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Swing Sightings

Posted by daniel on February 17, 2004 at 6:43 AM PST

This discussion on whether or not your Java applications should look like native applications continues to spark a lively debate.

In fact, a bit to my surprise, Chris Adamson's most recent blog entry on the topic, As Your Users Like It has four times the number of responses as yesterday's pointer by Ron Hitchens to ESR to McNealy: Let Java Go. Not that I think we can derive much from two data points, but it is interesting to see the responses generated by different posts.

This might be a good time to check out the latest Swing Sightings featured on the Java Desktop community home page in today's Projects and Communities . You'll find a selection of recent applications that are included "because, based on the descriptions and the screenshots on their web sites, they look like good examples of what is possible with Swing. " As you look through this 20th edition of Swing sightings and past archives, do these examples open you eyes to more possiblities available to you in Swing applications? Do they help you resolve the issue of whether it or not it should be apparent to a reader that your application was written in Java?

From the screen shots, Jurtle looks like a native Mac application and SmartCVS looks like a Windows app. Although I couldn't get the Jose chess system up and running on my Mac, the screenshots looked nice. The Flux designer tool for workflows showed that the addition of color and images can do a lot to customize your application, and ILOG Discover looks like a fun way to visualize and analyze data sets.

Also in Projects and communities, on the Linux community wiki, James Liu has provided some Performance Tips for Java on Linux. He recommends you use hprof because it "tracks the calls made within the system and can dump a summary of threads and call stack ordered by some statistic (usually CPU time) when desired."

Kathy Sierra turns to a different aspect of usability in today's Weblogs . She is thinking of consistency and transparency in APIs for developers and urges API designers/spec developers: pity those of us who have to LEARN this.... She presents and gives an example of her prime directive, the "Usability principal: Things which behave differently should look different.

This is fundamental user interface or product design 101. Humans will assume that if two buttons share the same shape and color, for example, that they'll generally have the same kind of behavior. So product designers are expected to do things like, 'Make the navigation buttons look and feel different from the control buttons...'"

I apologize for today's blog from Bob Lee. Today's Bitter EJB Reviews is nothing more than an admittedly shameless plug but violates our bloggers creed of "no marketing". Usually our bloggers provide an excerpt from the book, maybe a technique or a code snippet - some tidbit that provides value for our readers. We're happy to help our bloggers promote their books as long as you benefit. This list of reviews does little for me. Sorry.

Also in Java Today
, Bruce Perry provides Six Cool New JSP and Servlet Features with three from each type. His ONJava article is a collection of quick tips and examples of new features in Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0. Learn how to use a servlet as a welcome file, how to use new interfaces for application event listeners, and how to use the new Servlet 2.4 technique of using "filters to intervene with javax.servlet.RequestDispatcher objects that include the output of a web component or forward a request to another web component." You'll also see how to use Expression Language code in template text, how to write tag files, and how to write EL-qualified functions.

Write your standard simple HelloWorld application that contains no methods other than main() which does nothing more than print "Hello, World." to standard out. Compile it and run it. What's that long pause at the beginning before "Hello, World." appears in the console? In John Zukowski's Java Tech Tip Monitoring Class Loading and Garbage Collection , he reminds you that you can see all of the classes being loaded to run this simple class using the command line option -verbose . His quick tip shows you how to generate reporting on class loading and/or garbage collection.

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