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LinuxWorld Tradeshow Shows Desktop Java

Posted by hansmuller on September 3, 2003 at 7:45 AM PDT

A few weeks ago I attended LinuxWorld up in San Francisco. I marched
around the tradeshow and took notes about what I saw, notably the
impressive collection of desktop Java applications on display. If I
was a good blogger or even a disciplined one, I would have immediately
collected my impressions and published them. Sadly I'm easily
distracted and rarely disciplined and so my little collection of
observations has been gathering dust. Just now I'm sitting on an
airplane bound for San Jose and the person seated in front of me has
graciously (and inexplicably) kept his seat upright, leaving enough
room for my hulking laptop to open. So it's time to get this little item
written.

HP has a new storage rack named HP StorageWorks NAS 8000 which comes
with a Swing administration UI deployed as an applet. In addition to
displaying and setting administration parameters it allows to bring up
a performance monitor that graphically displays parameters like
network traffic etc. The representative I talked with said the
engineering team used Swing because they really wanted to do some
"hardcore coding". I'm happy to report that they've produced a nice
GUI however it's always troubling to hear this kind of work described
as challenging. We need to find ways to make it easier.

I saw a bunch of nice looking Swing GUIs in the Veritas booth and also
in Dell's booth. Dell was showing the Veritas Cluster Manager
front-end. Most of the Veritas administration front-ends were Swing,
some of them looked pretty slick.

Computer Associates had a nice Swing GUI for their "eTrust AntiVirus
App". The CA representative on the floor showed me a similar and much
older Motif GUI running on Solaris. I voted for using the new Java
GUI on Solaris, I'll look for that next year.

Appro was one of the many companies showcasing a big dark intimidating
rack of servers and storage. They've got a very good looking remote
management GUI for their "BladeDome" (even the name sounds ominous)
HPC product.

Novell was showing their Swing GUI for the "GroupWise" Personal
Information Manager (PIM) front-end. Apparently they've got a native
Win32 PIM and they use the Java version to reach the Mac/Linux/Solaris
markets.

I talked with a very tired but very friendly and helpful
representative from Arkeia about the very futuristic Java front-end
they've built for their backup system. It looks more like a custom
MP3 player than a backup admin console - definitely the most exotic
admin console I've seen.

GenaWare is a small map visualization company. They've got Swing
client called "GeoVisJ" that based on a custom vector graphics map
renderer. The GUI isn't going to win any beauty contests but map data
is always interesting, and they've got a lot of it.

I'm sure you'd like to see screenshots of some of these apps. We'll
try and collect a nice set in an upcoming Swing Sightings column.
Don't miss the current column (yes, this is a shameless plug), you'll
find it

here

on the Swing Connection site at

http://java.sun.com/products/jfc/tsc
.

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