Executive Summary for the Final VAG meeting

December 12, 1996

Present: Tony Parisi, Jan Hardenbergh, Rikk Carey, Gavin Bell, Tom Meyer, and Brian Blau

The VRML Architecture Group (VAG) met on the 12th of December, 1996, at the Netscape offices in Mountain View. This document is a summary of the key points decided during the meeting. (http://www.vrml.org/vag/vag6.html)


The ISO editing meeting happened, VRML 97 (as it will be known in the ISO community) will become a draft International Standard on February 7, 1997. Rikk and Gavin reported on the ISO meeting in San Diego. There will be a clarified VRML draft incorporating ISO comments by January 15, followed by a final review period. See the ISO summary posted to the www-vrml mailing list for details.

Old Business


The community voted on the proposals that were submitted in response to the RFP on the external interface in August 19, 1996. The SGI proposal was the clear winner, so this proposal will be submitted as a working document to the external interface working group (to be formed).


There was only a single response to the RFP, issued in September 1996, on binary compression. This was from IBM, Paragraph, and Apple. The VAG agrees in principal with the proposal, but has concerns about intellectual property issues, and will defer resolution of these issues to the consortium. It also recommends the formation of a Compressed Binary File Format working group.


Netscape and SGI worked together to support the VRMLscript data types in Javascript as part of an open, publically available standard. The Javascript appendix was updated to reflect this change. Note that Javascript has been submitted to ECMA as part of a standardization process. We recommend forming a working group to investigate Java and JavaScript as possible required languages for VRML.

Working Groups (mechanism)

Don Brutzman created a draft proposal for how working groups how working groups operate and requirements for recognition by the consortium. We reviewed it, are enthusiastic about it, and would recommend that the consortium consider it and publish a revised version of this prop in early January 1997. In the meantime, currently operating working groups are encouraged to continue doing so :-) , in preparation for formal recognition.


We, the VRML Architecture Group, are handing off our responsibilities to the VRML Review Board. We recommend that the VRML Review Board have primary responsibility for VRML technology, and that its principal tasks be recognizing, guiding, and accepting or rejecting the recommendations of working groups.

We recommend that the VRB consist of seven technical members, to be elected by the VRML Consortium membership. We recommend the following details:

The exiting VAG members will be available as needed by the Consortium and have offered to act in an interim advisory role to the incoming VRB.

We believe that a smooth transition is important. In the interest of continuity, we will nominate the following four former VAG members as candidates for the first election of the VRB: Gavin Bell, Brian Blau, Jan Hardenbergh, and Tom Meyer.

We are very excited by the maturing of the VRML process. Development of the VRML Consortium is the next important task the VRML community must tackle, and we look forward to our continuing involvement with this community.