WebOOGL 2.0 is a free 3D Web browser that is a "quasi-compliant" VRML viewer.
Simply put, VRML is "3D HTML". It's a file format for 3D graphics on the World Wide Web that allows you to associate hyperlinks (URLs) with 3D objects. It's analagous to the way that you can associate a link with text, images, movies, or sound in traditional Web browsers. You can build a 3D scene from multiple objects distributed in different locations throughout the Web through "inlining", and you can hyperlink a 3D object to any other document on the Web. VRML 1.0 is an "extended subset" of the Open Inventor file format. See the VRML Repository for more background. (The acronym expands to "Virtual Reality Modelling Language".)
The control panel at the bottom of the screen controls the action taken when you click on an object with the right mouse button. The "sky" (the background color of the camera window) flashes when the object clicked on is associated with a URL. When the blue button is bright, clicking on an object with an embedded URL displays the URL in the control panel. When the red button is bright, a click follows the link. If the link is to another 3D world, it will appear in the 3D browser. All other types of links are sent to the 2D Web browser (Netscape, Mosaic, etc) to handle. (If you click on an object that does not have an associated URL, nothing happens.) You can toggle between following and displaying links by clicking (again, with the right mouse button) on the right or left side of the control panel. All other interaction happens with the usual Geomview interactive controls, which are documented in the Geomview manual.
It means that parts of the VRML spec are silently ignored, most notably texture mapping. The WebOOGL package is built on Geomview, the Geometry Center's free 3D viewer, which does not yet do textures. The following nodes are currently ignored by WebOOGL: AsciiText, LevelOfDetail, SpotLight (treated as a DirectionalLight), Texture, Texture2Transform, TextureCoordinate2.
See the setup page.
The new one handles VRML and is much faster. The functionality of the package is dispersed across several programs, which communicate through Geomview. (Some slow hacks in perl were replaced by efficient C.) Downloading URLs is now done by Roy Fielding's libwww-perl library. See the white paper for details.
The WebOOGL project was started in 1994 in reponse to the call for proposals for VRML file format candidates. The WebOOGL file format is a straightforward adaptation of the OOGL (Object Oriented Graphics Language) file format used by Geomview (the Geometry Center's free 3D viewer) to include hyperlinks. Our proposal took second place in the vote on the VRML mailing list, with first place going to the Open Inventor-based format (a wise choice). The WebOOGL 1.0 software package was put together as a proof of concept and demonstrated at the Second International Conference on the World Wide Web in October 1994 in Chicago.
Well, both. These days the default meaning of the term is the software package (i.e. the 3D Web browser). WebOOGL is also the name of the package's native file format.
Created: Oct 1994. Major revision Aug 1995. --- Last modified: Thu Jul 18 18:19:36 1996