Can You 3DML?
Zona Land will be featuring a 3D Web technology called 3DML. 3DML stands for 'Three Dimensional Modeling Language'. If you can see a simple 3D world in the frame below, then you are all set to use 3DML on the Web. Please read the notes below.
If the 3D world above is not visible, then you should have been asked to download an appropriate plug-in from www.flatland.com. If you were not asked to download the plug-in, then you may download it yourself from www.flatland.com. A plug-in for Windows is available at their site. I have had no trouble with this plug-in. It seems to work very well.
When you click on the above world, you should see an arrow appear which shows the direction of your movement. If you release your mouse buttons and move your mouse around, you should see the direction of this arrow change. Once you have settled on a movement direction, pressing the mouse button and dragging will scoot you that way.
Dragging your mouse in several directions right from the start will also move you about the 3D world.
But this, though, is probably the easiest way to do it: Click once on the world, and then move about using your arrow keys.
So, perhaps the easiest way to use 3DML is to click once on the world and then navigate with the keyboard's arrow keys.
At the lower left of the world you will see several icons which allow you to adjust the options, visit Flatland, or offer some help in navigating.
I have noticed that with my version of Internet Explorer, (5.5), the 3DML worlds do not quite 'size' right when jumping from one page with a 3DML world to another page with a 3DML world. Refreshing the page seems to fix this. My version of Netscape, (4.5), does not seem to have this problem.
As you may have noticed 3DML is the second type of 3D technology in Zona Land, VRML being the first. 3DML is less expressive, dynamic, and interactive than VRML. However, it does load quite quickly, and for mostly static 3D environment situations it seems to get the job done quite well.
If you want to experiment and author your own 3DML words, the folks at www.flatland.com have a wealth of information and tools to get you started.