Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Opens Its 3-D Linux Desktop Sun Opens Its 3-D Linux Desktop Submitted by JiB 2004-06-28 Oracle and SUN 21 Comments Sun is putting into the hands of the open-source community Project Looking Glass, its next-generation, 3-D Linux desktop system that has been receiving rave reviews. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 21 Comments 2004-06-28 8:27 pm I have read comments on boards elsewhere where people are saying nothing positive at all about this project. I have taken the complete opposite view. This is a wonderful enhancement for desktops in general. I talked to Sun at Linuxworld in New York about this and they were all tight lipped. I have been waiting for Sun to release binaries, but this takes it to the max. Well done Sun. But I will believe this when I see the download link. 2004-06-28 8:31 pm I have been expecting them to do this. It is one of those thing that can either fail or blossom. I thing the open source community has great interest in this. I personally want to start an 3d open source 3d application using the newly released 3d api from Java. I really see great possibilities with this new technology. 2004-06-28 8:35 pm Regaurdless of wether you like it or hate it, Linux now has its own unique 3D-based desktop. The Linux desktop isn’t just a copy of MS or Apple for a change! 2004-06-28 8:38 pm Can you imagine a KDE or Gnome rewrite using Looking Glass as a base? Of course either will still be a CPU hog for the purists but it would look great. My belief is that since looking Glass as a Sun employee’s part time project. The employee orginially wanted to Open Source it, but since he worked for Sun, Sun got first dibs on it. Sun looked it over debated it for a year, and decides to release it anyway. I have no proof just an idea. 2004-06-28 8:49 pm I may be wrong but from what I understand from discussions with many of my co workers, and reading on project looking glass. Project Looking Glass has a Highly modified XFree86 base. So first XFree86 would have to be modified to support the new 3d api. This probably is already in planning and or the works after the 3d API was released earlier this week. 2004-06-28 8:58 pm So what’s the difference between the Looking Glass and other free 3D desktops for X? 2004-06-28 9:13 pm So what’s the difference between the Looking Glass and other free 3D desktops for X? Looking Glass provides a complete nested X server built on top of Java3D (which runs on top of GLX on X11 platforms) as well as integrated 3D window management and application launching. It basically blows any open source 3D window manager out of the water. I suggest you watch one of the demo videos: http://wwws.sun.com/software/looking_glass/demo.html 2004-06-28 9:23 pm “This probably is already in planning and or the works after the 3d API was released earlier this week.” It would render the source non-GPL compliant given the license of the Java 3D API is not OSI approved. Plus, about nobody cares for XFree86 anymore. What matters these days is XOrg. And those developers *do* like a liberal license _and_ GPL compatibility. 2004-06-28 9:54 pm If it is open source where can i download it? I think 3-D interfaces are cool but i feel this one is severely crippled becasue its built using java. Should have been written in C or C++ then it would have had a better chance to change things. 2004-06-28 10:09 pm indeed it is 2004-06-28 11:19 pm “but i feel this one is severely crippled becasue its built using java. ” not at all, because project looking glass mostly uses JAva 3D API, and if you are an open source type it is also open sourced under BSD licence. check it out: https://java3d.dev.java.net/ other that that, as a language java is very capable in performance wise and has a much managable enviroment than C, C++.. so, give a try 2004-06-29 1:16 am “not at all, because project looking glass mostly uses JAva 3D API, and if you are an open source type it is also open sourced under BSD licence.” What you mean with “it”? The examples? Not the core, i hope? 2004-06-29 8:32 am On the page linked to in the subject, we have both Schwarz talking about open sourcing Java, and McNealy saying “unlikely”. Perhaps the community should be realistic about it: Sun is open-sourcing some of its projects that are unprofitable, probably because the costs of further development are prohibitively expensive and/or because the technology is just not “catching on” (and/or because the developers working on these projects have left the company). A lot of announcements and hoopla, but not much technological value to the community actually. It does keep Sun and specially Schwarz in the spotlight for 15 seconds, but still… In short: much ado about nothing. 2004-06-29 9:06 am Most of the replies here (as per usual when it comes to Sun) can be summed up as: Bah humbug. 2004-06-29 10:50 am This is still fairly awesome news, they didn’t have to release it at all. 2004-06-29 11:05 am Should have been written in C or C++ then it would have had a better chance to change things. What things? Are you trying to say that Java isn`t as fleible as C/C++ why even make this comment at all ????? why oh why was this comment allowed to stay, leaving them up only encourages the “if only it was coded in C/C++” fanboys! 2004-06-29 11:27 am it->java3D api 2004-06-29 3:20 pm I clicked on the link and no article that relates to Project Looking Glass. If you want something that focuses just on that, use: http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/0,2000061733,39151729,00.htm 2004-06-29 3:21 pm Are you trying to say that Java isn`t as fleible as C/C++ why even make this comment at all ????? Of course Java isn’t as flexible as C/C++. The age old explanation that you can write Java in C efficiently, you can’t write C in Java efficiently still applies. Another one is that you can use C/C++ libraries in Java but you can’t use Java libaries in C/C++. Java is a respecable language, allthough it is a memory hog and is slow (no matter what poorly crafted invalid benchmarks say). Also, Java tries to be a complete environment but that environment then needs to be managed which is a pain and wrong. Applications should be binary executables run by the OS with as many dependencies as possible self-contained in their own directory. Java apps all violate that on multiple levels. I’m as big a fan of high level languages as anyone but I don’t claim they are complete replacements for the lower level ones. The biggest atvantage C and C++ have is that libraries written in them can be called from any language efficiently. That’s why if any functionality of reasonable complexity is going to gain widespread adoption (ssl, ldap, xml, jpeg, ogg, etc) they need to have object libraries available for applications to link to. Then languages like Java, Perl, PHP, Python, etc can build interface libraries that allow people writing applications in the higher level languages to use the libraries written in the lower level ones. It’s an appropriate separation between the language and the libraries so that people don’t get tied into one, possibly inferior, langauge. I hope they are making Looking Glass so that it can be taken full advantage of outside of Java. 2004-06-29 7:33 pm I subscribe to their mailing list and the instructions on setting it up can be found here: https://lg3d-core.dev.java.net/lg3dgettingstarted.html . There’s also a little roadmap stating the first alpha release could be sometime around August/September. 2004-06-30 4:20 am The Linux desktop isn’t just a copy of MS or Apple for a change! It was never a copy to begin with. Linux isn’t run by Bill Gates and Co.