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Project Looking Glass
Sun's Contribution to the Open Source Community

June 29, 2004

Sun Microsystems is contributing Project Looking Glass, based on Java™ technology, to the open source community. Project Looking Glass is an exploratory project to bring innovative 3D features to the desktop environment. The desktop interface will offer an intuitive, new 3D environment to interact with desktop applications featuring window transparency, rotation, zoom, multiple desktop workspaces, and miniaturization. Project Looking Glass offers a platform to realize a far richer and more entertaining user experience for existing and new applications in 2D or 3D. The technology enables developers to build highly visual 3D desktops and applications that will run on Linux systems such as Sun's Java Desktop System. The Solaris™ environment will be supported in the near future.

What does this mean to you?

If you're a software developer, please go to http://lg3d-core.dev.java.net and download this early version of the code and join the community in developing the 3D desktop.

Interested in using Project Looking Glass? The project is in very early stages and a commercial version is not available yet. Please go to http://www.sun.com/software/project-looking-glass to keep up to date on our progress.

Why open source?

Project Looking Glass is in its infancy, and we'd like to explore lots of ideas and possibilities. We're releasing the Project Looking Glass code to the whole community to explore every aspect of the technology rather than restricting access to a privileged few. We believe this open development is an excellent model to pursue this exciting and vast opportunity, and your involvement is eagerly anticipated.

We have been working for several months on cleaning up the software, providing basic features and functionality necessary for 3D window management. A key focus was looking at existing 2D desktop applications, and minimizing compatibility and performance problems. The next step is to look at what else we can do to foster real-world 3D interactivity. We decided to open source this at a very early stage to ensure that we got good feedback from the community.

What's in the open source project?

The following features are now available in the Project Looking Glass open source release:

3D Window Manager Platform
Java 3D-based highly scalable 3D platform with client-server model support.
3D Window Manager and Application Development API
Java API to develop new 3D desktop applications and 3D desktop window manager features.
Native Application Integration Module
Allows developers to run conventional X11 applications in the 3D environment.
Sample 3D Window Manager
Provides a simple sample implementation for testing and demonstration purposes.
3D Environment Lite
Enables developers to run a simplified 3D environment as an application on a Java 3D enabled platform including Linux and Solaris environments. This serves as a development tool to test implementations.

This is all available at: http://lg3d-core.dev.java.net

What's the licensing model?

There are three license choices for developers interested in creating applications using Project Looking Glass.

For developers who are interested in reviewing, revising, and redistributing the source code as part of their own application, Project Looking Glass has been submitted as an open source project in the JavaDesktop area of java.net under the GNU Public License, or GPL.

For developers who are interested in developing an application on top of the existing Project Looking Glass platform without reviewing and/or altering the code base, there is a binary version of the current state of the project available for download under a traditional Binary Code License. This is also available in the JavaDesktop area of java.net.

Finally, for developers or organizations interested in other uses or revising the source code but wish to keep their implementation and related application proprietary, please contact Sun at lg3d_license@dev.java.net.

Project Looking Glass Community Meeting

Wednesday June 30, 2004
4:30pm to 6:00pm
The Argent Hotel, City Room
San Francisco, California, USA

4:00-4:30 Registration
4:30-4:45 Welcome, Introductions, and 3D Desktop Project Demo
4:45-5:30 Technology Overview, Possible Sub Projects, How to Get Started
5:30-6:00 Q&A and Networking

Please join the conversation with the Project Looking Glass developers from Sun Microsystems. This meeting will be technically focused introducing developers to the project and letting them know how to get involved.

You can meet the team from Project Looking Glass and other developers while enjoying food and refreshments. There is open admission. You do not need a JavaOne Conference Pass to attend.

No webcast will be available, but we will post the information available at the meeting on the website. We'll also have several presentations and Project Looking Glass at JavaOne, and we'll post as many as we can on the web.

You can see Hideya Kawahara on stage with Jonathan Schwartz and Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems demonstrating the Project Looking Glass technology and announcing the open source project at http://java.sun.com/javaone/ (select View Webcast).

If you have any questions, please send them to: project-looking-glass@sun.com

About JavaDesktop and java.net

JavaDesktop (at javadesktop.org) is a java.net community for developers of applications with rich client interfaces. java.net is a Web site used by the developer community that expands the Java technology portfolio of applications, tools and services in applied areas of technology and vertical industry solutions. More than 52,000 developers worldwide have joined the java.net collaborative community, and are engaged in more than 900 projects ranging from Java technology-based games development to desktop technologies to enterprise development such as Java Web services. java.net is sponsored by Sun, the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, with editorial resources and technology infrastructure provided by CollabNet, Inc. and O'Reilly & Associates.