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Chapter 21. X3D OVERVIEW > What X3D Isn't

What X3D Isn't

After reading the previous chapter and the earlier part of this one, you probably have a good understanding of what X3D is supposed to be. However, it's also important to understand what X3D is not in order to properly set your sights on this coming technology. Following is a summary that describes what X3D is not:

  • X3D isn't a language. VRML is a language, but X3D isn't. X3D is a defined set of objects, methods, and interfaces, collected together in an Application Programming Interface (API). There will be X3D bindings to various languages. There will be an XML binding, almost certainly a Java binding, probably a compressed binary file format, and perhaps a human-readable file format that looks something like VRML (a consensus is building to meet the "human-readable" requirement with the XML binding).

  • X3D isn't a stripped-down version of VRML for ad banners. There will be a Core X3D Profile, but that's just one product in a long product line. Another required profile will be fully compatible with VRML, and other profiles will add capabilities that VRML never had and even some that VRML couldn't have.

  • X3D isn't a product. It's a product line. You'll see a whole range of products (some free, some for sale) that implement X3D and its various profiles.

  • X3D isn't one kind of product. VRML exists primarily on the Web and is accessed by Web browser plug-ins. You may see X3D on PCs, set-top boxes, game systems, and other platforms.


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