Home > Java > Demo of Sun’s Project Looking Glass Demo of Sun’s Project Looking Glass Submitted by Tao 2003-12-10 Java 70 Comments A Real Video stream of Sun’s Schwartz demoing Project Looking Glass the Sun 3D desktop implemention in Java running atop of X. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 70 Comments 2003-12-10 8:46 pm This is awesome. I just pre-ordered Sun Java Desktop in anticipation that this will be available to beta test soon. I really like the Sun Window Manager theme. Not only does the purple look sweet, but you can change the theme to a lot of different shades. I messed around with their preview copy of the JDS and I was impressed. I look forward to version 2 of this system. Java is awesome, there are so many things you can do with it. (I know it uses Linux). I also am looking forward to their 64 bit desktop for my Athlon 64. This is great! 2003-12-10 8:58 pm Pretty cool. Now if someone could just get WordPerfect away from Corel and OpenSource it… 2003-12-10 9:04 pm i will assume no, since X is far too slow and cumbersome for what that video shows. While I’m thinking about it though, who really cares if you can flip a window around and look at it backwards? All this is is sun trying to “one-up” Microsoft (based on the comments made by the presenter) before Microsoft has even shown what their new desktop will look like. And having to flip a window over to attach a note to it? Why not let me see them to begin with instead of trying to impress me with all this extra eye-candy nonsence. I do like the “dock” type thing at the bottom though. 2003-12-10 9:05 pm May the gods be praised, this is exactly what has been needed in the world. Someone to give Microsoft a run for their money in the visual aspect. *braces self for flames* KDE may be pretty but not innovative for sure, in the presentation of the desktop that is. Too many people think it looks like Windows. Now there were things in that video that reminded me of MacOSX such as the “task bar” or whatever, but I must say I’m very impressed! Go Sun Microsystems! Question: Is it open source? 2003-12-10 9:06 pm Project Looking Glass is just a *GL application* running on top of X. It is not like Mac OSX’s QuartzExtreme or like Longhorn’s engine which is *integrated* to the underlying graphics system, but runs on top of X. For example, you can have Gnome or KDE running and then double click the Project Glass icon and load it on top of all that, like a game, like a demo, like an app. And that’s its major flaw, architecture-wise, it is a great demo to collect “wows”, but nothing more. 2003-12-10 9:16 pm Apart from a definete coolness factor, does a 3d desktop have any real advantage over a 2d desktop? 2003-12-10 9:22 pm Is this apart of SUN Java Desktop (which run’s on linux)? 2003-12-10 9:24 pm I think the innovation here shouldn’t be dismissed. The past 2D desktop scene has become a little stale. It’s interesting to see what a 3D desktop can become and what benefits it can provide. I am assuming Project Looking Glass is programmed in Java 3D apis using the OpenGL. Did anyone notice that the new version of Real One was ported over? Some things to think about… 2003-12-10 9:25 pm maybe Real One wasn’t ported over… 2003-12-10 9:29 pm From sun’s website: Much More to Come… Since Project Looking Glass is still in early development, it works with the Sun Java Desktop System, and it’s generating a continual flow of new ideas and innovations This is what’s called a prototype, Eugenia, it’s not a design flaw.. It’s made to prove a concept, not to be used. 2003-12-10 9:40 pm Who cares as long as it is fast and stable? OK. Yes we CARE. But you know what I mean. Based on what I heard you don’t have to modify apps to work with this. All apps should work as long as Looking Glass is running. And this IS a demo. Most demos are not fully realized as to what they are going to be. Everyone can only assume that it is going to be integrated and run even faster. The speed at which is ran was impressive. Trying moving a movie around on WindowsXP without stuttering, let alone with 3D effects. Looking Glass is closer to BeOS in performance than Windows is. “Project Looking Glass is just a *GL application* running on top of X. It is not like Mac OSX’s QuartzExtreme or like Longhorn’s engine which is *integrated* to the underlying graphics system, but runs on top of X.” 2003-12-10 9:52 pm Why you have to flip a web page to add comments ? Only to use that flip over transition effect ? Why not make comments on top of the web page ? This is a geek project for geeks with little real world productivity value. Yeah, you can change a wall paper – the pony tail said 😎 Those guys are brain washed, they don’t forget to bash M$ during a project presentation. 2003-12-10 10:06 pm I have downloaded the video but I’ve read about 3D desktops before (Xerox-PARC Croquet I believe it was called). The full effects and abilities of a 3D desktop won’t be understood for a decade to come. Think of how far we’ve come from a 1D desktop (CLI) to a 2D desktop? We’ll that is the scale of the kind of change we can have now with a 3D desktop. If it seems like eye-candy right now it’s probably because it hasn’t reached it’s full potential. Try running pure X. It’s gui but it feels like just window dressing on a command line, but look what is has evolved to. People don’t dismiss this, it’s only the first step. 2003-12-10 10:07 pm So they will switch to another looking glass representation 2003-12-10 10:08 pm I resisted the urge to use some as cliche sounding (but true) that this could “change the paradigm of the desktop” or “alter the way we view the desktop for years to come” 2003-12-10 10:12 pm name and email could all be faked and there is no way to keep one user from having more than one set of them, even IP address could be the one acted as the web proxy. 