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Topics in This Chapter

  • Introducing X3D Markup Language (X3DML)

  • X3DML fundamentals

  • Examining the X3D Document Type Definition (DTD)

As described in Chapter 21, "X3D Overview," X3D changes the VRML specification from a set of defined nodes and fields to an interface definition language (IDL). This approach enables multiple bindings of the X3D specification. These bindings are grammars that provide the actual contents of an X3D document. In X3D, VRML nodesets are bound to an XML grammar currently defined as an XML Document Type Definition (DTD) in accordance with the XML 1.0 specification. In the material that follows, this application language is referred to as X3D Markup Language or simply X3DML.

This chapter provides an overview of the concepts of XML as applied in X3D to help you understand how X3DML is woven into a Web page. X3DML enables you to create 3D worlds using tags and attributes that are similar to HTML, can be integrated with HTML, and can take advantage of the quickly growing set of tools for creating, publishing, maintaining, and integrating XML application languages. General background concepts and examples are presented first, followed by a detailed description of the XML syntax needed to thoroughly understand the X3DML DTD.


At the time of this writing, X3D was under development. Because it was undergoing rapid design changes, a complete DTD was not available and so is not presented in this chapter. An express goal of the X3D effort, however, is to provide an XML binding for the VRML abstract syntax. To this end, background information related to this goal, and various approaches and issues it involves, are described in this chapter. For updates to this constantly evolving material, vist the Core Web3D Web site at http://www.CoreWeb3D.com/.

The material in this chapter assumes that you are familiar with both VRML and XML. To learn about VRML, you can turn to Part 2 of this book. For details about XML, you can vist the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Web site at http://www.w3.org/XML/ or refer to any of the various online XML resources listed in Appendix E, "X3D Resources."



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