Sunday, October 14, 2007
The SDK is Not an App!
The Croquet SDK (software developer's kit) can be used to develop metaverse applications - though it is not an application in itself. It's intended as a resource for serious developers who wish to build collaborative metaverse applications for education, research, industry and entertainment. It delivers a foundational infrastructure for creating persistent, interconnected and collaborative 3D virtual worlds. The SDK is not an application in itself - any more than Java is an application (see my previous post on this).
The examples included within the SDK should be thought of as working code and not as how-to's or applications in themselves. Still, I often get feedback from people that the user interface is too difficult or that the "application" doesn't make sense to non-developer end-users.
One of the challenges we face with this project is that the graphically-interesting 3D user interface and textured 'environments' included as examples within the Croquet SDK provide many people with the incorrect impression that these are traditional and end-user-useable applications intended as alternatives to commercial production-quality metaverse environments (many of the same people would never think of providing a Java software developers kit to an end-user as a way of evaluating a potential Java-based application's usability).
The Croquet SDK was released to make it possible for programmers to join forces to create compelling end-user applications. In my earlier posts, I talk about some of what is beginning to be created. There is much more in the pipeline and the members of the Croquet Consortium are now focused on building an open source 3D Croquet-space browser application based on the SDK. We are planning to have a version available in 2008.