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[whatwg] <model/>: A 3D Equivalent to <img/>

From: Brian Blakely <anewpage.media@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 21:09:30 -0400
Message-ID: <d7e38f950910301809l5677955aucdf4bcd3c1e61fb0@mail.gmail.com>
To ensure HTML remains semantic as the web makes its gradual transition to
3D rich interfaces and content, I am submitting a proposal for WHATWG's
consideration.  The below examples contain HTML as it exists now, the
current working standard, and finally, a combination of both concepts.

NOTES AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

* Compressing the semantic qualities of 3D content into the generic
<canvas/> element is very, very bad.  I do not hate <canvas/>, but you may
not want to procedurally generate all of your 3D content, just as you do not
want to procedurally generate all of your 2D content (or any of it) today.
Below, you'll see the fictional <model/>, which sources to a standard XML
schema for 3D data (though it could be any format a browser vendor
supports).

* Our goal should be to create new, semantic methods suited for 3D, and
integrate them into the form/aesthetic/behavior relationship which
HTML/CSS/JavaScript share.

* Webkit's CSS-based 3D is a part of that, but it needs to be expanded to
suit truly 3D rendering of traditionally 2D content, as opposed to treating
HTML entities as "wafers".  This is exemplified in the fictional "extrude"
property of the <h1/> in the third example.

SEMANTIC 2D
-------------------------------------------
<h1>Hello World!</h1>
<img src="earth.png" alt="The World" />
<strong>Greet the world with confidance.</strong>
<a href="#">Find out more at example.com</a>

NON-SEMANTIC 3D
-------------------------------------------
<canvas id="hello-world-scene">Disabled browsers see this stuff, compatible
browsers see one obscure DOM node.</canvas>

PROPOSED SEMANTIC 3D
-------------------------------------------
<h1 style="extrude: 35px; transform: rotateZ(15deg);">Hello World!</h1>
<model src="earth.xml" alt="The World" />
<strong>Greet the world with confidance.</strong>
<a href="#">Find out more at example.com</a>


Please lend your thoughts and let's discuss a more semantic and accessible
use of 3D.  The fictional HTML and CSS above are just proposals, and I am
not at all asserting these ideas are the best possible solution, only that
there is a very real problem.

-Brian MB
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