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LG Release 1.0 is now available

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Joined: 2003-06-13

LG Release 1.0 has been released and is now available on the binary downloads page (

This release is the culmination of 3 years of work, starting with Hideya san who originally conceived of a bold, new type of window system, through the initial shake down of the proof-of-concept demo by an internal Sun community, followed by the open sourcing of the technology, which generated such enormous interest that it brought down the servers several times. From that point on many people from around the globe have contributed to the project; contributing to the core, contributing applications, performing testing, writing and translating documentation, etc. The project owners (Hideya, Paul, Krishna and myself) are very grateful for all of the great contributions we have received from you, the LG community.

At this juncture, it would be good to step back and
ask where does LG go from here? We have met and exceeded the quality and stability goals we had original set for this release; our original goal was that the LG session run for one day without needing to be restarted. But our experience with LG Release 1.0 has been that it will run for several days without needing to be restarted. So
we believe we are now at a point of reasonable industrial strength quality.

So where are contributions most needed? We hope that
the community will continue to explore new types of
applications with 3D GUIs. We know that our documentation
needs improvement and there is probably still a lot of room for performance improvement. Plus there are still
a lot of bugs of varying severity. In addition it would
be nice to support 64-bit platforms. We are also currently
working with the Ubuntu community for distributing LG with Ubuntu. In addition, the next release of LG will be providing the ability to link LG into conventional Java applications and provide 3D GUIs for these apps.
These are but some of the many ways to keep the LG momentum going.

In addition, we at Sun have been cooking up something extra special: an idea for a cool new scene manager with an emphasis on inter-machine collaboration. We're not quite ready to unveil this idea yet, but we expect to be able to start detailed discussions on the forum after the new year, once we get back from vacation.

Once again, thank you for all of your hard work in making LG Release 1.0 a reality!

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Joined: 2004-02-09

Hi Paul

> At this juncture, it would be good to step back and
> ask where does LG go from here?

I've been watch LG from afar for awhile now, occasionally downloading a build or syncing with CVS and trying out the latest. I always find it interesting and am impressed by the progress--yesterday I saw a video on YouTube showing off the latest stuff, very very nice.

IMO, the most important thing community-wise is to encourage the development of a large number of apps. These can be small but there should be many. I think there needs to be a better sense of what works and doesn't work in terms of a UI in this environment, so that some sort of guidelines can develop about how to build larger applications that not only work in LG, but take unique advantage of its capabilities. I think the way to gather that knowledge is to encourage people to play more, just to throw things out there and see what works. Lower the barrier to entry in the playground, so to speak, by lowering the criteria for what constitutes an "app" in this arena.

For example, I personally find the combination of the picture/screenshot backgrounds and the 3D environment confusing for most apps. I tend to lose my place in the visual field and can't identify the controls for the current app easily. Also, the "hit regions", where the mouse takes effect on a particular app, are often hard for me to find and I end up spending a lot of time just trying to get the app to do something useful.

I think in general those and other problems (if others agree they are problems) can be solved by having a much wider test base of applications in the LG environment. In one sense, you're building an environment that can host existing apps, and in another, building one that can host a new type of app. Figuring out what how a GUI should behave, the fine details of look and feel and interactivity, took traditional GUI developers probably a couple of decades to iron out. The advantage you have is that apps can be developed in Java, we have global interactivity on the level of sharing project resources, people can communicate over forums and etc.--it should take much less time for LG!

On the practical side of things, the NetBeans module is going to be a good step forward. I'd suggest that along with that you (the LG team) encourage development of small, single-purpose apps in that environment. Lower the barrier to entry; encourage experimentation. We already have that, for example, with Swing, as more developers are trying things out and just posting a JNLP on their blog to show off one new technique or implementation. For LG, maybe this could be a way to share apps as NetBeans modules, so when as soon as someone has developed something cool, they can post the NBM on their website (or, something like that), others can download it, see the code, contribute ideas, etc.

Two related ideas. First, propose the use of some scripting languages to allow people to test small GUI ideas "live". F3 will be one good option once it's released, but there are many others one could use for this environment. Second, encourage people to extract and re-use useful GUI components once they've identified them as useful.

You all are doing impressive work and I'm excited about where you're going to go from here. I hope you see this not as criticism but as enthusiastic suggestions to build on what you've already accomplished.