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Usability

Posted by daniel on July 31, 2003 at 8:19 AM PDT

Today in java.net we highlight a new project built to give "hard-core Javaphiles, new and old, that 'wow, I never knew that was possible!' feeling". The edgecase project is looking for developers and hoping to ramp up in the next week or two. Whether you have a great idea or just want to lurk, consider joining the project.

Sometimes we don't try new things because we don't know they are possible. Sometimes we don't push ourselves because the market doesn't force us to. Today's theme is usability. As we develop applications for wireless, for the desktop, or for developers consider those that will be using your applications. This includes the look and feel as well as performance. We've come a long way from those early Java apps that paused while a bulldozer animation appeared and garbage was collected. How can we push things further?

On the home front, we continue to make small changes to the web site and to this feed. The news items in our daily capsule are now given permalinks. We will be providing these links in our daily JavaToday RSS feed so that, even if you're a couple of days behind, you can still find the stories you're looking for. As always, send your suggestions for more changes to make this site more usable to daniel@oreilly.com.

Today's featured Weblogs are all about usability. Bill Day writes that great J2ME apps exist for one of two reasons:Save Time, Waste Time. Day lists time savers such as stock trading and time wasters such as networked games and advises that you "Take it as a top priority to empower users to save time or waste time better than anybody else if you want to maximize your chances for mobile development success." Jonathan Simon says we need to create and publicize some streamlined great looking Swing apps to provide examples that others can aspire to in We have to make Swing UI's not suck.

The third featured blog entry takes Usability head on in the first in a series that compares Java to offerings from Microsoft. Philip Brittan's Java vs. .Net, part 1 - Usability asserts that Microsoft user applications "are slick, they are sharp, they have tons of great features." Brittan's echoes Simon's entry and goes further. Brittan says "Java now has a reputation for shabby-looking apps on the client-side". Brittan is not throwing up his hands and walking away. His goal is to "analyze the challenges that Microsoft .Net poses for Java and explore ideas for overcoming those challenges."

In the Also Today section, in addition to linking to the edgecase project, we link to an article by java.net blogger Jack Shirazi and Kirk Pepperdine on improving performance in Java applications. This is a usability topic that is often overlooked. Eye on performance: Improve your development processes is the first in a series the duo is writing for developerWorks.

From the Java Today News Page, news editor Steve Mallett, has gathered the following News Headlines .

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