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LinuxPR: A new Big Band takes on "Big Information"

Jun 29, 2000, 19:56 (0 Talkback[s])

"July 4th marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz great Louis Armstrong, but this year a new kind of jazz will strike a chord with internet designers when a new Java "Zooming" (Jazz for short) interface lands on their desktops."

"On July 4th the University of Maryland and an Open Source community called "The Jazz Band" is releasing version 1.0 of a new "Zooming User Interface" called Jazz. This user-interface technology, developed over the last six years, is now creating new opportunities for the most information intensive companies and applications to gain wider acceptance. The Jazz interface, developed by Ben Bederson, director of the Human Computer Interaction Laboratory at Maryland, offers application designers a robust platform for interaction with large information spaces. Users and developers of all types are invited to download version 1.0 of this software from the Jazz homepage at http:www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/jazz.

"In the old days, the biggest computer companies sold hardware that feasted on data - the more "big iron" mainframes, the better. Today, some of the biggest software companies sell applications that feast on information - the more the better. But old-fashioned user interfaces have limited how many people have the expertise and the patience to interact with "big information." New interfaces like Jazz escape from the 30-year-old WIMP straitjacket, moving intuitive visual interaction beyond Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointing."

"The "Jazz" platform is a Java-based zooming user interface (ZUI) development toolkit. Applications implemented in Jazz can easily zoom, pan, and transform graphical and text objects organized into a scenegraph of hierarchical cameras, nodes and objects. The views offer smooth, animated transitions throughout an infinite plane of information. With Jazz's close integration with Java and Swing, all Jazz applications are platform independent and run in any browser with a Java 2 Run-time Engine (JRE). The Jazz platform is extremely flexible, with full availability of the open source code and a stable, well-documented scenegraph."

Press Release