2003-12-10 10:19 pm Anonymous nº1:”Yeah, you can change a wall paper – the pony tail said 😎 Those guys are brain washed, they don’t forget to bash M$ during a project presentation.” Anonymous nº2:>”Looking Glass is Microsofts downfall.” Sabon:>”Anonymous posts should be banned.” Someone should start collecting these posts, this is seinfeld grade material right here 2003-12-10 10:20 pm Very cool implementation, but I seem to recal the nice folks at Xerox Parc came up with this idea….ohh 10-15 years ago. Looks a lot nicer now tho 2003-12-10 10:46 pm How does this work … If you go to “http://osnews.com“, then flip the application window and write a comment such as: “great source of info on OS developement”. Then you close the application. When you relauch your web browser, does the comment on the back of the application appear if you’re at let’s say “slashdot.org” … or only appear when you go to “osnews.com”? If the later is the case, this would mean that it has the ability to monitor object/state within the application – in this case, what website you are at. You can think of the same if you were to watch a movie with RealOne … do the comments stay with the application of the file that you are watching/listening too? 2003-12-10 10:51 pm I think it saves comments based on state of the application… But I think their idea was to make that a “part” of the application itself.. In the video, when he tries to comment a video, it says something like “media blocked” ( i forgot the name), as if he was trying to save the text in the file. Maybe the idea is that the application manages what should be in it’s behind, as if it were another part of the interface.. 2003-12-10 10:58 pm That is actually a 2-D mentality – front and back. 3D is only needed during the flip process. Front and back of a web page is separated, if I want to copy a sentence on the web page to my comments, I have to flip over and back again – this is so stupid, so stone age. The ability to merge comments on to a web page ( or a copy of a web page ) is far more useful that is flip over style process – why not buy a bigger monitor. 2003-12-10 10:59 pm I know its only eye-candy, but I’m ready to order…. Does anyone know when looking-glass will be ready ?? (as I understand its still under development) If one where to buy the java desktop now, wouldn’t you be stuck with a “half done desktop” ??? 2003-12-10 11:05 pm With in 5 years at a dumpster near you 2003-12-10 11:05 pm Java Desktop = Suse Linux+Gnome. Did you know that? 2003-12-10 11:09 pm But it is not called anything with a linux in it. It is called Java Desktop (add Sun maybe) All the glories will belong to Java. not linux 2003-12-10 11:11 pm That is not fair! 2003-12-10 11:13 pm Because we as humans live in a 3D world we can perceive much more information in this environment. I think this i the main advantage of 3D desktops, but only the future will show how practical it is in real life. 2003-12-10 11:19 pm If you think it’s a dead-brained idea to use 3D just to flip a note to attach a window, please realize that this is purely a technology demo !! No one is claiming it’s a feature coming out in JDS today or even tomorrow. They are showing capability, and saying with this kind of power, think of the new UI paradigms you can come up with. It’s a luddite view when someone says.. huh, why not get a bigger monitor, or some such. 2003-12-10 11:22 pm Front and back of a web page is separated, if I want to copy a sentence on the web page to my comments, I have to flip over and back again – this is so stupid, so stone age. The ability to merge comments on to a web page ( or a copy of a web page ) is far more useful that is flip over style process – why not buy a bigger monitor. We can already achieve this using ‘Notes’ in Opera, and I’m sure addons for other browsers. Making ‘notes’ is far from innovation. The concept of a 3D desktop is incredibly limited here; as someone has already pointed out it is merely an extension of the 2D paradigm. All thats new is you can spin windows around. How does this improve usability? What happens when I have 4 messenger windows, two browsers, three file managers, an ftp client, a development studio etc all open – how do I *easily* switch between these applications. Why would I want to spin them round in the first place – why not virtual desktops and desktop/application switching. I have to admit, its nice to see sun making some sort of stab at ‘innovation’…but for the purposes they seem to be targetting, I’d much prefer to see linux combine multiple desktops with expose like functionality (both possible now…just got to wait until its stable). 2003-12-10 11:28 pm Seriously, this looks amazing. It may be a proof-of-concept demo only, but if I was at MS I’d be really concerned. 2003-12-10 11:37 pm Okay – here’s one idea: instead of having a web browser (or indeed, any application) with tabs for different pages, you could have a cube, with a new window on each face! Or any kind of shape with lots of different faces. Maybe it could be a good way to fit more application information onto a window. I think for power users and geeks it could be quite good fun, and in experienced hands quite possibly more productive than the standard 2D desktops. Everyday users might need a little longer… Also: is this really a 3D desktop? Are you saying it really has 3 dimensions, or does it just simulate/emulate 3 dimensions? Kind of pseudo-3D? 2003-12-10 11:39 pm I remember using Sun workstations with the file / desktop manager ‘Looking Glass’ 12 years ago Az Jim 2003-12-10 11:42 pm No one is claiming it’s a feature coming out in JDS today or even tomorrow. They are showing capability, and saying with this kind of power, think of the new UI paradigms you can come up with. Well, a number of people here seem to think just that. It wouldn’t be so bad that this is just a demo, but while Apple has an advanced graphics infrastructure that they are already building useful features upon, and MS is working on a new graphics infrastructure to match or exceed Apple’s and include in an actual planned shipping product, all Sun has is a clever “me too” hack and no clue given as to how this applies to any real product coming out of Sun. All they have for the foreseeable future is a ugly-themed bare bones Linux desktop modeled after and cobbled together from other people’s work. And when the new stuff freedesktop.org is working on for XFree86 is release ready, Sun will just purplize and package that, along with whatever GUI features GNOME sees fit to appropriate from Mac OS. In my mind that demo says: “look what neat stuff our competitors will be able to do before we get something this advanced in a shipping product”. 