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Throw Me A Rope

Posted by editor on December 14, 2007 at 7:33 AM PST


What's the next format to open up to Java?

Following yesterday's announcement of the PDF Renderer project, a natural question occurred to me: what other formats do you want to use in your Java applications? I adapted this for today's poll question, with some concern about how the question might be nitpicked.

What, after all, does it mean to "work with" a file format? The PDF renderer, for example, not only opens the file -- anyone can open a file and start blindly reading bytes with a FileInputStream -- but parses the data, builds up a model of that data, and renders it to a Java2D Graphics2D. On the other hand, it doesn't offer the ability to edit the contents of a PDF file or save to the PDF format.

So let's focus on the idea of opening popular formats and working with their contents. What would be useful to your app? Opening office or ODF docs? Media formats? Compressed archives like RARs and TARs? SVGs? We'll kick around this idea in the new java.net Poll, which asks "Which file formats would you most like to open in Java?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check out current tallies and discussion on the results page.

It'll be particularly interesting to see if people want to open these various formats in client-side or server-side applications. Do you want to open Word documents because you're writing a user-facing office suite in Java, or because you have a web application and you're converting the .doc-formatted data into something viewable in a browser? Or hey, maybe it's about mobile access...


Speaking of discussion we being today's Weblogs with Joshua