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Graphics Programming

Converting RSS Feeds To a Dynamic 3D Scene In 120 Lines of Code 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the something-you-never-knew-you-needed dept.
descubes writes "Tao Presentations is a 3D presentation tool based on a 3D dynamic document description language. This makes it very easy for developers to create their own 3D shows, illustrate talks in an innovative way, even build small interactive 3D applications. An example included in the latest release grabs RSS feeds from a variety of sources (including Slashdot) and turns them into a 3D scene, all in real-time and in about 120 lines of code. It fetches the pictures directly from the web site and maps them on 3D shapes. And this is only a starting point. Tao Presentations can display 3D objects, drive the majority of 3D displays (including glasses-free 3D displays from Alioscopy, Philips or Tridelity), use GLSL shaders for advanced effects, and much more. Tao Presentations is free (as in beer), and the document description language is based on the free (as in speech) XL programming language."
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Converting RSS Feeds To a Dynamic 3D Scene In 120 Lines of Code

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  • but the concept is flawed in that it borders on the ridiculous. What is wrong with just reading the news in a list format? Do we need to see it rendered in 3D?
    • by SIR_Taco (467460)

      But 3D is the new 2D.

      I'm just waiting for some advancements in augmented reality, so that I can see the world around me in 3D! /sarcasm

      • Wait until you have 3d ON 3d! It looks like a normal super spy car, but put on the glasses and the patterns on it pop out to be an assortment of rocket launchers and DirecTV ads
      • if you can't make it good, make it 3d?
        • by descubes (35093)

          if you can't make it good, make it 3d?

          Just making it 3D doesn't make it good. Our goal is simply to provide a tool to create dynamic 3D contents easily. Remember the first HTML pages with the blink tag? They all looked horrible, it took a while for designers to catch up with this new technology.

          So I'm not a good graphic designer? Not surprised. Well, we are looking for good designers to help us fix that. Do something beautiful with Tao Presentations, and we'll be sure to talk about it.

          • by MarkGriz (520778)

            I think the point people are trying to make here is that TFA title is "Converting RSS Feeds To a Dynamic 3D Scene in 120 Lines of Code"
            and when we look at the examples, we are seeing the 3D equivalent of the "blink" tag.

            Why bother with the announcement of the tools, without a bit more effort put into what they can do.
            Maybe the tools are great, but how would we know.

      • But 3D is the new 2D.

        I'm just waiting for some advancements in augmented reality, so that I can see the world around me in 3D! /sarcasm

        All sarcasm aside, 3D is not the new 2D, 3D is the new color. Black and white didn't go away, you can still use it to great effect [wikipedia.org]. But most digital content today is in color, just because we can. It looks more natural, it allows effects that you can't do in black and white.

        When you print a PDF document on a black and white printer, you expect it to look right. What's the equivalent for 3D today? Taodyne's value proposition is to make it ridiculously easy to create portable, dynamic 3D documents that will s

    • It should have atleast been events around the world (a globe with blob points each resprenting a news article, sized as large as the importance of the article).

      • by descubes (35093)

        It should have atleast been events around the world (a globe with blob points each resprenting a news article, sized as large as the importance of the article).

        Yes. And if you RTFA, you'll see:

        Unfortunately, I didn't find any good way to obtain latitude and longitude reliably for each piece of news, otherwise we could have created a much cooler effect, showing each picture and news at the right spot on the surface of Earth... If anybody has an idea on how to do that, I'm interested.

        The best there is GeoRSS [wikipedia.org], but Google News doesn't use that. So we can show the earthquakes on a globe [pastebin.com] if you wish. Hit the 'w' key for a small animation.

        Now, if you know of a good database of geolocalized news, I'm very interested.

      • by descubes (35093)

        3D visualization of GeoRSS earthquakes database available here [gitorious.org].

    • by descubes (35093)

      but the concept is flawed in that it borders on the ridiculous. What is wrong with just reading the news in a list format? Do we need to see it rendered in 3D?

      You can render it in 2D if you prefer. The point is that you can now have a Powerpoint-like presentation with, say, a twitter wall inside, or news related to what you are talking about.

  • Active Worlds (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @08:20PM (#41307369)
    I'm getting a strong, familiar VRML-era stench about this hype.
    • by descubes (35093)

      I'm getting a strong, familiar VRML-era stench about this hype.

      We thought of it more like an innovative way to create tweeter walls than virtual words. Just like Powerpoint is not about re-creating realistic pictures, Tao Presentation is not about creating virtual worlds, but about telling a story.

  • Unless you're a chic. At any rate, wow 3d RSS feeds! Now I can care equally as little about RSS feeds as I did 2 minutes ago. Also, I DOUBT it is 120 lines of code. Maybe like 120 lines of high level coding, from some crazy encapsulated api. I mean, I wrote a HTML Form framework that allows you to create full forms with validation in like 15 lines. Wow.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      "Chick" is a slightly pejorative term for a young female. "Chic" is a French word meaning "stylish."

