VRML: Very Odd.

2009-08-18 networks / languages

So the VRML rendering thing isn’t panning out so well. “Making the simple things simple by making the difficult things impossible”.

We’re talking, here, about a language which has a clock, but no way to display the time. You can display strings on billboards, and the billboards even point at the camera most of the time. But you can’t cast the float time to a displayable string, without calling out to Javascript anyway, and I never could get that to work the same way twice. So I made a little analogue clock where a sphere slides along a cylinder And that sort of works. Sort of. Of course, it doesn’t stay quite still either which makes it rather difficult to read.

You can interpolate the position of Things. But you can’t interpolate points in IndexedLineSets, so my poor nodes are floating there in space without the links showing. Maybe if I interpolated the center and the lengths of a cylinder for each link, perhaps? But really, surely, that’s too much work to go to for something that’s meant to be a visualization tool, not and end to itself.

Also, like it’s little friend HTML, it never renders the same way on two different platforms. And never tells you why. Argh.

Anyway, that’s my rant. There must be some way to do this. I’m sure it’d be a very simple Java applet. There’s lots of them out there. Surely someone else has DONE this.

(Actually, this would all be within the abilities of HTML5 Canvas, I suspect!)