See also section 1.1.5 on for more conceptual issues! [maybe I should move this section there]. Products mentionned in this section can be found from our VRML page (http://tecfa.unige.ch/guides/vrml/pointers.html).
Currently (Jan 98) the browser situation is very good if you own a Win95 machine. It's not great if you are the proud owner of a SGI workstation or a Mac and it's downright bad if you happen to own a Sun or Linux or whatever else box. Here are a few tips. Note that information on where to find browsers is on our VRML pointers page.
In March 97 I preferred the Cosmo Player. Note that text nodes don't are not implemented. Use Sony's Community Place for that. In order to switch between plugins, get Sony's plug-in chooser. Those two browsers will certainly rapidly try to match the full VRML 2 standard, but other contenders may appear too.
Since April 97 I am using Worldview Beta4. It's the faster browser around and seems to implement most everything. Colors may not be as pretty, but I don't care right now.
Since Jan 98 we are back to Cosmo for general work and use Sony's and Blaxxun's browsers for multi-user things.
If you have an old SUN (like a standard Sparc5, 10 or 20) they all come with a simple 256 color card. No full VRML 2 browsers will currently (March 97) work with those, except VrWave which certainly sometimes in 98 will become a truly VRML 97 compliant browser.
Consider buying a PC. It's cheaper than getting a decent graphics card for your old Sun and for just viewing VRML, Win95 will do.
Currently (Jan 98), the best VRML 2 browser I could find is WorldView (but it lacks Java support).
In order to look at standard VRML 2 worlds you must give your browser more memory ! (before you run Netscape: ``Get Info'' in the Finder's ``File'' menu).
Here is a clue about Java Problems found at http://help.netscape.com/kb/client/970907-1.html
To troubleshoot your Java applets in UNIX environment, you can start Communicator with the "-java" switch. #netscape -java Usage: -java [-options] class where options include: -help print out this message -version print out the build version -v -verbose turn on verbose mode -debug enable remote JAVA debugging -noasyncgc don't allow asynchronous garbage collection -verbosegc print a message when garbage collection occurs -noclassgc disable class garbage collection -cs -checksource check if source is newer when loading classes -ss<number> set the maximum native stack size for any thread -oss<number> set the maximum Java stack size for any thread -ms<number> set the initial Java heap size -mx<number> set the maximum Java heap size -D<name>=<value> set a system property -classpath <directories separated by ':'> list directories in which to look for classes -prof[:<file>] output profiling data to ./java.prof or ./<file> -verify verify all classes when read in -verifyremote verify classes read in over the network [default] -noverify do not verify any class