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The University of Manchester releases GNU Maverik

May 24, 1999, 15:34 (4 Talkback[s])

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The University of Manchester releases GNU Maverik: 
a free Virtual Reality system for GNU/Linux PCs 
and Silicon Graphics workstations

The Advanced Interfaces Group, in the Department of Computer Science at the
University of Manchester, UK, announces the release of GNU Maverik 5.0, a
software system for supporting Virtual Reality applications.

GNU Maverik is Free software released under the GNU General Public Licence,
and is released with full source code, documentation and example programs.
As of release 4.3 GNU Maverik is an official component of the Free Software
Foundation's GNU Project located in Boston, USA.

(A fully-linked Web version of this announcement is at

CONTACT (for Maverik enquiries)

Dr Roger Hubbold
Department of Computer Science
Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom
Tel: (44) 161 275 6158
Fax: (44) 161 275 6204

CONTACT (for GNU/Free Software Foundation enquiries)

Timothy Ney
Free Software Foundation
59 Temple Place, Suite 330
Boston, MA  02111, USA
Tel: (617) 542-5942
Fax: (617) 542-2652


Maverik is a system for managing graphics and interaction in Virtual
Reality applications. It is designed to address the challenges of highly
interactive virtual environments containing many objects with complex
geometry. Maverik uses either Mesa or OpenGL to perform rendering and runs
on GNU/Linux PCs and Silicon Graphics workstations.


The complete Maverik distribution is available as both RPMs and gzipped
tars from, and also from


Visit the Maverik Applications Gallery
( for examples of
a wide range of Maverik applications.


Maverik dispenses with a separate representation for application data.
Conventional VR systems need to import data into their own format, but
Maverik avoids this by making use of the application's own internal data
structures. This has two important benefits:

1) Maverik can easily take advantage of optimisations that are highly
   application-specific, intimately tied to knowledge that the application

2) Maverik can far more readily adapt (dynamically) to a wide range of
   application demands. Its flexible design means that applications with
   widely differing requirements can be supported.


Maverik has two main parts:

1) The Maverik micro-kernel implements a set of core services, and a
   framework that applications can use to build complete virtual
   environments and virtual reality interfaces.
2) The Maverik supporting modules contain default methods for optimised
   display management including culling, spatial management, interaction
   and navigation, and control of VR input and output devices. Maverik's
   structure allows these default methods to be customised to operate
   directly on application data, so that optimal representations and
   algorithms can be employed.


Maverik provides a framework and toolkit for a single user to perceive,
interact with, and navigate around, a graphically complex Virtual
Environment. Although it can be used stand-alone for single-user VR
applications, it has been designed to integrate with a large-scale
distributed multi-user VR system called Deva, currently under development
( Deva supports multiple virtual
worlds and applications, together with sophisticated methods of specifying
behaviours and laws for objects within VEs. The Advanced Interfaces Group
plans to release the Deva system at a later date.


Funding for development of Maverik was provided by the UK's Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (grant GR/K99701), with additional
support from our industrial partners, CADCentre Ltd, Brown & Root Ltd, and
Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd.

[ends, revision of 21/May/99]