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ANN: Konka 1.0.5

 [1/6] from: jskibinski::emailaccount::com at: 18-Jun-2003 10:50

Hi all, Konka is a Rebol program for generation, transformation and display of 3D shells or solids. It features a remote API, consisting of about 20 remote functions. I just released version 1.0.5. The CGI demo, including documentation is accessible at The demo still runs the version 1.0.4, but the new version should be installed soon. The server is slow, so please be patient. I am still looking for a good home for the demo. Konka package is available upon request. Just send me an email. New features in 1.0.5 include more user friendly console, (with a bunch of template examples) and ability to compute several physical properties of solids (via numerical integration): area, volume, mass, center of gravity, and tensor of inertia. This is useful in dynamic simulations, such as dynamics of gyroscopic bodies. The default console example, a visualization of a chess game, works fine in my test LAN environment, but does not seem to work on the server shown above when tested on some Kiosk stations (with ME browser) where I tried it out - unless the amount of data is significantly reduced (comments and many chesspieces removed). The demo uses POST method so this behaviour is still a puzzle to me. Regards, Jan _____________________________________________________________ Get an email address your friends will never forget... FREE! Become [YOU--EmailAccount--com] at

 [2/6] from: greggirwin:mindspring at: 18-Jun-2003 13:32

Hi Jan, Thanks for the update! I still haven't made time to check out Konka beyond a very quick glance when you released it originally. Hopefully other people will have some time. It's a neat idea. -- Gregg

 [3/6] from: maarten:koopmans:surfnet:nl at: 18-Jun-2003 21:58

Hi Jan, It looks nice, but I am no 3D expert... What is Konka's primary audience? What kind of applications would you build with this? What do you use for remote communication? --Maarten Jan Skibinski wrote:

 [4/6] from: jskibinski:emailaccount at: 19-Jun-2003 8:35

Hi Maarten,
>It looks nice, but I am no 3D expert... >What is Konka's primary audience? What kind of applications would you >build with this?
I try to answer these questions in the manual, which is available on line. Also: Graham Chiu converted the original 1.0.0 version to HTML format and put it in his Vanilla. I hope he will find time to do the same with 1.0.5 version. Thanks again Graham, it was very kind of you! But here is another shot to answer your questions, which are indeed very important from the business point of view. I do not consider Konka to be a goal in itself, but rather the means for producing a 3D output when required by other applications. For this reason I stress the fact that Konka can be interfaced from just about any programming language that knows how to speak TCP. For the same reason I try to make Konka API look as language neutral as possible. I see several ways of using Konka with an application XYZ written in a language PQR, not necesserily Rebol: 1. Konka as a local output device running alongside such application. Nowadays, the 8Mb of memory, as (minimally) consumed by Rebol/View + Konka, is not a big deal. Application will do its magic, then construct the 3D output (with or without Konka API) and send it to Konka for display. The operator will view the output locally. Why not to reuse Konka, rather than to write your own rendering engine, in Smalltalk say? Or Haskell? I have seen many packages that require TCL/TK for visual output. Or Gnuplot, or something else. As a matter of fact, the problem that prompted me to start designing Konka was a little engineering problem which I tried to solve with OCTAVE (Matlab compatible numerical analysis software), which interfaces to GNUPLOT. I did not like quality of visualization at all! 2. Konka as a front end for Web Services, etc. Konka transport layer is by definition asynchronous. Some services can be very time consuming. Suppose that a customer wishes to to find some answer regarding stress analysis of some problem, which qualifies as standard and does not require human intervention to solve it. In general, this is not very likely to happen, but if the field of interest is narrow enough the automatic approach seems possible. Suppose that the Finite Element Analysis of the problem takes at least 10 minutes. Client sends his request, Konka forwards it to some FEA module (not necessary written in Rebol) and responds with a ticket ID and estimated computation time. Client connects some time later and gets his answer (or not), which might include a bunch of 3D pictures, visualizing deformations, stresses, etc. To be fair, I must add that some commercial FEA packages, such as ANSYS, have their own graphics - they would not need Konka directly. But format translation is still possible and bundling few services together may still be easier with Konka in between. Konka is able to compute integral properties of solids it produces, therefore it will be quite helpful in rigid body dynamics application. Here is a real example, from the times when I used to be Noise and Vibration consultant. Suppose that you wish to isolate a compressor, which vibrates as hell. Mounting it on springs solves only half of the problem: you will protect the environment from vibrations coming from the compressor to the floor, but the compressor will still vibrate as hell, which is quite dangerous. To reduce the vibrations you must add some mass to the machine, to make it heavier. But the mass also should be properly distributed to increase moments of inertia of the system and threfore to reduce its rocking motions. All what you have to do is to plug the physical properties of the system made of compressor + inertia base (made of steel and concrete) to your neat system of dynamic Newtonian equations, and voila! Not so fast, you need to calculate the physical properties first. Mass, center of gravity, moments of inertia. Formulas are simple, but very mundane. You try the simplest design. It does not work - back to drawing board, draw new picture of inertia base, calculate inertias, solve the dynamics.. Over and over again.. Here comes Konka with its ability to do those computations for you. ---------------- I already took too much space .. See some other examples in the manual.
>What do you use for remote communication?
Browser to konka-cgi-client: HTTP Konka-cgi-client to Konka Server: TCP. The requests are well filtered by a type checker installed on the server. Nothing illegal (or what I hope) can get through. Jan _____________________________________________________________ Get an email address your friends will never forget... FREE! Become [YOU--EmailAccount--com] at

 [5/6] from: lmecir:mbox:vol:cz at: 20-Jun-2003 22:38

> 1. Konka as a local output device running alongside such application.
> Jan
thank you and I hope this will find its way to the R.E.P. site too. -L

 [6/6] from: jskibinski:emailaccount at: 21-Jun-2003 8:44

Hi Ladislav,
>thank you and I hope this will find its way to the R.E.P. site too.
I will eventually. In meantime it is available on request - with the string attached that I will get back some personal feedbacks. There are some pieces that still puzzle me: working fine in my test environment, but failing otherwise, which I hope to solve with the help of input from users. As an example: a behaviour of Microsoft's Explorer with the chess example - works fine on my LAN, does not work on LAN of Zbyszek (the owner of the site where the demo is installed), and does not work with some ME browsers I use in public libraries here in Richmond Hill (part of Greater Toronto). I also hope that someone on this ML will temporarily volunteer to host konka-cgi-client on a faster site that the Zbyszek's is - to do it a proper justice . The demo is not as slow as it looks on his site, because the main problem are limited resources of his server. Unfortunately I cannot easily find a commercial provider for the demo because konka-cgi-client is more than just a simple CGI program: it best works integrated with Rebol webserv, running as daemon and it talks via TCP to the konka application server. Jan _____________________________________________________________ Get an email address your friends will never forget... FREE! Become [YOU--EmailAccount--com] at