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Finishing Touches

Posted by daniel on January 29, 2004 at 5:43 AM PST

Your application does all that it's meant to. Before shipping it, take the time to add the platform specific finishing touches that matter.

It may be something small. You move into a new house or apartment and you carry all of your possessions in and put away as many of the boxes as you can. You have to scrub the kitchen and bathroom before using them and may have to paint a wall or make some repairs. It's so much work that when you are done with these necessary tasks you start living in your new space. Soon you almost don't notice that you are stepping around the same box that you left in the corner meaning to put it away at some point.

One day, you find the time to go through those last boxes and to hang your art work on the wall. Suddenly your space feels different. That picture of the dogs playing poker, print from an art exhibit, or whatever you have hanging over your couch changes the feeling of the room. It's your home.

These are the little touches that Joshua Marinacci has been writing about to make your Swing application feel more comfortable to people accustomed to native applications. Users shouldn't see the boxes on the floor and the art stacked in the corner. In part three of Make Your Swing App Go Native, Joshua shows you how to create icons for Windows and for Mac OS X. He finishes by adding an Ant target for packaging up your application for distribution for Mac or Windows, customizing the file dialogs on the Mac side, and creating a splash screen for any platform. None of these additions are necessary, and yet they will help your target users adopt your application more readily.

Also in Java Today
Often when you are testing a database you introduce Mock objects to avoid actually setting up a database and entering and removing data. In Effective Unit Testing with DbUnit , Andrew Glover shows how to use DbUnit to control "a database dependency within applications by allowing developers to manage the state of a database throughout a test. With DbUnit, a database can be seeded with a desired data set before a test; moreover, at the completion of the test, the database can be placed back into its pre-test state."

ZDNet's interviews James Gosling about the Java ecosystem in the oddly titled Can Java guru regain Sun's luster? Gosling speaks about the Java Tools comunity and Java tools in general. He explains that " As stewards and members of the Java community, we are big believers in diversity, and the fact that there are multiple competitors in the market--that's a really good thing. That said, we also have our own products, and we want to win." He later adds "You know, Eclipse is one of those things that, depending on which hat I am wearing, I either sort of love it or hate it. Wearing my Java community hat, I love it. Wearing my chief technology officer of tools hat--sort of a Scott McNealy way of putting it--I don't as much. "

In today's Weblogs , James Gosling points to the interview with C|NET in Alpha Geek? This is actually the same interview we point to in Also in Java Today with a different title. Gosling says that "It came out pretty well, although it's always embarrassing when folks do direct interview transcripts and you realize how often you use phrases like 'sort of'".  

In Projects and Communities Pirate Pete and his crew's dbpirate, is "a database development application [with] a command window for the issue of SQL commands. A schema browser will be available to view the structure of the database. " See their Help wanted ad.

James Todd shares his JNLP file that allows easy deployment of his JXTA application as a jar file that depends " upon JXTA and all it's constituents , [that may] be signed 3rd party jars in turn and can vary over time."

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