2003-12-10 11:43 pm That wasn’t realone it was rp8. Do you know that you can run realone codecs in rp8. Just check out reals website, dig deep. 2003-12-10 11:47 pm As cool as this looks, unfortunately, it’s not a new concept at all. In fact, it was your friend and mine, MS, that was experimenting with something nearly identical to this several _years_ ago. http://research.microsoft.com/adapt/taskgallery/index.htm 2003-12-10 11:54 pm “Not just that one person. If people want to post they should have to give a name and e-mail addres or their IP address should be used instead of anonymous.” Why so you can mail bomb or hack them? 2003-12-10 11:55 pm “All the glories will belong to Java. not linux ” Don’t see how you can use the words ‘Java’ and ‘glory’ in the same sentence. That your idea of a joke? That’s how Sun will steal linux’s thounder – any thing cool will be tagged by Java, any limnitation will belong to the underlying linux/gnome stuff. I see Java as crap on the client/gui side. Gnome is also bloated crap – companies use them because of the licensing issues. Linux is cool, gnu under CLI is cool, samba is 90% baked …. 2003-12-11 12:00 am Imagine all your 2D applications become a animated textures on a cube in your 3D desktop world, but I wonder you can use a mouse to hit the cube, make it bouncing in the world, that would be funny….lol 2003-12-11 12:06 am are there any screenshots of the video, I still refuse to install realplayer. I already have windowsmedia, quicktime. 2003-12-11 12:16 am No ponytails either http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/xtreme/ 2003-12-11 12:21 am This is concept/technology demo….nothing more. I for one like it. Its great to see others moving forward in UI design and execution. I absolutely love OSX, and I sure hope we will even more of what Sun has done here from other open source projects. Again, I think this is great for the computer desktop considering our lovely friends in Redmond have seen fit to do jack s–t to their UI in the last decade. From what Ive seen thus far in Longhorn, it looks like theyve pretty much made a DirectX version of QuartzExtreme that wont be out for another 2 years or so. 2003-12-11 12:26 am I think that the demo was quite cool but as others have already said, what problems does it solve and how does it make the desktop easier to use and more efficient? The answer is that it doesn’t. But it is a good attempt by Sun to make an innovation in a different field. 2003-12-11 12:34 am all Sun has is a clever “me too” hack and no clue given as to how this applies to any real product coming out of Sun. How is this any more of a ‘me too’ than the Longhorn hype? How do you know that Sun doesn’t actually have plans to include these ideas in an upcoming product? Just because they don’t announce products three our four years before release like some company you know… Another observation: why do these OS demos feel the need to show crappy film trailers (Zeta too…). 2003-12-11 1:01 am How is this any more of a ‘me too’ than the Longhorn hype? OK, it’s a “me too” of a “me too” then. How do you know that Sun doesn’t actually have plans to include these ideas in an upcoming product? I don’t. And this demo gives me no reason to think they will anytime soon. However far off Longhorn may be, MS seems to have a plan involving a product, hardware providers and 3rd party devs. Just because they don’t announce products three our four years before release like some company you know… Sun can’t seem to think 3 or 4 years out. I like knowing where my platform is headed, especially if it may be a radical change. 2003-12-11 1:01 am I am not a fan of Sun or JDS, but this is arguably the coolest desktop demo for any OS at all. Moreover it is not *just* a demo, those are running applications, applications which we-seeing them in way we have never seen them before. I use 3ddesktop to switch between workspaces- although its eyecandy, it actually helped me to start using workspaces. The wow effect is not something to be take lightly, this is the kind of technology which makes those not using ask “why can’t my OS do this?”. Does it solve long-term usability issues, of course not, but since when has that ever been the standard for judging new technology ? Will it completely revolutionize the desktop ? I doubt it, but it certainly explores a hitherto unpersued area of GUI innovation. Moreover, if this is a GL based java application it require some serious graphics horsepower to run- this means Nvidia and ATI- and if Sun ends up selling a *1,000,000* desktop system to China, the demand for these cards is going to increase tremendously, and most importantly, the pressure on these manufactures to produce better quality drivers, from which we all benefit-perhaps this could be of sufficient impact to actually induce Nvidia to find a way to open-source their development-given that there will be a market for their cards under linux, a market they cannot afford to ignore. This of course is also a boost for openGL, which may bring a whole new generation of developers, but more importantly it validates openGL and increases its relevance. I just wonder if Looking Glass will ever be made open source-if this were to happen I and many, many other Linux users would be thrilled. If it is to be propietary, then we will only beneift indirectly from this development. I commend Sun for choosing Linux as the platform to introduce this technology, and hope they will release it in the spirit of opensource. Although I believe the work going on with kdrive(Xserver), Cairo/Xr/Xc, Xouvert, and freedesktop.org is more important in the long run, I cannot find it in myself to simply dismiss this development as *mere* eyecandy. After all eyecandy sells more products than quality ever did-at least in the short run, something which Microsoft and Apple has understood since the dawn of the GUI- The GUI at first offered very little in the way of concrete advances in usability-apps like Wordstar and Wordperfect, Supercalc etc. were unsurpassed in terms of usability and functionality for quite a few years prior to equivalent GUI applications which we all know and use today. The GUI was, and is, eyecandy- Looking Glass is simply a further development of this fundamental appeal-that which made computers attractive to the masses in the first place. 2003-12-11 1:11 am Part of what is coloring my opinion on this Looking Glass thing is the impression I got of it when I first saw the speech given by Schwartz that included a demo of it (may be the same clip, I don’t do real player on this machine). Maybe it was his innate smarminess, but I got the impression this demo was included to sarcastically say to the audience: “Sure, we could do this fancy eye candy like our competitors if we really wanted to, but we think there are more important issues like simplified licensing and support for you out there in the IT world for which we can provide a solution”. 