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A 3D desktop

Posted by daniel on July 7, 2004 at 5:03 AM PDT

Project Looking Glass has been launched and open sourced on

Will Iverson has taken a look Behind The Scenes of Project Looking Glass with lead developer Hideya Kawahara. Will reports that he was surprised to find "a rational approach toward using the latest 3D hardware advances to provide a state-of-the-art desktop environment, familiar yet far more engaging, for a traditional 2D desktop user."

Kawahara explains that Project Looking Glass is "a 3D application framework focused on building 3D desktop applications and user interfaces. [...] One way to think about this: in any 3D application, a key part of the functionality is the manner in which the 3D objects interact. In a typical 3D game, the objects represent elements that run around and do things, such as opening doors and shooting at each other. One of big goals of Project Looking Glass is to define an environment in which the events and object information are suited to the operation of a desktop environment." The interview also covers tooling for creating 3D applications and the goals for open sourcing the project.

Our bloggers are still getting back to work and reporting back on their take on this year's JavaOne conference. In today's
Weblogs, Bill Day posts a link to his coverage together with pictures in his JavaOne 2004 Recap and Rory Winston reports on JavaOne. Among other things, Rory reports "The AOP panel was great, if only to affirm that AOP in general can be a very useful and powerful tool, but is also very easy to misuse. The last thing you want to end up with is a bunch of long unreadable, difficult-to-maintain code being "patched" at runtime by long, unreadable, difficult-to-maintain aspects. JSF was a hot topic this year, and so was rich client-related stuff in general."

Should you be able to choose which parts of the J2SE you want to actually use? In Structure of J2SE: Modularity, Eitan Suez writes "I'd like to see J2SE more formally modularized. I mean, I know that all packages that begin with javax.swing a part of the Swing API. I'd still argue for a more formal modularization mechanism. As I browse J2SE javadocs, I'd like to see a first-level hierarchy of APIs, not packages. I see this as a natural "cleavage point" (so to speak). And in fact, somewhere under the web site, you'll actually find home pages for each of these J2SE "sub-APIs." I'd like to go as far as select what J2SE APIs to include in my javadocs to begin with (perhaps because I may not need to use them all on a specific project I'm on)."

In Also in Java Today , the author of "Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook" has been exploring plug-ins that simplify Working with Hibernate in Eclipse. James Elliott spends most of the article on his favorite, Hibernate Synchronizer, which "best support the kind of mapping-centric workflow I adopted throughout my Developer's Notebook."

The newly launched "Journal of Spontaneous Networking" features John McClain's article Using Objects to Configure Jini Network Services. Jini 2.0 is confusing for newcomers as every "aspect of building a secure distributed computing environment is configurable in Jini. ... To ease that complexity, Jini 2.0 introduces a service configuration model. Instead of the configuration language du jour - XML - the Jini model uses Java objects to configure complex services and their clients. " The article is both a tutorial and an examination of the reasons behind many of the architectural decisions.

Projects and Communities
, JDesktop Network Components, the JDNC project has been launched on with the goal " to significantly reduce the effort and expertise required to build rich, data-centric, Java desktop clients for J2EE-based network services."

The Java Tools community is hosting a project dedicated to building plug-ins for the Intellij IDEA IDE. Contribute your own or work on the one that is currently in the repository.

The name game has attracted some attention in today's Forums. Peter Becker writes "It was hard to explain the Java 2 vs. JRE/JDK 1.x issue, J2SE 5.0 is just plain silly. [Are] people reading this forum going to use "Java 5.0"? Did anyone use "Java 2" unless forced to?"

Cay Horstmann suggests replacing " 'J2' with 'Java', removing the 2 altogether rather than replacing it with '5'. Then we'd have 'Java SE 5.0'. Simple, clear, even elegant. I have faith that they'll do the right thing...after they tried everything else."

Do you think the Speakers were better at JavaOne this year? Ed Factor spoke this year and said that the selection process seemed to better screen for experienced speakers. He wants to know what you think.

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