X3DV Module Suite

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The X3DV Module Suite is a free set of modules to code in X3D, the open standard for interactive and immersive 3D on Internet. With it, you can create virtual worlds in 3D, using the great edition features of Netbeans.

Two modules are available now: language and files support for X3DV, and a palette of code for x3dv. Continue reading to see what they are.

Netbeans is one of the main free Java editors in the market. In fact, it can be used to program in many computer languages.
I have already explained what X3D is briefly, in a previous post.

While I was working in my projects, I thought that it would be good to be able to deal with X3D files from inside Netbeans, so I don't need any other program opened for that.
It may also be great that all people writing X3D worlds would be able to take advantage of the many features for editing that Netbeans has and other editors lack.

The Netbeans X3DV Module Suite is for editing X3D inside Netbeans, in classic VRML encoding (with .x3dv extension). The classic VRML encoding is very easy to read, I think that easier than the XML way to describe X3D files, and that's the reason for many people to choose it.

Not all the module features are implemented yet. In the future I plan to add many code templates and more code snippets, and also a syntax checker and maybe toolbars, etc.
But just now you have these:
  • You can create new X3DV files inside Netbeans.
  • Brackets and quotes completion.
  • Icons for X3DV files.
  • Syntax coloring that makes editing easier.
  • A practical palette of x3dv code that will make you build worlds faster.
  • A button to show the palette.
Have a look at these screens to see how it looks.

First Module: X3DV Encoding

You can create new X3DV files:

It is ready to make your custom code templates:

In the code editor, you can see the X3D icon in x3dv files, and how syntax coloring is applied. As you see, the header has special colors so you can quickly recognize x3d files. Words like PROTO, ROUTE, TO, etc. are in red to easy locating them. Nodes are in blue and fields in green.
As you write, in Netbeans, words are colored. So if you make a spelling mistake, you will know instantly because the node or field is not colored. Comments are in light grey, and the rest in black.

Here's one example more. As you see, DEF and USE words have a different and bright color because when one codes in X3D needs to find these very often, and this allows you to make it quickly.

Here's how are colored inputs and outputs in Script nodes. As you see, types have a bold black color, it helps to see if you typed them well. I used blue for inputs, red for outputs, and green for inputOutput. The reason is psychological, it allows to distinguish them easily. It's easy to think in this like it was a kitchen, the input enters cold (blue) and exits hot (red), being green something neuter that can be used for both.

The initializeOnly fields are in black, as they are just fields that are used later, and don't take a direct play in the output.

Here you can see how strings are colored:

And routes can be easily read because both ROUTE and TO are highlighted in red:

Second Module: X3DV Palette

The X3DV Palette can help you to write code faster. It places a new palette on the right, similar to the Palette that Netbeans has, and when you press one of the icons, a piece of code is copied to the clipboard.
Then, you can paste it everywhere you like. This was done this way because you may want to paste it several times. To copy another code piece, just click another button.

It is based on the practical x3d worldbuilding, so you will find the most used text, without having to remove useless fields. It saves you from typing the same things over and over.

You know which button you have pressed because the icon shows a spark when you click it.

The X3DV Palette has not only code snippets of X3D nodes, it also has a material palette, to create good material, shine, and color properties for objects quickly.

You can minimize the X3DV Palette to the right. To show it, just click its icon again.

For quickly opening the palette you have an icon for your toolbar and also a menu option in the Windows menu, both with the same icon.

Keep informed, and install what you want

You can install all the modules, or just those that you like, as they are independent.
More features will be added to these modules, and more modules will be added. If you like these software, I suggest you to subscribe to keep informed about this.

Watch the video


You can download it here:

-Jordi R. Cardona-

© 2008 by Jordi R. Cardona. Link to this post without copying the text.

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Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Cool blog!!! I hope to dig into this type of knowledge one day. How fascinating!


Jordi R Cardona said...

Welcome JJ Loch! I will do a series of introductory articles to X3D, so if you follow them, you can do it. X3D is an understandable language.

parag said...

Hi Jordi,

I am new to this X3D world and planning to develope a system in a netbeans. This sytem should have a viewer and handle various X3D or VRML moldels. can you please pass me a netbeans example where X3D file is called, assembled with other X3Ds, and modified. Basically I would like to know the way to open X3D with the help of netbeans. Thank you very much! my email is parag.vichare@google.com

Jordi R Cardona said...

@parag It's very easy, just create a Netbeans project, and add the Xj3D examples to it, and then follow the steps of my tutorial:

How To Use Xj3D Library In Netbeans IDE

It will run the examples of Xj3D without problems. Have a look at the docs and help of Xj3D, and also join their forum and you'll be doing it without problems. Good luck!

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