As soon as the Erlang book was released, I started to dig into Erlang and was enjoying stretching my brain, but I kept running into some of what Tim Bray has been going through. (That’s a really interesting thread, by the way. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when he can run all that code on a Sun T2.) And all along I really wanted to be working more with Scala, especially the lift framework. They’re doing some really cool stuff, and I’d like to be contributing. But my time is limited, and what have I been doing with it?

Raising children, mostly.

But when I get a chance to do some coding, I’ve been diving into Darkstar and Wonderland. Darkstar is game server written in Java and recently open sourced by Sun. It’s essentially an app server for networked, multiplayer games, dealing with all the plumbing so you don’t have to. Wonderland is a multi-user 3D virtual environment that builds on top of Darkstar. Sun has used it to build MPK20, a virtual workplace that you’ll see in all the demos.

What have I learned playing around with this stuff?

  • My math skills are rusty. Java 3D programming uses math that I haven’t touched in about 20 years. I could use a refresher.
  • All that interesting work being done making Swing programming easier and more tolerable with JRuby? Yeah, Java 3D could use some of that. I might just have to do something about it unless someone beats me to it.
  • I’m enjoying writing Java. I’ve missed that. My day-to-day work with Java is nothing but frustration. This is different. It actually makes sense to use Java for a high-performance, distributed game server. And it’s fun! 3D virtual worlds? How could it not be fun?

I’ll write more as I explore further.