I'm sorry but I was one of the people in love with vrml. It was amazing to think about for me at that time.
I use to write my 3d scenes in pov ray. And yes it was hard going but I learned so much, and loved watching my old machine do pixel by pixel rendering.
But anyway, I always wish I could make my scenes come alive, you know walk around them, explorer the views from many different directions. Hence when I heard of vrml I was blown away and wanted to use it in the same way I wrote my povray scenes.
Fast-forward past the 1st wave of vrml and at long last vrml is also going to be xml-ised. Could we finally start seeing increase use of vrml? I somewhat douht it, but still feel optimistic that like svg this will grow and become ubiquous.
Anyway heres a article on xml.com titled Extensible 3D: XML Meets VRML, which gives a overview of where the new standard sits at the moment in relation to others such as 3dml, xml, mpeg4, etc.
I'm kinda of glad x3d supports binary, vrml and xml. As everyone is supported then, its in the same way svg supports svgz which is gzip compressed svg for super small sizes, perfect for delivering over gsm connections.
Its also good to see theres java and ecmascript bindings, as I was worried java3d would take off and take people down the wrong path.
I had wished there was more intergration with other xml standards such as smil for animation and svg for texturing (specially with its filter effects, could have been a killer). But all that will come, x3d basicly keeps vrml syntaxes but puts them in the xml world, which isnt a bad thing for the first major release.
I had thought about converting stuff to vrml using xsl in cocoon, but the thought of turning well structured data into a C/C+ text syntax, sounded like too much hard work. Now x3d is available, it would be a trival task to convert other content into x3d. I should do it soon as a proof of concept, just to make sure i can do it cleanly. I would really like to join a aggergator to x3d, so all the elements would be live but exist in 3d space. Which would give new possibilities for navigation and viewing.