2003-12-11 1:22 am I agree in general with your point. I just don’t think that Sun will be at the forefront of this advancement. They’re going to have to pull an awful big rabbit out of their hat to be credible. Hmm… Rabbit… Looking Glass… PS: From what I can see, for this Looking Glass to be an actual product, it would have to be a replacement (written in Java!) for XFree86, Metacity, and the GNOME panel (possibly even some of Nautilus). That’s alot of work to take on. And what are the chances of the GNOME project giving a rat’s ass to support it? Slim I would say. So who will Sun get to do the work? 2003-12-11 1:27 am I am simply in awe. On a laptop no less. I want this on MY laptop now just to show off for the “Gee ain’t it cool” factor. I know this paints me as a major geek, but this thing gave me major wood. 2003-12-11 1:29 am I love reading over the comments of people who say stuff like “This is pure eye candy” and “feature X they demo’ed is completely useless”. These are the people that hold back innovation, and wouldn’t know it if it bit them in the ***. =) Basically, this is what Sun is doing: opening up the doors to new possibilities. Sure, flipping an application over and writing notes on the back may not seem useful, but that’s not what Looking Glass is about. It’s about what you can do with it that makes it special. You see, right now, in application space, a developer is limited by what the desktop environment provides. If a desktop environment only allows you to do x number of things, you are restricted. This is exactly what Sun is trying to push out of, a restricted set of tools. Sort of what Apple did with it’s OpenGL rendered GUI. Something like Expose is much easier in an OpenGL environment. Of course, to get their, they need a good foundation. That is what Sun wants to provide, a foundation for what desktop applications can do. So suddenly, being able to spin an application around and look at it from behind doesn’t become to obscene. Consider people that use spreadsheets and build up charts. Suddenly, they can easily create charts and graphics that can be viewed from multiple angles with relative ease. With a desktop environment that makes it easy to do, adding this functionality to other applications only becomes easier (obviously, this is just one example of a potential use). Then there are the people whining about the bloat, as if anything that requires a bit more processing power is useless. You know, their are people out there that have a lot of processing power on their computer, and would like to use it. If I wanted to conserve my processing power, I would probably just stick to the command line, or maying something like ratpoison. But I don’t (though, I admit to having tried and used ratpoison successfully). I run Gnome, and I have a bunch of applets running while listening to music while running to big java applications for development, and a bunch of other various applications, such as Evolution and Epiphany. It’s a lot, and i know it’s a lot. I am not a light user. So something like Looking Glass is heavy. So what? Does it really make a difference to you? Seriously, the contention that any application is bad if it requires a bit more processing power than your old 486. Seriously, we have the processing power, why not explore what we can possible do. Why is it so bad if something won’t run blazingly fast on your old 800 Mhz eMachine? Guess what? Don’t run it. Having seen the video, I think what is being done is really nice. I would love to see what application developers could do with something like this. The possibilities are really cool. 2003-12-11 2:06 am “”from which we all benefit-perhaps this could be of sufficient impact to actually induce Nvidia to find a way to open-source their development-given that there will be a market for their cards under linux”” No, no, and no again for good measure. A fancy desktop environment provides zero incentive for Nvidia to open-source their drivers. They’ll continue to support Linux the same way they always have, with binaries. I don’t see how this desktop makes any better case for Nvidia opening up their source than the modest amount of 3d games available for Linux. 2003-12-11 2:06 am This looks cool but from the demo it hardly looks useful, quite the opposite. Ant here is a firebird note taking plugin which is far better than that. 2003-12-11 2:11 am I think it would be nice if we could manipulate 3d objects efficiently. But we have 2d GUIs and appropriate mouses for them. That’s the ckicken and egg problem and Microsoft is winning big while nothing changes. I would like to move these windows with my fingers. Our brain doesn’t work in 2d. See how it would be nice to remember visually the path for a folder instead of remebering the absurb pathname. People could do more than plain office work. Why do we all print PDFs just to read them ? Pages have textures and lighting effects. The computer feels just unnatural in 2d. We have 1028×768 pixel to play with and have an only a 2×2 (?) pixel pointer to explore, move and interract. The developper must abstract, not the user. 2003-12-11 2:47 am “Why do we all print PDFs just to read them?” Hey,speak for yourself. One of my main projects is the opposite, getting rid of my paper books in favor of digital. 2003-12-11 3:59 am ok the whole looking glass thing can run all our favorite apps. its cool & innovative. this is the biggest desktop environment invention for the decade. im sure everyone will be using it when its ready. 2003-12-11 6:07 am This is useless technology demoware. 1. There’s no way of telling how much of the presentation is actual working code. 2. The presentation could easily have been produced using Flash or Director. 3. Given Sun’s track record on desktop software, I give this a 0.0000005% chance of actually shipping. Sun just doesn’t understand the desktop. 