as CAD programs. Unfortunately, many traditional 3D programs export to the VRML format without consideration of file sizes required for efficient Web distribution.


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