Hi,

I know some people already talk about this kind of subject here before. I'm
specifically referencing the post named "integrating virtual reality into
KDE" which can be found here:
http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-devel&m=109229045630500&w=2

The big idea seems interesting but, from my point of view, a little
unrealistic for now. It's not just a virtual reality version of KDE (hum...
it's sound like if a VR version was something "simple"!): it integrates users
collaboration, distributed servers and a lot of other complex features.

By myself, I would be interested in developping a "simple" VR version of KDE
which could works in a CAVE or Immersadesk virtual reality environment:
http://www.polymtl.ca/rv/rv/

Sorry for the text which is in french but I think the pictures could help you
understand the way it works. On these systems, we can display steroscopic
(3d) graphics (via special glass) and interact with 3d objects with a wand (a
kind of 3d mouse) or VR gloves. What I want to do is to be able to use the
wand or the glove instead of a mouse. I also want to add a real 3th dimension
to be able to move 3d solid windows all around the user and within the 3th
dimension (with real depth): near and far from him. Since we actually
experienced usability issues in VR with text entry (with virtual keyboard or
other alternatives) I would like to use a real keyboard to enter text, on the
knees of the user who could be sat on a chair on the middle of the CAVE.

The big idea of what I want to do is: to modify KDE in a way which will permit
the user to lauch KDE in VR stereoscopic mode (in the CAVE) without the need
of using adapted applications which have to be rewrited. It means that all
actual typical softwares (kmail, konqueror,...) could work without any
modification of their code. I have to say first that since I'm not a KDE or X
expert, I don't know if it is feasible or not. That's why I'm taking the time
to talk to you about it.

From my "kde-and-X-ignorant" point of view it means:
- The calls to X via Qt (I think) to draw bitmaps on a 2d screen should be
redirected to my specific VR library.
- All widgets (list box, combo box, ...) should have a 3d equivalent which
could be based on VRML 3d models.
- The actions should be modifiy to work in 3d.
- 2d mouse management should be adapted to work in 3d with the wand or gloves.
- ...

For your information: to develop and lauch application inside the CAVE, we use
VR Juggler (an OpenSource virtual platform for VR application development):
www.vrjuggler.org
The VR GUI library I could develop would be based on it.

I know this kind of project is really big and could take a lot of time, but
I'm really interested in working on it as a parallel project even if it takes
many years. So what I would like to know is:
- What do you think of it?
- Do you think it is feasible?
- If so, could you suggest me a way to start developing it?
- What are the specific parts, classes of KDE or Qt I should look at?
- Do you have any other advices?

Thanks in advance for your replies. Have a nice day.
J-A
http://www.info.polymtl.ca/~jaboub/indexEng.html


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