Standards for thee, but not for me

Strange news today… Mozilla announces an initiative for “3D on the Web”.

Now, both VRML97 and Extensible 3D are already full ISO/IEC standards.

But Mozilla’s proposal relies upon further proprietary extensions to the experimental CANVAS tag, as opposed to Apple’s 3D extensions to Cascading Style Sheets, both of which are part of the contentious HTML5 discussions, some of which may eventually wind up as a W3C Recommendation, which might then possibly become an actual ISO/IEC Standard. (Yes, it’s convoluted. ;-)

But such de-jure standards for Web 3D as ISO/IEC 14772 and ISO/IEC 19775 already do exist.

And projects like Papervision3D are already very successful, and work quite well in Firefox, or any browser brand, right now. You’re welcome to contribute to this or any of the other existing opensource 3D projects that play in peoples’ browsers today.

De-facto standards for Web 3D already exist too.

Thinking just a little past the press release and the coding strategies… how will the runtime code be distributed? If it’s only embedded within one or two browser brands, that’s a clear non-starter, at least for non-hobbyist audiences. If the renderer is available as a new cross-browser plugin, then that enfranchises the range of browser brands, but imposes adoption costs upon consumers. A rock and a hard place.

Mozilla folk? I share your overall goals about advancing web technology. But think things through, objectively. It may be fun to re-invent stuff yourself, but it’s more productive to work well with others.

And you’d lose the moral fulsomeness of the “Web Standards for The Open Web!” pitch when focusing on your own proprietary alternatives to existing standards.

“Standards for thee, but not for me”… that’s not the most convincing approach!