Friday Jun 01, 2007

Semantic Wonderland

Among the most impressive demos at JavaOne was the open sourced Project Wonderland[1] which James Gosling presented during his Toy show. It is a virtual world that grew out of project Looking Glass, the 2.5D Java Desktop that was unveiled a couple of years ago. The desktop has now been integrated into a full 3D world (or should it be 4D? space+time) where one can move around, meet people, work together on projects, etc...

It was not too difficult to get it to work on OSX (even though Apple is lagging with a 8 months old beta release of Java 6, grrrr!), by following the instructions on the main page, and reading the Java.net thread "Building Wonderland on MacOS" [2].

Once I got it started I noticed this billboard entitled "Knowledge Driven Hyperlinks: A Semantic Web Application". Really intriguing!

Apparently one gets the best out of wonderland by running it on Linux, as one can then interact with real X applications. The one that was most tested with OSX is Ubuntu Edgy, under BootCamp. A new version of Parallels has just come out though, that has OpenGL and DirectX graphics acceleration for Windows, so it may soon be possible to run Wonderland in Parallels using Ubuntu, and so get all the features, before making the leap to a full Linux OS again.

I am going to try one of these options out. This is going to be real fun! :-)

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