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With the widespread use of VRML browsers, e.g., as part of the Netscape and Internet Explorer standard distributions, everyone connected to the Internet can directly enter a virtual world without installing a new kind of software. The VRML technology offers the basis for new forms of customer service such as interactive three-dimensional product configuration, spare part ordering, or customer training. Also, this technology can be used for CSCW in intranets.
The reader should be familiar with programming languages and computers and, in particular, should know Java or at least an object-oriented programming language. The book not only provides and explains source code, which can be used as a starting point for own implementations, but it also describes the fundamental problems and how currently known solutions work. It discusses a variety of different techniques and trade-offs. Many illustrations help the reader to understand and memorize the underlying principles.
I. Introduction: Motivation; Technical Aspects; User Perspective.- II. Fundamentals: Three-Dimensional Computer Graphics; Virtual Reality Modeling Language VRML; Prools for Distributed Virtual Worlds; VRML Extensions for Distributed Virtual Worlds; Partitioning of Distributed Virtual Worlds; Streaming; Other 3D Technologies for the Internet.- III. Implementation: Implementing Multi-User Worlds with VRML; Java Network Programming: A Simple, Distributed, Virtual World; Implementing Multi-User Worlds with CORBA.- References.