This column explores the type system used when programming the WinFS platform. The sample download shows you how to work with the WinFS type system using the WinFS API. The WinHEC 2004 build of Avalon contains new features that enable you to easily add three-dimensional (3-D) content to your Avalon applications. This article introduces you to the 3-D functionality currently available and how it may evolve in the future and addresses the differences between Avalon and DirectX and discusses which technology may be best for your application.
The Avalon Team Introduces 3-D Features; Understanding WinFS
2004-07-17 Windows 23 Comments
really I am seriously wondering because in computing since its inception, 2D has been sufficient. what will they use the 3rd dimension for? is it more for transition effects like what dashboard widgets do when you change their settings? so it looks more realistic when you turn over a window etc. or is there a new depth design used for focus, or what?
I don’t see the point in what Sun is doing. They’re using 3D effects on their Looking Glass desktop, it looks cool ‘n’ all but it seems to be making the desktop more complicated to navigate.
I do think there are things that could be done with 3D that could make things better. The one that comes to mind is the new Alt-Tab thing in Longhorn where you actually see the windows lined up together so when you toggle through them, you can actually see which window you want.
“The one that comes to mind is the new Alt-Tab thing in Longhorn where you actually see the windows lined up together so when you toggle through them, you can actually see which window you want.”
sun has several such useful features. take a closer look again
The most impressive application of Avalon is Photo Triage.
Link – http://zdnet.com.com/1606-2-5234982.html
I wonder if Avalon is their “Chrome” (remember that, “innovation” around 1998) in a new packageing and some more desktop integration?
However, i dont see the application of 3D on the desktop, yet.
All i want is a MacOS X clone actually, to sum it all up .
Linux desktops already has all the components like Expocity, beautiful fonts, and qt/gtk looks beautifull too, more so than the 9 year old looks of windows apps. XP look is just tasteless.
Dammit, what i really want is MacOS X on x86-64
Does show that 3D is good for the desktop. But taken in moderation. Like for example Expose, the fast user switching cube effect, flipping of gadgets in dashboard, the zooming in and out of programs when they open (while keeping contents opaque), etc.
No other system has matched the fonts in OSX as far as I’m concerned and I use Linux and XP. Neither of them look like OSX and I tweaked the settings for both. Also when it comes to toolkits it’s mostly the artist that determines how good the window looks but to me OSX has the most cleanest consistent “toolkit”. I have seen some well done themes on windows and I have seen some badly done themes on Linux.
Hell, if I could afford it I’d get a mac right now (can’t afford a new PC either). I’m currently typing from Linux, because I just felt like playing around with it.
alt-tab here, shiny effect there but what i really want is a desktop that handle the enormous amount of data available to me on my multi-gig hard drive, all the stuff stored on cd’s plus the terabytes of stuff on the web. How do i get a sense of control of all this stuff on a 2d desktop?
but what i really want is a desktop that handle the enormous amount of data available to me
So spend a couple of weeks describing your data with meta-data and you’ll be able to manage them more easily.
eh, I don’t know. I thought it was cool while I looked at it, but does it really help in organization? it is a different way to sort, but is it better than a search based system? not to mention that as you add pictures to a cluster it gets harder to select a picture near the ned of the line because they get so small and cramped, not very usable.
I’m talking really about displaying all that stuff at once
Why oh why would you want to display everything at once? Just to impress your friends with your large MP3 collection?
Just doesn’t make sense.
How would that make handling your data any easier?
So…any bets on how long before KDE/GNOME rip off all these new features, when meanwhile the fanboys rip on Microsoft for doing it in the first place? Go on back to using your start menus, taskbars, integrated filesystem/HTML browsers, office suites, IDEs complete with IntelliSense, and more. Whatever Microsoft does, you must copy, right?
Will Linux ever actually be a valid desktop computer? Not at this rate.
Whoa, I looked the video, since I’m really into photographics, that indeed looked very cool. Perhaps Longhorn will after all will bring in something new.
For some thoughts on how you could use a third dimension read THE (The Humane Interface) by Jeff Raskins.
In summary instead of digging through folders to find your data (represented by a tree structure) you zoom into it. Yes it does seem to be easy/efficient when you understand what he is talking about.
df You are right, saying all these things about linux.
However, bare in mind that the difference between a Win machine and a Linux machine is a couple hundred dollars spent on the OS(!!!).
And we are not talking about an exact copy of the Windows features because in Linux the features actually work…on any machine….Not just the super expensive, tweaked, exhbition machine.
But honestly guys, dont you feel depressed with all this Processing Power going wasted to the visual effects?
Is this innovation? Is this what you want 4 fans and water cooling for?
How about a realy novel filesystem? A realy novel User Interface….Something that has not being done before….something fresh? Fresh to the bone, not just the cover.
And Regarding the tons and tons of MP3s i keep seeing people storing around….Guys if Music CDs were for free, would you really gather a basement full of it?
Are you hearing music for sport?
I think its up to the users to start putting the value to their own desktop, whatever the OS is.
except that Jef Raskin is just a whiny blow hard and his ideas are not really functional because of their learning curve.
umm, all that graphics stuff is given to us Via the GFX card so it is free. why is giving nice capabilities to the interface that make it more like the real world bad? especially when it uses processing power that has been ignored for a long time?
I don’t really see how 3-D-ness is going to make handling lots of data any easier (but might make it more fun). It is a simple fact that we can only handle so much information at-a-time (short term memory is something like 6-8 things at once?). So the only hope is filtering out what we don’t want until we have a list of things small enough that it can be perceived on a human level. This is what the whole Spotlight thing in the new Mac OS X, and GNOME’s Storage is trying to do, and what iTunes and its clones (e.g. JuK), and of course Google has already done. I do think it will only go so far until we are prepared to leave the filesystem model behind (it would be possible to generate filesystem views for our old software and internet protocols to use).
I think it sometimes helps to think, instead of trying to have technology solve this problem or that problem, to realise that maybe we are doing things wrong and a different direction would be simpler. So instead of thinking, “I have 30 windows open at the same time, make a 3-D desktop to make me have to work less”, instead “How many of these windows are redundant? What can I eliminate? Can I display this information in a smaller or simpler way that I don’t need so much on the screen? What am I really trying to achieve, or am I just playing with computers for the fun of it?” Your initial perceptions of what is needed are probably skewed, so it pays to think about it.
Now that I clicked the article it’s about another API. Ahh well, I look forward to the 3-D version of eMule Plus (joke).
Looking Glass, looked so cumbersome to me.
That Microsoft picture organizer thing… yeah its fancy, but its just a pain to look at the pictures going into the distance, you can barely tell what is what, its just unnecessary fluff that I don’t think will really do much help for anyone.
OSX Has it the best so far…. it does new things that are actually useful.
Avalon is an API. It is to allow developers who primarily use 2D interfaces to harness 3D if they need to, for whatever reason. It is not an article about 3D desktops, it is not about Windows becoming a 3D desktop.
Go on back to using your start menus (…)
IMNSHO the ‘start menu’ is one of the worst things invented, along with movable double clickable icons on the desktop. And my desktop has loads of them and an elaborate SM, but how better would it be if access to stuff were available through some dedicated widget. The ‘quick launch’ toolbars are a blessing in that regard.
Inside folder windows, of course icons are the sensible option.
you liked windows 3.1 didn’t you.