Michael Tiemann, VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat and BlenderNation reader, has posted a suggestion at Wikipedia's Village Pump to adopt the COLLADA format for publishing 3D content.
The .dae extension is for the COLLADA format (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COLLADA). I would like to contribute some 3D models that I have authored using PD, CC:AT, and/or CC:SA:AT licenses. The first 3D model I'd like to submit is publicly available at http://people.redhat.com/tiemann/unitcube.dae and is licensed "Public Domain" by me. It is the unit cube. I hope this will open the floodgates for other modelers to begin adding their own creative 3D works with appropriate Wikipedia licensing. I hope that this proposal will result in the acceptance of .dae files by the wikipedia site rules.
Do you remember when you were a kid you had these books that when you opened them would have these paper structures pop out? I just couldn't shake that image when I read this - imagine being able to illustrate how a steam engine or windmill works by adding a fully animated 3D model with an article!
You can support Michael's proposal by simply editing it and adding your comments directly below it. (Take a look at some other proposals to see how others do it). Needless to say, the adoption of COLLADA by Wikipedia could lead to more people using Blender to create content.
We've reported about COLLADA before, but let me refresh your memory:
COLLADA ("COLLAborative Design Activity") is a royalty free, open standard for the interactive entertainment industry that defines an XML-based schema for 3D authoring applications to freely exchange digital assets without loss of information. This enables multiple software packages to be combined into extremely powerful tool chains. COLLADA support programmable shaders authored and packaged using OpenGL ES Shading Language so that leading 3D authoring tools can work effectively together to create OpenGL ES applications and assets.
COLLADA is a hot topic in the industry right now and it is backed by Khronos, the consortium supporting open standards for computer graphics (including OpenGL ES).
Blender already has a rather good COLLADA import and export filter. Thanks to the developer, Pieter Visser of Illusoft, the latest version of the Blender COLLADA importer/exporter (found at http://colladablender.illusoft.com/) has basic animation support as well as armature, skinning, and physics support. And more functionality is on the way as part of the Dutch version of the 'Summer of Code'.