[opensource] A couple of ideas for projects

Jim Dinan dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu
Mon May 1 22:37:21 EDT 2006

Steven James Samuel Stapleton wrote:
> here are some ideas for various project
> that might be of interest to the group. Please post your questions,
> comments and suggestions.

Hey Jim,

I think a project with 3d on the desktop is a great idea.  Xgl is
getting close to the main stream and there could be some really
interesting ways to take advantage of that.  Nick's probably right about
the first person shooter browser.  I remember hearing about one of those
a while back but you could only delete files with it.  :)  Although,
this might be a fun way to browse the web.  *grin*

The possibility for widespread 3d on the desktop has been around in
hardware for a while but has only recently becoming available from the
OS with MacOS X, Xgl and I heard a rumor that Vista will have it too
(assuming it ever comes out).  I think this has opened up some really
neat opportunities to be creative with how we are able to interact with
the computer.

What if you made the desktop itself - behind the windows - 3d.  Say you
make it a room that you can interact with.  Pick your furniture, "walk"
around, put things in drawers and closets, etc.  Have windows that show
the current weather and time of day outside, dynamic lighting inside the
room.  Or even a house where you can go from room to room on your
desktop.  Or maybe you want your desktop to be outdoors so you can
pretend you're hiking the whole time you're at work.  Or SCUBA diving
even!  "Jim, where's that TPS report?"  "Oh, I put it in the treasure

There are lots of other neat things you could do with XGl too as far as
making the windows themselves 3d objects and manipulating them in 3
dimensions.  That could lead in some pretty interesting directions.

This MSLE idea gives some interesting insight into a gap in the
available web technologies.  People have started writing multimedia
players and other things that were once clumsy plugins in Flash, Java,
and even JavaScript to try and achieve cross browser and cross platform

I think there's a gap here for sure, but is a new portable
plugin/scripting environment the answer?  Personally, I don't know.
What can we do with what we've already got?  Can we develop an open
source Java applet that does what google video does?  Is one already
available?  For that matter, is there a plugin that lets you run CLR in
your web browser?

Great ideas, Jim.  I think you're definitely headed in the right
direction.  :)

 - jim.

James Dinan <dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu>

Graduate RA - Computer Science and Engineering
              The Ohio State University

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