Declarative 3D Group Charter

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Though not necessary for a Community Group, we have assembled a charter that describes the scope and the aims of the Declarative 3D for the Web CG in more detail.

The mission of the Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture Community Group is to determine the requirements, options, and use cases for an integration of interactive 3D graphics capabilities into the W3C technology stack. This group is aimed to extract core features out of the requirements as foundation to propose feasible technical solutions. These should cover the majority of 3D use cases for the Web – but not necessarily all of them.

There are upcoming open (e.g. WebGL) and proprietary (e.g. Adobe) proposals for imperative graphics APIs in the Web context but we are missing an easy way to add interactive high-level declarative 3D objects to the HTML-DOM to allow anyone to easily create, share, and experience interactive 3D graphics – with possibly wide ranging effects similar to those caused by the broad availability of video on the Web.

The Community Group aims at creating the necessary technical and organizational prerequisites to eventually start a Working Group.

Join the Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture Community Group.


The goal of this Community Group (CG) is to evaluate the necessary requirements for a successful standardization of a declarative approach to interactive 3D graphics as part of HTML documents.

Activities include:

  • Collection of use cases and requirements based an open call for contributions
  • Evaluation and rating of use cases to develop suitable requirements
  • Extraction of core 3D features from the requirements that enable broad uptake by authors and users of interactive 3D on the Web
  • Proposition and classification of new feasible concepts and technical solutions
  • Candidate technologies could demonstrate whether a follow-on Working Group is likely to achieve the defined goal

Any new concept should be complementary and compatible with current Web functionality and to each other wherever possible. They should be based on and leverage the W3C Web Architecture and existing W3C technologies (i.e. CSS, DOM, DOM Scripting, and DOM Events) wherever applicable.

The scope of this Community Group includes but is not limited to:

  • Integration with existing and future W3C standards, specifically
  • Integration of high-level scene concepts
  • Integration into user agents
  • Integration with suitable interaction techniques and devices
  • Integration of 3D content on the server side
  • Integration with client and server side rendering services
  • Integration with existing security aspects for content delivery and visualization
  • Definition of meaningful and future-proof scene concepts
  • Extension to HTML
  • Content Portability and Platform Independence
  • 3D Content Creation, Tool Chains, other 3D File Formats, and Semantics
  • Efficiency and Scalability
  • Accessibility, both for different types of users and varied types of interface devices

Initially, the CG will not explicitly target high-end games or similar applications. The developers have the knowledge and the resources to cope with the typical low-level API-based solutions and typically want full control of the graphics engine. Rather It will focus on the many other existing and novel applications that seek ways to produce, publish, and share interactive 3D assets and to build 3D applications based on the W3C technology stack.

Success Criteria

The goal of the Community Group is to illustrate the importance and benefit of a declarative 3D standard for the Web. Thus this Community Group will be considered successful if it documents use cases, derived requirements and a set of features and concepts necessary to cover these requirements.

Out of Scope

The following topics are not considered within this CG:

  • Non-declarative approaches. However, how non-declarative APIs (such as Typed Arrays or WebGL) can be connected to declarative approaches is within scope.
  • Solutions that are not compatible with W3C Recommendations and related Web or internet standards.
  • Production of Recommendation-track specifications are out of scope for this Community Group, though it may produce early drafts of specifications and prototypes that later can lead to recommendation-track specifications within a W3C Working Group.


  • As its main result the CG will deliver a Community Group Report documenting its progress, reporting any conclusions arrived at with respect to potential standardization of “Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture”. If reaching a positive conclusion, it may recommend one or more standardization approaches as a potential basis for a future W3C working group on the same topic.
  • One or more reports that survey and explore possibly different options for adding interactive 3D graphics to HTML, including which use cases and requirements are covered,
  • A list of use cases, requirements, features and concepts, and measurable properties as the basis for its report,
  • Demonstrators for the use cases to show feasibility and exemplar capabilities

Dependencies and Liaisons

W3C Groups

HTML Working Group
Most important dependency, as the tight integration into HTML is a main focus point.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group
As leveraging CSS is a key discussion point of the CG, the demonstrators might have to extend existing CSS functionality.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group
The CG coordinates closely with the SVG WG on common features and concepts of 2D and 3D graphics.
Web Applications (WebApps) Working Group
DOM Events, XBL, and other publications of the WebApps WG could affect the work in this group and vice versa.
Device APIs and Policy Working Group
Especially the integration of camera and other sensor data into interactive 3D scenes is interesting for a wide range of 3D applications, particularly user interfaces and augmented reality (AR).
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Coordination
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. WAI products also provide interface improvements that benefit all users.
Points of Interest (POI) Working Group
The work of this group is strongly related to topics of the POI WG, notably augmented reality, location-based services, and navigation systems.

External Groups

Web3D Consortium
The Web3D Consortium develops X3D, an ISO format for declarative 3D graphics.
Khronos Group
The Khronos Group develops 3D graphics APIs such as OpenGL and WebGL as well as the 3D graphic format COLLADA.
International Organization of Standards (ISO)
Standards committees for 3D graphics


All relevant stakeholders, e.g. developers, designers, 3D artists, industry professionals, accessibility experts, and user-agent implementers, are encouraged to participate in this Community Group. Participants must be willing to actively develop and donate materials towards the group’s deliverables, as well as attend the majority of the group's teleconferences.

Additional Information

The CG will start its discussion, demonstrate, and evaluate use cases on the fully working demonstrator platforms and implementations developed by the DFKI (XML3D) and Fraunhofer IGD (X3DOM). Other open demonstrator platforms or other input to the evaluation of “Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture” are highly welcome.