Can you believe that I've been doing this VRML site gig for a whole year! I'd say time flys when your having fun...but it's not THAT much fun :-) Given the past year's events maybe the site should be called "Blurred on VRML."
It has certainly been a turbulent year for VRML. Intervista and CosmoSoftware with their respective browsers AND many of the people are now part of PLATINUM Technology. This is IMHO a good thing!
Clearly PLATINUM is going to focus VRML on business applications and will drive VRML to succeed in spite of itself. Oh and by the way...remember the VRML Chat next week 10/28/98 will have a guest appearance by one or more PLATINUM execs.
VRML applications are clearly going to either be compelling enough to bring 3D to the desktop or all will simply fade away. Personally I've seen a few (not many) applications that will eventually lead the way. The photo-copier demo at PLATINUM points to product advertisements, assembly and repair applications. The Seat Selection for Starlight Express, is a beautiful example of a 3D application that works as no 2D chart could.
All of the recent very active discussion on the VRML mailing list about a Next Generation VRML (VRML-NG) points to a thriving community of developers. The activities of the HANIM and newly renamed VRML Enterprise and EAI to name a couple of productive Working Groups of the VRML Consortium are all hashing out important issues. Speakng of the VRML Consortium, it will probably be renamed the Web3D consortium and is expanding its charter to include a variety of 3D technologies. This is also a good thing (since you asked) and will can only help to prevent fragmentation of 3D on the desktop. An exclusive Consortium closed to all but the initiated can never bring differing views and technologies together.
Please send me your suggestions on how to improve this site. The last thing I want is to putter along with a stale boring site.