Re: Right there with the special web browser for dogs & cats
Are we back yet at "it's a Unix system, I know this"...? More prosaically, does anyone still remember VRML? From the era when people thought Second Life and its ilk is the Next Big Thing...? Do we need to go all the way back to Microsoft Bob...? Yes, I grok the great deal of mental comfort provided by using a familiar paradigm; unfortunately the concept of "things nicely laid out in 3D space" invariably turns out to be a much, much inferior paradigm to the ethereal alternative of "there is zero distance between any two object connected through a single click".
In practice, 3D's superior storage density based on its extra dimension compared to 2D inevitably turns out to be an illusion as soon as we need to access any of it - a 2D surface is something humans can perceive and interact with in its entirety, while a true 3D one (that doesn't just decorate 3D walls with 2D windows) isn't; you can see all objects in a 2D matrix at a glance, but the first layer of a proper 3D matrix of objects would be obscuring everything behind it. And making everything transparent would just serve to confuse things even worse - I'll prefer a browser with thirty tabs any day over one with thirty windows overlaid on top of (or behind) each other. The specific relation between each object and all the others that 3D seeks to preserve and express simply doesn't exist in the amorphous world of ones and zeros.
IMHO as long as we are attempting to replicate things from the real world in the form of VR (or especially if we are attempting to pull data out onto the real world AR-style) 3D does make sense in computing - but as soon as we start dealing with abstract concepts related to pure-data-in-a-box, 3D immediately becomes more of a hindrance than an advantage regardless of how attractive it may seem at first glance.