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The Lightweight U I Toolkit

Posted by daniel on May 7, 2008 at 6:15 AM PDT

Jonathan Simon popped up in IM as I was leaving for JavaOne.

"Dude," he said --- it's his standard greeting, "check this out."

He directed me to Terrence Barr's post on the LWUIT (Lightweight UI Toolkit). Jonathan had worked on something similar a while back and was glad to see someone else making progress on this problem. He told me to see if I could find these guys at JavaOne and so yesterday I went to their session.

It was very impressive. It was what I was hoping to see at JavaOne this year. The engineers showed a demo working on an emulator and then they walked over to an over head camera and showed phone after phone running the same demo on the actual device. They were downright giddy as they placed another phone under the camera and said "and look at it running on this one."

It felt like an old Ron Popeil commercial. After showing us the 3D transitions and scrolling and font substitutions the presenter said "But that's not all." The audience ooohed and ahhhed a bit like an infomercial and applauded at the right moments. Like demonstrating a knife that slices and dices, we were shown just how easy it is to customize the theme with different colors and animated images and a transparent title bar. After showing how to use Matisse and NetBeans to create the new theme, we saw it running on an actual phone.

These guys couldn't or wouldn't say it -- but this is what we should have seen a year ago from Java FX Mobile if it was real.

LWUIT is real. You can use it today. I know it's not just vaporware because Jonathan Knudson leaned over to show me it running on his phone. Roger Brinkley pulled his phone out of his pocket and showed Jonathan and me that it was running on his phone as well.

So not only is LWUIT real today, but soon it will be open sourced. Look for an open source release sometime this summer.

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