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JavaOne Tokyo '05: Project Looking Glass

Posted by joconner on November 12, 2005 at 4:21 AM PST

Project Looking Glass must have a special appeal in Japan. Although the project gets plenty of attention in the U.S., it seems especially popular in Japan. This particular project is responsible for attracting standing-only crowds to at least two hands on labs, a couple sessions, and finally a late night Birds of a Feather (BOF). Thinking the crowds would be thinner, I attended the 8 PM BOF on Thursday night (Nov 10). No luck. Again, standing room only. I managed to push through to the front, flashing my "Press Pass" for maximum advantage in the crowded room.


With almost rock-star popularity, both Mr. Hideya and Dr. Sakuraba play their Dukeleles as they sing a Project Looking Glass theme song. Even without the song, these two already have great appeal here...and it's probably a good thing that they already have day jobs too.

The BOF featured four guest speakers, each demoing an application or framework for Project Looking Glass:

  • a file manager
  • a Scheme based scripting platform
  • MXW3D Loader (3D Model loader)
  • a presentations framework for multimedia

Right at the moment when pictures could speak a thousand words, my camera battera died, and I have no more picutures. I will, however, provide URLs to more information.

The file manager presentation was provided by Mr. Eiji Inoue. The file manager was visually impressive, representing the file system as a set of stacked boxes, in which each box represented a file. The GUI allows users to grab a box and move it around in all three dimensions...well, virtual 3D anyway. Various file layouts were available, including a top to bottom, left to right, right to left, and random, which brought a laugh from the crowd when they saw file objects strewn randomnly across the desktop.

A Scheme interpreter exists that works well within Looking Glass.

Mr. Eitaro Nishijima showed us a 3D model loader. He modeled a 3D Duke that walked around and waved to us from his Looking Glass world.

Probably the most impressive demonstration was for the Ibrik Presentation Toolkit...and of course the presentation software was written using the toolkit itself. I'll never get tired of seeing pages ripped up and off the screen with new ones flying in nicely after them. The graphics were stunning.

Find out more about the Looking Glass Project here:

Covering JavaOne Tokyo '05 has been a lot of fun. With this Looking Glass info, I think I've exhausted my blogging material. See you next year, and until then take care! ?????

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