I just wanted to let everyone know that I did a video podcast interview on a program called FLOSS Weekly:
FLOSS is an acronym for “Free Libre Open Source Software” and the show is hosted by Randal Schwartz. I was pleased to discover that the co-host, Aaron Newcomb, is himself a former Sun employee who had experimented with Wonderland while at Sun. He asked a question about Darkstar during his introduction to the show, which I realized on listening to the show, I neglected to answer. I thought I would take the opportunity do it here.
Project Darkstar, which is game server infrastructure that provides a platform for scalable communications and persistence, was a parallel project to Wonderland in Sun Labs. In fact, it was the Darkstar team that got us started. In 2007, they were looking for a way to demonstrate their server technology. They knew that our Collaborative Environments research team had been inspired by a challenge by then VP for Eco Responsibility Dave Douglas to “build Sun’s next building in the virtual world.” We had gotten as far as forming a reading group to investigate the use of virtual worlds for business collaboration when the Darkstar team asked us if we could quickly pull together a virtual world demo built on top of Darkstar. They needed the demo in three months for their booth at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC). I’m not quite sure how we pulled it off, but we joined forces with the Project Looking Glass team and created both the Wonderland platform as well as the virtual world called “MPK20: Sun’s Virtual Workplace.” Here’s Karl Haberl, who was the manager for both Wonderland and Darkstar, demoing Wonderland for the very first time in the Sun booth at the GDC conference in March 2007:
Like Wonderland, the Darkstar project has continued to thrive as a community-based open source project since our “liberation” from Sun. The forked version of the code is now known as Red Dwarf. If you would like more information about the current architecture of Wonderland – which has changed substantially since that first demo version – and how Darkstar / Red Dwarf fits in, there’s a diagram and a brief architectural overview on our Developer Resources page.
Aaron, I hope that helps to answer your question. And thanks for the opportunity to speak on the show!