Freenet/Java 3D

Today is musings day at Rarebit Fiend:
I can’t help but wonder why there aren’t a million interfaces to Freenet available already. If you want to interface the Java code directly into your program or call it from the command line it would take some effort to build an interface. But with the proxy interface (FProxy gets started automatically for Windows nodes) all that you have to do to download a file is pull a URL. You really can’t get any easier than that in Java or most other languages these days, it’s only about one line of code.
I’ve played EverQuest a few times recently. It is truly, seriously butt ugly! I developed a very simple 3D world for Crystal Semiconductor several years back using the old Direct3D Retained Mode (which is no longer updated as part of DirectX so don’t bother using it). That engine was developed five years ago and yet I’ll swear that EverQuest doesn’t look one bit better. You’d think that with all the really nifty 3D engines out there that they would have simply licensed something and used it.
Speaking of 3D, Java 3D has evolved to a point that installation and use (at least on Windows) is really quite easy. All that it does is put a new extension JAR file into your extensions directory. After that you can go to their examples page and it will display various 3D examples using the Java plug-in. Because it uses the plug-in, it’s compatible with any popular browser from version 4.0 on. I wonder how much effort would be required to get an engine that looked as good as EQ going using Java 3D. Given the wide availability of Java 3D on different platforms you would have the first multi-platform massively multi-player online game 🙂
Sun just released a sample application showing off Java 3D called the Java 3D Fly Through. This picture shows what it looks like:

Please be aware that if you want to download this and run it, it features one of the most unpleasant mouse interfaces in history. Whomever wrote it certainly didn’t mean it to be used by an end user. Nevertheless, on a good video card it was managing a reasonable frame rate even with a huge number of triangles and a lot of texturing. I’m certain that it would make a good starting place for anybody interested in building something more interesting than this little demo.