JavaTM Virtual Reality Applications and
Related Technologies

Web-based Virtual Reality (VR)

CM Surveyor
Special Status Report

The Java3DTM Non-Decision

Practical widespread use of web-based Java3DTM applications such as the CM Surveyor 3D scene browser require that web browsers be enabled for operation with Java3D. The need to manually enable browsers for Java3D operation precludes widespread use of 3D applications such as CM Surveyor since many web users do not have the expertise or inclination to perform manual enabling. Nor will automatic download and installation of packages such as Java Plug-inTM and Java3D suffice because the majority of web users do not have high bandwidth connections needed to support download of Java Plug-in or Java3D.

The only viable solution to enable widespread use of Java3D-based web applications is to have Java Plug-in and Java3D preinstalled in the browser out-of-the-box by the by the computer hardware vendors. This will result in web browsers such as Internet Explorer being Java3D-enabled with no action required on the part of web users.

Sun is in the process of negotiating contracts with major computer hardware vendors to have Java Plug-in (or its equivalent, JavaSETM) preinstalled on future systems, including in browsers such as Internet Explorer. However, Sun has indicated they have no plans, now or in the future, to include Java3D with Java Plug-in/JavaSE, or otherwise have Java3D pre-installed as part of their contracts with computer hardware system vendors. Until Sun reverses this decision (or non-decision) to incorporate Java3D in standard out-of-the-box Java web installations, 3D web browsing will be delayed for many years until such time as the majority of web users have high speed connections capable of supporting dynamic downloads of large packages such as Java3D.

What Can I Do?

Aside from manual enabling of your browser for Java3D operation, there is one other thing you can do that might make a difference. Send a short email to scott.mcnealy at sun.com requesting that Java3D be included in the web browser Java enablement contracts being negotiated with major computer hardware vendors. If Mr. McNealy (the CEO of Sun) is made aware that significant public interest in Java3D on the web exists, he can make it happen.