2003-12-11 8:04 am this is amazingly awesome, and as steve would say, insanely great… this demo tied in with the fact that microsoft is having to discontinue certain products that use Java because of incompatibility gives me hope that someday the big blue theif will be put to rest 2003-12-11 8:32 am Don’t look at this demo at what it is now. Think about what it can enable! Of course I have no idea what I would use a 3d desktop for, but someone out there will. They will be pioneers of this innovasion, and many of us will wish we though of their idea first. It’s still a world where only computer nuts like us can make these boxes do what we want. It’s going to take some real innovation for the average user to get the some level of utilization as we do. 2003-12-11 8:38 am Why do so many people have to moan about it really being 2D? Who cares? It looks uber cool and that’s what the people want. A true 3D desktop – one say where you’d have to walk around or something is still going to have to be navigated via 2D controls and it will just take longer to get to the things you want – e.g. whatever it is might be behind you so to speak. I think sun are onto a winner here – It looks awesome. I’ve been wondering for ages why there aren’t any window managers or plugins for M$ windows to render them on 3D surfaces. Well played Sun! 2003-12-11 10:23 am Err, You are missing the point. The CEO(?) of Sun said recently “Sun has no Linux Stragey”. Then they turn around 6 weeks later and announce a contract for 1,000,000 desktops w/JDS with China. JDS has been accepted into bidding for the UK government, which may open a door to the EU, and given that it is based on SuSE, which is widely being used in government agencies and the private sector in Europe, and that Sun has tied itself to SuSE, which is now owned by Novel, ie. more clout, more market presence, for corporate big-wigs, JDS has the potential to become one of the biggest Linux distros simply by sheer volume-even if it has,now, no community. If Sun signs deals to sell a grand total of 10,000,000 JDS desktop in the next 3 years- there will be twice as many people using Linux on the desktop as there is now. This, by extension, means more sales of more high end graphic cards-The larger the market for high end graphic cards under Linux, the more serious Nvidia and ATI will have to take the Linux community-instead of treating it as an afterthought, which they have done, uptil now. No I cannot say that this will *magically* cause Nvidia to open the source to their drivers. But it will put pressure on Nvidia to improve the quality of their Linux support, and open source is arguably the best way to achieve this. Sun of course is not alone here-I already mentioned Novell, but remember IBM is 100% pro Linux at this point, HP is slowly realizing what is going on-thanks mostly to HP employees stubbornly pushing Linux from within, and Dell has reversed its previous stance on Linux. These are the companies which represent THE computer industry. Linux has been a mainly hobbiest and developers OS for years, this may now begin to change. Now I am saying all of this and I am not a fan of Sun or JDS. Nor do I long for a corporate take-over of Linux. I believe Linux is about GNU *and* other truly open, opensource software, ie. freedom from the propietary systems of development and propietary IP. I have little respect for Sun in regards to these things: they have given us OpenOffice, they have helped Ximian/GNOME, above all in adding the features necessary for accessibility(ie. handicapped accessibility)-which opens the way to bidding for US government contracts and they have, slowly but surely, grudgingly, as now seen by the new accord with Eclipse, started to open up Java-but that is the extent of their *openness*. Sun is still a stalwart of the propietary IP system. So no, I am not wholeheartedly embracing Sun and its *values*. But Sun, being as obstinate, and uncooperative as they are, may give Linux a push which is needed to increase the relative market share on the desktop-something from which we all benefit. The more major corporations are using Linux as a platform and promoting its usage the less hardware manufactures can continue to ignore Linux. I myself will probaly never see any direct benefit from JDS/Looking Glas. I have no interest in ever using a binary-rpm based distro again and although SuSE has its strong points, the fact that JDS is based off of SuSE is enough to discourage me from even trying it( I am a sys admin and am in the process of swithching our servers from SuSE to Gentoo because of what SuSE has done to GNOME, ie. rendering it useless from an administration view point. I personally used SuSE for years before I learned and understood what Linux *is*, for SuSE teaches one little if anything about Linux-on the contrary it discourages users from digging under the surface, due to the crippled development environment which SuSE presents its users. SuSE is fine for an end-user Linux pc system, where the user never ventures near the source. It is also fine for non-desktop servers- I administer LTSP servers-they must at once be servers and provide good working, administrable desktops, and SuSE simply fails here, once one decides against using KDE) Now if Sun really wants to work with Linux they have to open the source, they have already begun to learn this lessen. If Looking Glass becomes open source it may have a chance of becoming something more than an incredible demo of technology-and this in turn may spurn Java development in the Linux community far beyond what it is today. I am interested in seeing how Novell and Sun will end up getting along. They have both been competitors for many years in terms of providing networked computing solutions. Sun has works closely with Ximian, and are now working with SuSE, both of which have recently been acquired by Novell. Suns non-strategy regarding Linux reminds at once of two things: the coy young man/woman who plays disinterested in order to become irresistable and the ancient Chinese Stratagem system. I would trully be surprised if the CEO of Sun is not very well read in the Chinese tradition of Stratagem and this bodes well for them and indirectly, at least, for us. And as a last word, we still, as OSNEWS readers, no nothing at all about Looking Glass-as witnessed by this forum, beyond its apparent, impressive WoW effect- ie. what Looking Glas is, what it actually represent to users and how this all ties into “the Network is the Computer”. 2003-12-11 10:30 am http://useit.mondosearch.com/cgi-bin/MsmFind.exe?QUERY=3d has some stuff. Jakob Nielsen doesn’t like 3D desktops, but there’s some intersting discussion there. 2003-12-11 3:18 pm “That is not fair!” How is that not fair? 2003-12-11 3:47 pm “That is not fair!” How is that not fair? I guess linux was not mentioned in Java Desktop 2003-12-11 6:34 pm I am really surprised that anyone is even impressed with this demo. Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of 3D desktop’s but I have yet to see one that impresses me. What is so innovative about Suns version? The browser flip? Or that they used their own technology AKA Java. Why not have a post-it button up with the navigation in your browser where you can click and still read the webpage while writing notes? That sounds a lot more innovative and practical to me. Like others have said 3D desktop’s are nothing new. I saw MS version a couple years back and thought it was pathetic, soon after I heard they were abandoning the idea. Now I see Suns version and I would have to say that there are absolutely no advantages. MacOS’s user switch in 10.3 is well executed and about the most 3D I want to see in any current OS. Sun’s implementation = Bulky, w/ no real world value. How does this make my life of working daily on the computer easier? The redundancy of menu bar and desktop background I found to be annoying. I wont be running out to get this one. Just my thoughts on the subject. -skeep 2003-12-11 7:29 pm Now I am saying all of this and I am not a fan of Sun or JDS. Nor do I long for a corporate take-over of Linux. I believe Linux is about GNU *and* other truly open, opensource software, ie. freedom from the propietary systems of development and propietary IP. I have little respect for Sun in regards to these things: they have given us OpenOffice, they have helped Ximian/GNOME, above all in adding the features necessary for accessibility(ie. handicapped accessibility)-which opens the way to bidding for US government contracts and they have, slowly but surely, grudgingly, as now seen by the new accord with Eclipse, started to open up Java-but that is the extent of their *openness*. Sun is still a stalwart of the propietary IP system. And the GPL-based companies are making money by…? This is exactly the attitude problem that haunts OSS across the entire world. SUN has done MUCH MORE for OSS than YOU have done, and you go on about “stalwart of proprietary IP”. As you rightly say (and wrongly pooh-pooh) that without Sun we wouldn’t currently have OpenOffice and the desktop switching option would be a joke. And Java has freed many more developers from MS than any GNU-based program. Stop trying to rewrite history. They’ve innovated aplenty, taken on MS before it was “cool”, given alot to OSS, and _still_ the GPL freaks aren’t satisfied. OSS is NOT about only GNU and much of the best stuff predates GNU anyway (*BSD). GNU is only about the philosophy of RMS, which we can all do without. OSS != GNU. You’re free to use what you want to use, but you GNU fanatics aren’t living in the real world where real people have to make real money to survive. (Even RMS would be nothing without the largesse of MIT which put up with his loitering for years – where would GNU be without that handout?) Plenty of students had to pay the freight for that freeloader so that he could go on about his peculiar version of “freedom”. Get your facts straight – GNU didn’t even do Linux (and Hurd is a dead project). SUN has done much more for the OSS than IBM or HP. I’m personally proud of companies like nVidia that stand up to the GPL bullies and only give the binaries. You _deserve_ NOTHING – get that through your skull. 2003-12-11 10:06 pm hi please check this page:) i had this idea for a looooooooong time; finally decided to put it on a page some time early this year. and all this time i used to think its so simple any one would have thought of it:) – ram gatekeeper.ececs.engr.uc.edu ~/public_html/projects> ls -l total 27 -rw-r–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 1111 Jan 21 2003 DreamIfx.php -rw-r–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 379 Jan 21 2003 QaD.php -rw-r–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 1792 Jan 21 2003 index.php -rw-r–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 0 Dec 11 16:58 ls -rwxr–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 1181 Feb 28 2002 newproj.html* -rwxr–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 16528 Apr 8 2003 paper1draft.html* -rw-r–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 1116 Jan 21 2003 sync.php -rwxr–r– 1 durbhas durbhas 162 Apr 8 2003 ~$per1draft.html* gatekeeper.ececs.engr.uc.edu ~/public_html/projects> 2003-12-11 10:09 pm http://www.ececs.uc.edu/~durbhas/projects/DreamIfx.php 2003-12-11 10:21 pm It’s not completely unlikely that we’ll see features like this, or at least some usability enhancing use of 3D, in near future versions of MacOS X. It’s already implemented to some degree, so if the Apple think tanks can come up with something that will render whopping applauses at Steve Jobs’ keynotes, it will be there.. 2003-12-11 10:44 pm Anonymous, First off I am not a GNU fanatic or freak . I do, however, appreciate the quality of GNU software, being the best of its class available, and I share many of the values which are enshrined in the GNU philosophy. “OSS is NOT about only GNU and much of the best stuff predates GNU anyway (*BSD)” Well just to let you know GNU dates back to 1986, at which time none of the BSD’s existed anywhere but in the university computer labs of Berkley. No FreedBSD, no OpenBSD, no NetBSD. “Get your facts straight – GNU didn’t even do Linux (and Hurd is a dead project)” Well Linux is approximately 85% GNU. The entire(99%) toolchain which is used to build Linux and virtually all linux applicactions is GNU, and without the GNU Linux would be nothing more than a kernel. Now I do give credit to Linus Torvalds-firstly for recognizing the value of GNU in his decision to relase his kernel to the world, and secondly for being a great programmer and great leader of the Linux kernel development. If Richard M. Stallman had not already created the GNU, and therewith attracted many talented developers, who wrote the incredible tools which constitute the toolchain of Linux,Linus and his kernel would be unknown today and there would be no real alternative to Microsoft/Apple today. “SUN has done MUCH MORE for OSS than YOU have done, and you go on about “stalwart of proprietary IP”. Well this statement is most certainly true, my meager contributions amount to one drop in a large ocean compared to the hundreds of sun employees who have been paid to work with the opensource community. Yet Sun is based on propietary IP, they have only halfheartedly, belatedly endorsed and embraced opensource. Sun has no understanding of the community which constitutes Linux development, Sun has never really understood community at all, just look at the community which arose around x86 Solaris, which Sun repeatedly left out to dry. For Sun there is no community, there are only employees and competitors. Sun does however understand what standards are and mean, and does work to promote them, and