The Java 3D API and Java Binding for OpenGL

This JavaOne 2007 BOF covered both the Java 3D and JOGL APIs. The session started with the news that Java 3D 1.5.0 was released back in December 2006 and includes a lightweight JCanvas3D and several bug fixes. This session had a ton of kewl demos, mostly of scientific applications and Web 2.0 style image reflections. They also demoed Wonderland, a Second-Life-like virtual and immersive world developed in Java using the Darkstar game server. The speaker described Wonderland as a “virtual collaborate environment,” where your avatar can peer-program in NetBeans with fellow engineers telecommuting half way around the world!

The speaker also posed an open question to the Java 3D community. He wondered if the community in general should focus on version 2.0 or 1.x, where 1.x would be fully backward compatible. Key features he said he would like to see are to allow a mix of Java 3D and JOGL, making lightweight components first class citizens, ease of use utilities for sound, and a plugin architecture.

The Java OpenGL portion of the BOF skipped the powerpoint presentation and went straight for the demo. NASA Ames’ World Wind application was demoed. World Wind is an open source, Java-based, extensible and mashup-able, and mind boggling Google Earth like application. They also demoed some Java 3D/2D integration with JOGL where some Java 2D based text graphics was shaded and animated by JOGL code.

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