Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Java on the desktop

Sun is back into the desktop war. First you have the Java Desktop System 2 for Solaris and SuSE Linux 8.1 ($50 per employee per year for unlimited seats) with lots of firepower - Star Office, Sun Java Studio and a host of configuration tools bundled. I have not tried installing it, but you have the usual raves and rants with the Jem report by Valour which wishes only if it actually worked and the Newsforge review by Chris which claims it to be the most polished and real-world user-ready Linux desktop .

With the future releases of the Java Desktop System, Sun is also bringing 3D windowing capabilities to the desktop to offer a far richer user experience. Here are some cool snaps or a live demo if you have the bandwidth. This is very, very cool !

Java Desktop Integration Components project provides Java applications with access to facilities provided by the native desktop such as the mailer, the browser, and registered document viewing applications.

Additionally it provides the mechanisms by which Java applications can integrate into the native desktop such as registering Java applications as document viewers on the desktop and creating installer packages. There are other projects in the incubator, like Screensaver SDK which allows you to write Screensaver applications in Java and the Tray Icon API which can be used to create tray icons.

And finally the latest salvo. Java Desktop Network Components project endeavors to make it significantly easier to construct rich, data-centric desktop clients by providing Swing components for many of the required design and coding tasks.

In case you are wondering about the Network , Amy Fowler explains :

The most central feature shared by what we call "data-centric, enterprise desktop clients" is connecting users with data - loading it, viewing it, filtering it, editing it, validating it, saving it, and so on.. And these days that data is usually tied to a network data source, such as an SQL database, HTTP servlet, or WebService, bringing with it the complexity of networking. JDNC does the heavy lifting here, by providing built-in support for dealing with these network data sources, including multi-threaded support (so the UI doesn't block during network operations) and incremental loading -- hence, the "Network" in "JDesktop Network Components".

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Everyone of my friends seems to have a weblog now. Many are using it to be able to search themselves on Google. My friend Tarun tells me that ego-surfing is the word. Some benevolent souls are crying hoarse that this is going to render our favorite search engine useless someday. My own $.02 on this is, if not blogs, then mailing lists are anyway going to do that...the Sun is finally going to die and the Universe is headed for emptiness.

So finally I have decided to be on the bandwagon. Looked around for a J2EE-based blogging application, liked Deepblack a little, also thought about creating my own using .NET , then deployed MovableType on my office machine, but finally settled for blogger.com. ASP model works, I must say !