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History VRML was conceived in the spring of 1994 at the first annual World Wide Web Conference in Geneva Switzerland Tim Berners-Lee and Dave Raggett organized a Birds-of-a-Feather BOF session to discuss Virtual Reality interfaces to the World Wide Web Several BOF attendees described projects already underway to build three dimensional graphical visualization tools which inter-operate with the Web Attendees agreed on the need for these tools to have a common language for specifying 3D world description and WWW hyper-links -- an analog of HTML for virtual reality The term Virtual Reality Markup Language VRML was coined and the group resolved to begin specification work after the conference The word Markup was later changed to Modeling to reflect the graphical nature of VRML Shortly after the Geneva BOF session the www-vrml mailing list was created to discuss the development of a specification for the first version of VRML The response to the list invitation was overwhelming within a week there were over a thousand members After an initial settling-in period list moderator Mark Pesce of Labyrinth Group announced his intention to have a draft version of the specification ready by the WWW Fall 1994 conference a mere five months away There was general agreement on the list that while this schedule was aggressive it was achievable provided that the requirements for the first version were not too ambitious and that VRML could be adapted from an existing solution The list quickly agreed upon a set of requirements for the first version and began a search for technologies which could be adapted to fit the needs of VRML The search for existing technologies turned up a several worthwhile candidates After much deliberation the list came to a consensus the Open Inventor ASCII File Format from Silicon Graphics Inc The Inventor File Format supports complete descriptions of 3D worlds with polygonally rendered objects lighting materials ambient properties and realism effects A subset of the Inventor
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