to the extent that Java is standardized, Java is open. “GNU is only about the philosophy of RMS, which we can all do without.” Without this philosophy there would be no community of independent coders today. Period. Many dislike Stallman’s hardline approach to license questions, and he certainly makes many Linux users uneasy, but his tenacity, and that of those who appreciate the GNU philosophy, have enable the community of independet programmers to flourish, bringing forth Linux and many, many other things today. “You’re free to use what you want to use, but you GNU fanatics aren’t living in the real world where real people have to make real money to survive.” I understand the plight of independent programmers who do not belong to the community- they are mighty alone, and yes GNU software make it much more difficult to be able to earn money writing software applications for the commercial market. Yet programmers can still earn money working for companies creating in-house applications, which aren’t distributed, and they can also cater their software skills to providing application support-an economic model which yields as much if not more than the one-time sale of commerical products. The GNU is about creating a software infrastructure which is free of propietary/commercial IP. This software infrastructure enables anyone, and everyone to be able to have access to the best programming tools available, for free. The GNU does not stop you from selling software, nor does it prevent you from doing commercial application development, it’s just that if you choose to pursue commercial application development you can’t use the wonderful tools which constitute GNU in your distributed works unless your product is itself GPL/LGPL. Plenty of students had to pay the freight for that freeloader so that he could go on about his peculiar version of “freedom”. Students have written most of the code that exists outside of the commercial world. Take X for example, it was developed by students in courses at MIT. Or BSD which was written primarily by students,prior to FreeBSD, OpenBSD etc. Calling Richard a freeloader is really funny. The fact remains, GNU software is the best written software around,everything else pales in comparison. Learn more about software design and programming techniques and then come back and moad about the quality of Richards programming skills, and the standards he helped set which became the hallmark of GNU software. “SUN has done much more for the OSS than IBM or HP” In comparison to HP, certainly, in comparison to IBM-well thats a close call. IBM has played a crucial role in helping Linux to garner industry support. And although I appreciate their contributions to the kernel, and their wholehearted, timely endorsement of the opensource community, I am also not a fan of IBM. If anyone has any problems with software patents,there is really only one entity to which one can point their finger-and that is IBM. IBM is the birthplace of modern IP. They have some 50,000 patents on the books and prior to them having “seen the light” IBM was the worst nightmare in the industry. Yet IBM did also understand the notion of standards, which is why when Phoenix together with Compaq were able to produce IBM PC clones, which made the x86 platform what it is today. “I’m personally proud of companies like nVidia that stand up to the GPL bullies and only give the binaries. You _deserve_ NOTHING – get that through your skull.” Well good for you, bravo-you have just proven how braindead you are. Firstly, there is no such thing as “GPL bullies”. Secondly, your being proud of companies using monopoly tactics as their *only* financial basis, is simply assine-for if the quality of their products was sufficiently good, they would not need a monopoly, in the form of IP, to be commericially successful. My hope that Nvidia will someday “see the light” is not born out of feeling of entitlement. I do not feel they “owe” me anything more than good quality support for the hardware which I have purchased from them. Yet quality here is the question: Their hardware carries heavy price tags but they only provide good support for Microsoft products-their Linux offerings are consistently sub-par, and they offer virtually no support for any other operating system(except of course a beta driver for *a* version of FreeBSD). And of course they only support Xfree86, as developed by X.org, meaning any advances in GUI development comming from Keith Packards Xserver, or Fresco, or any other GUI system remain unsupported. Good support will only occur when Nvidia draws upon the thousands of user/programmers who are out there, unleashing the power of their technology in ways the inventors never dreamed of. And if Nvidia does not eventually get the clue, they will be surpassed by companies which do-its all about economics-at this point their monopoly approach works and works well due to the domination of monopoly IP based corporations like Microsoft/Apple, but when this begins to change, and this is already, slowly but surely, happening, it will become more of a liability. 2003-12-12 2:15 am but when this begins to change, and this is already, slowly but surely, happening, it will become more of a liability. You’re the braindead one with the above comment. Quite the opposite is happening despite your “beliefs” – none of the linux companies could make it and now they are partnering or being bought out. That is a simple FACT that no one who studies the financials papers can deny. Without “added value” there is no company and nothing to sell. The idea that “thousands of programmers” around the world means better software has been debunked many times, and the lack of focus on standardizing the distributions will continue to make RH less Linux and more RH; ditto Novell/SUSE. Despite the claims otherwise there is no proof that this model of distributed development voids the insights of “The Mythical Man-Month”. If anything the tightly controlled kernel by Linus PROVES the points of the book exactly. The moves away from the services model by RH and SUSE show that added value will have to come to Linux or Linux will be left behind. It bears repeating because you seem to be “tone-deaf” when it comes to the market: when nVidia _has a market_ for the drivers they will develop better ones. Simple as that. Which is why Solaris on SPARC has 60,000 apps and Solaris on x86 has 1/10 that – the market doesn’t support that number on Intel. Your “beliefs” mean nothing to the markets – they will use your IP if they can make money from it, or someone will reimplement it and make money with it anyway. As RH and others are quickly finding out, you *will* owe the piper whether you like it or not. To think that you will somehow “rewrite” the rules of the market because you and your friends can string together some else’s programs – that is the real “braindead” idea in this discussion. 