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Compressing VRML files for Web

Posted on 1998-06-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
Is it possible to compress a VRML 2.0 file for transfer over the web?  I want the visitor to my site to be able to click on a link to a VRML page and view the VRML world.  Problem is that my VRML worlds are 700+ KB.  Can this file be compressed for faster transfer but still have automatic viewing without the user needing to do anything?
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Question by:jbetts
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julio011597 earned 100 total points
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Yes, handling compressed VRML files is part of the functionality recent browsers offer, namely CosmoPlayer. All you need is to compress your files with the "gzip" utility, freely available from GNU foundation.

One only warning: gzip, after compression, appends a ".gz" extension to the wrl file, but you have to get rid of that extra extension before your file can be read by the browser; then, to uncompress back your file, you have to re-append the ".gz" extension, otherwise gzip doesn't recognize it as a compressed file.

Also, note that compressing files improves transfer performances only; compressing will NOT improve client frame rate.

HTH, julio
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by:julio011597
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Just in case the answer is not clear, compressing-uncompressing regards *your* handling of the file. As for the client, (s)he doesn't see any difference when opening the file.

-julio
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by:jbetts
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Julio

Confirm that I have this straight....
Make VRML file (*.wrl)
Use gzip to compress the file (*.wrl.gz)
Start MS Internet Explorer 4.0
Open/browse to file (*.wrl.gz) and the browser will start Cosmo player, decompress, and show the VRML graphics?
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by:julio011597
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There's an additional step needed for publishing, so here is the full plan:

1) Make Vrml file (*.wrl)
2) Compress it with gzip (*.wrl.gz)
3) Get rid of the ".gz" extensione by renaming the file (*.wrl)
4) Start your web browser
5) Browse the file (of course, *.wrl)... Cosmo Player will read-decompress-show its contents.

In case you need to modify the file:

1) Rename it back to *.wrl.gz
2) uncompress it (gzip -d, or Winzip)
3) Modify it
4) Recompress it
5) Rename it to *.wrl... now it's ready to re-publish.

Let me know if this is not clear.

-julio
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