Here’s a really interesting insight on the birth of X3D, by X3D Guru Tony Parisi.
It’s an evangelism article, which at the bottom line says : “Open Standards are Good”, and “Use X3D, it’s perfect for your business”.
Here’s a fast sum up :
“I didn’t mean to start another real time 3D standards revolution. Really.
(..) I had come to the painful realization that 3D developers are completely blind to the rest of the computing world when it comes to user interface, work flow, application development, basically the whole proposition of Information Technology (IT). The worst of these offenses is their continual defiance of Net Logic, i.e. sharing and cooperation, open standards, interoperability.
(..) The spin on VRML’s crash and burn was that it was a “standard for its own sake,” too bureaucratic, too slow to evolve. (..) The truth behind VRML’s demise is plainer, simpler and uglier than this convoluted logic: we were too early, and the products sucked.
(..) So here’s the Irony: none of that new stuff (note: 3d web formats) did even 50% of what VRML does.
(..) I was hit by a nauseating realization: I was going to have to re-invent VRML.
(..) I was still burning with the conviction that this was the right course: the only way 3D was ever going to reach mass audiences– on the web or anywhere else in the 21st century— was with a standard format and an open architecture. It didn’t matter that the Internet wasn’t quite dead yet, and the proprietary behemoths were still pushing their own brands of 3D dog food; I had Right on my side.
(..) By 2003, the X3D spec was in its final review stages with ISO. It looked like we were gonna make it. (..) Then, another Irony. (..) A few crafty folks, survivors of the latest 3D wreckage, got a Wonderful, Awful idea for saving their doomed efforts. They decided to create a Standard.(..)
(..) Well, don’t believe the hype. The Emperor is buck naked and I’m here to point it out. If you want to deploy real time 3D in an open environment, across platforms and devices, over a network, integrated with data, with no strings attached, then there is only one way to go: X3D.
(..) X3D is now the official International Standard for doing real time 3D graphics, period. It’s pretty and fast, it’s XML and programmable. It’s industrial strength for the real world, but it can do Nemo online in real time, if that’s what you’re into. And this time, it actually works. :->
(..) You know, at a certain level, this standards stuff doesn’t matter. But at another level, it’s everything. Standards don’t matter because it’s the applications that matter.
(..) Let me be as crystal clear as I can about this: I am in it for one reason, and one reason only: Money.
(..) In my world view, the best and surest path to making money with real time interactive 3D over the long haul requires standards. Are they sufficient? Of course not. But they are absolutely necessary.
(..) X3D has reignited the revolution of affordable, open, scalable real time 3D, delivered over networks, running on multiple platforms, with seamless data exchange and integrated into applications.”