3D collabrative net applications and Linux/Fedora

Ric Moore wayward4now at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 19:31:33 UTC 2008

I've been Looking into 3D applications for our project, for some time,
and so far this is what I've found usable, to varying degrees, with
Linux and, better yet, found workable with Fedora 7. 

Croquet is pretty brutal for first time users, to put it mildly. It
works, no doubt, as I've had it running for almost a year. But user
friendliness and creation tools are not at the head of the list. Think
of it as the 3D graphical version of Emacs. Croquet is built on Squeak
which is built on Small-talk. So, basically, you're running another OS
on top of Linux. That makes it slower than if it were native to Linux.
There is some measure of hope on the near horizon though. Qwaq, which is
a commercial effort variant of Croquet, consisting of the former
University developers, is up and running and may port some of their
improvements and client-side apps to Croquet. Their version is a
screamer as a online 3D collaborative tool. It's just not "Free" as
Croquet is. They do have a good user and devel mail lists, but much of
it is way over my head. I may be granted a limited look a Qwaq and I'll
post what I find here.   

Open Source client for Linux. I've had it working pretty well, although
I confess to using their beta-Linux client from them instead of the rpm.
Major draw-back, no Linux server. Right, there IS one effort to reverse
engineer the server and there is a Linux version of that. It requires
full blown Mono and, as usual, some conflicts as to what is Java and
what ain't plus various obscure Mono libs. It uses some kind of brew
from hell, Mono and Java, from what I can figure out, and they have to
be in sync, version-wise. Please feel free to correct me, I'm poking at
it with a stick, monkey fashion. There are rumors of really opening up
the server side software, which would be a huge plus, as they already
run Linux, for server side, on their host farms. They have streaming
video, but there are some gotchas using Linux. It shows a lot of promise

I just dnloaded it yesterday and have not unpacked the linux tarball of
binaries, yet. mc didn't reveal any source code that I could recognize
in the tarball. It seems to have server, a crude client and devel tools
all built in to it. I'll let everyone know how well this one works. It
looks somewhat promising from their press at the site. 

Free server for Linux!! That's a plus! The minus is that the client is
only for WinXP and up. <sighs> I got the server to work, I think, as the
terminal window messages claimed everything was OK. I'd sure like to SEE
the damn thing though. It just grabs my socks when server-side
applications use Linux to beat the M$ networking licensing schemes, but
run back to Windows so they can code in C#. Some one just shoot me. They
emailed me and said that they will have a linux client in about a year.
<sighs> Peachy.

I'm gonna mention this as it runs and serves a 3D realm under Linux and
has nifty user friendly design tools. It almost meets my needs for swift
development and lower server side requires. Used as a client, the client
side dnloads all of the game data files, at first, which lowers the
overhead on the server. Graphics are great and the speed beats that of
the other 3D environments hands down, especially for a light-weight
low-budget 3D server application. It lacks streaming video though, but
maybe someone could figure out how to serve video as it already plays
sound files in either ogg or mp3 formats. 

Note: If you just filed your taxes and want to do some senseless killing
of BEMS, while saving the Universe, grab this one. I also suggest
dnloading Mark Pullens free-to-use musical files to "pump it up". His
stuff makes Metallica sound like Donnie and Marie. Those head-banger
track-files has this 58 year-old burning his imaginary Fender
Stratocaster in front of a stack of imaginary shrieking Marshall amps
while bending the imaginary tone-arm and going "NEEE YEOOOOW!", like
Jimi Hendrix. Yeah, they're THAT good, IMHO. 

<coughs, slicks hair back down and regains composure>   

If anyone has any other applications they use for 3D WITH streaming
audio/video, I'd like to explore any other candidates. User friendly 3D
creation tools for Linux are really needed. Thanks, Ric

My father, Victor Moore (Vic) used to say:
"There are two Great Sins in the world...
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
Linux user# 44256 Sign up at: http://counter.li.org/
http://www.wayward4now.net  <---down4now too

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