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Although I agree that this is a pointless "innovation", I can see where you might do it in 120 lines of code, and you hinted at how yourself -- "120 lines of high level coding, from some crazy encapsulated api." I once wrote a program to reboot a DOS machine that took all of six bytes. Load a register with a value, call an interrupt. That was the entire program. All I needed to write it was Debug, didn't even need a compiler. Hell, I wrote a full featured word processor on a machine with only 16k of memory

  • Do I know this?

  • ... return RSS to their Mail application in 10.8 with 120 lines of code?
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @09:09PM (#41307669) Homepage

    So the founder and president [of] Taodyne [linkedin.com] submits a "story" extolling the virtues of Taodyne's latest program/thingie and this actually makes it onto Slashdot? Am I really expecting too much of Slashdot by thinking that this shouldn't happen? I mean the entire summary is blatantly written like an advert -- perhaps you could say the guy isn't trying to deceive anyone since it's obvious to anyone looking (eg. me) what's going on, but is that really a good direction to go in? Is even the barest of journalistic integrity a lost cause on this site?

    • by descubes (35093)

      So the founder and president [of] Taodyne [linkedin.com] submits a "story" extolling the virtues of Taodyne's latest program/thingie and this actually makes it onto Slashdot? Am I really expecting too much of Slashdot by thinking that this shouldn't happen? I mean the entire summary is blatantly written like an advert -- perhaps you could say the guy isn't trying to deceive anyone since it's obvious to anyone looking (eg. me) what's going on, but is that really a good direction to go in? Is even the barest of journalistic integrity a lost cause on this site?

      How is the fact that I'm the founder of Taodyne making the story irrelevant to Slashdot readers? What would have been unethical would have been to ask a friend to submit the story for me.

      Of course, I'm biased. I've put years of my life into creating what I believe is the first interactive 3D document description language. I think that this is relevant to Slashdot readers. Remember, "News for nerds"? Our first tag line was "3D presentation software for geeks", it's still in my Slashdot signature.

      My idea of b

      • The problem isn't that the story is (necessarily) irrelevant to Slashdot readers, it's that you are in no position to make an unbiased look at the subject at hand and report about it to readers who are on what is ostensibly a news site. This doesn't make you a bad person and you were not the intended target of my rant because, as we both mentioned, you made no attempt to obscure the fact that you were tied to the subject matter. My issue is that Slashdot editors and/or firehosers (I don't even know how that

        • by descubes (35093)

          I understand your position. To be honest, we didn't really expect to hit the Slashdot front page (not that I will complain). We were content with people who look at the Firehose.

          But to respond to you point, I think there is a lot of value in this new brand of journalism made of first person straight talk: blogs, video posts on YouTube, etc. You talk to me, I respond to you. Nobody in between. You know it's me, an individual, who loves his product and is clearly biased, and not some abstract and distant enti

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Have you visited the firehose lately? If not, you have as much right to bitch about what gets posted as someone not registered to vote has about who got elected President. And if so, you don't have to click on the link if you're not interested.

      Congrats on the +5, I'd have modded you offtopic. Posts like yours are what I fond distasteful about slashdot; if there are more than 100 comments I don't bother, because it's all bad jokes and people bitching about how they don't like the subject they're commenting i

      • I'm not interested in my moderation score or what you would have modded me given the chance. You'll notice nothing about my 'bitching' was regarding the subject matter, it was in the complete lack of editorial control that Slashdot exhibits. I feel like it's getting worse but that might just be nostalgia, after all Slashdot editors have never been renowned for being thorough or professional.

        I haven't used the firehose lately; in fact I haven't done much of anything on Slashdot in a while since most visits d

  • ... what our Overlords actually look like.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @09:41PM (#41307863) Journal

    3D RSS feed sounds like it'll be the greatest thing since six-speaker stereo surround sound for the morse code coming out ham radios.

    • +5 insightful to you sir

    • As a sidenote, many small devices that have integrated stereo speakers (laptops, TVs, tabletop radios...) could do just fine with a mono speaker. You really cannot create a good stereo image in that sort of setting anyway. Give me one slightly better speaker instead of two craptastic ones.
  • Remember APL ? You could do an awful lot of stuff in one line using APL

    Of course it was totally unreadable by humans

    • by descubes (35093)

      Of course it was totally unreadable by humans

      Are you really arguing that this is unreadable by humans?


      feed "US News", "http://news.google.com/news?ned=us&charset=utf8&output=rss"
      feed "Slashdot", "http://rss.slashdot.org/Slashdot/slashdot"
      feed "Twitter taodyne", "http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=taodyne

  • These guys cannot even figure out how to reinstall display drivers on a Win 7 box [taodyne.com] and they want to sell me a rendering package? Not gonna happen.
    • by descubes (35093)

      These guys cannot even figure out how to reinstall display drivers on a Win 7 box [taodyne.com] and they want to sell me a rendering package? Not gonna happen.

      RTFA. We did reinstall the display drivers, and they just don't work. Unless you think that having full screen rendering blinks unless the screen is upside down is not a bug in the driver. Seriously. And the problem only exists on this particular ATI driver, never had that with the original driver or with nVidia...

