[opensource] A couple of ideas for projects

Steven James Samuel Stapleton stapleton at mps.ohio-state.edu
Tue May 2 05:15:35 EDT 2006

> 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
> chest."

I had some 3rd party software like that in windows now that you mention. It 
was a little tedious, but  think that was a good part because it was poorly 
designed: everything was on a wall, and there was only limited space. with 
TDFSB you can walk out into the middle of things and are immersed, and it 
just has a different feel.

Add the feature to change the TDFSB appearance/environment, that sounds fun 

XGI is also a nice thing, but it's a larger project and would be harder to 
jump into if we wanted to modify it. Not saying it couldn't be done, and it 
definetly would be the clubs decision as to which should be done. I just 
think cleaning up TDFSB and upgrading it would be a simpler and cleaner 
route. Also TDFSB runs in Unix (and a couple non Unix, but not Windows) 
platforms, allowing for some scaleability.

You can run 3d apps in windows of XGI, right?

> 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?

I don't know if the published spec isn't complete, or Sun's environment just 
doesn't follow the spec (more likely, given I've had problems between 
different platforms and their own implementation), but I've not found Jave 
to be very cross platform friendly.

The CLR (you are talking .NET right?), to my knowledge is pretty well 
documented, and the Mono people have made wonderful strides in that. They've 
also shown it to be relatively language independant, though the two 
languages out for it now are pretty much variations of eachother. I don't 
know of anything that uses it as a plugin, but that idea is worth some 

Also, the big problem with the CLR/.NET stuff, is all the Mono group has to 
go on is a couple things by Microsoft saying they have/will keep an open 
standard, and a little email saying that MS won't stop them. Nothing really 
legally binding or protective.

-Jim Stapleton

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