Thursday, September 6, 2012

Committing to HTML 5

I've been really intrigued with HTML 5.  It promises to do a lot for the web, and sometime in the future, the "internet of things".  But the catch is that most people are comfortable working in HTML 4.  We all have our templates set in 4, and we just don't want to take the time to recode all of that stuff.  That, and we're not nagged to enter metadata when we're using 4.  But there is just one thing that's wrong with this kind of thinking.  Sooner or later, the people that are working in 5 are gonna leave us all behind like dinos.

Now I'm not saying we all have to do everything in XML.  That would be like trying to write in binary, when using C++ is so much easier.  But even the most dense of us are starting to notice that the web is heading towards HTML 5.  And I'm cool with that.  I've done a lot of switch over from HTML 4 using XHTML.  And even XHTML is getting long in the tooth.

I was just reviewing some files I have in my 3d worlds folder. As it turns out, much of that work is bits and pieces of VRML coding.  I was reminded of just how challenging VRML is.  It was created back when HTML 3 was in use.  It's one of the reasons I've taken an interest in X3D for doing small projects.  It's designed to work with HTML 5.

There are websites like Second Life, and programs like Open Sim that you don't need to worry about the magical incantations to get a world up and running.  And many works I've seen are just stunning.  But there are just a couple of tiny problems.  A world needs to load directly from the servers for me, even though it supposedly is cached somewhere on my machine.  And the realism shatters whenever I see an incompatibility in prims.  The little glitch line that is constantly pixellating when you least expect it.  You know what I'm talking about.  I've heard it called the "Denno Coil" effect.

Now one thing that VRML/X3D is great at, is eliminating pixellation.  That, and caching a world on your machine, rather than calling it from the cloud.  Of course you need a plug in.  I've come to accept that.  Eventually most plug ins will become apps.  The one I prefer is BS Contact, from  I discovered recently that many web based games are written in VRML and X3D. Of course there is some Java and Javascript involved as well for that, but I'm already babbling for too long on this.

What I'm trying to say, is that I'm going to recommit to upgrading my templates to HTML 5, and take another shot at learning X3D.  While I'm not going to become a master of X3D, I hope to be able to learn enough of it to do a few projects that have been in the back of my mind.  So we'll see what happens!

Happy Trails,

Today I finalized the closing of my blog.  Anything that was there is now here on