2003-12-12 10:42 am You should learn to read better. My points were the following: 1. The market for OpenSource Software on the Desktop is slowly emerging- Sun’s contract with the Chinese Government for JDS is but one example thereof. In all likelihood variations of opensource software will be the basis of most public sector IP solutions in the world, within the next 5 years. This is a tremendously large market, perhaps encompassing 100,000,000 computers or more. This is happening- it is happening most slowly in America, less slowly in Europe and quickly in the “developing” world. 2. As this market becomes larger hardware manufacturers will be under more pressure to better support their hardware for these platforms. And opensource is arguably the best way to support products.There is no contradiction in charging for support- and the product being supported being opensource-this is the point which needs to be understood. If hardware manufactures open source their drivers, they enable the community, which uses these devices to improve the quality of their drivers, and this in turn can lead to new and innovative uses of the hardware, and technology based thereon, which the manufacturers did not forsee- increasing their market. 3. All Linux users benefit from this development and if Sun is the one who ends up making this come one step close to reality – so be it. I just hope they do so in a opensource fashion and recognize and support the community which constitutes Linux. 4. The key to profatibility in the opensource world is in buisness-to-buisness commericial activitiy. Corporations only understand money, they refuse to buy anything without a price tag. When opensource software is free the amount of money that can demanded of corporations to pay for it is a “token value”, ie. a nominal fee, which has no real expressive function, in terms of the cost of research and development. The outrageous prices, from a consumer point of view, which Red Hat charges for enterprise Linux is the the language which corporate America speaks and understands. Red Hat has understood this. This is too a lesser extent true in the beaureaucratic structure which compose the public sector due to the machinery of its budgeting. If a department fails to spend the money allocated to it in the given time frame, the department has less money available in the following time frame, therefore the public sector most give a certain amount of money out per time-frame in order to maintain the status-quo of allocated money. If the software they are using is free- they must pay for it to use it. How much should they pay- a question not easily answered because the price one pays for free software is not an expression of economic value- ie. it does not represent the actual costs in manhours of research and development. Thus a “token value” needs to be defined, and this “token value” is more an expression of what the distributors believe that can demand for the service of support of said products. *Real* economic value has become utterly passe, virtual economies dictate the economics of modern day corporations. Unfortunately this does not hold for the average consumer who is still confronted with the *hard reality* of *real* economic value. But then again people are the target audience of open source development- not corporations. Redhat and other Linux companies are not moving away from a service model: on the contrary Support is the way to make money in Linux, and support is a service, so your comment- “The moves away from the services model by RH and SUSE show that added value will have to come to Linux or Linux will be left behind.” is utterly wrong, in every sense of the word. Linux is not being left behind, on the contrary the propietary IP world is finding itself on the defensive. The days of monopoly IP are numbered, and if you look around the world you will find that most of the worlds population lives in countries which do not follow or endorse the IP policies of North America and Europe. My “beliefs” are not at stake here. The reality is most of the the most talented programmers are giving away their developments. This is not a utopian pipe dream but a sober reality which doesn’t jive with what consumers have learned to expect, let alone understand, although as human beings they might be able to relate. The basis of all economics is *value* -and values has been understood differently at differing times in history. What is transpiring is a revolution in terms of *values*. Starting with independent programmers longing for a sense of community, now extending into the ranks of corporate programmers and the even, in rare cases, to the upper echeclons of corporate management. If one compares IBM of 2003 with IBM of 1993 this becomes obvious. The fact is monopoly IP brought with it some of the most draconian contract-based employment regulations which the modern world has seen. This is beginning to change. If these regulations had existed prior to Microsofts rise, the personal computer would have never become a common household good. I have no idea what you mean with the following:To think “that you will somehow “rewrite” the rules of the market because you and your friends can string together some else’s programs – that is the real “braindead” idea in this discussion.” Who is this “some else’s programs” that you are refering to ? Are you perhaps a SCO troll ? The opensource software community has created its own programs, they have not used or stolen anyone else’s code. That they did this without paying money for the tools which they used to code and that they do not charge money for the tools they create is an affront to many stalwarts of the monopoly IP system. The markets rules are constantly being rewritten. For the nature of economic markets is self-regulative, auto-poetic. The market rewrites its own rules- but who constitutes the subject of the market? This the question, and the answer is now developers who value free software and community more than individual economic gain, and who do so in following their own self-interest. Who woul’ve thunk something like this could happen.