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Yours Is No Disgrace

Posted by editor on April 21, 2006 at 6:12 AM PDT


So why not own the desktop too?

I was listening to the Java Posse podcast last night while trying to get Keagan to bed -- he jumps on the bed for an hour, I listen to podcasts... it's a living -- and they had a discussion on the topic of "what's it going to take for Java desktop applications to really take off?" It's interesting that one of the things to kick off this discussion was a java.net blog by Joshua Marinacci from last year, and its follow-on discussion. It also came from the fact that the new version of ThinkFree Office has hit stores, and is one of the very few Java-based applications that you can buy at your local computer retailer.

The Posse advanced two hypotheses that don't typically come up in this much-repeated discussion. Dick Wall suggested that with the increasing importance of media applications, the poor support for multimedia in the language and its official libraries is an underappreciated handicap. Joe Nuxall suggested the problem is on the developer side, that the differences between writing enterprise and desktop Java are so great that the webapp developer really can't begin to understand the world of the desktop developer, and vice versa.

We figured we could add to the discussion by putting it out there as today's java.net Poll, which asks "What's holding back Java on the desktop?" We've combined the Posse's answers with some of our own. Cast your vote on the front page, then check out the results page for results and discussion.


Today's collection of Projects and
Communities
items will tax your bandwidth with multimedia demos of new Java development.
In the JavaLobby audio-and-slides presentation JBoss Portal 2.2, co-founder and developer Roy Russo introduces this JSR-168-compliant portal, highlighting its ease-of-installation and interesting features like inter-portlet communication, content management, pluggable themes and layouts, and more.

Ed Burns' blog New release of JSF AJAX Components introduces several new AJAX components provided by the Java BluePrints project. Ed's blog also links to some QuickTime screencasts he's created that illustrate the AJAX progress bar, PayPal-style "buy it now" button, Netflix-like "rating" widget, and other components.


Speaking of AJAX,
in Also in
Java Today
,
Dion Hinchcliffe serves up a tasty mixture of skepticism and scorn in Five Earth-Shattering Things You Should Know About AJAX and You Don't. "You've surely heard that Ajax is the total panacea to the all the problems of traditional Web applications. This includes (but is not limited to, no!) bad navigation experiences, long page reloads, lousy interactivity, web service integration, native application envy, and even the solution to world peace. Yes, it's all there. Except, dammit, the bad news is that Ajax is NOT really as perfect as they say. No. Probably not even close really. Yes, I know, I'm calling everyone's favorite baby ugly. But fawning write-ups do sell magazine articles, books, and page views nicely, don't they?"

The Java Persistence API (JPA) should provide EJB developers with a welcome relief from entity beans, but it's not just about EJB's--it can be used in Java SE, or in other EE containers. Seth White takes a closer look in the dev2dev article Using the Java Persistence API with Spring 2.0: "Spring 2.0, for its part, provides an elegant facility for creating data access objects that leverage JPA. Spring's data access architecture makes it easy to switch between different persistence technologies without the need to rewrite the rest of the application code."


In today's Forums, Krishna Gadepalli talks up Project Looking Glass' participation in
Google Summer of Code 2006
"As already mentioned in this list, Project Looking Glass is indeed participating as a Mentor Organization in this year's 'Summer of Code' and we have now officially signed on. I will be the administrative contact for Project Looking Glass. We need to publicize our participation to the relevant student audience as much as possible and I hope the forum members will help us do that so that we get quality student applications and help grow our community."

In the Java Desktop Product Announcements forum,
aldomart announces the
QTJPlayer 1.0 beta: QuickTime JavaBean
"QTJPlayer is a Java Bean based on Apple's QuickTime for Java. It has an easy-to-use API which provides all basic functionality to control QuickTime media and it comes with complete Javadoc documentation. According to the QTJPlayer license, you may use it for free within non-commercial, non-profit projects. Download link: http://www.muntjak.de/hans/java/qtjplayer/"


So you want to rewrite or re-factor your application? In today's Weblogs, Calvin Austin writes:
"Give an engineer some code and one of the first things crossing through the mind of some engineers is, 'Should I rewrite or re-factor that code?'. The logic being that the new version will be ultimately be better in some way than the original. But it doesn't always work out that way.."

In
Reinventing GridBagLayout, Ethan Nicholas writes:
"GridBagLayout is the layout manager everyone loves to hate -- undeniably powerful, but famously difficult to use. Take a look at how JAXX reinvents GridBagLayout as a simple, easy-to-use layout while retaining all of its power."

Roger Brinkley highlights the
Brazilian Portuguese JDK API and Guide Translation Project:
"The Brazilian Portuguese translation of JDK 5 has been announced and is underway at https://jdk5-api-pt-br.dev.java.net/ "


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So why not own the desktop too?