Geertjan's Blog

  • December 1, 2006

Meet Plethora...

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
Remember the computer science students I met in Cairo, Egypt? (There's a picture of them here and I blogged about our meeting here.) They wanted to do their thesis on the NetBeans Platform but didn't know what to focus on, although they definitely wanted to extend NetBeans somehow. Well, they've just released the Beta version of.... Project Plethora! What is it? Well, in short... a designer and code generator for Looking Glass 3D applications. I got an e-mail this morning (after a great night out with Panos and Paris, the founders and leaders of the Hellenic Java User Group in Athens, Greece) from Mohamed (the guy sitting on my right in the picture), with a little FAQ about their project:

What is Plethora? Plethora is the perfect complement/companion to Sun Microsystem's Project Looking Glass. Designed as a NetBeans module suite, Plethora allows 3D application developers to create 3D interfaces that combine utility and visual appeal. The user is given full reign over a wide range of features that are bound to prove extremely useful in the course of developing applications for the LG3D platform.

Plethora supports LG3D shapes, Java 3D-based objects, model loaders and a variety of widget sets. You can easily extend components and add new components.

What does Plethora provide?

  1. Drag-n-Drop enabled Designer
  2. Automatic Code Generation
  3. Components Inspector for 3D-Shapes Hierarchy
  4. Property Sheets for Supported Shapes
  5. Event-Handling Support
  6. Rich Widget Set (Working on it!)
  7. Mouse and Keyboard Control in the Designer (try the right and left mouse buttons, and the numpad)
  8. Loading Object Models (.obj files)
  9. Configuration File (.lgcfg) Support
  10. 2D Panels Support (SwingNodes)

Here are some pictures:

How do you build a LG3D project using Plethora? You use our module suite for NetBeans in order to design and build your project. Afterwards, all you have to do is simply put the generated .jar file in the LG3D applications' folder (ext/app). Pretty soon, we'll even do that for you!

How much does it cost? Zero, Nill, Null, Nada, Nought, Zip, Zilch, Void, Sifr (Arabic), Absolutely Nothing - Plethora's totally free and open source. However, feel free to pay us back with your valuable input.

Where can I find it? From SourceForge - http://sourceforge.net/projects/auc-plethora (currently 1.0 beta).

What about support? You can get support on forums on SourceForge and Java developers project discussions.

Congratulations guys! Looking forward to trying this out myself and blogging about it in the coming weeks. Seems like a lot of interesting NetBeans APIs are in use here. By the way, it is 7.30 on the morning of Saturday 2 December here, even though it appears to be Friday 1 December, if you look at the date at the top of this blog entry. I'm off with Roman to do presentations for the Hellenic Java User Group today. Looking forward to it.

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Comments ( 4 )
  • Alexis MP Saturday, December 2, 2006
    Reminds me of something called jCAE
  • Rory Saturday, December 2, 2006
    Looking forward to a tutorial of this Geertjan!
  • dlixismmac Tuesday, December 26, 2006
  • guest Friday, February 23, 2007
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