ActiveVRML in Haskell

by Paul Hudak

(joint work with Ming Yang)

VRML = Virtual Reality Modeling Language. Although browsers exist for VRML 1.0, it is a completely static description language -- there is no notion of animation or interaction. VRML 2.0 is intended to remedy this problem, and Microsoft has recently proposed ActiveVRML as a potential candidate for VRML 2.0. ActiveVRML -- except for a strange treatment of time -- is a purely functional language. In fact, its syntax is most similar to that of ML, and its interaction semantics is most similar to Haskell's monadic IO. I will describe ActiveVRML and a very preliminary embedding of it in Haskell, with emphasis on typing issues and the treatment of dynamic events and time-varying behaviors.

This is a seat-of-the-pants talk representing work-in-progress.