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Java IoT: Article

Sun Open Sources "Looking Glass" and Java 3D

Sun Open Sources "Looking Glass" and Java 3D

Sun Microsystems today underscored its commitment to open source and desktop technology leadership by contributing Project Looking Glass and Java 3D technology to the open source community. This contribution will unleash a new dimension of developer innovation by making Sun's technology available at Sun's 3D Desktop Technology Open Source Project on

Sun also announced additional open source desktop efforts in collaboration with the Java developer community: the JDesktop Network Components (JDNC) and JDesktop Integration Components (JDIC). JDNC radically simplifies the development of rich networked desktop applications. JDIC seamlessly integrates cross-platform Java technology-based applications with the native desktop. These open source community contributions aim to promote innovation, ease of development, integration and interactivity on the desktop, and stimulate growth of the Java platform economy for all participants.

Project Looking Glass

Project Looking Glass is the 3D desktop project that first captivated the technology industry and blew the lid off the traditional windowing paradigm at its first mass demo in Summer 2003. Project Looking Glass' innovative desktop interface offers an intuitive, new 3D environment to interact with desktop applications featuring window transparency, rotation, zoom, multiple desktop workspaces and miniaturization. The technology helps developers build highly visual 3D desktops and applications that will run on the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Linux systems such as Sun's Java Desktop System. The Project Looking Glass developer's release is expected to enable Java technology developers to break new ground in the way information and data is represented to the user.

The following features are now available in the Project Looking Glass developer's release:

  • 3D Window Manager Platform - Highly scalable Java 3D Application Programming Interface (API) with client-server model support that helps developers with design documents, initial specification and prototype implementation.
  • 3D Window Manager and Application Development API - Java API to enable development of new 3D desktop applications and 3D Window Manager features for the Project Looking Glass platform.
  • Native Application Integration Module - Module to run X11 applications within the 3D environment.
  • Sample 3D Window Manager - Sample implementation for testing and demonstration purposes.
  • 3D Environment Lite - Stand alone, simplified 3D environment for development and testing that can be run on any Java 3D API-enabled platform including Linux and the Solaris OS.

    For more information on Project Looking Glass, visit

    Java 3D - Taking Java Technology to New Dimensions

    Sun is also releasing the Java 3D API to the open source community on The Java 3D API, recently used by NASA for its command and control system for the Mars Rover mission, helps developers incorporate high-quality, scalable, platform-independent 3D graphics into applications and applets based on Java technology. To access Java 3D, visit

    JDesktop Integration Components (JDIC)

    The JDIC project, launched on, will continue Java technology's focus on seamless desktop integration. It complements the native look and feel for Windows XP and GTK introduced in Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 1.4.2 and the desktop integration enhancements in J2SE 5.0. JDIC will help developers create applications that run on multiple operating systems while giving users a quality user experience consistent with their desktop. Visit for more details.

    JDesktop Network Components (JDNC)

    JDNC aims to simplify the development of rich networked desktop applications. It offers a set of high-level user interface components with built-in networking and data-binding support that can be configured via XML. JDNC will lower the bar for rich client development and boost developer productivity, enabling a larger portion of developers to take advantage of highly interactive client applications. More information can be found at

    Project Looking Glass, Java 3D, JDIC, and JDNC projects are part of, the community for desktop developers. The 2004 JavaOne Developer Conference marks the first anniversary of, the source for Java technology collaboration sponsored by Sun. In addition, today launched a new community dedicated to the discussion, development and collaboration of Java Specification Requests (JSR) proposed by Java Community Process (JCP) members. This new community aims to increase efficiency by making it easier to set up JSR projects and providing the appropriate tools needed to communicate and share code with the community for greater transparency. For more information on the JavaOne conference, visit

  • More Stories By Java News Desk

    JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Stephane Fellah 06/29/04 09:01:57 AM EDT

    I very welcome this initiative. This would speed up the development of the API, and will help to a wider adoption.
    I wish that Java Advanced Imaging API be also in Open source. It has been a while no major release has been issued for it. Convergence of JAI and Java3D would be good thing.

    Alessandro Borges 06/28/04 10:06:59 PM EDT

    The Java3D open sourcing is very welcome. I think this will shorten the release of new versions, as well fix the bugs quickly. As far as I know, Sun stands as the official keeper, bringing some peace to corporate users.

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