      • by Simon80 (874052)

        I have to say, having scrolled through all of these negative comments, I really feel for you for trying to respond to so many of them without losing your head. Not all of us readers feel the need to put down the little guy just because you got some attention on Slashdot. I'm saddened that so many are taking the time to do this instead of just skipping over the article.

  • The links in the article are a bit ... odd

    http :// www.taodyne.com.nyud.net / shop / en / blog / 42-showing-rss-feeds-in-3d

    Whereas taodyne actually have their own site, www.taodyne.com/

    • by mrbester (200927)

      nyud.net is used to try and lessen a Slashdotting of the original site. Coral cache is another option if you don't want to use AWS

  • The site is slashdotted at the moment but here is the video on that page when it finally sort-of loaded.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk39a22wDL0 [youtube.com]

    What sort of pointless nonsense is this? What actual purpose does this have that any normal RSS reader does not have? All it is, seems to be, sticking a list of RSS links on a "jaunty angle" in 3d and adding an associated image on a spinning cube. It's just... pointless.

    It's not even much of a technology demonstration is it, I'm no 3d guy, but I'd have assumed

    • by descubes (35093)

      It's just... pointless.

      Rather, I think you just... missed the point. The point is not the end result, it is to show how you can now create dynamic 3D documents really easily.

      I'd have assumed that using OpenGL or something one could knock something like this together in no time flat, probably any time in the last 10 to 15 years!

      You'd assume wrong. In addition to OpenGL, you need at least: font rendering and typography, typesetting, JPEG image decoding, networking, text parsing. If you don't believe me, go ahead, do it. I did that short example over a coffee break, definitely less than 2 hours. Let me see how long your "no time flat" will be if you do "something like this" with strai

  • Is this a blast from the past post from 1998?

    I admit I skimmed the Slashdot summary and thought it was compressing 3D information into Twitter-sized bites, similar to the Twitter music notation from a while back. But then I click on the links and see RSS FEEDS IN THREE DEES! Not even really in 3D, just with perspective.

    I'm not even going to dig up any of my "Oh, just stop with trying to display text in 3D" rants because everyone has to know by now, right? Everyone but these guys. (Hint: Do a search for VR

    • But then I click on the links and see RSS FEEDS IN THREE DEES! Not even really in 3D, just with perspective.

      Use the "View->Display Mode" menu and select your favorite 3D mode, and you'll have actual 3D. Including 3D without glasses if you are lucky enough to own Alioscopy [alioscopy.com], Dimenco [dimencodisplays.com] or Tridelity [tridelity.com] displays.

      And what's with the "120 lines of code" crap? I could probably do the same thing in 5 lines of Processing.

      Why don't you do just that? But knowing Processing, I seriously doubt this is more than trolling.

      But this is a stupid thing that should never have been done. And not "stupid as in awesome" like launching flaming pianos with a trebuchet or "stupid as in a challenge" like getting a toaster to play Oregon Trail, but stupid as in pointless with no redeeming value.

      And someone modded this insightful? Ach, Slashdot.

  • New definition of 3D: Stick 2D pictures on a box and spin them.
  • the 120 lines of code under review actually need a pay version of Tao. The free evaluation version does not work with the example code TFA shows. [Nice although that a linux version is available.]
    • by descubes (35093)

      the 120 lines of code under review actually need a pay version of Tao. The free evaluation version does not work with the example code TFA shows. [Nice although that a linux version is available.]

      So you have to dismiss two dialog boxes mentioning that we use pay features in that presentation. Big deal! The only downside of using the free version or modules you didn't pay for is that you will have a Taodyne logo showing up in the corner of the screen. No time bomb, no other limitation. Seriously.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:54AM (#41310003) Homepage

    ...is that a lot? Not enough?

    Anyway, my new language has a built-in function to do this, so it needs only one line of code!

  • McAfee doesn't like those links. Whazzup with that?

  • Apparently we need a nice high level 3D presentation library but we don't want to work out how to use libxml2. I shall leave http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1732348/regex-match-open-tags-except-xhtml-self-contained-tags [stackoverflow.com] here and leave you to consider the error of your ways.

    (Also, what language did you base that on? It's surprisingly hard to read.)

    • by descubes (35093)

      Apparently we need a nice high level 3D presentation library but we don't want to work out how to use libxml2.

      The idea here was precisely to show the kind of things you could do with mere regular expressions (we introduced a regexp module recently). Yes, I know it is theoretically wrong, and if you knew how much I don't care, you wouldn't bother insulting me with the suggestion that we wouldn't know how to use libxml2. XML parsing is on its way, but if you want to add it yourself, Taodyne provides a C++ SDK (here is an example [gitorious.org] to get you started).

      (Also, what language did you base that on? It's surprisingly hard to read.)

      As mentioned in the story, it's called XL [sf.net]. Can you elaborate why you

  • But on a computer screen? Naa. Waste of time.

  • Nice 3D feature ! i will follow your next publications !
  • We created a Gitorious project to share sample code [taodyne.com]. The first sample shows the location of earthquakes in real-time.

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